By Joy Stephenson-Laws, J.D., Founder
Normalcy Requires That We Educate Ourselves About How To Fight COVID-19
All 50 U.S. states have already taken initiatives toward reopening just in time for Memorial Day. Traffic is increasing. People are clearly out and about. But now is not the time to forget that COVID-19 is still really a serious threat to us all.
We must remain proactive.
The mayor of Baltimore, Bernard Young, perhaps thought he was being proactive when he told President Trump to cancel a visit to his city planned for Monday to celebrate the holiday.
“That President Trump is deciding to pursue non-essential travel sends the wrong message to our residents, many of whom have been disproportionately impacted by the Covid-19 virus,” the mayor said, according to one report.
But is the mayor really being proactive? Do actions like these really promote normalcy?
We are all ready to feel “normal” again. We want to see our families, get a haircut and, quite frankly, enjoy our lives! Depending on where we live in the U.S., our state’s restrictions may be stricter than others. But no matter where we reside, we need to understand how to protect ourselves and others. And that understanding should not be based solely on information we get from our television sets, the mayors, President Trump or Dr. Fauci.
We need to educate ourselves!
The usual precautions include washing our hands properly, never sneezing or coughing into our hands, avoiding large congregations, maintaining social distancing and wearing a mask. You can find these precautions and more at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These precautions can also be found in social media and on television ads.
What is NOT usually emphasized is the importance of nutrients such as dietary supplements in the fight against COVID-19. Despite the fact that there are numerous studies which support the theory that nutrients are important weapons in the fight against COVID-19, I have yet to see a single press conference by the experts mention this critical fact. As healthcare consumers, we need to identify credible sources ourselves about how to remain safe as we attempt to return to normalcy.
Credible medical experts suggest that public officials need to issue appropriate nutritional recommendations to complement messages about the role of hand washing and vaccinations in preventing the spread of infections.
"Often missing in public health discussions around immunity and infection are nutritional strategies to support optimal function of the immune system. This is surprising, given that the importance that nutrition plays in immune function is well established," according to findings published in the journal, Nutrients.
There are several nutrients which play a critical role in helping our immune system. These include "vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and folate; and trace elements, including zinc, iron, selenium, magnesium, and copper." All these nutrients "play important and complementary roles in supporting both the innate and adaptive immune systems." Imbalances, deficiencies or "suboptimal status in micronutrients negatively affect immune function and can decrease resistance to infections." The precise mechanism by which these nutrients work to combat viruses and infections are described in great detail in the recently published article, Optimal Nutritional Status for a Well-Functioning Immune System Is an Important Factor to Protect against Viral Infections.
In some cases, doses above the usual recommended daily allowance is necessary to effectively improve our immune system. For example, Vitamin C requirements may depend on the health status of the individual. In some cases, "1–2 g/day are recommended to restore normal blood levels in individuals who are sick, beginning at the onset of symptoms. These levels are within the US tolerable upper limit (TUL) for adults of 2 g/day (note that the upper limit for children aged 1–3 years is 400 mg/day)."
Memorial Day weekend is usually a big drinking occasion. Many bars have reopened. Liquor stores are considered essential businesses. But now is really the time to protect our immune system, and excessive alcohol will have no part in helping us do that. In addition to promoting inflammation throughout the body, drinking too much alcohol may deplete the body of the very vitamins and minerals that are critical for immune health, including zinc, vitamin C, magnesium, iron and more. If you happen to drink excessively, you might consider replacing those nutrients with a Myers Cocktail the next day
It may be tempting to go overboard on ultra-processed foods this holiday weekend, but try to eat them in moderation (if at all). There are so many delicious, nutrient-dense foods you can enjoy this holiday weekend such as watermelon, honeydew and these healthy burger options. Nutrient-rich foods help boost the immune system and fight viruses and other harmful pathogens. And, don’t forget to stay hydrated!
Have a safe and healthy holiday weekend. If we educate ourselves, work together and stay proactive, we can reduce or avoid the complications of COVID-19 and return to 'normal.'
Enjoy your healthy life!
The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.