6 Top Tips to boost immunity for the big return to work and school
We've all been looking forward to this, but workers are feeling wary about going back on to public transport and into offices. What causes stress is lack of control, but we can take some control over our health and immunity before returning to work. Here are 6 simple ways you can do that.
We’ve all been looking forward to this, but workers are feeling wary about going back on to trains and into offices. What causes stress is lack of control, but we can take some control over our health and immunity before returning to work. Here are 6 simple ways you can do that.
1. Take Immunecare Apo Lactoferrin. Here are 8 compelling reasons why –
- Lactoferrin activates and proliferates dendritic cells in the respiratory tract.
These cells are immune defence cells. Their main function is to process antigen material and present it on the cell surface to the T cells of the immune system. They act as messengers between the innate and the adaptive immune systems. This is usually the first point of contact with a respiratory virus, so this is where the battle starts. If these cells activate quickly and in enough numbers, then infection can be dealt with quickly.
- Lactoferrin decreases the ‘cytokine storm’ that increases the chance of mortality with Covid-19.
Diseases such as Covid-19 and influenza can be fatal due to an overreaction of the body’s immune system called a cytokine storm. Cytokines are small proteins released by many different cells in the body, including those of the immune system where they coordinate the body’s response against infection and trigger inflammation. Down regulating this storm is vital to avoid a greater risk of complications.
- Lactoferrin proliferates T cells.
T cells (also called T lymphocytes) are one of the major components of the adaptive immune system. Their roles include directly killing host cells infected by viruses, activating other immune cells, producing cytokines and regulating the immune response. The virus destroying cells are especially important in a viral infection. Lactoferrin also improves the T cells’ memory of the pathogen, so that the immune system can be more quickly activated in the future.
- Lactoferrin inhibits viral entry into human cells.
Because viruses are not living, they can only replicate within host cells. Denying them entry into those cells is an absolute limiting factor on the infection. No viral entry, no replication, no infection.
If the virus does enter the cell, Lactoferrin acts on the virus by way of the interferon cytokine which can kill the virus in the cell.
- Lactoferrin boosts both innate and adaptive immunity.
The first line of defence against non-self pathogens is the innate immune response. The innate immune response consists of physical, chemical and cellular defenses against pathogens. The main purpose of the innate immune response is to immediately prevent the spread and movement of foreign pathogens throughout the body.
The second line of defense against non-self pathogens is called adaptive immune response. Adaptive immunity is also referred to as acquired immunity or specific immunity. The adaptive immune response is specific to the pathogen presented. You can find out more about Lactoferrin and immunity here.
- Lactoferrin is safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women to take, at the recommended dose of one capsule per day.
- Lactoferrin is safe for children to take at the recommended dose of one capsule per day.
- Lactoferrin is safe for the elderly to take at the recommended dose of one capsule per day.
It is no coincidence that the immune systems of our more senior citizens are much less effective than our younger citizens, and that they are much more prone to infections. T cell production, one of the mainstays of the immune function, becomes impaired with advancing years. It has been noted by doctors in America, however, that reversal of this atrophy can take place with both Lactoferrin supplementation. Clearly this is very important in these days of Covid-19.
2. Take Vitamin C
The jury is still out on whether Vitamin C is effective with the Covid-19 virus, but as we do not make our own Vitamin C, it makes sense to take some supplementation to keep your immune system topped up.
3. Take Vitamin D3
Because Vitamin D levels are severely low in the ageing population especially in Europe (this is also the most vulnerable group of population for COVID-19), Vitamin D3 supplementation may help to protect against SARS-CoV2 infection.
4. Adhere to Social distancing
To keep Direct, Indirect and Aerosol transmission of the Covid-19 virus to a minimum, social distancing is going to be a feature of life as the lockdown eases.
However, modelling has shown that social contacts outside of work, home and school may have to be limited to fewer than 10 a day, even with contact tracing as part of an exit strategy.
Recommendations include installing plexiglass screens between desks in offices and requiring workers not to sit face-to-face but back-to-back or side-to-side, lifts only being used if half-empty, hot-desking abolished and workers not sharing equipment.
Staggered arrival and departure times for employees are also being considered, as well as providing staff with packaged meals to avoid opening canteens.
But still, the advice on social distancing where possible will likely remain unequivocal: all those who can work from home should continue to work from home.
Social distancing will also continue, where possible, with shops and bank branches expected to consider Ikea-style one-way flow systems, limits to the number of customers in a store at any given time and using screens to create barriers between people. Contact tracing sheets will remain in place for some time.
Customers should still stay two metres apart, and the guidelines suggest creating “social distancing champions” to demonstrate best practice.
The drafted social distancing guidance remains quite stringent for non-office workers. For example, guidance for couriers and lorry drivers suggests finding alternatives to two-person delivery, and building sites and farms should be separated into “zones” of different worker groups with staggered break times.
5. Wear a Face mask
There is broad agreement in the infectious disease community about possible modes of respiratory virus transmission between humans.
Direct or indirect “contact” modes require a susceptible individual to physically touch themselves with, for example, a virus-contaminated hand;
- “direct” indicates that person-to-person contact transfers the virus between infected and susceptible hosts (such as by a handshake), while
- “indirect” implies transmission via an object like a hand-rail or paper tissue that has been contaminated with infectious virus.
In contrast, airborne transmission may occur by two distinct modes and requires no physical contact between infected and susceptible individuals. During a sneeze or a cough, “droplet sprays” of virus-laden respiratory tract fluid, typically greater than 5 µm in diameter, impact directly on a susceptible individual.
Alternatively, a susceptible person can inhale microscopic aerosol particles consisting of the residual solid components of evaporated respiratory droplets, which are tiny enough (<5 µm) to remain airborne for hours.
People have been advised to focus on avoiding contact with coughing and sneezing individuals, as these ‘violent’ expiratory events carry infected droplet sprays for up to 8 metres. Our current 2 metre social distancing rule may not be as effective as we think.
My wife and I walked past two ladies who were walking and talking the other day. As we passed, observing the two metre rule, we could smell perfume quite strongly, and carried on smelling it for twenty paces. I remarked to my wife that this could be a good analogy for the cloud of respiratory aerosol particles that people exhale when they talk. They expel the particles, and if they are in a room they will remain in the air, much like you can smell a person’s perfume or aftershave, even when they have left the room.
Runners and cyclists, meanwhile, exhale respiratory aerosol particles at an even greater rate due to the increased rate and force of breathing during this type of exercise. They also leave a slipstream of aerosol particles up to 20 metres behind them.
There is strong evidence now that many infected individuals (about 80%) who transmit COVID-19 are either minimally symptomatic or not symptomatic at all. In other words, it appears that large numbers of patients who became ill enough to require hospital treatment could have themselves been infected by others who did not appear sick and did not cough or sneeze any more than normal.
Much media attention has quite rightly focused on the possibility of direct and indirect transmission via for example contaminated hands, with public health messages focusing on the importance of washing hands thoroughly and often, and of greeting others without shaking hands. There is no doubt that this has been beneficial.
Aerosolized SARS-CoV-2 remains viable in the air with a half-life of one hour; both aerosol and surface transmission of SARS-CoV-2 occurs, since the virus can remain viable and infectious in aerosols for hours and on surfaces for days.
But if asymptomatic infected individuals do not sneeze or cough, how do they generate aerosols? In fact long ago it was established that ordinary breathing and speech both emit large quantities of aerosol particles. These expiratory particles are typically about 1 micron in diameter, and thus invisible to the naked eye. The particles are sufficiently large to carry viruses such as SARS-CoV-2, and they are also in the correct size range to be readily inhaled deep into the respiratory tract of a susceptible individual.
Recent work on influenza (another viral respiratory disease) has established that viable virus can indeed be emitted from an infected individual by breathing or speaking, without coughing or sneezing.
Ordinary speech aerosolizes significant quantities of respiratory particles. A ten-minute conversation with an infected, asymptomatic person talking normally would yield an invisible “cloud” of approximately 6,000 aerosol particles that could potentially be inhaled by the susceptible conversational partner or others in close proximity. While viral load does play a role in the severity of an infection, studies on other respiratory viruses show that one virus is enough to kickstart an infection.
Given the large numbers of expiratory particles known to be emitted during breathing and speech, and given the clearly high transmissibility of COVID-19, a face-to-face conversation with an asymptomatic infected individual, even if both individuals take care not to touch, might be adequate to transmit COVID-19.
For this reason, social distancing and the wearing of face masks may well be with us for a considerable period of time.
6. Exercise moderately.
This helps to strengthen your immune function, as well as boosting mood in these difficult times.