Harnessing the power of immunity

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    Dr. Joel Lopez

    ‘When people are under a lot of chronic stress and illness, “it increases the severity and frequency of viral infection, reduces vaccine take-rate, prolongs wound healing, speeds chromosomal aging and cancer growth,” Lopez stressed.’

    To take charge of one’s health amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, Dr. Joel Lopez identified vitamins D3 and C, quercetin, zinc, and melatonin as among the immune-fortifying supplements that have been used to prevent the COVID-19, as indicated in the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance Prevention and Early Outpatient Treatment Protocol for COVID-19.

    The US-trained integrative medicine physician and certified nutrition specialist said essential oils (cloak, thyme or oregano) that have antiviral properties as well as natural food supplements that could be used to strengthen the immune system are recommended, too.

    Lopez advised to know when to institute the COVID-19 treatment as “timing of giving medications or supplements is crucial and not for the sake of giving medications.”

    Still, it is one’s innate immune system, serving as the body’s first line of defense, that fights off the virus, especially during the early stage.

    Lopez also mentioned The Institute of Functional Medicine’s (IFM) integrative approach to any type of illness or medical procedure.

    In the IFM’s Pandemic Pre-Vaccination Protocol, public health measures like wearing a mask, physical distancing and hand washing are important to decrease the viral load, but these are not enough.

    People must “train their dragons” to achieve optimum health by improving their physiological function and supporting their immune function as well as addressing lifestyle factors – sleep, exercise, nutrition, stress, and relationships, among others.

    Although the IFM supports the use of authorized COVID-19 vaccines for whom it is clinically indicated, Lopez said: “Before we even recommend vaccination, comorbidities should be addressed.”

    “It is our belief that vaccination is not for everyone as everybody is different, and there are people who have some genetic issues that could react negatively to the vaccines,” he explained.

    Lopez cited a study about “Underlying Medical Conditions and Severe Illness Among 540,667 Adults Hospitalized With COVID-19”. Of patients hospitalized with COVID-19, 94.9 percent had at least one documented underlying condition, 46.2 percent had an intensive care unit admission, 14.2 percent received invasive mechanical ventilation, and 14.8 percent died.

    In this cross-sectional study, essential hypertension and disorders of lipid metabolism were the most frequent, whereas obesity, diabetes with complications, anxiety disorders, and the total number of conditions were the strongest risk factors for severe COVID-19 illness.

    Men are more affected than women when it comes to COVID-19 as the former do not see physicians until acute medical problems emerge, while the latter are more health-conscious, Lopez pointed out.

    Age also matters most because “the older you are, the greater your chances of dying from COVID-19 especially if you have a lot of comorbidities,” he added.

    Lopez said among the public health policy goals to combat COVID-19 should be to reduce obesity and improve overall health by reducing chronic diseases, and ensure everyone has a properly prepared terrain (internal environment).

    When people are under a lot of chronic stress and illness, “it increases the severity and frequency of viral infection, reduces vaccine take-rate, prolongs wound healing, speeds chromosomal aging and cancer growth,” he stressed.