Immunity 101: Micronutrient Deficiency and Viral Infections

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Immunity 101: Micronutrient Deficiency and Viral Infections

Why do some people fight infections so easily while others get really sick?

Immunity is a very personal thing. It is based on our biochemical individuality—all the decisions we make, genes we express, nutrients we absorb, medications we take, food we eat, stresses we encounter—can all affect immunity. Your ability to respond to infections—viral, bacterial, parasitic—depends on how STRONG and ADAPTABLE your immune system is. Here is where the lymphocyte comes in…

What is a lymphocyte?

A lymphocyte is a type of white blood cell that fights infections. These are the workhorses of the immune response.

Here's a little primer on immune response:

  • Something comes along and signals the lymphocyte to get into action mode, ready to fight pathogens
  • The lymphocyte detects the pathogen and promptly starts to multiply so it can build a cellular army to fight off the infection
  • Once the army of lymphocytes is formed, they travel throughout the body to areas where they are needed, detect abnormal things floating around (virus/bacteria) and destroy them

How do Micronutrients impact immunity?

Micronutrients are the small, microscopic chemicals that power all the biochemical reactions in the body… millions and millions of reactions that occur every minute in our cells depend on the availability of micronutrients to keep our systems functioning optimally. Subtle vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant deficiencies contribute to cellular dysfunction; demobilizing innate and adaptive immunity.

What can I do to improve immune function?

The first step to improve immune function is to quantify it.  One widely researched and well-established method to quantify immune function is an assay called lymphocyte proliferation – which is a test in which white blood cells are prompted to grow in order to measure how strong they can respond.

After you quantify immune function, it can be improved by targeted nutrient repletion.  Immune function is largely dependent on the micronutrients available for immune cells to do their job.  Here is a classic example:  vitamin D deficiency lowers immune function.  That is because our cells (lymphocytes) use vitamin D to regulate the highly orchestrated and uber-precise immune response to pathogens.  So, if a person is deficient in vitamin D, their immune response may be weaker.

Dozens of nutrients affect immune function. Making sure there is adequate nutrients available to our cells and targeted repletion of micronutrient deficiencies is a giant step toward improving immune function, which ultimately helps us fight infections like COVID-19.

  • Coenzyme Q10 - Low blood levels occur in the influenza patients compared to healthy controls. 
  • Vitamin E - Boosts immune cells' (lymphocytes) ability to effectively respond to viral infections.
  • Vitamin B9 (Folate) - Evidence suggests that folate deficiency may enable some viral DNA to more easily integrate into host cell DNA, thus increasing susceptibility to infection. 
  • Zinc - Increasing intracellular zinc can impair the ability of some viruses to replicate; Deficiency compromises immune function; However, zinc may either facilitate or inhibit virus infection depending on 1) how advanced the infection is and 2) strength of a person's immune response. 
  • Copper - Plays a key role in macrophage function (the cells that eat viruses); Deficiency may lower immunity to viruses; High viral load may increase serum copper relative to other minerals; Balances zinc levels. 

The above list of nutrients is non-exhaustive. For more details on the interaction of micronutrients and viral infection, download our viral wheel

How SpectraCell's Micronutrient Test empowers YOU. 

Our Micronutrient Test makes it possible to base treatment to your personal biochemistry. The one-size-fits-all approach to health does NOT work, especially when it comes to supplementation.

Whether it's a targeted supplement protocol, customized IV therapy solutions, or healthy lifestyle modifications, one thing's for sure – targeted micronutrient repletion is the answer and Micronutrient testing is the catalyst. 

Order your Micronutrient Test today!

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