From reducing sugar and alcohol, to boosting specific nutrients in your diet, we reveal a US expert's recommendations for sharpening up your immune system this autumn.
Doctor Sam Yanuck, adjunct assistant Professor in the Integrative Medicine program in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, recommended the intake of polyphenols in a recent interview, endorsing the importance of these substances that "reduce inflammation and promote robustness of anti-pathogenic immune responses”.
Dr Yanuck recently co-authored a breakthrough paper “Evidence Supporting a Phased Immuno-Physiological Approach to Covid-19: From Prevention Through Recovery” and highlighted other strategies to help keep inflammation under control.
He says: “Make sure that sleep is adequate, that stress levels are low. And if the stress level can’t be modified in a fully efficient way, then consider adaptogens so that the person’s capacity for tolerating stress is diminished."
Adaptogens, found in polyphenols, herbs and spices, are thought to help relieve stress by modulating the release of stress hormones from the adrenal glands. As biological response modifiers, adaptogens restore the body’s innate immune function and help the body adapt to different stressors.
Dr Yanuck also highlights the importance of watching our nutrition, saying: “Make sure their diet is low glycaemic and doesn’t have a lot of alcohol.
“Then you want to consider nutritional support and make sure there’s adequate installation of vitamins A, D, C, zinc, fish oil, that have been shown in research to have a very useful effect in modulating inflammatory processes and have an immune-supportive role.
“You’re trying to ensure a very modest baseline level of inflammation so there’s room for a crescendo-decrescendo of the immune response when confronted by a virus."