With the pervasive spread of coronavirus, it is imperative, in addition to taking prevention measures that we strengthen our immune function, which will greatly reduce any potential negative effects on our health. As with other pandemics, it’s been those with weakened immune systems who have succumbed to the disease. At MPB Research, we have been tirelessly researching the treatment of hair loss for years, and in so doing have uncovered a treasure trove of usable information for health in general, including the optimization of immune function.
Androgenetic Alopecia is associated with multiple health problems including immune system dysregulation, and many of our supplement recommendations in addition to having positive effects on hair growth, strongly support immune function. We feel it is incumbent upon us to pass this information along. Following are some supplement and other recommendations that will significantly enhance your immune function, and reduce both the potential for contracting the virus, and its negative effects in case you do.
Cold Showers: although it seems counter-intuitive, many in the scientific community have been long aware of the documented evidence of the immune enhancing effects of cold exposure, either via cryotherapy (ice baths) or plain ole cold showers. Cold showers have been reliably demonstrated to reduce inflammation and increase testosterone and the number of white blood cells, which itself significantly stimulates immune function. Wim Hof, known to many as the “Ice Man” is a self-described test pilot who holds multiple world records ranging from his successful attempt to scale Mount Everest wearing nothing but shorts, and shoes, to the world’s longest immersion in ice-1 hour and 53 minutes. He has been the subject of several scientific studies, which have found that by using his cold exposure methodology, subjects who were injected with bacterial endotoxin remained completely symptom free. Wim maintains that you don’t need ice cold baths to get these benefits. Most of these benefits can be obtained with cold showers. You can begin with 30 seconds of cool water at the end of your shower, and build up your tolerance to 1 minute, eventually to 3-5 minutes of cold water. Cryotherapy is used extensively in professional sports to both reduce inflammation, speed up healing, and promote thermogenesis, (fat loss). Ice Caps incidentally, are also used to prevent hair loss with chemotherapy, and some researchers have suggested that they may, due to their anti-inflammatory mechanism, have a significant benefit for hormonal hair loss as well.
Deep Breathing: Coronavirus has a direct impact on the respiratory system, so maintaining or enhancing respiratory capacity is of prime importance. Deep breathing helps our immune system regenerate cells in order to fight infection and any other ailments that affect us. Certain breathing exercises have been shown to greatly increase the efficiency of our immune system. A study published in the Public Library of Science found that controlled deep belly breathing enhances the body’s defenses by changing the gene expression of select immune cells. Another study conducted by the Norwegian University of Science & Technology (NTNU) found that breath retention modifies the genetic activity of white blood cells (immune cells) and additionally increases white blood cells to ward off disease. There are myriad breathing methods from the Yogic Systems of India, Tibet, and China. My personal favorite is Bastrika, a fast-paced breathing that oxygenates the entire body within minutes.
Another popular and highly effective technique was developed by Wim Hof, the aforementioned “Ice Man.” Wim Hof breathing is a simple method that combines both deep belly breathing and retention. Directions for both Bastrika and Wim Hof breathing can be readily found on YouTube.
Intermittent Fasting: This is something that I’ve been doing for health reasons for the last several years. I basically adhere to a 16/8 routine, which entails no food for 16 hours, (coffee, tea, Yerba Mate etc, for energy, allowed) and eating pretty much what you want during an 8-hour window. There is a lot of flexibility in where you put your feeding window. You can go from 8 am to 4 pm, if you like to eat early in day. I prefer not eating anything until after 5 PM, with my last food consumption around midnight, which some evidence suggests confers the most benefit. The health and functionality benefits to eating this way are innumerable. Your insulin levels will decrease, your Growth Hormone will increase, your body/belly fat will decrease, your muscularity and definition will be enhanced, your mental clarity, energy and productivity will improve and immune function significantly enhanced.
Intermittent fasting regulates immune function by modulating the degree to which inflammatory cytokines that are released into circulation. Two primary cytokines Interleukin-6 and Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha are responsible for promoting inflammatory responses in mammals. Human studies have shown that fasting reduces the release of these inflammatory mediators, and also facilitates the stem-cell-based regeneration of new immune system cells, not only enhancing your immunity, but as evidence suggests; increasing your lifespan. Because, take it from me, you will be really hungry by the time to eat comes around, make it a point to be around nutritious food, as binge eating junk food if you are near it, would be far from optimal.
Top Supplement Recommendations: The following supplements that we have been recommending for hair growth via different mechanisms also function to significantly enhance immune function. As opposed to going into detail regarding the precise mechanisms by which each one function, I will for the sake of brevity and ready reference, list them along with their dosage recommendations
Curcumin Elite: 1 capsule a day-modulates the proliferation and activation of T cells. Optimized Resveratrol: 1 capsule a day- regulates innate and adaptive immunity Astaxanthin: 1-2 capsules a day with phospholipids: modulates lymphocytic immune responses. N-Acetyl-Cysteine: 2 capsules a day hampers virus’s ability to replicate Mega Green Tea Extract: 1 capsule a day, w/ a few drops of lemon or lime juice. Catechins documented to have strong anti-viral effects. Super Absorbable Tocotrienols: 1 capsule a day enhance both antigen specific (observed against humoral as well as Cell-mediated immune response) and nonspecific responses.