We’re in the middle of winter and people are concerned about the flu going around (and rightfully so). In this episode, Jerry Hickey, Ph. discusses evidence on how Nucleotides can support healthy immunity.
We’re right in the middle of cold and flu season. Be sure you have the tool you need to protect your body and avoid getting sick this winter. Here’s what you need, according to Chief Scientific Officer and Pharmacist, Jerry Hickey, Ph.
Invite Health Podcast, Hosted by Jerry Hickey, Ph.
Drink green tea and swallow Vitamin D and you have a better chance of not getting a cold or flu infection this winter. Today, I am going to discuss how to improve the odds of not getting sick this winter and what you can do nutritionally for your immune system. Let’s get started.
What Happens When You Get The Flu
When someone has the flu and they sneeze, that sneeze can travel at a 100 miles an hour for ten feet; try and duck this in a packed train or room. Coughs travel at 50 miles an hour for about 5 feet; lots of luck ducking that one also. When the virus hits you, it uses enzymes to latch onto your cells, enter them, and then multiply leading to that typical week-long infection. The enzymes are viral and allow the infection to attach to the mucus membranes in your nose, mouth, and the tear ducts of the eyes. The virus is then able to enter and exit your cells; this is how the flu infects you.
The virus also uses polymerase acidic proteins to increase in number. Drugs have been developed to block these viral enzymes, including Relenza and Tamiflu in the 1990s and Xofluza in 2018.
Flu viruses are developing resistance to the earlier drugs but, interestingly, not to the ingredients in Green Tea which can help protect you by inhibiting all three families of viral enzymes.†
Studies on Green Tea and Immunity
Many different studies show that green tea weakens the flu virus by inhibiting the enzymes the virus uses to infect us. Additionally, according to a study from the University of Florida at Gainesville, Green tea also stimulates a particular type of immune cell called a gamma-delta T cell which helps govern the ability of your immune system to fight viruses. The research shows that Green Tea also stimulates the release of interferon-gamma, further helping contain viruses.†
The flu shot stimulates the production of antibodies specific to the flu which help kill it, while green tea weakens it directly, so this is a good combination for many.†
Results of a study published in the Journal of Nutrition from the University of Shizouka School of Pharmacy showed drinking Green Tea six times a week decreased a diagnosis of the flu by a pediatrician by 40%. Drinking Green Tea multiple times a day cut the risk by 46%.
In a separate study of healthcare professionals by the same pharmacy school, taking a green tea capsule along with it’s component L-Theanine lowered the risk of the flu by 75%.
Research from the University of Florida shows that taking a concentrated Green Tea capsule two times daily throughout the flu season strongly cut the incidence of the flu. However, if a person did get sick, the infection was much milder, and lasted for a much shorter amount of days.
Green Tea has even been shown to protect the elderly. Elderly people have a weaker immune system and the classic flu shot works less effectively in them. In a study of 124 elderly residents of a nursing home – all of whom received a flu shot – gargling with green tea cut the risk of developing the flu versus placebo.
Other Nutrients for Protection
Green Tea isn’t the only source of protection from the flu; Vitamin D can help also if you are initially low on it.
Vitamin D blood levels drop over the fall and winter months and a study from the University of Colorado that included 19,000 adults and children shows that having a low level of Vitamin D increases your risk of developing the flu by 40%. It was much worse for subjects with respiratory diseases such as asthma; these people had 5 times a higher risk of catching the flu.†
For a healthy immune system, you should aim at getting your blood level of Vitamin D over 35.
Other nutritional aids to help curb winter time infections include;
- Getting enough zinc and iron; immune cells will use these to kill viruses and bacteria
- Vitamin A or it’s precursor Beta-Carotene
- Also consuming enough protein is helpful
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What are Nucleotides?
Nucleotides are the essential building blocks for all cells in our body; this is the reason why they offer such a wide variety of benefits, especially for energy and immunity.
Nucleotides are naturally found in small amounts in some nutritious foods including liver, fish, and brewers yeast and they are an important component of breast milk needed for the development of the quickly growing baby. We also constantly require Nucleotides, especially for tissues that turnover quickly, such as the cells of the immune system or for any organ when healing takes place after surgery or an accident.
Why are Nucleotides So Important?
As colder temperatures lead to drier air, your body may not be able to respond as effectively to defend against viruses or infections, due to dehydration of mucous membranes and the preservation of bacteria in colder temperatures.
According to Harvard Health, as we age, our immune response capability becomes reduced, which can contribute to health concerns like infections or cancer.
Nucleotides are found in abundance in each of the body’s trillion-plus cells. Nucleotides are tiny building blocks of RNA and DNA. RNA and DNA serve as the blueprints for every cell in the body. Nucleotides provide the raw material to dramatically increase white blood cell production. The immune system can then deploy its army of white blood cells to readily take down any invaders.
Studies Behind Nucleotides
One study performed on a small group of men after 60 days of high-intensity cycle exercise and prolonged endurance cycle exercise, found that the group receiving a nucleotide supplement compared to placebo and control group has post-exercise cortisol levels and higher post exercise salivary IgA levels. Simply put, the findings indicated that nucleotide supplementation may counteract the hormonal response associated with physiological stress, resulting in an enhanced immune response.
According to the same journal, Nutrition in Clinical Practice, Nucelotides have demonstrated strong capabilities in –
- The potential for nucleotides to reverse the oxidative stress†
- Demonstrated strong anti-inflammatory capabilities†
- The absence of nucleotides decreases resistance to bacterial and fungal infections†
- Demonstrated, pronounced role in the restoration and maintenance of immune function†
Source: Nutrition in Clinical PracticeVolume 27 Number 2April 2012 281-294© 2012 American Society for Parenteral and Enteral NutritionDOI: 10.1177/0884533611434933http://ncp.sagepub.comhosted athttp://online.sagepub.com