9 strategies to help get your body ready if you choose to vaccinate
*Please note, this article series is meant to provide you with information on how to strengthen your immune system in the event you decide to get vaccinated. I am in no way stating that you should or should not get vaccinated, nor am I stating that I am pro or anti-vaccine.
The probiotic microbes in your gut, nose, and lungs have a direct influence on your immunity. But just as the immune system declines with age, so do populations of beneficial microorganisms, especially in your gut. Bifidus strains, in particular.1
Numerous studies have found that along with the general health benefits of probiotic supplements, foods, and drinks, supplementing with certain strains of probiotics can help stimulate immune function, while potentially improving vaccine outcomes.
To learn more about how much control you have over your immune function, catch up on part 1 of this article.
Why beneficial microbes have everything to do with your vaccine response
One major review looked at the effects of the microbiome on vaccine response and concluded that:
- Taking lactic acid bacteria (like Lactobacillus plantarum) at the same time as oral vaccines increased the response to vaccination in people with an imbalance of beneficial-to-harmful bacteria (dysbiosis) and/or poor nutrient status.
- Specifically, probiotics were found to enhance vaccine response for oral rotavirus (a virus causing inflammation of the stomach and intestines that leads to diarrhea), polio, Salmonella typhi, and cholera vaccines.2
- Related studies have also examined the effect of probiotic supplementation on vaccination responses, with several showing increased vaccine-specific serum Immunoglobulin A (IgA) concentrations. IgA is an antibody that plays a crucial role in the immune function of mucous membranes.3
Here at Body Ecology, we teach that while probiotic supplementation is certainly important (because it can introduce specific beneficial bacteria and yeast into your microbiome), eating and drinking certain probiotic-rich foods are a must.
That’s because cultured vegetables, especially if they’re made with our Lactobacillus plantarum starter, and our probiotic drinks inoculate your microbiome with a rich community of microbes in far greater numbers and diversity than you’re likely to get from probiotics in a capsule.4
Note the word “diversity.” These veggies and drinks have a vast and varying community of microbes that have learned to work together to create an ecosystem with the wisdom of Nature.
Does your immune system need a pick-me-up? Download your free Gut Recovery Guide now.
9 surefire ways to help sustain (and strengthen) your natural immunity
In addition to probiotics, fermented vegetables, probiotic drinks (like CocoBiotic and InnergyBiotic), and Body Ecology’s tasty Probiotic Protein Shake, there are other natural remedies that can help support a robust response to vaccination:
1. Increase energy. BE’s Principle of Step-by-Step says you must first have the energy to accomplish your goals — to heal, for example. But that also means…
2. Avoid sugar and carbs.
3. Get good sleep. Sleep is essential to immunity. If for some reason you have a bad night’s sleep, reschedule your vaccination and go another time.
4. Avoid stress. Cortisol may lower immunity, elevate your glucose, and make your body more acidic.5
5. Also avoid alcohol. Alcohol can be another suppressor of immunity.6
6. Oxygenate. Use a nebulizer to draw more oxygen into your lungs to support healing in tissues and help improve energy. Microbe Formulas has a liquid oxygen you can add to distilled water in a handheld nebulizer to oxygenate tissues.
7. Purify your air. Help decrease the toxic burden in your body by purifying your home environment using a quality air purifying machine, such as Air Doctor.
8. Step away from the computer. Limit EMFs for as many days as you can before going in for the vaccine. EMFs may also weaken your immune system.7
To support optimal immunity, we also suggest some supplements:
- Vitamin D is an absolute must. High levels (preferably about 50 and higher) are essential for immune function. Studies show vitamin D can help counteract immune suppression brought on by long and intense physical activity.8 It has broad immune-boosting capability.
- Chlorella has been associated with improved flu vaccine response in some age groups, as well as greater overall immune function.9 This may be, in part, related to the green food supplement’s ability to support beneficial microbes in the digestive tract, in addition to the protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals found in chlorella. Chlorella also seems to enhance the activity of specific types of immune system cells, favoring a more robust initial reaction to invading pathogens or vaccination.10
Zinc, vitamin A, and iron can work together to help promote proper immune function. Zinc, in particular, helps to keep oxidation and inflammation in check, while upholding the body’s overall ability to fight off infection.11 Zinc and vitamin A help maintain a healthy mucosal lining in the gastrointestinal system, which supports beneficial bacteria in the gut.12
- Zinc may also prove helpful for COVID recovery. Researchers found that zinc supplementation can produce a small decrease in ACE2 mRNA and protein levels in COVID-19 patients. ACE2 is the receptor that binds to SARS-CoV-2 via its spike protein. Initially, researchers observed that using zinc or the drugs triclabendazole or emetine alone failed to produce a significant drop in ACE2 levels. However, when zinc was combined with either of the other two drugs, ACE2 levels were suppressed, with no signs of cell toxicity, positively affecting lung cells.13
- Exercise also helps bolster immunity. This is, in part, because it supports healthy circulation and inflammation management. Indeed, staying active throughout life has been shown to be a great way to blunt age-related immune senescence.14
After you’ve worked up a sweat and have gotten your shot, treat yourself to a refreshing glass of homemade kefir or kombucha to help top up your immune-enhancing microbes.
- 1. Kato K, Odamaki T, Mitsuyama E, Sugahara H, Xiao JZ, Osawa R. Age-Related Changes in the Composition of Gut Bifidobacterium Species. Curr Microbiol. 2017;74(8):987-995. doi:10.1007/s00284-017-1272-4.
- 2. Zimmermann P, Curtis N. (2018). The influence of the intestinal microbiome on vaccine responses. Vaccine, 36(30):4433-4439. doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2018.04.066.
- 3. Maidens C, et al. (2013). Modulation of vaccine response by concomitant probiotic administration. Br J Clin Pharmacol, 75(3):663-670. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2125.2012.04404.x.
- 4. Homayoni Rad A, Vaghef Mehrabany E, Alipoor B, Vaghef Mehrabany L. The Comparison of Food and Supplement as Probiotic Delivery Vehicles. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2016;56(6):896-909. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2012.733894. PMID: 25117939.
- 5. M. Jaremka, R. Glaser, T. J. Loving, W. B. Malarkey, J. R. Stowell, J. K. Kiecolt-Glaser. Attachment Anxiety Is Linked to Alterations in Cortisol Production and Cellular Immunity. Psychological Science, 2013; DOI: 10.1177/0956797612452571.
- 6. Maoyin Pang, Shashi Bala, Karen Kodys, Donna Catalano and Gyongyi Szabo. Inhibition of TLR8- and TLR4-induced Type I IFN induction by alcohol is different from its effects on inflammatory cytokine production in monocytes. BMC Immunology, 2011.
- 7. Johansson, Olle. (2009). Disturbance of the immune system by electromagnetic fields-A potentially underlying cause for cellular damage and tissue repair reduction which could lead to disease and impairment. Pathophysiology : the official journal of the International Society for Pathophysiology / ISP. 16. 157-77. 10.1016/j.pathophys.2009.03.004.
- 8. He, C., et al. (2013). Influence of vitamin D status on respiratory infection incidence and immune function during 4 months of winter training in endurance sport athletes. Exercise Immunology Review, 19, 86-101.
- 9. Halperin SA, Smith B, Nolan C, Shay J, Kralovec J. Safety and immunoenhancing effect of a Chlorella-derived dietary supplement in healthy adults undergoing influenza vaccination: randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. CMAJ. 2003;169(2):111-117.
- 10. Kwak JH, et al. (2012). Beneficial immunostimulatory effect of short-term Chlorella supplementation: enhancement of natural killer cell activity and early inflammatory response (randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial). Nutr J, 11:53. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-11-53.
- 11. Prasad AS. (2014). Impact of the discovery of human zinc deficiency on health. J Trace Elem Med Biol, Sep 16.
- 12. Huang Z, Liu Y, Qi G, Brand D, Zheng SG. Role of Vitamin A in the Immune System. J Clin Med. 2018;7(9):258. Published 2018 Sep 6. doi:10.3390/jcm7090258.
- 13. Lee MC, Chen YK, Tsai-Wu JJ, Hsu YJ, Lin BR. Zinc supplementation augments the suppressive effects of repurposed NF-κB inhibitors on ACE2 expression in human lung cell lines. Life Sci. 2021 Sep 1;280:119752. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2021.119752. Epub 2021 Jun 23. PMID: 34171382; PMCID: PMC8219909.
- 14. Davison G, et al. (2014). Nutritional and Physical Activity Interventions to Improve Immunity. Am J Lifestyle Med, 10(3):152-169. doi:10.1177/1559827614557773.
- 15. Edwards KM, et al. (2010). Exercise intensity does not influence the efficacy of eccentric exercise as a behavioural adjuvant to vaccination. Brain Behav Immun. 24(4):623-630. doi:10.1016/j.bbi.2010.01.009.