With a second national lockdown in place and an increase in positive testing, it is urgent to build and support our immune system, pre and post-COVID-infection.
Recent findings from the Imperial College London, through its program called Real Time Assessment of Community Transmission (REACT) using home testing for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) to track the progress of the infection across England, are suggesting that there may be a decline in the level of immunity over time for those not continuously exposed to the virus1.
This raises questions about what level of immunity antibodies provide and for how long, particularly in the oldest age group (people over 75). It may also be possible that a reduction in the levels of antibodies increases the risk of reinfection.
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About the Study
The study was commissioned by the Department of Health and Social Care. It is the largest research tracking past infections and monitoring how the virus is spreading across the country with 365,000 participants having used a finger-prick home blood test kit. Out of the participants who tested positive, there was a noticeable drop in immunity, most particularly in people over the age of 75.
Cohort studies seem to indicate that these reductions in antibody levels are influenced by factors such as the severity of the initial responses, age and co-morbidities, as well as the continued exposure to the virus. Since healthcare workers are able to maintain high levels of antibodies, it is likely that the immune response is continuously activated and their immune system remains on high alert. This may allow them to continually provide antibodies to fight off the virus.
The role of antibodies in preventing reinfections
It is key to understand how developing immunity may prevent reinfection and maintain levels of antibody that confer immunity. Because this type of coronavirus is still new, very little is known about reinfection rates and specific immune cells involved in building immunity (e.g. T cells and memory cells), and how they can provide protection against reinfection.
Considering the threat such viruses are to the global population and the ever-increasing rate of antimicrobial resistance, it is absolutely vital to decrease the load placed on our immune system and detoxification organs, so that the body can deal with pathogenic microbes in the most effective way.
How to support your Immune System
There are many ways we can support and improve our immunity. Diet and lifestyle are undeniably key factors. By consuming nutrient-dense foods daily, we supply every system in our bodies with the raw materials they need to operate, including the immune system.
We also need to move to keep things moving inside, and so daily physical activity is essential to promote the distribution of nutrients and oxygen inside the body as well as elimination (via the skin, lungs and bowel).
A fibre-rich diet also assists with elimination via the bowel while regular hydration helps with the excretion of toxins and metabolic waste via the kidneys.
It has also been established that immunity starts in the gut. Providing fertile grounds for healthy bacteria to thrive ̶ and keep opportunistic pathogenic bacteria at bay ̶ is key. These contribute to immunity by releasing byproducts, including short-chain fatty acids.
Reducing the consumption of highly-reactive foods, and addressing food sensitivities, can also help regulate the immune response.
MicroMax: Biodynamic Effective Microorganisms
To further promote a healthy microbiome, The Really Healthy Company developed Micromax, a synergetic blend of microbes that can help repopulate the gut, discourage the growth of unhealthy bacteria, and increase the diversity of the microbial colonies. Two other food supplements important for immune function is Vitamin D3 and vitamin C.
Our D3 serum is one of the most bioavailable and non-toxic vitamin D3 supplemental form available, and our superior Vitamin C is free of synthetic ascorbic acid or calcium ascorbate. Both can be added to wider protocols to maintain optimum health and immunity.