How to Strengthen Your Immune System

2020-12-20 -- Forget the hype about the COVID vaccine. You don't need a vaccination to have a strong immune system. I'm not saying that you shouldn't get the vaccination -- I'm just saying you don't need it to stay healthy -- unless perhaps you are over 70 and/or in poor health. Here are a few effective ways to strengthen your immune system against all sorts of viruses, including the common cold as well as the flu and COVID.

Zinc and Green Tea

Zinc is extremely important for immunity, but you also need what is known as a "zinc ionophore," a compound that helps zinc get into your cells. Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is a zinc ionophore. Yes, that is the drug that President Trump touted, and he was absolutely right about it. [A few widely publicized studies supposedly found HCQ to be ineffective for COVID, but those studies used it only on patients who were already in critical care, which is too late, although there were many cases in which it saved lives even then. When used preemptively and in conjunction with zinc, it has been found to be effective.]

For whatever reason, political or otherwise, HCQ is now hard to obtain, but no matter. According to the following link, an ingredient in Green Tea known as EGCG is estimated to be six times more effective than HCQ as a zinc ionophore.

Article on Zinc and Green Tea

There are many brands of Green Tea extract available, but here is the one that I currently take: [Green Tea extract]. Note that two capsules of this extract provide 1200 mg of EGCG, which is too much according to the article above, so I only take one capsule daily.

Vitamin D

For those who insist on hard scientific data, here is a one-hour video of a Professor of Medicine discussing several journal papers on vitamin D:

Scholarly Video on Vitamin D (one hour)

The evidence strongly suggests that vitamin D3 is important for immunity, and there is no significant evidence that it is harmful even in fairly large quantities. I am currently taking 10K IU daily (5K IU twice), or just 5K IU on days when I get sun exposure. I think it would be safe to take even more that that, but the benefits of larger quantities are minimal, according to the video above, because the body simply cannot absorb much more than that.

Sunshine also stimulates vitamin D production, and you should get some when you can. I try to sit or lay out in the sun for about 15 minutes around solar noon every day that I get a chance. Fortunately, we get a lot of sunshine out here in northern California!

Vitamin C

If you are old enough, you may recall when Linus Pauling claimed back in the 1970s that vitamin C can prevent or cure the common cold. Pauling had won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1954 and was a great scientist, so he got a lot of attention at the time. He also claimed that vitamin C was great for many other medical conditions. A few years later his claims were widely "debunked" and have remained so since then -- or so I thought. But were they really? Not according to this book by cardiologist Thomas E. Levy:

Primal Panacea

Read it and decide for yourself. You can start by reading the part that is available for free on Amazon. But prepare to be amazed by what you read. Is it for real? I can't be certain, but I have listened to several of Dr. Levy's online talks, and he certainly seems to know what he is talking about.

Vitamin C comes in several different forms, and it can also be taken intravenously. It is far more effective taken intravenously, but there is a new form called "liposomal," which is taken orally but is even more effective than intravenous injection according to Dr. Levy. Here is the one that I currently take (two per day): Liposomal Vitamin C supplement.


Colostrum is is the first form of milk produced by the mammary glands of mammals immediately following delivery of the newborn. Bovine colostrum (from cows) is now available as a supplement. According to Wikipedia, "Colostrum is composed of a powerful combination of bioactives that support immune health, including immunoglobulins, immune modulators, and oligosaccharides. These bioactives work together to support not only the immune system, but have also been shown to support respiratory health in adults and children." A journal paper has even claimed that "Colostrum, both in healthy subjects and high-risk cardiovascular patients, is at least 3 times more effective than vaccination to prevent flu and is very cost-effective."

There are many brands of bovine colostrum available, but here is one that I currently take: colostrum. I also recently started taking liposomal colostrum on an empty stomach for better absorption.

Keto Diet

This is a major topic in itself of course, but I will just summarize it very briefly here because it is the key to good metabolic health, which is important for a strong immune system. The vast majority of deaths due to COVID are associated with obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

A ketogenic diet is low in carbohydrates and high in certain kinds of fat. The idea is to train your body to burn fat rather than sugar for energy. This little video by Dr. Paul Mason is an excellent introduction to the science behind it:

Low Carb from a Doctor's Perspective (32 minutes)

I have been on a keto diet for several months, and I intend to stick with it. I avoid most carbohydrates, including bread (even whole grain), pasta, tortillas, chips, rice, potatoes, corn, and cereal. I also avoid all sugar, including soft drinks and fruit juice. I cook with lard or butter, use olive oil on salads, and avoid vegetable and seed oils (corn, canola, soybean, safflower, etc.). I eat mostly high-fat meat, fish, eggs, (some) bacon, avocados, and nuts (excluding peanuts), along with some vegetables and fruits. Contrary to conventional wisdom, saturated (animal) fat is good for you!

For a sweet but sugar-free drink after a workout, I have this: sports drink. It has erythritol, a natural sugar alcohol with no calories.

For a sugar substitute in my coffee, I use this: erythritol. It's completely natural and better than artificial sweeteners.