I think by now it is safe to assume that a Virus of some form or another
will be infecting the United States more and more frequently. COVID is just
the current outbreak. I know this sounds grim, but it is our new reality.
What can we do to protect ourselves and our families? Quite Simply: We must
build an Iron-Clad Immune System. Our Immune System is magnificent, and
when optimal it fights off infection and disease. It has a number of ways
to detect and destroy anything it recognizes as foreign to your body,
including bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, or unhealthy cells.
15 Immune-Boosting Ingredients all working synergistically to help
build an Iron-Clad Immune System:
- Vitamin C (as micronized ascorbic acid) - 1500 mg
- Vitamin D3 -10 mcg (400 IU)
- Magnesium (as magnesium oxide) - 400 mg
- Zinc (as zinc gluconate) - 15 mg Selenium (as L-selenomethionine) - 200 mcg
- Elderberry Fruit Extract (Sambucus nigra) - 500 mg
- Olive Leaf Extract (Standardized for 20% oleuropein) - 100 mg
- Andrographis Herb Powder - 150 mg
- Kudzu Root Powder - 150 mg
- Boneset 4:1 Extract (aerial parts) - 25 mg
- Ashwagandha Extract - 50 mg
- Pure Deodorized Garlic Bulb Powder - 200 mg
- Turmeric Root Extract (Standardized for 95% curcuminoids) - 250 mg
- Quercetin (as Quercetin Dihydrate) - 500 mg
- Oregano Leaf Powder - 500 mg
How Does the Immune System Fight COVID-19?
One of the keys to combating COVID-19 is understanding how our immune
system responds to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease. We can
potentially use this information for a number of purposes, like trying to
predict the likelihood of severe illness, preventing or treating serious
complications, developing a vaccine, and understanding if reinfection is
How does the body usually fight off viruses?
Let’s start with the basics of how your body responds to and fights off a
virus. Our body’s immune response is broken down into two systems that work
together in different ways to protect us: the innate and adaptive (or
acquired) immune systems.
Innate immune system
Your innate immune system is the first line of defense against viruses,
taking minutes to hours to kick in. It provides a general defense against
invaders. This system includes physical barriers like skin and protective
layers in our throat or gut, chemicals in our blood, and different immune
cells to fight infections.
The main purpose of this response is to stop the spread of the virus
throughout the body.
Adaptive immune system
While this is going on, your adaptive immune system starts developing
antibodies and white blood cells to both attack and remember the virus,
making it easier to fight it again. Compared to your innate immune
response, this response is more specific to the virus.
Your adaptive immune response is also slower, usually taking days to weeks.
This is why even though you might be infected with SARS-CoV-2, it can take
days to a few weeks for your blood to show antibodies for the virus and for
you to start getting better.
As part of this response, your body creates B cells, which are white blood
cells made by your bone marrow. These cells make antibodies that turn on
your immune system against the invader. These antibodies are specific to
the virus and will bind to it, tagging it to be destroyed by other immune
Some B cells work to fight the current infection, while others are stored
in the body as a memory of the virus to fight future infections, sometimes
lasting for decades.
This is generally how many vaccines work. They use your adaptive immune
system to create long-lasting memory cells. For example, memory B cells you
develop from getting the smallpox vaccine can last over 50 years. However,
some vaccines may require multiple doses to get an adequate immune
response, and some require boosters as the initial protection starts to
T cells are also white blood cells that are part of your adaptive immune
system. Some T cells stimulate B cells to make antibodies, while others
kill cells that have been infected by the virus. On top of that, these
cells use molecules called cytokines to act as messengers to the rest of
the immune system. Cytokines are produced by some of the immune cells in
our innate immune response as well.
As a part of both the innate and adaptive immune responses, cytokines can
play a large role in the development of severe COVID-19. More on this next.
How does the immune system respond to COVID-19?
Researchers have been trying to understand
why some people get sick
from COVID-19 while others do not. Looking at how the immune system
responds to the virus can give us some idea, and it can possibly help us
try to predict the course of the disease in people who have been infected.
Under normal circumstances, the innate immune response kicks in first to
attack and clear out the virus, followed by the adaptive immune response to
remove any remaining virus and create a memory for future infections. For
people with asymptomatic or mild cases of COVID-19, everything tends to
work together as it should, or at least it does not progress to a severe
disease that requires hospitalization.
But in severe cases, especially with older people, research
that sometimes the different arms of the immune response can be out of
sync. This can create a perfect storm, leading to some of the complications
that we’ve seen in severe COVID-19 cases that become critical.
Alyssa Billingsley, PharmD
, is a pharmacist on the GoodRx team with a decade of experience in
pharmacy. She’s also adjunct faculty at St. Louis College of Pharmacy
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