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Immunity: Vitamin D, omega-3s, and probiotics support immune function

Vitamin D, omega-3s, and probiotics support immune function

  • Vitamin D, omega-3s reduce autoimmune disorders

The immune system sometimes mistakenly attacks healthy cells, resulting in autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid impairment, psoriasis, and inflammatory bowel. In this large study, doctors reviewed records of 25,871 men and women, average age 67, who took 2,000 IU of vitamin D per day by itself, with a placebo, or with 460 mg of EPA plus 380 mg of DHA; took the omega-3s with a placebo; or took a placebo only, for an average of 5.3 years.

Those taking vitamin D were 22 percent less likely to develop an autoimmune disease compared to placebo, and those taking omega-3s were 15 percent less likely. During the final three years of the study, those who combined vitamin D with omega-3s saw 30 percent fewer cases than placebo.

Doctors said, “Until now we have had no proven way of preventing autoimmune diseases, and now for the first time, we do.”

Reference: The BMJ; 2022, Published Online, Article ID 066452

  • Probiotics reduce viral load in Covid

Doctors wanted to know if probiotics influence Covid through changes in the gut, or by interacting directly with the immune system. In this study, 293 outpatients with mild Covid symptoms took a placebo or a combination of four lactobacillus probiotic strains for 30 days.

All participants survived, none were hospitalized, with 53 percent of those taking probiotics in complete remission compared to 28 percent for placebo. The probiotics group also reported fewer days with symptoms including fever, aches, cough, shortness of breath, and gut discomfort.

The probiotics group also had higher levels of SARS-CoV-2 immune antibodies IgG and IgM, as well as lower levels of the inflammatory factor, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein.

Rather than change the microbiome, probiotics activated immune antibodies in IgG and IgM that neutralized the Covid spike proteins.

Reference: Gut Microbes; 2022, Vol. 14, No. 1, Article ID 2018899

Quercetin for Covid 

In this study, doctors wanted to see if quercetin could prevent Covid-19, and gave a placebo or 250 mg of quercetin twice per day to 120 healthcare workers. Every three weeks, and at the end of the three-month study, participants took a rapid Covid diagnostic test.

Overall, one-in-60 taking quercetin contracted Covid compared to 4-in-60 for placebo. Complete remission was twice as fast for quercetin; seven days compared to 15 days for placebo. After five months, infection-free survival was 99.8 percent for quercetin and 96.5 percent for placebo.

Doctors said those taking quercetin were 14 percent more likely to stay healthy, and credited the phytosomes in quercetin for its anti-Covid effect.

Reference: Life; 2022, Vol. 12, No. 1, 12010066

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