Dr. Al Danenberg ● Nutritional Periodontist
February 6, 2022 [printfriendly]
The Pandemic has brought about an awareness. The awareness is that our immune system is a critical factor for disease prevention, healing, and overall wellness. Hungry companies looking to monetize this awareness have sprung up. Many existing supplement companies have realized there is an enormous financial gain to be had if they market their gimmicks, pills, and potions toward that end. And this marketing campaign is in full force today.
If you googled “immune system”, you would find about 79 million links to articles and references on the Internet as of 2/6/22.
I am not against supplements and medicines that are used therapeutically but then discontinued when the desired result is achieved. Very specific medical problems often require specific medicaments.
But a potential problem is that many supplements and medicines are synthetic and processed with “other ingredients” that are damaging to the gut microbiome. If you were to consume many supplements daily, then those “other ingredients” would be compounded in your gut and make you prone to additional gut damage.
And many times, these supplements and medicines only treat the symptoms of the disease. The underlying causes must be uncovered and treated correctly and permanently.
A strong and efficient immune system is one of the mainstays for healing the body. But it takes time to build up the immune system if it has become weakened or damaged. So, beware! The idea that gimmicks, pills, and potions alone will improve a person’s immune system is medically and biologically implausible.
Our Population is Unhealthy
Question 1: What country in the world spends the most money per capita on healthcare?
The United States is the highest spending country worldwide when it comes to health care. In 2020, total health expenditure in the U.S. exceeded four trillion dollars. Expenditure as a percentage of GDP is projected to increase to 19 percent by the year 2025.
Question 2: Then why are over 88% of the US adult population metabolic unhealthy?.
This growing statistic is because the underlying causes of chronic disease are not addressed, not understood, and not taught to the public.
Question 3: What are the first and second causes of death in the US today?
The first and close-second leading causes of death in the US are heart disease and cancer, which are chronic, debilitating, yet preventable diseases. Our population is grossly and glaringly unhealthy.
Question 4: Why is this happening in one of the most medically advanced countries in the world?
A weakened or damaged immune system is manifesting itself in the stats of the ill-health of our population. This is a powerful causal relationship.
Who Is At Fault?
Some of the answers for our country’s poor health are owned by the the food and drug companies who push products that are not nutritious, not efficacious, and even harmful. Many of the “doctors” who push their “quick fix” remedies are frequently metabolically unhealthy themselves. They are not ideal role models.
But there is another problem, and it has to do with mainstream media. In a 2020 paper published in BMJ Open, the authors stated in their introduction, “the concept of immune boosting is misleading and scientifically inaccurate.”
Amazing! Who really wants the facts to get out to the pubic?
I remember about 5 years ago when I went to a highly respected convention for functional medicine practitioners. It was a 3-day event with many prominent speakers. The kickoff for the meeting was a keynote speaker who also was the president of the organization. I had never met him personally. He walked up to the podium to begin his motivational introduction of all the speakers who would follow him. Then he told a little joke and commented on how important it was to be proactive and take control of your health.
But I was taken aback. He was at least 50 pounds overweight! How could I believe anything he was going to tell me about getting and staying healthy when he presented himself as a health disaster waiting to happen? He was a poor example of a mentor for health.
14 Steps to Regain a Robust Immune System
To achieve a robust immune system takes time and may require significant changes in food and lifestyle. People don’t know what they don’t know. If people are “fed” incorrect information long enough, the narrative sounds plausible and true. I am here to tell you, “That narrative just ain’t so!”
So, what’s an intelligent, proactive, discerning person to do?
I suggest you start here.
Let me summarize a biologically healthy way to improve your immune system to make it as robust as possible based on your personal situation.
- Follow guidelines to maintain a healthy garden of bacteria in your gut
- Efficiently and effectively take care of your mouth knowing that it also has a healthy garden of bacteria that must be maintained and not be disturbed or killed off indiscriminately
- Chose a biologically oriented dentist to evaluate the health of your mouth and initiate any required treatment to halt the spread of inflammation and infection throughout your body
- Eat nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods and avoid foods that might damage your body
- Drink natural spring water replete with trace minerals
- Learn what it means to be “metabolically flexible” so that your body cycles back and forth between a “carbohydrate burning mode” and a “fat burning mode”.
- Determine your 25 Hydroxy Vitamin D3 blood level and maintain that level between 50-80 ng/mL
- Instead of taking a “multivitamin/mineral supplement”, consume nose-to-tail bovine sources in capsules (i.e., liver, heart, spleen, kidney, pancreas, bone marrow, colostrum, animal fat) where nothing is added or removed except the water
- Move your body – walk at least a mile outdoors daily, do body-weight exercises 2-3 times a week; perform high intensity interval training once every 7-10 days
- Sleep restoratively – approximately 6-8 hours every night
- Reduce emotional stress
- Get out in the sun; walk barefoot on the earth
- Disconnect from daily news broadcasts and other digital devices whenever possible
- Avoid chemicals in personal care and household products
I write about, lecture on, and coach my clients to follow these steps. These are the methods I personally incorporate into my 10 Unconventional Cancer Protocols.
How Do I Know They Work?
Most of you know that I was diagnosed with incurable bone marrow cancer in 2018 and given 3-6 months to live. Quality of life was my critical goal. I rejected chemotherapy. With the consent and constant monitoring from my oncologist, I embarked on a self-designed program to heal my body as best as I could without damaging my already compromised immune system. I assembled my Protocols incorporating various modalities to recreate an immune system as robust as my medical condition would allow. And I succeeded with flying colors. Again, my goal was to live as high a quality of life I could. Longevity was never my priority.
To be clear, I do not have a cure for cancer or any other chronic disease.
I had significant setbacks along the way. I even ended up in Hospice in August 2019 and was ready to die. But obviously I didn’t. I returned to my 10 Unconventional Cancer Protocols and began to thrive again. My support of my immune system was one means that helped me heal.
In late June 2021, I contracted COVID-19. And because of my self-improved immune system, it helped me defeat the virus without medication or going to the hospital.
Sadly, if a person contracted COVID-19 and already had bone marrow cancer with its inherently weakened immune system from the cancer, he or she would have an increased risk of dying compared to one without a compromised immune system. But I survived and went on to thrive today.
As I’ve said, I don’t have a cure for cancer, other chronic diseases, or the COVID-19 infection. However, I know that a robust immune system can help the body fight infection. I am convinced that my recovery was at least partially due to my efforts to enhance my immune system. It served me well and proved to me that my body had the biological tools to fight the fight which it was dealt.
Don’t depend on a quick fix for a weakened or damaged immune system. Implement the 14 Steps I discussed above. They’ll take time, but it will be well worth it. Gimmicks, pills, and potions are not the answers. I hope you can see my rationale when I say that.
And to deny that the immune system is responsible for health and wellness is the height of medical ignorance and the spread of misinformation.
I wrote a paper that describes 5 practical tools to give you an idea how healthy your immune system is. It’s called, 5 Important Tools for a Robust Immune System. It’s free. You can download it and share it with everyone you love and care about.
The best and least expensive insurance against metabolic dysfunction and chronic disease is the time and effort you spend to rebuild your immune system to the best it can be.
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