Dr. Al Danenberg ● Nutritional Periodontist
April 6, 2020 [printfriendly]
The entire world, and specifically our government, is moving in a direction that will never address the real problem of COVID-19! Hear me out. I know it sounds like I am “off my rocker”. However, I’m talking about what our body really needs. This is a wakeup call!
- Yes, I agree that it is critical to treat the acute infection.
- And yes, I agree that this will save lives that would be lost.
- And surely, pharmaceuticals may be the only means to accomplish this.
But what happens when the next pandemic or whatever horrendous invisible microbe strikes again in the future? A real cure must be all-encompassing and basic.
Do you remember the slogan, “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature”? I’m dating myself, but this was a popular commercial ad on TV in the 1970s for a popular brand of margarine. The idea was that this butter substitute would fool your taste buds into believing it was real butter. It even would fool Mother Nature. Actually, margarine is a product that will cause serious health complications.
Along this line, I believe today we think we’re fooling Mother Nature by pretending we’re eating healthy foods and living healthy lifestyles. But we’re not fooling anyone. As a society, we don’t understand that among our most basic needs, we need to consume essential nutrients and avoid toxic substances. The result of our deception has been to gradually weaken our body’s ability to fight infections.
Medical science is digging into physiology and pharmaceuticals to create the cure for COVID-19. Money is being poured into the coffers of research to invent and manufacture something to destroy this virus quickly and effectively. Although this treatment may be critical right now, it will not support our most important defense system that fights the fight for our body – our immune system.
Our body is bombarded by millions of invaders 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Yet, the human body was designed to identify an invader and mount its “armed forces” to kill it. When the immune system is at peak performance, its attack is quick, efficient, and effective. Following the natural attack, these biological warriors leave behind a specific soldier. If the same invader were to get into our body again, this deputized soldier would take over immediately to kill it.
To accomplish all this, our complex immune system is divided into two separate forces – the innate immune system and the adaptive immune system.
Innate Immune System
The innate system is activated quickly whenever a foreign substance is detected in our body. The defense mechanisms include physical barriers such as skin, chemicals in the blood, and immune system cells that individually attack foreign elements entering the body. The innate immune response is immediately activated by specific chemical properties of the invader, called an antigen.
Adaptive Immune System
The adaptive system is an antigen-specific defense mechanism. Once an antigen is detected, processed, and recognized, the adaptive immune system creates an army of immune cells specifically designed to attack that antigen. In addition, a unique and highly effective response by the adaptive immune system is to store “memory” cells for that specific antigen. Memory cells create “immunity” for future attacks from that exact antigen. If our body is attacked again by that invader, memory cells will create an onslaught of antibodies that will go to work against that antigen.
Sadly, the far majority of us are immune compromised! That means that we can’t mount a strong and efficient immune response to destroy the invaders. How do I know?
- Well, just look at the obesity rate in the US. It’s 42.2% based on CDC statistics. This is a sign of a compromised immune system.
- Then look at the prevalence of chronic diseases in the US. The CDC has determined that 45% of US adults have at least one chronic disease, and 70% of all deaths are the result of a chronic disease. These are additional signs of a compromised immune system.
- And then look at how many people take at least one prescription drug or depend on over-the-counter medicines. The CDC states that 48.4% of US adults take at least one prescription drug. Once again, this is a sign of a compromised immune system.
I submit a major cause of a weakened immune system is our choice of food. Take a look at the typical breakfast: donut, coffee sweetened with sugar, and a glass of orange juice. Then look at the typical lunch: burger on a bun with gooey sauce, salty fries, and a Coke. Or maybe it’s a vegan meal which is devoid of animal products but includes all the other junk. And don’t forget the in-between snacks made up of over-processed carbs, sugar, unhealthy fats, and bunches of chemicals. This eating style has been termed the Standard American Diet (appropriately known as SAD). It is one of the ways we have destroyed our immune system. And so, we continue decimating our immune system slowly – meal after snack after meal.
An all-encompassing and basic cure is not a pill, not a vaccine, or not an expensive therapy created by the medical industry. The ultimate cure is relatively inexpensive but time consuming. It requires us to rebuild and invigorate our immune system so that it will function optimally. My cure is not a quick fix. It requires much more. To get there, an individual must reevaluate his or her diet, lifestyle, sleep, exercise, and stress. And then, changes must occur over time to get the immune system up to speed as it was designed to operate. (I elaborate on these lifestyle changes in my book that was released in 2017 titled Crazy-Good Living.)
By the way, boosting our immune system is the best and least expensive medical insurance we could “buy”. If we reinvigorated our immune system, think how much less we as a society would have to spend on medical care. To do this, we need to be proactive and start ASAP:
- Consume nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods. Various ways of healthy eating provide necessary nutrients while avoiding over-processed carbohydrates, added sugars, unhealthy fats, and chemical ingredients. I was eating a Paleo-type Diet for about 6 years before transitioning to the Carnivore Diet on 1/1/20. (I offer my PDFs for transitioning to a Paleo-type Diet as well as transitioning to a Carnivore Diet. Email me at: Dr.Danenberg@iCloud.com.)
- Maintain a healthy gut. A healthy diet and methods to restore the gut’s balance of beneficial bacteria are essential. The gut houses 70% of the cells that make up the immune system. (I’ll send you my Protocol to Restore Normal Gut Bacteria if you email me at: Dr.Danenberg@iCloud.com.)
- Sleep restoratively. Sleep about 7-8 hours a night starting between the hours of 9 PM to 11 PM. Make the room dark, cool, and quiet.
- Exercise efficiently. This includes a combination of (1) some aerobic exercise, (2) brief, high-intensity interval training 1 day a week, (3) strength training 1-2 days a week, and (4) non-exercise movements during the course of every day.
- Reduce stress. Meditate; practice yoga; try diaphragmatic breathing; and experiment with progressive, total body muscle relaxation.
- Get out in the sun. Sun exposure creates Vitamin D in your body. This vitamin regulates the body’s absorption of calcium and phosphorus and facilitates normal immune system function. It also improves your resistance against certain diseases. Try to expose as much of your skin as you can to the sun based on your skin type, the time of day, the season, and your geographical location. Also, specific foods like salmon, sardines, shrimp, and egg yolks provide Vitamin D. If you can’t get adequate sun exposure or can’t eat enough foods that supply vitamin D, then consider taking supplements of Vitamin D3 along with Vitamin K2.
- Practice effective oral hygiene. Your gut bacteria and your mouth bacteria “talk” back and forth. Make sure you brush your teeth at the gum margins, floss and clean the surfaces between each of your teeth, and scrape the topside of your tongue to remove odor forming bacteria and microscopic food remnants. (I’ll send you my protocol for How to Clean Your Mouth if you email me at: Dr.Danenberg@iCloud.com.)
My cure is inclusive. It gets us back to basics. Rather than just a Band-Aid or an aspirin tablet, my cure assists the body with overall healing and overall wellness.