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Basic Immune Checklist

The immune system needs all the support it can get during a crisis.

In this uncertain time, strategies to shore up biological weaknesses and nutritional imbalances are at the very top of the list for boosting immunity.

Everything mentioned in this article has been shown to be effective for boosting immunity against viruses and even past coronaviruses in published studies.

We can strengthen the immune system from the ground up — via two avenues foundational to general health: nutrients and lifestyle.

Adults

Immune function may be improved by restoring deficient micronutrients to recommended levels, thereby increasing resistance to infection and supporting faster recovery when infected. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30336639
1

A Great Multivitamin

A strong multivitamin has A) whole-food based, high-quality ingredients at B) biologically-appropriate, balanced doses — not megadoses, which can create imbalances.

Naturelo’s formulation is well-balanced, absorbable, w/adequate zinc content — the only one of its kind among a vast ocean of subpar multivitamins.

Naturelo MEN’S MULTIVITAMIN

(Amazon)

View on iHerb.com

NATURELO WOMEN’S MULTIVITAMIN

(Amazon)

View on iHerb.com

Women’s includes iron.
Women’s (50+) is iron-free.

Take a quality multivitamin daily, with or without meals, before 2 pm.

Read more:

This page is for members.

Poor nutritional status predisoposes to certain infections.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30336639
2

Vitamins D & A

Vitamin D and Vitamin A are partner nutrients which are central to immune function.

Poorly represented in most diets (D is only available from sunlight and A is only available from liver), they are both critical for metabolism, sleep, and hormone production.

A deficiency in these can make you extra susceptible to illnesses.

D

Vitamin D is a hormone produced when the body receives UVB light.

Vitamin D is perhaps the most important immune nutrient.

Solaray, Soy-Free Vitamin D-3 + K-2, 120 VegCaps
Solaray 5000 IU (with K2)

This is a moderate-to-high dose of Vitamin D3 (the biologically-active form) with a small amount of cofactor Vitamin K2, needed to allow Vitamin D work in the body.

It’s an excellent idea to take absorbable magnesium to support Vitamin D. Magnesium is not readily found in modern food, so it’s a good idea to supplement it daily, anyway.

WHEN SICK, Take 5000IU Vitamin D daily — with a meal.

(Consider avoiding Vit D if supplemented heavily in the past — to avoid overdose).

NOTE — Sunlight is a superior form of Vitamin D, but is only available around midday, in the summer.

A

Vitamin A is the sister hormone to Vitamin D, enabling it to work optimally.

The two must be balanced with about a 1:1 ratio.

Carlson Labs, Vitamin A, 10,000 IU, 250 Soft Gels
Carlson Labs (10,000 IU)

This is the premier form of Vitamin A (preformed, fat-soluble). Does not require the liver to convert from carotenes.

When Sick, Take Vitamin A every Other day — with a meal, before 2pm.

(Consider avoiding Vit A if supplemented heavily in the past — to avoid overdose).

It is well-established that nutritional inadequacy greatly impairs the functioning of the immune system.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6340979/
3

Vitamin C

Along with Vitamin D, Vitamin C is a most critical immune nutrient, because it supports the system’s energy as a whole.

Solaray 1:1 Ratio Vit C
Solaray, Vitamin C Bioflavonoids, 1:1 Ratio, 250 VegCaps

View on iHerb.com

My favorite Vit C supplement anywhere.

Solaray Liposomal Vitamin C
Solaray, Liposomal Vitamin C, 400 mg, 100 VegCaps

View on iHerb.com

Fat-soluble Vitamin C, an incredible product.

Take 500-1000mg daily, at any time, with or without a meal.
Higher doses should be used with caution, up to 1000-2000mg/day.

Various micronutrients are essential for immunocompetence, particularly vitamins A, C, D, E, B2, B6, and B12, folic acid, iron, selenium, and zinc. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30336639
4

Zinc & Copper

5

Echinacea

Several past studies have suggested that echinacea is effective at reducing the viability of all viruses.

Solaray Echinacea

(Amazon)

View on iHerb.com.

Take echinacea anytime, as directed.

If extremely ill, discontinue.

Other antiviral herbs may be viable alternatives to boost immunity during illness. Here’s a list of options:

(click to explore more options)

6

Heat

Heat is incredibly therapeutic for nearly every health condition — especially for supporting the immune system.

Why? In part, because pathogens are severely weakened in high heat. Look no further than what your own body does when sick: It raises the temperature in your tissues, a fever.

Venture Soft Far Infrared Heating Pad

UTK Ultra-Soft Far Infrared Heating Pad

Exposure to warmth is critical when fighting off illness and preventing it. The heat will also help you feel better in the process.

Apply heating pad for 20 minutes on chest, then 20 minutes on the back. Optional: Sit on pad for several hours.

Did you know? Heat is infrared light.

Read more about the stunning health effects of light.
7

Sunlight

If you’re sick, get outside.

UV light is naturally germicidal — especially against viruses. UV frequencies can penetrate into the skin, and can even inactivate viruses that have worked their way into skin tissues.

Blue light from sunshine, as well, is “highly antimicrobial.”

Infrared, the immune-boosting and germicidal to pathogens, is also metabolism boosting and makes up 50% of sunlight.

Sunlight is a premier tool to:

all important for recovery from illness.

UV radiation kills viruses by chemically modifying their genetic material, DNA and RNA.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17880524
Morning light is the healthiest light you can get — even without any UV.

Don’t wait until you’re sick to spend time outdoors. Ward off illness — before it arrives — with regular sunshine.

Get outdoors every day — for as long as possible.
8

The immune system activates at night — functioning best when we sleep deeply.

Research is finding that when you sleep is more important than how many hours you sleep. Thus, the circadian rhythm is more important than the total hours of shuteye.

Fix the circadian rhythm to fix sleep. Explore the Sleep section for more.

Read more:

Children

When it comes to children, it’s important to simplify.

Kids are smaller bodies that require smaller doses of nutrients. Children’s health needs are different than an adult’s — they are often more sensitive, and thereby susceptible to harm caused by excessive supplementation.

Multivitamin

Kids need low, balanced doses of high-quality nutrients, too.

Not all children’s multivitamins meet the standards of quality and balanced dosages.

(Alive! brand might taste a little better)

Vitamin D

Give this to children for one week to build immunity — or during illness — then reduce dosage to 2-3x/week.

Echinacea

Give to children for one week to build immunity or fight off infection. Then take one week off before starting again.

Conclusion

A strong immune-boosting regimen is built on a foundation of:

  • A quality multivitamin
  • Vitamins D & A supplements
  • Vitamin C
Optional steps:
  • Zinc and copper
  • Echinacea
REMEMBER, utilize these DAILY:
  • Heat
  • Full-spectrum sunlight
  • A strong circadian rhythm

…to optimize your immune health.

Let’s Feel Better.

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Categories
Light Product Reviews

REVIEWS: Red & Infrared Light Products

Let’s explore practical, topflight sources of red & infrared light — without spending hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Full-spectrum light is superior to narrow-wavelength red-only light. 

Red-only light products are only optimal in the evening to minimize the risk of interfering with sleep.  Even then, it’s always best to get supplemental light during the daytime. 

Incandescent light is preferable to LED products, because the full-spectrum light produces superior benefits for the circadian rhythm, hormonal balance, enzyme activity, and hypothyroidism. It’s also more affordable.

1

Clear Heat Lamp
(125-Watt)

Perfect for beginners

A 125-watt bulb is a great place to start — especially if starting slow is important to you.  These heat lamps are well made.

Ultimately, many folks respond best when they use multiple bulbs, totaling several hundred watts. Reaching 500 watts may be easier wil two 250-watt bulbs, rather than these 125-watt bulbs.

PROs:

  • Gentle, warm light
  • Simple & does the job
  • Affordable infrared light
  • Full-spectrum light
  • Less blue and no UV (compared to sunlight)

CONs:

  • Somewhat breakable (it’s a light bulb)
  • 125-watts is a fairly low amount for therapeutic purposes
  • Not suitable for use in areas with children or pets

RATING: 9/10

I prefer 250-watts for the greater power, but the light produced by a few 150-watt bulbs is very restorative, energizing, and pleasant.

2

Clear Heat Lamp
(250-Watt)

more watts, more light
I love this 250-watt lamp. It is quite powerful (and hot — be careful).

The 250-watt heat lamp is twice the intensity of the 125-watt, and it feels that way. 

Much, much more power is supplied.  It’s more simple to reach the 500-watt threshold, it only requires two of these bulbs.

Heat lamps are quite directional, so be sure to back up several feet to 1) expose more tissues to the restorative light, and 2) avoid overexposure of any single area.

PROs:

  • Powerful, strong, radiant infrared light
  • Simple & does the job
  • Affordable infrared light
  • Full-spectrum light (lots of visible wavelengths)
  • Less blue and no UV (compared to sunlight)

CONs:

  • Somewhat breakable (it’s a light bulb)
  • Gets incredibly hot
  • Not suitable for use in areas with children or pets

RATING: 9.5/10

I use several of these bulbs at a time, daily.

3

175-Watt Clear Halogen Reflector Bulb

Pretty good bulbs. More visible, bright light. Less fragile than typical heat lamps.

Halogen light is similar to incandescent light (heat lamps are a type of incandescent) except halogen bulbs have a halogen gas (usually iodine or bromine gas) that allows the bulb to burn hotter without failing. 

The result is a similar output to incandescent, but with more bright visible light (like green and blue) and a little less infrared per watt. Nevertheless, halogens still produce less blue and more infrared/red, as a percentage of total output, than sunlight.

This bulb is slightly less hot than a 250-watt heat lamp, but with about the same visible light brightness.  Visible light (red, green, blue) is very good for health, as well, and this is a good way to get it.

PROs:

  • Powerful, strong, radiant light
  • Affordable
  • VERY natural full-spectrum light
  • Less blue than sunlight — more blue than heat lamps, which is good during daytime use
  • Sturdy — less breakable than heat lamps

CONs:

  • Gets quite hot
  • Not suitable for use in areas with children or pets
  • I like heat lamps and regular incandescent bulbs better

RATING: 8/10

I’ve used these for extended periods in the past. They’re quite good, but I think I feel best with incandescent bulbs.

4

Red L.E.D.

ABi Plant “Grow Light”

Designed to make plants grow (and flower) by using the same wavelengths that are highly beneficial for human biology.

This is a powerful grow light, producing red light in *only* the 660nm wavelength.  For wattage, it has two options: 12 watts and 25 watts. 

Claims About Wattage

The company claims that its wattage claims are more accurate than other companies’ — essentially stating that they list wattage based upon wattage used “at the outlet” (whereas other companies don’t), and that their products carry the power of products listed at 2 or 3 times that wattage. 

My opinion:  They aren’t making that up.  These bulbs are really, really bright.

Five of these would recreate a full-body red LED that could rival some more expensive (though possibly more convenient) red LED products.  If any of those companies are exaggerating their LED output, you might achieve a similar result with just 3 of these grow lights.

This product does have the limitations that come with all LEDs:  short, narrow wavelengths and a subtle flicker that — though likely unnoticeable to the eye — could be suboptimal for some. 

Therapeutic red light — without the intense heat — is a perk of LEDs — but not a big enough perk to prefer red LEDs to heat lamps.  The warm infrared frequencies are incredibly beneficial.

PROs:

  • Powerful output
  • Choose either 660nm and 630nm
  • Choose either 12w and 25w
  • No heat 

CONs:

  • LED — flicker and narrow wavelength
  • 25-watt’s fan is quite noisy

RATING: 7.5

It’s a pretty solid bulb. Fun to play with — and the red light is gorgeous at night.

It’s a true top-shelf option among red light LEDs — and using several of these is possibly preferable to expensive red light products.

I have tried both the 12-watt and 25-watt.  The 25-watt bulb is massive, heavy, and could overwhelm many clamp lamps with its weight.  It also has a noisy fan that I found too annoying for frequent use.  I sent it back and got a second 12-watt, instead.

After purchasing three of these, I still gravitate to real incandescent light from clear heat lamps. Heat lamps are simply superior light.

Read more.

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5

Other Equipment

Clamp Lamp

After buying all of my clamp lamps at Home Depot for many years, I have found a superior version.  These clamp lamps from Amazon are more sturdy — and that’s a big deal. 

Just screw in a bulb, clamp to a shelf or table.

PROs:

  • Solid, sturdy construction
  • Affordable

CONs:

  • The reflector is made of aluminum

RATING: 9/10

I’m not sure the aluminum reflectors are a big problem. I do take them off, but I don’t really recommend it to others. I don’t think plastic reflectors are any better than aluminum for exposure to harmful compounds.

Power Strip

And you might need a power strip, so here are some.

Be cautious and wise with lamps that get hot.  I use these all the time, but I’m very careful and safe.  Please don’t hurt yourself or someone you care about.

Read more.

Let’s Feel Better.

Discussion. Community. Thoughtful ideas.

Supporting members enjoy:

  • Access to all health information & resources
  • Ongoing support in our no-drama discussion group
  • The ability to ask me health questions directly
  • The satisfaction of knowing that you’re supporting a great cause

Travis

(return home)