Enhancing Your Immune System With Vitamin D This Winter | Podcast #321

Getting enough vitamin D is essential to your long-term health. It’s relatively easy to get vitamin D through sun exposure most of the year, but that changes come wintertime. So here is Dr. J and Evan discussing why vitamin D matters and how to keep your levels up, even when the days are short and the skies are snowy and gray. 

Vitamin D absorbs calcium and helps you maintain healthy bones. It also contributes to the health of your muscles, nerves, and immune system. So if you don’t get enough vitamin D, you may be at risk of developing rickets, osteoporosis, other bone disorders, diabetes, hypertension, and cancer. Older adults, people with dark skin, and obesity are more likely to have a vitamin D deficiency.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

1:49    The Importance of Vitamin D in Winter

5:15    Viruses in Winter Season

11:20  Vitamin D Supplements and Benefits

14:03  Vegan Vitamin D

19:01  Vitamin D as Epigenetic Regulator

22:55  Respiration Issues and Blood Pressure Issues

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live is Dr. J here in the house with Evan Brand. Today we’re going to be talking about vitamin D to help enhance your immune system is such a good topic because in the winter months, we’re exposed to all kinds of viruses and bacteria out there and immune stressors. There’s less sunlight, more cold, more sugar, more sweets, more holiday stress. And we really want to make sure that you guys have a strong immune system to be resistant to what’s happening in today’s environment. Evan, how are we doing today, my man?

Evan Brand: Doing really well. I’m ready for the sunshine to come back. You know, I was looking at my D minder app the other day, and the vitamin D window just opened back up. So and the which, technically, according to the way the earth is tilting, we’re actually past the deepest, darkest parts of winter. But you know, late December, because of Northern latitude, and the angle of the sun and all that you literally cannot make vitamin D, even if you’re outside, but naked, you just can’t. But luckily, according to my app, the vitamin D Window, at least from my latitude, just opened up about six days ago. So if there is Sunshine out from about 12 to one or two, there’s a good like two hours a day right now based on my latitude, where I can get adequate vitamin D with enough skin exposure. But the problem is, most people in the middle of the day there may be on their lunch break at their office, you probably can’t get outside enough to get the sun. And if it’s cloudy, of course that cancels it out? And can you undress enough at your office building to get enough sunshine to get enough vitamin D? So, in general, the answer is no. And this is why I would say 90% of people that we’ve tested via blood, we’re going to see vitamin D deficiency. And this is just something you cannot afford to be deficient in

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 110%. So in today’s environment, with the winter being where it’s at, and depending on your latitude and longitude and, and your ability to be outside and expose yourself, getting vitamin D naturally to the sun, and it’s forming kind of these pre cholesterol d3, and that d3 being absorbed into your kidneys and liver, right, it’s odds are going to be pretty low. So we’re gonna have to supplement this time of year, that’s going to be without a doubt. And we got to get our vitamin D levels up to an optimal range as well, because we need to be at least above 50 on the United States metric for vitamin D, that’s important. If you have an autoimmune issue, if you have any cancer predispositions, you probably want to be even as high as 70, to 100, but at least 50 on the vitamin D side to really maintain optimal immune function.

Evan Brand: And this is something you can actually test at home now, which is pretty cool. So there are some labs that you and I can work with, where we can get people some dried blood spot testing. But if you’re working with us clinically, we might as well just run a full blood panel looking into thyroid and everything else. Because if you have other symptoms, you could take vitamin D and not fix yourself, meaning it’s great to optimize that. But you could still have other issues. So you could just do the at home blood panel or if we’re going to get you to the lab, we might as well look at everything else. And you’re not looking at an expensive test. It’s kind of hard to believe that this is not standard practice. But you go to your conventional doctor down the road, and they run basic blood work on you, they’re not going to run vitamin D, unless you ask for it. And even then they may say, Oh, it’s not covered by insurance. So what is your reply? Because it’s generally only going to be maybe 20, maybe $50. US max to test this is not an expensive test.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No, no, it’s definitely not an expensive test. Now in general, and give you guys a couple of markers here in regards to the ranges. So off the bat, I already mentioned 50 to 70 is a pretty good range to be in I think for most people, right? If we have cancer, heart issues, autoimmune stuff, we can go 70 to 100. And the metric we want to look for is going to be nanograms per milliliter nanograms per milliliter. In Europe they do or Canada they do nano moles per liter. And the conversion on that I want to say is about two, you multiply whatever the level is here and you multiply it by about 2.25. And that gives you that conversion, right? So for at about 50 or so on the vitamin D here is sufficient, right? That’s the nanogram per milliliter multiply it by 2.25. That’s about 125 nano moles per liter if we’re talking Europe or Canada so you guys can make the conversion 2.25 All right, so 50 to 70 is ideal 70 to 100 is going to be you know if we have cancer, heart disease, immune issues. Now when we supplement with vitamin D, we want to make sure we’re taking d3 if your diets really great, lots of green vegetables, high quality gi butterfat, good kaitou then you’re probably fine. You don’t need k two if your diets not awesome or not great or you want that extra bit of insurance, you can always do vitamin K to with your vitamin D, just to make sure there’s an adequate balance there. A lot of your fat soluble vitamins tend to come and work together vitamin D vitamin K work importantly well because k helps calcium get into the bone D helps calcium be absorbed. From the gut as well, so it’s nice to have some k there. So we’re really helping to put all that calcium back into the bone that we’re now absorbing better in our gut from vitamin D. So it’s nice to have that as an insurance policy to make sure we’re putting and telling that calcium where it needs to go.

Evan Brand: Yeah, well said, I just put another paper in the chat for you if you want it. This was from 2006. And it was just talking about how there was back in the 1980s, a guy Edgar hope Simpson proposed that a seasonal stimulus was intimately associated with seasonal epidemic, influenza. And long story short, the fancy way of saying, hey, winter comes and then boom, all of a sudden, you know, viruses become more of a prevalent issue. And then long story short, there was this whole interventional study, which there’s many, many, many, many on this long story short, vitamin D is reducing the incidence of respiratory infections in children. So this is specifically talking about kids. But there are countless of these for adults. And so what’s happening when the vitamin D levels are sufficient, are a multitude of things. But in particular, it’s helping to reduce interleukin six, which is one of those inflammatory cytokines that we’re seeing get people in trouble. So if you can reduce your cytokines, that’s going to be beneficial. And then also another cool benefit is not only as sort of an anti viral, but there’s some anti microbial benefit, which I honestly didn’t know much about this and start till I started reading these papers here that it can actually activate your immune cells to produce some anti microbials. So sort of like a natural antibiotic, if you will, by upping vitamin D concentration. Now, the question is, well, how do people take it? Is it just an ongoing thing, if you think you’re getting into trouble with the illness, do you go high dose of it, I think it depends on what your levels are. So would you say you probably want to get a baseline first to know where you’re at and how you should address it or-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Baseline first, I mean, I would say the wider your skin is, the more fair your skin is. Probably the more efficient you are going to be at converting vitamin D from the sun, right? The darker your skin is think of your your the darkness in your skin, that’s melanin, right, the more melanin you have, so you have kind of different spectrums full on African American, that’s the highest amount of melanin, melanin is like your natural UV block, right, it helps block your skin from the sun’s rays. So due to evolution, and where we evolved, people that evolved closer to the equator, more UV light based on the angle of the Sun hitting it, they naturally evolved with more melanin in the skin, people that have all further away from the equator, less direct UV light, less melanin in the skin, because it’s all about making vitamin D. So the more efficient you are at making vitamin D, you probably are going to be, you’ll probably be able to get away with not supplementing as much or as frequent. The more melanin in your skin, the more you have to be on top of your vitamin D, because unless you’re going to be outside six to eight hours a day, and you’re at a, you know, mid to low 30 latitude, you’re probably just not going to be able to ever make enough vitamin D, therefore, you really have to be on top of everything. And you’re testing. So lighter skin, I think in general, a good rule of thumb is 1000, I use per 25 pounds of body weight, especially in the fall and winter months. And then if you want to take a break in the summer, that’s fine, just make sure you get a test here there to confirm it, the darker your skin is, you may even want to double that in the winter months. And then you may want to follow up and retest come the early spring and see where you’re at kind of monitor where you’re at. If you’re someone that works outside, that’s you have to make that adjustment. If you’re an office person you’re inside all day, you also have to make that adjustment to so in general 1000, I use per 25 pounds of body weight. And then if you have darker skin, you may want to double that for the winter months. And then it’s always good to confirm in the summertime in the winter, and sometime coming off the winter, early spring summer to see where you’re at. And then we can always adjust accordingly. And if there’s any risk of autoimmunity or cancer, we probably want to be testing just a little bit more frequently. Once you kind of know where you’re at, you can kind of guess based on how well you’re doing. And then in regards to vitamin D, you know, I mean, vitamin K, K2, you probably want anywhere between 100 150 micrograms of K2 is kind of where you want where you’re going to be at per day on average. And so if you’re doing lots of green vegetables, if you’re doing sauerkraut fermented foods, you’re doing kaitou from grass fed butter or ghee, you’ll probably be fine. And then if you want that insurance policy of about 150 micrograms, you can always just find a good vitamin d3 with that in there. And then that gives you that extra assurance that you’re okay there. 

Evan Brand: Yep. And the other cool thing about this I mean, in terms of how big of a game changer This is for your health for your immunity, we’re talking minor dollars for testing. We’re talking minor dollars for actually buying something now, we’re still going to advise you to go with the more professional product just because that’s what we’re going to use clinically. That’s what we’re going to sell to people so we still do Want you to get a good quality product, but in a pinch, could you get away with something just a typical store brought brand, probably. So we just have a lot of sensitive people. So we’re going to want to avoid a lot of the fillers, you’ll see soybean oil, sometimes you’ll see other things that we don’t like, and some of the cheap brands. So we’re going to try to get you just like a straight d3, possibly with a little bit of gelatin. But even sometimes we’re gonna do like a veggie cap, when you’ve got maybe a little bit of cellulose but- 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: MCT oil or olive oil, some kind of a healthier fat versus like you mentioned a soy or something more junky or more like polyunsaturated. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, but once again, I mean, you’re looking at, in general, I know some of the professional brains, you and I use, cost wise, you’re looking at, like 50 to 60 bucks for six months. So I mean, you’re talking maybe 10 bucks a month, and that’s for like professional quality. And there are liquid versions that you can use for children as well. I’ve got both of my kids taking vitamin D. Now we do give them some different cod liver oils and omega. So you can get some vitamin D naturally from some of the cod liver oils, you can get a few 1000 iu, but we are still doing a little bit of extra K1, K2 and D3 for the kids. And that’s easy. And my daughter calls it Hummingbird food, because it’s clear just like our Hummingbird food and it tastes a little sweet. So she loves it. It’s like her favorite part of the day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, cuz it’s got a tiny bit of stevia in there. Right. And then you also have, you know, it’s clear liquid vitamin like the MCT oil in there. That’s Yeah, good. Yeah. Excellent. Yeah. So 100% on that, I would say supplementally. Like you mentioned cod liver oil, very good. You can also look at other fat soluble vitamins, the other ones may be vitamin A, right. So if you’re doing high quality, ghee or grass fed butter, you’re probably getting a good amount of vitamin A in there, especially if you’re doing something your tea or coffee in the morning. If you’re eating good grass fed grass fed beef and you’re doing good quality pasture egg fed egg yolks, then you’re going to be set on a lot of that, if you want some additional insurance, you can do some cod liver oil, like I mentioned, you can get a vitamin D that has some vitamin A in it, or just use some of the extra cod liver oil and get some good egg yolks in and you’ll probably be totally fine with that. Anything else you want to add?

Evan Brand: Yep. I would just encourage people not to do. Yeah, I would say I just encourage people not to do the conventional D2 supplement that you’re going to get from a local doctor. For example, if you ask your neighbor down the road to give you some vitamin D, they’re probably going to give you D2. They may give you like a 50,000 iu or possibly even like 100,000 iu that you’re going to get from a pharmacy, it’s going to be loaded with a bunch of binders and fillers. And we find that just those really high doses for a few days don’t really do as much as a lower dose over a longer period of time. So it’s not where you just come in and do 100,000 for a week and you’re cured. Now you really need to just optimize it over a slower period of time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, like myself, I’m not gonna lie, I’ll do sometimes 40 or 50, once a week, to kind of keep my levels pretty good. But I think it just kind of depends on where you’re at. Right. So if if for some reason, you know, you forget to do your vitamin D, I’d rather have people do it like at least once a week. So it’s there because it is a fat soluble vitamin. So it will kind of build up in your system. It’s not like a B vitamin where you just pee it out. But ideally, every day is good, especially in the morning time because think about it, you wouldn’t naturally make vitamin D in the middle of the night or at nighttime, if you’re taking it right, you’d make it more in the morning to afternoon. So take it more in the morning and afternoon. Right, that makes more sense to me from a kind of day in day out how vitamin D will be made in general. And then the other thing is, if you miss it or you forget it, I think doing it at least getting it in there once a week as a fat soluble vitamin, just make sure you test make sure you’re doing well on that. And like you said having d3 is in the B that’s more of the animal version, I think is a lanolin more of a plant version on the D two side. And the thing with it’s more synthetic and it doesn’t equate to improving your vitamin D levels because as to get converted in the body. So there’s a conversion issue that tends to get lapsed on and it won’t move your vitamin D levels is good.

Evan Brand: I have seen some like vegan D3, I want to say they’re like an algae based product. Yeah, I haven’t looked too much into them. I mean, I have had some vegan clients who were like, Hey, I’m just really opposed to any other source of vitamin D. I’m like, okay, fine, we’ll get you some of the vegan ones. I think it’s a lichen. Maybe a lichen or an algae. I mean, I’m okay with it. But I don’t have enough long term evidence to say where I’ve looked at people and regards to their test results to confirm that their levels we’re getting up from the algae or the like and based one, I’m sure if it’s D3, and it says 5000. I mean, in theory, it’s good enough, but I just haven’t I don’t have enough data to say whether you should go for that or not. I would just go with your typical D3

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. Now vitamin D has a couple of different benefits. You already mentioned a couple things, let’s kind of go over some of the benefits for the listeners. So we already chatted about the the natural antibiotic that’s being produced by vitamin D. It’s called cathelicidin. It’s a kind of an antibacterial enzyme. That’s super helpful at being able to knock down bacteria, okay? It also has antiviral mechanisms as well. It has the antimicrobial peptides, like I mentioned, it also has some antiviral mechanisms. Part of that is it stimulates and can modulate the th one immune response and the th one immune system, that’s where you’re making a lot of your natural killer cells and your helper cells, which are really good. And then also good helper cell can also help you know that your antigen presenting cell can help make antibodies more efficiently. So you’re also going to have better TH2 immune response. So you’re going to make antibodies to whatever that infection is, those tend to come a little bit later in the game, but good signaling to make your antibodies is super helpful as well. I would also say as a couple other studies here that we’re talking about different things, so we have a reduce in our MMP 9 concentrations, we have a reduction in Brady Keinen storm, and our original reduction in our cytokine storm. So basically, we have a lot of inflammatory molecules that get produced, right, Brady keinen cytokines interleukins, MMP9. And basically these are inflammatory type of chemical messengers. And vitamin D can help modulate that and prevent that from being overproduced, which because the more we over produce those, the more our immune system responds, right, and we can create more cytokine storm issues because our immune system kind of is on this positive feedback loop, responding and creating more issues with these cytokines. So we can kind of modulate and bring these cytokines down a bit. And when there’s less cytokines, there’s less chance of a cytokine storm, which is basically our immune system responding. And imagine a fight between two people, you know, one person yells, the other person, that person yells back down, then we’re pushing them we’re shoving, then we’re hitting, and the violence escalates. That’s kind of what happens with the cytokine storm, with your immune system and all the different cytokines and immune chemical signals, so we can keep that modulating a bit, which is very helpful. And vitamin D plays a really important role in that.

Evan Brand: Awesome. I don’t think there’s really, really any other mechanisms that are important for this. I mean, I’m sure there’s other stuff that we could, we could pick out. But, you know, I would argue that, you know, if you’re darker skin in Canada, you’re in trouble. If you’re in New York, you’re in Michigan, you’re in Montana, you’re in Seattle, Washington, I mean, even, you know extremely fair skinned people, Irish people like me, if you’re that far north, and you’re not supplementing, I’ll bet you $1,000 you’re deficient. So it’s pretty easy. It’s pretty easy. This is so easy. But such a game changer. I wish it were the front headlines everywhere.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, I would at least kind of convince people here just get on vitamin D, from thanksgiving to spring. Yeah, at least do that right, at least make that investment get on vitamin D supplementation from thanksgiving to spring. Or if you want to come off the rest of the year, as long as you’re getting some sunlight, fine, but at least do that that’s gonna give you a good bump. And the fat soluble nutrients, you’ll get over those four or five months, we’ll hang around months afterwards, too, because it takes a while for that for that vitamin D level to build up. Now, what are some symptoms of vitamin D excess. So if you’re not testing and you’re just doing a lot of vitamin D, well, you may have high levels of calcium, you may notice hypercalcemia hyper calcium iya. So if you run a comprehensive metabolic panel, you may see high levels of calcium. You may also notice you’re more nauseous, you’re vomiting, you’re weak, a lot of urination, bone pain, kidney issues, calcium stones, if you’re having any of those symptoms, and you’re not really monitoring your vitamin D, you may want to just double check on that. I’ve also seen clinically that vitamin D toxicity happens less when you have other fat soluble vitamins present. So if you’re noticing that you may want to back off a bit, you may want to really focus on getting good vitamin A and good vitamin K in there, as well, just to make sure you’re not creating a fat soluble vitamin imbalance, I think is a really good kind of thing out of the gates.

Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s pretty easy. Oh, a couple other things I wanted to mention, this is at the top of the the paper you and I were looking at, you already mentioned like benefits for autoimmune diseases like MS. But also in regards to just helping with epigenetic switching. So you know, all this reading here, because it’s pretty simple. Vitamin D is a powerful epigenetic regulator influencing more than 2500 genes. So what that tells me is you and I seriously, we don’t even fully understand what all this benefits. I mean, we have a clue based on knowing how many genes that can positively influence but who knows, you know, you don’t know what you don’t know. So how many other beneficial things are we doing? That science hasn’t even uncovered yet? Probably a ton.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% right. So when you talk about the different epigenetic signaling that can happen, that’s pretty powerful, right? Because we know that I think 800 900 It’s a bunch of different DNA, a bunch of different genes are being affected, and so on. It’s important. We don’t know all the things that could be affected. But we do know that if you get your vitamin D levels up, you don’t really have to worry about everything that you’re doing. That’s kind of the, that’s kind of the important component there, you don’t really have to worry about it, you just got to make sure that you’re doing the right thing. And you’re set. And you’re pretty much good to go.

Evan Brand: Yeah, I’ve got my grandfather testing his now I- Well, I’ve got my grandfather, he’s been on vitamin D for several years now. And I’ve got his doctor to the point where he doesn’t question it anymore. He just runs it. So we’ve got him up, we just got his blood work back. He’s up around 60. And he’s doing 5000 units a day, and he’s hanging out around 60. It took a little while to get up there. So we did 10 for a while. And then now we’re just staying at a baseline of five a day. And he’s doing great with it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great. So can you repeat the dose again?

Evan Brand: Yeah, we had him at 5000 a day. For a while we went up to 10, because he was only at around a 30 or 40. So we went up to 10 for a little while. And then we backed him down. So now he’s at a five. So we went five, up to 10 for a while now he’s at a 60. So now we’re just going back down sticking with a baseline of 5000 a day with K and it’s working really well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So my kids, they get some vitamin D out of the gates every single day, which is helpful. And then we make sure they get some cod liver oil. And then they’re also getting some really good fat soluble vitamins via gi and such like that. And so out of the gates here, you know anyone that’s supplementing their kids or their family or friends, just make sure you’re getting other good fat soluble vitamins along with the vitamin D, and you’re going to be pretty darn safe out of the gates. And I would say at least try to do some kind of testing going into the winter and or coming off the winter just to make sure you’re on track.

Evan Brand: Yep, and we’ll put some links below I believe you’ve got a professional vitamin D that you use. I’ve got one that I use, there’s liquid, there are different soft gel capsule versions. So we’ll put a couple links for people if you want to check them out. Once again, this is one of the most cost effective but most health impacting supplements to be using it this time. And I think it should be in your pantry and your cabinet.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thinks so too. So out of the gates, we talked about all of the immune benefits the immune modulating benefits, we talked about the natural antiviral antibacterial mechanisms. We talked about how they modulate cytokines, decreased chance of a cytokine storm. We talked about the the modulating of all these different chemical messengers. Also important benefits in regarding breathing, right, because we talked about vitamin D can help modulate high levels of angiotensin right. So we have a lot of blood pressure medications, angiotensin converting enzyme medications, right, or ARB right angiotensin receptor site blockers, vitamin D modulates angiotensin two rennen right it modulates it, and that can help with blood pressure. And blood pressure is important, right? Anytime we have respiration issues or breathing issues or blood pressure issues, modulating NAC can help. Alright, I would say the only other thing I really like adding in, especially if I’m having breathing issues outside of vitamin D is throwing either in some Bluetooth ion or some NAC and or both because that can one help reduce mucus when you have less mucus, you have better transfer of oxygen from the alveoli to the bloodstream, right? So you can take oxygen, deoxygenated blood, bring it back in get oxygen, so you just have better transfer of oxygen back into the bloodstream, which is important. And that’s going to help you help you breathe better and it’s gonna help keep your oxygen levels up. If oxygen levels dropped too much, you’re gonna be really fatigued and tired. So the only other thing I would throw in with vitamin D is maybe some NAC and or some glutathione.

Evan Brand: Yeah, well said yeah, oral and or in bigger situations, more problematic situations. nebulised bluetooth ion, we had one client who had a brother who had a lot of issues, got him on the nebulizer with the Bluetooth ion and he was stellar within just a few hours. So I think that is another essential supplement to keep in your pantry.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I had a patient just last week she’ll probably listen to this podcast, but she had some breathing issues due to a winter cold, some significant breathing issues and she had seen my podcasts and video on using lipids omo or shoot using nebulised bluetooth ion and I my little nebulizer right over here. Right under there. And I use the nebulizer to fire on with some saline solution. And she said right away her ability to breathe and respirate improve right right out of the gates. Oh yeah shows that you know getting really good glutathione obviously orally into your body is low hanging fruit. But if you need to get it internally right to your lungs, there’s a lot of studies on showing how beneficial that is in helping your breathing and just helping to reduce inflammation in your lungs.

Evan Brand: Yes, absolutely. Yeah. My mother in law she had diagnosis of COPD even though she’s never smoked. We think it was due to chemical exposures probably virally. bacterial issues as well. Same thing got her on the nebulizer. She said it’s a game changer she got off of her inhaler completely after using the nebulizer so it’s pretty unreal.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. So what we’ll do is we’ll put some links here we have some vitamin D products and glutathione products that we like and we personally recommend, we’ll put some links here below so if you guys are interested and you want to take a peek and you want to support the podcast, that’s one way to do so. And again we only we only recommend products that we personally use with our family, ourselves and our patients and because we’re in the thick of it rolling up our sleeves dealing with patients clinically every week it’s it’s into our it’s let’s say it’s part of our best interest to have the highest quality product so we can get the highest clinical outcome.

Evan Brand: Totally, totally well if you need help clinically as well if you need advice, we work around the world with people via FaceTime, Skype, phone etc. You can reach out to Dr. J at Justin Health. JustinHealth.com for Dr. J. Me, Evan Brand at EvanBrand.com and we’re available worldwide. So you can use the scheduling links you can book intro calls you can book new client calls, but we are here so please reach out if you need help.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Awesome. Hey Evan excellent chatting with you my man. JustinHealth.com, EvanBrand.com. Sharing is caring if you guys enjoy it please send us a review we really appreciate it. JustinHealth.com/iTunes, EvanBrand.com/iTunes we’ll put a review link below. We really appreciate you guys. Alright, you guys have a phenomenal day. Take control of your health. Keep your immune system strong during the winter months. Take care y’all. Bye now.




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Recommended products:

Emulsi D Supreme

Detox Aminos

Vitamin D Blood Test

Natural ways to strengthen your immune system – Podcast #66

Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand talk about the various natural ways we can do and supplements we can take to help boost our immune system, especially when we’re experiencing an acute illness. Find out about what you can do to enhance your immune system and stay away from illnesses. There are a lot of techniques that you’ll learn about how you can supercharge your immune system in this podcast.

strengthen_your_immune_systemDr. Justin breaks down the different branches of the immune system to help us better understand how it works. Learn about what Vitamins A, C, and D, zinc, and silver can do for the immune system as well as what medicinal mushrooms and adaptogenic herbs can do to help.

In this episode, topics include:

5:28   Foundational info for immune health

11:48   Th1, Th2, IgA, IgG, and IgM

14:16   herbs to boost immune system

17:34   flu viruses and the flu vaccine, symptoms and viruses

24:40   nutrients and vitamins







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Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Evan, what’s going on today, man?

Evan Brand:  Hey, not much.  Just before you and I started talking I was finishing up doing the Bulletproof podcast and it was so fun.  I gotta admit, man.  I’m not nervous for nearly any podcast but for that one, I was a little bit like, “Oh, man, this is a big deal.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I’m a big fan of Dave Asprey and–and a lot of the stuff that he does.  That’s great.   That’s an awesome podcast to be on.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so I had fun with that so I’m–I’m in the mode of “Let’s do it today”.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s cool and also we’re gonna be at the Bulletproof conference.

Evan Brand:  I know.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Pretty stoked.  Are you stoked about that?

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I’m excited.  I’m glad I made it happen.  I’m glad that you pressured me and kept staying on top me like, “You have to go.  You have to go.  You have to go.”  Because I made it happen and we’re doing it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, and we’re gonna be doing some live interviews there and just some live analysis to kinda you know give people some feedback on what’s happening and our take on things.  I think we’re even gonna try Periscope, some live–

Evan Brand:  I need to download it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Video streams.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, anyone wants to check me out–JustInHealth on Periscope.  I haven’t done anything yet but I will soon enough.

Evan Brand:  I need to download it, man.  I’m behind the times.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, no doubt.

Evan Brand:  Well, what did you have for breakfast today?

Evan Brand:  I had some organic ground turkey that my wife made last night for Taco night, so I literally just had ground turkey and organic blue corn chips for breakfast and it was delicious.  And actually I did a little bit of water with some lime juice cut and squeezed into it and it was good.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s awesome.  Yeah, we did–last night we did some grass-fed meat and we cooked it up, add some spices to it, and we did some salsa and we did some guacamole as well and cut up some avocados.  They were really hard but we just threw them in the VitaMix and added some little bit of salsa and lime juice to it and it was like amazing.

Evan Brand:  Oh, that sounds good.  I had guacamole, too, last night and it was top notch.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I use these Paleo wraps–love ‘em.  They’re like just coconut meat and sea salt and we just threw some of the meat in there and it was kinda like a homemade Paleo burrito.

Evan Brand:  Oh, you did–you did ground beef?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, grass-fed meat with some of the salsa and homemade guacamole, threw it in the Paleo–the Paleo wrap which is just coconut meat and sea salt, and it was great.  Low sugar, you know, good fats, good proteins.  Felt great afterwards.  None of this corn stuff, you know, where you’re getting all bloaty and getting that cross reactive gluten stuff.  We didn’t have any of that.

Evan Brand:  That’s true.  I–I ate corn, it was organic corn and I felt okay.  So–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, you lived.  That’s good.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, if you do the corn that’s, you know, at least GMO-free and organic, it’s better.  But corn is one of those things that’s highly GMO’d and–and a lot of pesticides and chemicals, but I find a lot of people, even people that are Paleo, they do better not doing corn.  I mean, I will cheat every now and then with some gluten-free stuff, but 90%, 99%, I’ll try just to do the better option like that.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, blue corn is the only thing I touch.  I stay away from yellow corn even if it is, you know, GMO-free or organic.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, makes sense.  Well, we’re gonna dive into the immune system a little bit today.  I mean, it’s getting to be that time of the year.  I almost got sick in the last week.  I mean, my voice never really got hoarse.  I just had a slight little cough but I was able to knock it out and knocked it out using some of our natural medicine, immune strategy, and I wanted to dig into the immune system today with you.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so that frog is gone for now?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, that–that frog is just me not having water and speaking for an hour at a time and needing a little bit of lubrication but I had a little bit of a cough and you know, one of the things that I’m a big fan of, any of my patients that listen know that I like the ginger tea especially for die-off reactions, where we’re adding in certain anti-microbial herbs to address any infections we may be seeing.  I do couple pieces of ginger I throw in my VitaMix, add just a little bit of water to it, and then half a lime to a full lime squeeze.  Don’t put the lime rind in.  I learned that the hard way.  It makes it way too tart and–and sour but we just do that and maybe just touch of honey in there and I just use the pulp and I put maybe an eighth of it in the bottom of the cup and then add hot water and it’s just enough and it’s really powerful.  That ginger is anti-viral, too.  So if you have a throat issue and you got some kinda virus that, you know, adhesing on to the–the mucosal tissue in the throat, in the mouth, that ginger can really help decrease that viral adhesion.  It’s also anti-inflammatory, to not–it’s also an anti-tussin.  So like, you know, Robitussin, right?  Those are like anti-cough so it’s an anti-tussin so it can help relieve coughing and that–that–that urge that have that tickle in your throat and wanting to-to scratch it by coughing if you will.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I will admit there was a lady that came into the office this week that was coughing and sneezing and snotting everywhere and she was like wiping her hand–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Gross.

Evan Brand:  On her nose and then putting it on the equipment.  I was a little bit paranoid.  So when I came home, I did a little brew of–I had some liquid Chaga which is a mushroom, so I had the liquid Chaga, I had–I didn’t use Reishi that day.  I should have.  I used Chaga and then I used Matcha tea and then I just added a little bit of that Schisandra Berry powder and stirred it up and drink it, and I was like, “Oh, I think I’m gonna be okay.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nice.  Awesome.  So you’re a big fan of the Matcha, huh?

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I love Matcha.  I’m actually running low right now on my supply but I had a whole salsa jar full–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nice.

Evan Brand:  Of just straight Matcha powder.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I just like saying Matcha.  It just kind of rolls off the tongue.  Matcha.

Evan Brand:  It makes you feel cool saying it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I know.  I like it.

Evan Brand:  Cool.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, let’s–let’s dive in to the immune system a little bit.  We’ll go over some kind of foundational info for immune health but also some of the supplements that you can use to enhance your immune system because a lot of people, they’re so focused on the supplements but then the diet and lifestyle stuff is all messed up and it’s just like they’re just trying to like put makeup over a whole bunch of pimples.  We gotta actually get to the root issue and if we do both, then we actually can significantly supercharge our immune system.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so when you say immune system to me, I mean, the first stress that I picture is blood sugar/adrenal stress that lowers the immune system.  A lot of people that are eating this junk and they’re burning the kindle at both ends.  They’re trying to be a CEO and run a company on the side and all of this stuff.  That adrenal stress taxes the immune system and these are the people that get sick.  And I’ve worked with some big wigs before in my day and I’ve seen that those people are always sick.  So that’s kinda my starting point is the chronic stress picture.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I mean, stress cortisol will inhibit the immune system.  It’s–it’s common knowledge that it does that.  Well, people know that stress, you know, if you’re more stressed, you’re more likely to get sick, right?  People know that. Well, cortisol is one of those stress hormones that’s gonna be intimately tied in to weakening the immune system.  Not to mention that, blood sugar.  Blood sugar issues, adding extra sugar to your diet.  I did a blog post a year or two on immune function and I posted one study that showed people having a certain amount of glucose–I think it was 100 grams of glucose.  They had their immune system inhibited up to 2 to 3 days.  And because glucose actually looks similar to vitamin C, right?  From a molecular standpoint.  It’s actually a receptor site, I think of the lymphocyte, where vitamin C binds in to have an antioxidant effect. Well, glucose can actually pinch hit and bind in on that lymphocyte on that immune cell and again if we’re putting glucose in places where vitamin C should be, that’s not a good thing, and we know that glucose inhibits the immune function up to multiple days and that’s not good.  So if you take a whole bunch of soda or a whole bunch of sugar, thinking you’re helping yourself out, then you’re just shutting your immune system down and then if you’re around sickies, a whole bunch of people that are sick and coughing, now you’re really compromising.  Your chance of getting sick is through the roof now.

Evan Brand:  Right.  There’s so much we could talk about with immune function but I guess if I would keep the listeners interested, I’ll go ahead and say my first, well, I’ve talked about my first cure with the Matcha and the, you know, little bit of–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Matcha.

Evan Brand:  Raw honey.  Matcha.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Matcha.  I love it.

Evan Brand:  So do you know–the Matcha, the Schisandra, I like a little bit of raw honey in there when possible.  The next thing that I like to go to is bone broth.  I had some weird throat stuff a few weeks ago.  The weather went crazy.  It went from like mid 70s, low 80s to 55 and rainy all day, and I felt awful and so did my wife and we were both grumpy.  So we just stayed home and just sipped on bone broth and I felt incredible.  I actually like to add some extra Himalayan salt to it because I like it to be salty.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I like it, too.  I do the Real salt. I’m a bigger fan of the Real right now.

Evan Brand:  What’s–what’s up with that one compared to just like your standard pink Himalayan?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, pink Himalayan, they come from those Himalayan–

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Himalayan rocks so to speak.  The Real salt comes from a–a reserve over at Redmond, Utah.  I just like it.  It dissolves better in the water.  So I do a lot of salt in the water in the morning.  So I just like how it just dissolves.  It’s a little more pulverized, a little bit more finer.

Evan Brand:  Oh, okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Just the flavor.  It has a little bit more of a bite.  So just for me, it just–I just like it off the tip of my tongue.  I have two on my table.  I have a–a Real salt and also a Himalayan.  The Himalayan I have is just a little bit bigger.  It probably needs to go through a grinder.  But the Real salt is just right for me.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, now what about–now we’re on the subject of table ornaments or spices.  Do you use like an organic grounded black pepper?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, we do have one on the table.  I mean, I typically just take the sea salt.  My wife will add and mix some things.  She’ll put some cumin on things, some turmeric on things, some–some curry on certain things.  Like last night, we did a little more spices, so I kinda leave it up to her for that.  I’m pretty a plain Jane when it comes to my seasoning.  I just like a good clean sea salt.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Maybe some basil or some parsley from time to time, depending on what I’m eating.

Evan Brand:  Yup, what do you got next?  I know there’s so many directions we can go with this thing on immune system.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah so, again, your immune system, right?  Well, one of the first parts of the immune system is your mucosal barrier system, right?  So your throat, your nose, your ears, your eyes, all those different parts of the system.  Now the throat’s like kinda one of the first places that I see inflammation happening due to like a compromised immune system.  So like that tickle in your throat or that slight bit of cough or that slight bit of runniness in the nose, now your body has that reaction.  It’s just trying to get it out, right?  Something’s coming in, it’s trying to get it out.  It’s running the nose to kinda get things out, to drain things out, so we wanna support that.  We don’t wanna just take something that’s gonna just suppress the mucus.  Like you know, a Mucoplex or something like that that’s kinda just turn it off.  We want that mucus there initially to get things out.  So that’s really important.  And number two, we gotta make sure the diet’s dialed in.  The sugar and stuff’s out and we gotta make sure the protein’s good because a lot of the antibodies that your immune system makes, those antibodies are protein-based.  If we wanna make sure we’re getting enough good clean proteins to be able to make those antibodies.

Evan Brand:  We’re gonna make you’re digesting those proteins, too, so we could almost argue that betaine could be a good immune boost in a roundabout way.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, well, making sure you’re digesting your protein is, you know, huge, because anything we don’t digest it just sits there and it rots and that creates immune stress because 70-80%–70 to 80% of our immune system is in our stomach and small intestine.  It’s the GALT and in the MALT.  So we gotta–we gotta know that off the bat.  So make sure the diet and the lifestyle stuff stuff is dialed in.  I already kinda talked about the blood sugar.  I did a video on this last year so just Google Dr. Justin, JustInHealth, blood sugar, and immune system and that video will come up and I talked about that study of the 100 grams of glucose inhibiting the immune system, you know, up, over a day or so, and that’s kind of a big deal.

Evan Brand:  Yes, it is.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, so on that note, let’s kinda dig in a little more to what the immune system is.  So you have kinda 2 branches to the immune system.  You have the Th1 which is cytotoxic part of the immune system.  This is like a–if we look at the Armed Forces, this is kinda like the Navy Seals.  This is like the–the Delta Force, the Army Rangers, the people that go into that area when it’s hot first. That’s the Th1 and the Th2 is the humoral.  That’s the antibody-based immune system.  So like the Th1 is like our CDA, like our natural killer cells.  They go in there and they get at it first and then our Th2 immune system, this is like our antibodies.  These are like our–the infantry or the people that come in after the fact to really provide the extra defense.  Now regarding the analogy and equating it to the Army and stuff and the Navy, this is like the infantry or the–or the–the troops that come in later on.  With our immune system, these are like our antibodies.  IgA is a–a powerful antibody.  This lines our nasal tract, our oral cavity, it lines our throat, it lines our gut, urinary tract and/or vaginal canal.  So this provides a really good line of defense against invaders.  So IgA is a big one.  IgG is gonna be like our delayed immune reaction.  This is why people tend to start getting better after about 7 days, because that IgG takes about a week to kind of mount an attack.  So the IgG comes later.  It’s a little bit slow getting to the fight.  IgA is there a little bit more acutely and it lines all of those mucosal barrier systems, and then IgM is also another acute system as well that is a–is really important for mounting that acute attack.

Evan Brand:  I’ve heard for some reason, every time I hear somebody talking about Th1 and Th2, I always hear about people that are really sick–I’ve heard this at like Paleo conferences–a lot of people are Th2 dominant as opposed to Th1.  Why is that?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, people, you’re saying Th2 dominant?

Evan Brand:  Yeah, every time I hear somebody talking about Th1 and Th2, everybody is like, “Oh, I’m Th2,” and they act like it’s so much, so much more of a big deal.  I just don’t fully understand.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I’ve actually heard it the other way around, that it’s more Th1.  Like people that are more Hashimoto’s and stuff, that’s the most common autoimmune condition, that’s Th1 dominant.  But I mean, all of this–a lot of this is hyperbole to me because you have 2 branches of your immune system and the Th1 part of the immune system, this is gonna get boosted up more with like our herbs, like Echinacea, Golden Seal, medicinal mushrooms like Chaga or Reishi or Cordyceps or Coriolus, right?  So like they’ll–those are more like immune stimulators, kinda so to speak.  Also like Astragalus, I think I said Echinacea, Elderberry, these are more Th1.  Then your Th2 stimulators tend to be more antioxidants.  These are like resveratrol, turmeric, curcumin which is, you know, basically turmeric, green tea, right?  More of our antioxidants tend to be more on the Th2 side.  Now for me a lot of people are autoimmune and they tend to have one of their immune system branches as polarized, meaning there’s a shift.  It’s either higher Th2, lower Th1 or higher Th1, lower Th2.  So kind of think of it as like a seesaw.  The healthier your immune system is, that seesaw is kinda in the middle.  And the more unhealthy it is, one side is really up.  So imagine like, a heavier person on the seesaw and then a lighter person, right?  You get that major skew.  The lighter person is way up in the air and the heavier person is down on the ground and vice-versa.  So we wanna keep balance.  So looking at things if you’re sick, I don’t really put that into account.  I don’t really take the Th1 or Th2 into account that much.  My goal is if someone’s starting to get sick, I want the Th1 system to get revved up because that’s really the acute system that’s getting the–the Navy Seals, the Delta Force, the Army Rangers out to mount an attack.  And conventional medicine pretty much ignores the Th1 immune system, right?  Vaccines don’t work off Th1, they work off Th2.  They make antibodies, right?  That’s the protective, you know, the protective so-called antibodies that you get from vaccinations, but Th1, you don’t get any Th1 benefit from vaccinations and actually, there’s research that say that like that seesaw, right?  That vaccination may actually upregulate that Th2 and what happens to the seesaw if one side’s going up really high?  The Th1 can go down on the other side.  So–

Evan Brand:  Yeah, and sickness occurs.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, and again, you want that Th1.  You want your–your Navy Seals ready to go.  So that’s why I’m a big fan of medicinal mushrooms and some of these herbs that either stimulate the immune system or they can actually help provide killing of the bacterial or viral–viruses that are coming in there like, for instance, the polysaccharides and the triterpenes in some of the mushrooms like Reishi can deactivate viruses.  That’s powerful.  Taking like a colloidal silver can be a really good viral killer, right?  Those are really nice and then some of the things like astragalus can actually improve Th1, also improve your B cell production as well.  Echinacea as well.  So again that’s why the herbs are powerful because they really take into account the Th1 branch of the immune system that conventional medicine totally ignores.

Evan Brand:  Yup.  Yeah, I knew it didn’t change our action plan in terms of understanding Th1, Th2 necessarily but I’m glad that you were able to clear that up because it gets confusing quick when you dig deep into the inner workings.  But then when you zoom out and you say, “Oh, we need these herbs and these mushrooms.”  That’s–people are like, “Oh, thank God, it’s simple.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, absolutely.  Absolutely.  And again, looking at like the flu vaccine, I’m not a fan of that flu vaccine.  There’s been some research on it.  The Cochrane Collaborative did a full study on this, a meta-analysis, and the study was done by Dr. Thomas Jefferson.  I always remember his name because he’s like a president, right?

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   But he–he did the study a–a while back looking, I think, at 15 different meta-analyses and I’ll read the conclusion here in just a second, but really it was–it’s found ineffective and the take home message was that I’d say about 90, upwards of 85 to 90% of people that get flu-like symptoms, they aren’t actually even caused by the flu.  They’re caused by other viruses that mimic flu-like symptoms.  The paramyxovirus, adenovirus, rhinovirus, etc.  So most people that think they get the flu, they really have some kinda other virus.  So now if a vaccine is specific to a strain of flu and they figure out what strain to use by looking at what strain of flu hits the Asian countries because they’re one season ahead of us and 70% of the time, they get it wrong, I mean, you really have a small percent of chance that they even get the right flu virus, but then what if you get exposed to one of these viruses that’s not even the flu, right?  You’re not gonna be protected, but the nice thing about these herbs is it’s non-specific.  It’s not like, well, this is good for only this infection.  It’s good for boosting your immune system and things like silver are anti-viral just generally speaking, which is great.

Evan Brand:  I’ve been astragalus for the last 3 or 4 months just because and I feel–I feel great from it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, astragalus is great.

Evan Brand:  It’s not–it’s not–it’s not extravagant in terms of how I feel but I just feel–I feel sustainable in terms of my health.  You know how sometimes you can just feel yourself like, “God, I’m really burning myself out.  This is not good.”  You know it’s not good inside of you, but you’re still pushing because you’re growing your business or whatever it is.  I haven’t felt that way.  I felt like, “Huh.  I’m okay right now.  I’m not the Titanic.  I’m–I’m gonna make it to the other side of the ocean.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, absolutely.  And just reading the study here on the flu vaccine, the author’s conclusion there–Thomas Jefferson was influenza vaccines have a very modest effect in reducing influenza symptoms and working days lost in the general population including pregnant women, and no evidence of association between influenza vaccination and serious adverse offense was found in comparison,” and they looked at 90 studies.  So again, really insignificant regarding its effects on helping people with the flu.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, so that’s important for me because we wanna upregulate people’s immune function.  So let’s kinda run down a couple of things off the bat.  We talked about medicinal mushrooms.  I’m a big fan of Reishi.  I also like Cordyceps.  Chaga is good.  Coreolus is good.  These are some good ones.  I’m switching right now from Reishi to Cordyceps because of its adaptogenic adrenal effects.  So I’m just switching here.  So the next one–

Evan Brand:  Now let me ask you this.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Let me interrupt you here.  Are you noticing any serious energy improvement?  Because I know cortisol is typically used a lot for endurance athletes and I know the Chinese were using it during the Olympics and that was one of their secrets.  Do you notice a significant energy yourself?  Because I–I personally haven’t.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You haven’t noticed?

Evan Brand:  Not like extreme.  I mean, I’ve only been taking it here for a couple of days but I know it’s probably a bit more of like a tonic effect.  What–what do you notice from specifically?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, with the–the mushrooms, I mean, I notice more of a tonic effect.  I know the research on it is robust, especially in these Asian countries, they do–it’s–it’s part of the culture a lot of times.  So they’ve done a lot of research on it and I understand the research.  I mean, I have a book right in front of me on my desk.  I’ll show it up on the Skype. It’s called The Health Benefits of Medicinal Mushrooms and it talks about how to restore immune function, improve outcomes of serious illnesses, cancer, kidneys, liver health.  I mean, I’m looking at studies here where they’re citing like using some of these herbs to help organ transplants, right?  I mean, this is powerful stuff.  I mean, in this country, we just use immune suppressive drugs and corticosteroids, right?  But in other countries, they’re using a lot of these mushrooms.  So I don’t notice a huge benefit just in general but if I do get sick, I never get sick, and when I do, I recover super fast.  I never have to take a day off work or seeing my patients.  So that’s a good thing and you know, I operate at a high level.  So my goal is to keep operating at that high level.  So it’s hard to notice a big difference when you’re already at that high level.

Evan Brand:  Right.  I know.  It’s kinda like you’ve broken the meter already, so if you come back down into the meter’s range, you may feel something but otherwise, you’re not.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, and I wanted to just come back to that flu vaccine thing.  I’m gonna read you that part of the study.  This was profound for me.  It said, “Over 200 viruses can cause influenza.  At best, the vaccines may only be effective against influenza A and B which only represent about 10% of all circulating viruses.”  So that’s big because annually the World Health Organization estimates which viral strain should be included in the next seasons.  It’s kinda like, I said, they use the Asian countries to–to predict.  So you can see only 10% of those viruses are actually gonna be the flu-like viruses.

Evan Brand:  That’s–that’s crazy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I know it is.  So getting back to the immune system, we talked about medicinal mushrooms, so I think you can’t go wrong with Reishi.  I like something that’s at least 4% standardized triterpene, you know, the extract at least 4% triterpene content, at least 10% polysaccharide.  That’s the–

Evan Brand:  Are you doing capsule?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I like–I like the capsule.  Yep, I do.

Evan Brand:  I’ve been using–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Any comments on the mushrooms at all?

Evan Brand:  I’ve been using Aloha Medicinal for them.  Now I know that they do grow some of their stuff on sorghum, I believe.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Evan Brand:  I can’t remember specifically, but they–they have an organic mushroom operation.  It’s just always such a debate.  You hear so much crap in the mushroom world of quality and, “Oh, mine’s wild-crafted,” and it’s just–it’s hard to find good quality but I’ve had great results so far with that one.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s great, really good.

Evan Brand:  What do you use?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I use a couple.  I use some by MycoHerb.  I like MycoHerb a lot.  Mushroom Science is one.  I think it’s JBL.  Their–their private practitioner line from Mushroom Science.  Really good.  Really good mushrooms.  I like Myco–Myco Sci–MycoHerb right now.  They’re out at Santa Cruz.  They’re a really good company.  I like them, too.

Evan Brand:  Now is that a liquid?  I think I’ve seen that one.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  No, that one is a capsule.

Evan Brand:  Oh, okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Evan Brand:  Maybe I’m thinking of another thing that you’ve told me about before.  I think–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, there’s another one by a company.  David Winston’s company, Herbalist & Alchemist.  It’s called Seven Precious Mushrooms.  That’s a liquid extract that’s really powerful, too.

Evan Brand:  That–that sounds awesome.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, that’s a good one, too.  But mushrooms are a great, you know, resource to all to your medicine cabinet.  Now nutrients, too, like Vitamin C is a real powerful nutrient. Anywhere between, you know, 4,000 to 8,000 milligrams or 4 to 8 grams is powerful.  Typically, you can just go up to bowel tolerance.  It’s a pretty good standpoint when you tap out your vitamin C reserves.  You just get loose stools kinda like with magnesium and that can be powerful because that Vitamin C docks on to our receptor site right in that lymphocyte.  It helps it gobble up more of those bacteria or crud more efficiently.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, and I say if you’re gonna go with Vitamin C, do you use a mixed form that’s gonna have your calcium–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Flavanoids–

Evan Brand:  And ascorbates–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Your flavonoids, your magnesium ascorbate, things like that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, like an Ester-C or a good bioflavonoid mix with the hesperidin and the rutin, and the–the–the acerola extract.  I carry one on my site that’s–that’s very good, too.

Evan Brand:  Cool.  Awesome.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Next, let’s dig in.  Zinc is really powerful.  Again, 50 mg of zinc a day can be good.  I mean, if you’re eating really good Paleo nutrients, good animal products, some nuts and seeds and such, maybe even some oysters.  I mean, those can be phenomenal sources of zinc.  Again, you can always do a zinc tally test. We’ve talked about this before. A zinc tally test is, I think it’s zinc chloride or zinc sulphate, one of the two.  It’s one of the liquid–

Evan Brand:  I think sulphate, yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Zinc sulphate.  You take a shot of it.  It’s really cool when you go to Paleo parties.  You do your shot of zinc sulphate.  Yeah, but there’s no real buzz with it.  But the overall goal is that you just see how good it taste, how good or bad it taste.  The–the more, the faster it tastes better, the more zinc deficient you are.  The faster it tastes tart or sour or metallic, the less you need.

Evan Brand:  I–I’ve told people that it tastes furry when you drink zinc before.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, it can taste furry like you’re chewing on like a copper wire or something.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  I–I’ve had it before where I’ve been so deficient where it tasted just like water until I swallowed it and then I started to taste it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  So I’ve definitely had a history of zinc deficiency.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, when we go out to the Bulletproof Conference, we’ll have to pre-game with our zinc sulphate to get ready.  What do you think?

Evan Brand:  Sounds good.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So, the zinc’s a real powerful one.  Zinc’s important for the immune cells.  It’s important for hydrochloric acid.  It’s an important precursor for sex hormones.  So I like zinc.  Vitamin A is also very important.  Dr. Jonathan Trites lectured on vitamin A as–as an anti-viral benefit.  And we do liquid vitamin A with patients that are, you know, have a viral infection and we can combine it with vitamin C as well.

Evan Brand:  To me, I–I also always stress on the importance of vitamin D.  The average American is in the mid 20s or 30s anyway with their vitamin D level because they’re inside and they cover up their skin too much.  So always wanting that vitamin D level minimum 50, I like 70.  If you have cancer or something like that, then you should be even higher but vitamin D is so important and I think that’s part of the reason why people get sick in the winter because that level gets even low, lower than it already is.  It’s already dangerously low–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  In most people.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I’m gonna do a shot of vitamin D right now, while you’re–while you’re talking about it, Evan.

Evan Brand:  I’m guessing–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  But–

Evan Brand:  You’re gonna be taking 5,000 IU right now.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I’m probably gonna be taking about 30,000.

Evan Brand:  Oh, wow.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, it’s 2,000 a drop.  It’s my Emulsify vitamin D, that’s 2,000, so I do like about 10 drops, about 20,000 units.  But I’m ready.  My immune system is revved up.  One of the protocols I give my patients for acute vitamin D dosage is we’ll actually do a thousand units, thousand IUs per pound of body weight for up to 3 days.  So for myself, I’m 200 pounds.  So I would do 200,000 IUs which, you know, for that I think that’s–that would be, see here, 2,000 divided by 200, so that’s about like, do the math, that’s a hundred drops.  So you do that over the course of a day, do that for 3 days in a row, and that really revs up your immune system because vitamin D upregulates this anti-microbial peptide known as ca–cathelicidin.  Say that 3 times fast.

Evan Brand:  I don’t think I can say it one time fast.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I know.  And that the anti-microbial peptide and it–it can gobble up viruses and gobble up intruders.

Evan Brand:  Yeah and–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It’s also–yeah, go ahead.

Evan Brand:  I wanted to interrupt you because you did the–the good way.  You did the tincture for people that, you know, were not recording these videos.  Maybe we should.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That we will soon.

Evan Brand:  Alright, so you did the liquid.  Now if you to your conventional mainstream health educator, they’re gonna give you–if they ever even consider giving you vitamin D, they’re gonna give you a little crappy tablet that has so many fillers and binders–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  50,000–

Evan Brand:  It’s 50,000–yeah, it’s garbage.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Vitamin D2, it’s ergocalciferol, not cholecalciferol.  They synthesize it via lanolin in the lab, right?  The vegetarians and vegans love it, but it’s–it’s not–because it’s not animal-based but again, it’s not the natural vitamin D3 you get from outside.  And just to be clear, vita–getting sunlight vitamin D is even better because you get all these different–these other vitamin D compounds that come along with the pre-vitamin D3 that’s made on your skin.  But let’s face it, it’s just not gonna be practical in the fall.  It’s not gonna be practical in the winter months.  So we gotta have another strategy so vitamin D3, liquid; I like MCT-based vitamin D3.  That’s super helpful and that also helps increase the T regulatory cells and the T regulatory cells, they kinda come in there and like balance out the Th1 and Th2.  They come in there and they have like a modulatory effect.  So we talk about adaptogens a lot, helping to modulate stress and immune function.  Well, think of vitamin D as a modulator on your immune system, on that Th1 and Th2 seesaw.

Evan Brand:  Uh-huh.  Actually, I’ve seen at Now Foods, they have a vitamin D that’s a cholecal–calciferol.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  That’s from lanolin, so apparently now they can make D3 from it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, wow.  Interesting.  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  It comes with a vol–extra virgin olive oil.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Huh.  Got it.

Evan Brand:  As the filler, if you will, for the soft gel.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s better than–than most.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I like that.  So vitamin D is really important.  Vitamin C is really important.  Vitamin A is really powerful.  I mean, you can do up to 75,000 units of vitamin A and 6-8 grams of vitamin C is really powerful pack that you can do if you get sick acutely.  I like that one.  The Vitamin D at that acute dose of 100,000–I should say 1,000 units per pound of body weight for 3 days is powerful as well.  We talked about the medicinal mushrooms.  Silver is great.  I’ll anywhere between a teaspoon, you know, 3-6 x a day to help knock out any viruses and I’ll even gargle with it and hold it in my throat if a bit if this–my throat’s feeling a little icky to help clean out maybe infectious debris that’s kind of bound on to the mucosal tissue.  I like that.  Anything else you wanna touch upon for the listeners?

Evan Brand:  Well, the adaptogens, there was talk about the mushrooms and stuff can be–be considered adaptogens.  But if you’re taking something that’s gonna take the load off of your adrenal glands, it’s a side effect that’s gonna boost your immune system, too.  So when I–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Cordyceps.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so when I start feeling like crap.  If I’m taking say some mushrooms, I may add in something else to that such as Rhodiola.  I really enjoy it just because sometimes the winter months in general are just depressing with that lack of bright light, so I like the mild anti-depressant effect from Rhodiola but then I feel a good endurance boost just overall for life’s vitality.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I totally agree.  I’m a huge fan of adaptogens as you’ve known, I’ve gotten on this soap box many times.  I mean, right now, I’m–I’m on a combination adaptogens with Rhodiola.

Evan Brand:  What did you take today?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  A combo.  Rhodiola, ginseng, eleuthero, and ashwagandha.

Evan Brand:  Cool.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  My–my basic combo.  Some days I’ll focus on one of the other, I mean, I love it.  Life’s just a little better with an adaptogen and I can deal with stress a little bit better, too.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So adaptogens, I think, are–are powerful.  And in my blog article back, it–a couple years ago called Why You Keep Getting Sick and How To Boost Your Immune System–we’ll put that in the show notes–that’s a powerful article that kinda gives you all the nuts and bolts what we’re talking about today.  So on that note, the next thing I would do is astragalus.  Astragalus is really awesome herb and I do that, you know, 3 to 4 hundred milligram capsules and I’ll do that every hour or two when I’m acutely sick to really upregulate my immune system.  I’ve been well.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I’ve been using–I’ve been using Lucky’s Market.  It’s very rare for people to have Lucky’s Market near them but they have a great private labeled organic astragalus that I’ve–I feel great benefits from.  So that’s what I’m taking.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, that’s a really good one, too.  We talked about the ginger tea.  We talked about the mushroom, the silver.  Echinacea.  Echinacea angustifolia is great.  Huge fan of that.  That’s a–has a really good immune-boosting benefit.  And again I like the purpurea part as well as the angustifolia part.  I do both, because Echinacea also ha–has many different kinds.  So I do the aerial and root parts.  Both because you get a lot of the active benets–benefits in the root, in the purpurea part.  So just be mindful of that.  Make sure you get one that’s powerful amount of alkaloids.  The alkaloids are like the active compounds so you wanna make sure the alkaloids are higher and then make sure it’s purpurea re–roots, not just the Echinacea angustifolia, especially the flower, that’s not gonna have as much  active components.

Evan Brand:  Yup.  I think that–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Anything else?

Evan Brand:  Covers it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Alright.

Evan Brand:  I think that’s a great summary of immune support.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay, so what’s the take away.  So if someone’s like, “Crap, Evan and Justin, you just went over my head, you guys talk too much, you bored me out.  I’m–I’m 25-30 minutes in, what’s the take home?  Like, what would I do here?”  I would say for–my take on things off the bat would be, just cut the sugar and the crap out of your diet and make sure that’s good.  If you’re under a lot of stress, do your best to modulate the stress or get some sleep, too, because that immune system requires a lot of rest and that’s part of the reason why when you get tired–or when you get sick, you get tired because the immune system is sucking up a lot of energy.  So if you get tired, when you’re sick, listen to your body.  Get an extra couple of hours of sleep that will allow your immune system to recharge and then on top of that and you got the diet and the lifestyle, you’re adding some protein, you’re adding some bone broth, take a look at 2 or 3, maybe even 4 of the supports that we talked about.  Vitamin D and vitamin C, I think, are a really good staple.  And then pick an herb or a mushroom and add that in at a therapeutic level and really get your immune system upregulated.

Evan Brand:  I have nothing to add.  That was great.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You gotta add something.

Evan Brand:  Alright, let me add something.  Do some bone broth.  If you’re scared of putting capsules in your mouth, which sometimes if you don’t do the research and you just take something because we told you to, I wouldn’t do that.  Definitely do your own homework and stuff first and look into these things.  But everybody could go to the store and buy pre-packaged organic free-range bone broth now.  It’s available for like $2, the brand Pacific.  They even have a bison bone broth.  It’s amazing.  I haven’t–I haven’t had it yet, but it’s amazing that that exist and I bought some and I have it in the pantry, so I might do that today.  That’s the next thing.  Do the bone broth and–and keep up with it.  Good glutamine, other different nutrients inside of there.  It’s–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, lot of glycine.

Evan Brand:  G–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Lot of glycine, too.

Evan Brand:  It’s real food, just stick with the real food.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And there’s nothing better than like curling up on a couch with little bit of bone broth and little sea salt on there and just sippin’ it.  Man, it’s just like–like heaven on Earth.

Evan Brand:  It’s meditative, that’s for sure.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, totally.  Like I did a little ginger tea before bed last night, that was very like restorative for me, but tonight, I think I’m–I’m inspired now to do the bone broth tonight.

Evan Brand:  That’s cool.  You just need a little furry bunny blanket now.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  One of those Huggies, right?

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it.  Cool.  Alright, Evan.  Great talk.  Hope everyone enjoyed listening at home and we’ll back next week.

Evan Brand:  Alright, take care.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Thanks.

Evan Brand:  Bye.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Bye.


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