Immunity Deep Dive Part 2

Immunity Deep Dive Part Two

Coronaviruses produce a two-phase infection, and each has to be treated differently. In phase one, the immune system is activated by inflammatory cytokines like IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α. Think of these chemical messengers as a blaring alarm, activating an army of immune cells to fight the invaders .

In this stage, immune support can be really helpful. This includes all the things you know: hydrate with pure water, rest, lots of brightly colored fruits and vegetables, garlic and onions, and no refined sugar. And some things you may not know: supplementing with Vitamin C, vitamin D, Vitamin A palmitate, zinc, magnesium, medicinal mushrooms, elderberry, echinacea, omega 3 fatty acids, olive leaf extract, selenium – sorry if I’ve forgotten your fave immune compound, but you get the picture. In phase one, you hammer immune support and monitor your condition with a thermometer and a pulse oximeter.

Every home should have these two devices. The thermometer (thermoscan or conventional) measures your body temperature. The pulse oximeter ($29 at Amazon) measures your heart rate and blood oxygen level. You want your percent oxygen saturation (PO) to be above 95% A reading below 90% or a fever above 102 means its time to seek medical help.

If you’re not feverish and your PO is over 95%, and you have optimal levels of DHEA (a hormone intimately involved in the immune response) you will recover in 3 to 5 days.

If you have other health problems, especially heart or lung disease, or you’re obese, over 65 with very low levels of DHEA, you will probably move to phase two, which includes impaired lung function, a severe cough, sinus and nasal congestion, weakness, fatigue, impaired sleep and a persistent fever. People in phase two should seek medical help and may be hospitalized,

Hospitals are great for monitoring your condition. They can provide breathing treatments, pain management, IV fluids and can manage co-infections including bacterial and fungal complications. But with coronaviruses, phase two often includes body aches, which can indicate something called cytokine storm. The blaring alarm that mobilized your immune system via production of inflammatory cytokines… has continued and now poses another risk. These same cytokines are now causing inflammation in your joints, muscles and airways. Unfortunately, the conventional go-to response is prednisone or a related drug. These steroids rapidly reduce inflammation but they also suppress immunity, and that is the razor’s edge that can determine the outcome of the infection.

The good news is that there are natural plant-based anti-inflammatories that do not suppress immunity. I’ll discuss those in Part Three tomorrow. But since you are not about to get those in a hospital, there is another important step you can take. We have known for decades that the immune suppressing effect of prednisone can be minimized by co-administration of DHEA. You can instruct your doctor to measure your DHEA sulfate level. Even if you are not going to be treated with a steroid, this is vitally important information. Keep in mind that you will most likely be in the normal reference range; but that merely indicates the amount of DHEA sulfate in the blood of people your age. Research strongly supports an optimum range – where there are remarkable immune benefits – of 300-450 mcg/dL for men and 200 to 350 mcg/dL for women. With a serious infection, it is very likely that your blood DHEAS will be in double digits, which in my opinion is catastrophic. DHEA can be supplemented orally and if micronized, is highly bioavailable, delivering much needed immune support within hours. If your doctor needs scientific support for your decision, please download my e-book, The Case for DHEA available for free at


1. Pathogenic human coronavirus infections: causes
and consequences of cytokine storm and immunopathology
Rudragouda Channappanavar & Stanley Perlman. . Semin Immunopathol (2017) 39:529–539 DOI 10.1007/s00281-017-0629-x

2. Arginine, glutamine, and DHEA reverse the immunosuppressive effect of prednisone during gut-derived sepsis
Gennari, Roberto MD; Alexander, J. Wesley MD.
Critical Care Medicine: July 1997 – Volume 25 – Issue 7 – p 1207-1214

3. Treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus with dehydroepiandrosterone: 50 patients treated up to 12 months.
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4. Emerging roles of PPARS in inflammation and immunity
Raymond A. Daynes & Dallas C. Jones
Nature Reviews Immunology volume 2, pages 748–759(2002)

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