The book “Covid and Post-Covid Recovery: DoctorVee’s 6-Point Plan” by Dr. Vishakha Shivdasani offers some practical strategies on how to improve immunity, including a 6-point plan to fight Covid-19.
Using the same principles of healing that have helped thousands of her patients reverse chronic lifestyle diseases, Dr. Vishakha Shivdasani (popularly known as DoctorVee) has developed a new protocol on how to expedite recovery from COVID-19, reduce the chances of post-COVID complications and recover from them.
The book has vital information on the symptoms, recovery and effects of contracting the virus and tips on how to build immunity. This protocol also works on new Covid strains that are emerging. The book recommends exercise, a dietary regime, meditation and breathing techniques.
Read an excerpt from the book below.
It is a well-established fact that the elderly do not respond to immune challenge as fully as the young as immune function declines with age. Also, the elderly exhibit an increase in incidence of chronic low-grade inflammation— called ‘inflamm-ageing’—which results in decreased response to vaccination.
It is, therefore, important for everyone to implement the lifestyle changes that I’ve recommended below, especially for the elderly as they require maximum protection from the vaccine when compared to other age groups.
Let’s look at some important but less spoken about factors that may help the antibody response:
1. Improve your sleep
Studies have shown that less than six hours of sleep has been linked to a lower immune response to the vaccine. It is the duration, and not just the quality of sleep, that seems to matter here.
Pro tip Make sure you get adequate sleep for a week before you take the vaccine.
2. Take probiotics
A beneficial effect of probiotics has been reported for responses to some vaccines like diphtheria, hepatitis A, oral poliovirus vaccines (OPV), etc.
Pro tip Supplement your diet with probiotics. It will help improve the health of our gut, which we know houses 70 per cent of our immune cells.
3. Stop smoking
Smokers have shown to have a lower antibody response to vaccines like hepatitis B in some studies.
Pro tip A no brainer. You shouldn’t be smoking, vaccine or otherwise. Try weaning off cigarettes by using nicotine gum/patch.
4. Quit alcohol
Alcohol has been seen to influence the response to some vaccines like the pneumococcal vaccine.
Pro tip Alcohol also disrupts the deeper state of sleep which is when the body heals and repairs itself. The deeper phases of sleep, known as REM, are essential for a proper immune response. It is prudent to avoid binge drinking 45 days after vaccination and completely abstain for three days before and after vaccination.
5. Tackle acute and chronic stress
Many studies report a negative association between chronic stress and lower antibody response to vaccines.
In the elderly, a positive mood on the day of the vaccination is associated with higher antibody response to certain vaccinations.
Pro tip Try meditation, yoga and breathing techniques mentioned in the earlier chapter to de-stress. Have magnesium and melatonin at night if stress is interfering with your sleep.
6. Increase zinc in your diet
Zinc can improve the antibody response after vaccination, thereby improving the outcome of a vaccine.
Pro tip All non-vegetarian proteins are high in zinc; vegetarians can opt for a bowl of sprouts, legumes, or a handful of nuts and seeds every day. A few weeks before taking the vaccine, consider starting a zinc supplement.
7. Eat protein
Vaccines, as we know, work by stimulating the release of antibodies in the body through the adaptive immune system. Since antibodies are made up of proteins, a protein deficiency can actually prevent the vaccine from functioning optimally. This is especially true for the elderly, as their protein intake tends to be lower. Vaccines are also potentially less effective in stimulating an immune response in people who are undernourished.
Pro tip Include a form of good quality, bioavailable protein HarperCollins with every meal like egg, meat, or sprouts.