There’s nothing quite like a contagious disease emergency to make us all feel a little vulnerable and helpless. Faced with dire events, we hunker down, we shelter in place, and we hope for the best.
Social distancing is imperative, of course, and we’re all going to have to get used to some isolation. Believe it or not, though, there are things we can be doing that will make us not just feel a little better, but also strengthen our immune system and potentially our ability to withstand contagion and reduce its terrible effects on us.
Here’s something we should probably be doing a lot less of: sitting in the dark in our homes, binging on bad food and even worse cable TV news or Netflix content. Stress is bad for you. We all know this. Good mental health has a long and consistent association with good medical outcomes, and has even been shown to equal or surpass the efficacy of drugs or therapy in some clinical trials. So maybe turn off the bad news for a while and head for the kitchen to make yourself a bowl of oatmeal or some stir-fry vegetables and chicken. Really, it will do you a world of good.
The Health Benefits of Exercise, Sunshine and Fresh Air
Here’s something else you can do: go outside and get some exercise. Exercise, sunshine, and fresh air all have terrific benefits for your immune system. And yes, you can go outside and still easily maintain social distancing. Just sunshine alone is enormously beneficial. Our bodies need sunshine to synthesize Vitamin D. This essential vitamin is not readily available from dietary sources and a lack of it strongly correlates with increased susceptibility to respiratory diseases. (Hughes, 1)
And then there's exercise. If you're a regular visitor to our ProSource website, you already know that regular exercise is literally a life-saver. Clinical research supports a clear inverse relationship between moderate exercise and illness risk. Regular exercise improves immune regulation, has an anti-inflammatory influence, and helps improve metabolic health. (Niemana, 2)
You can also put down that quarantine comfort food and start supplementing to help support muscle mass, cardiovascular health, and immune response. All three of these markers of good health play key roles in both preventing the onset of disease and reducing the severity and duration of symptoms. We've already mentioned Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, and Vitamin C may literally be a lifesaver. Long associated with its role in helping reduce the effects of colds and flu, Vitamin C helps support the production of white blood cells (lymphocytes and phagocytes) which protect against infection. People with pneumonia tend to have reduced Vitamin C levels, and Vitamin C supplementation may shorten recovery time.
Omega-3 Fish Oils: Versatile Super-Nutrient From the Sea
And finally, that brings us to Omega-3 fish oils. There are decades' worth of scientific investigation into the heart-health benefits of essential fatty acids (EFAs) and a lot of it is very encouraging. In fact, a review paper published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition summarizing published research articles supported the premise that consuming fish oils rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and its important precursors, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), may positively impact cardiovascular health.(Breslow, 3)
Researchers have found that supplementing with Omega-3's may increase levels of "good" HDL cholesterol and may reduce blood pressure in people with elevated levels, even when taken in small doses.(Minihane, 4) The American Heart Association currently recommends that everyone eat oily fish, particularly the deep-sea cold-water fish that are the best source of this invaluable nutrient, two times per week. The World Health Organization recommends a daily intake of 0.2–0.5 grams (200–500 mg) of combined EPA and DHA. Omega-3's have also been linked to anti-inflammatory properties, diet support and even cognitive support.
But what about support of immune function? Here, too, the science is very promising. Researchers have long known that supplementation with Omega-3s can have anti-inflammatory effects, which may help prevent disease. They just didn't know why. Recent science is uncovering how this process might work. Research published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology suggests that DHA-rich fish oil may enhance the activity of white blood cells known as B cells, enhancing B cell activation and select antibody production, which in turn supports immune responses associated with pathogen clearance.(Gurzell, 5)
In a more recent pilot study published in 2018 in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, researchers recruited 34 obese men and women and had them supplement with olive oil or high-DHA fish oil concentrate, then measured their circulating plasma B cells (or white blood cells). The researchers concluded that supplementation with high-DHA-fish oil concentrate was associated with enhancement of plasma B cells that stimulate antibody production.(Guesdon, 6)
Choose a Superior Fish Oil Supplement
While it makes sense to increase the amount of Omega-3s in your diet, doing so isn't always easy, especially if you're not particularly fond of sardines, mackerel, and herring. Supplementation makes things easier, but commercially available Omega-3 formulas vary widely in terms of actual EPA/DHA content, purity and potency. Indeed, most common supermarket-shelf Omega-3 products are made from inferior sources and usually offer lower potencies.
Fortunately, ProSource has you covered. ProSource Omega-1250 is molecularly distilled from deep sea, cold water fish sources. Both the process and the source serve to ensure the purest, most potent fish oil possible. As a result, Omega-1250 contains an ultra-potent 750 mg of Omega-3 fatty acids, standardized at a highly bioavailable 450 mg of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and 300 mg of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) per single softgel capsule. These values are significantly higher than the WHO-recommended daily values for EFAs. You simply cannot find a better health-reinforcing Omega-3 product in softgel format than the potent and best selling Omega-1250.
In these trying times, enhancing every aspect of your health and well-being is of paramount importance. Get outside, get some exercise, and take your Omega-3s. And, as always, be safe out there!
1 D A Hughes and R Norton. Vitamin D and respiratory health. Clin Exp Immunol. 2009 Oct; 158(1): 20–25.
2 David C.NiemanaLaurel M.Wentzb. The compelling link between physical activity and the body's defense system. Journal of Sport and Health Science
Volume 8, Issue 3, May 2019, Pages 201-217.
3 Breslow, JL. n-3 fatty acids and cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr, 2006. 83(6 Suppl): p. 1477S-1482S.
4 Minihane AM1, Armah CK2, Miles EA3, Madden JM3, Clark AB4, Caslake MJ5, Packard CJ5, Kofler BM2, Lietz G6, Curtis PJ4, Mathers JC6, Williams CM2, Calder PC7. Consumption of Fish Oil Providing Amounts of Eicosapentaenoic Acid and Docosahexaenoic Acid That Can Be Obtained from the Diet Reduces Blood Pressure in Adults with Systolic Hypertension: A Retrospective Analysis. J Nutr. 2016 Mar;146(3):516-23. doi: 10.3945/jn.115.220475. Epub 2016 Jan 27.
5 Eric A. Gurzell, Heather Teague, Mitchel Harris, Jonathan Clinthorne, Saame Raza Shaikh, Jenifer I. Fenton. DHA‐enriched fish oil targets B cell lipid microdomains and enhances ex vivo and in vivo B cell function. Journal of Leukocyte Biology, Vol. 93, Issue 4, April 2013, pp. 463-470.
6 W. Guesdon et. Al. Effects of fish oil concentrates on ex vivo B cell responses of obese subjects upon BCR/TLR stimulation: A pilot study. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, March 2018, Volume 53, pp 72-80.
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