Chronic Stress vs Natural Immunity

1 Comment22 December 2021

Chronic Stress vs Natural Immunity

In the early 1980s, psychologist Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, & immunologist Ronald Glaser, were intrigued by studies that linked stress and infection. For a decade, they studied medical students finding that the students' immunity went down every year under the simple stress of the three-day exam period, exam takers:

> Had fewer natural killer cells, which fight viral infections.
>They almost stopped producing immunity-modulating  gamma interferon and, infection-fighting T-cells responded only weakly to stimulation.

For stress of any significant duration - from a few days to a few months or years, as is happening now - all aspects of immunity went downhill. Thus long-term or chronic stress, through too much wear and tear, can literally ravage the immune system.

The rhetoric against COVID is 100% driven by instilling fear and stress. In light of the most recent variant - Omicron the approach is shockingly one dimensional, “get jabbed” -  is this REALLY the only way?

The current vaccines have indeed been found to be highly effective against symptomatic and severe disease outcomes with the ORIGINAL COVID-19 virus as well as the Alpha variant. Then the language and landscape changed, with modest reductions in vaccine effectiveness against infection and mild disease with the Beta variant and a waning of protection several months after a primary course has been observed with the Delta variant.

How long can we expect this effectiveness to last? Let’s “follow the science”,   a study out of the UK shows a worrying trend; among those who had received 2 doses of the Pfizer vaccine effectiveness was 88.0% 2-9 weeks after dose 2, dropping to 48.5% at 10- 14 weeks post dose 2 and dropping further to between 34 and 37% from 15 weeks post dose 2.

So, does it make sense to ramp  up the fear factor which damages our natural  immune response, insisting on getting a booster,  with an old injection with what are probably even more weakly neutralising antibodies at best, with no data on how long these antibodies will last and further lining Pfizer's pockets ? 

Director General of the World Health Organisation; Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus today on the 22nd December says " No country can boost its way out of a pandemic;  blanket booster programmes are likely to prolong the pandemic rather than end it" 

Would it not make more sense to provide immune support to naturally fight and protect ourselves from Omicron, which seems thankfully like a  nasty cold/ flu, and the many other variants that will surely follow. 

Our natural immune defences are directly impacted by lifestyle choices:

Stress, Sleep, & Sugar

a.​ ​Stress: cortisol and adrenaline, causes apoptosis (cell death) of NK cells and infection-fighting T-cells 
b.​ ​Sleep: adequate, deep sleep is shown to reduce inflammation and increase infection-fighting T-cells 
c.​ ​Sugar intake that’s excessive will drive higher insulin levels, driving inflammation and weight gain that drives more inflammation. 

So, rather than bang the one trick pony drum of lining  up for boosters No 3, 4, 5 , 6 ......... let's address these three impactful areas of our environment; stress, sleep and diet. Stopping lining big pharma's pockets and put that money into communities to improve their nutritional choices. 

The fear factor, driven by the BBC and all  media in the UK hijacks our amygdala, a part of the brain associated with emotions, impulses, aggression and instinctive behaviour. No airtime is  given or indeed “allowed”  to critical thinkers and presentation of the other side of the COVID coin, which would feed our prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex is where thinking and reasoning happen. 

When you sense danger is present, your amygdala wants to activate the fight-or-flight response immediately. However, at the same time, your frontal cortex is processing the information to determine if danger really is present and the most logical response to it. 

When the threat is mild or moderate, the frontal lobes override the amygdala, and you respond in the most rational, appropriate way. However, when the threat is strong, the amygdala acts quickly. It overpowers the cortex - and irrational behaviour wins out! 

The problem with the constant fear rhetoric, driven by our heavily biased mainstream media (a certain radio presenter on Radio 2 at lunchtime is one of the worst offenders!), we are now a nation of being in utter fear, canceling social events, not hugging our loved ones, trapping our kids in 10 days isolation, for what seems to be a nasty cold/ flu. 

It’s Time for a more Creative Approach 

For those that become infected with Omicron, there is plenty  that can be done to manage and mitigate its severity, I have guided numerous clients since the beginning of December, that have  rested and healed  following key diet, lifestyle and nutraceutical approaches as set out by Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance:

It is time for proactive and supportive measures, not mandates and passports. To state again, there is no doubt that the current vaccines have been highly effective against severe disease outcomes with the original COVID-19 virus as well as the Alpha variant but this is not where we are now.  We need to build our natural defences, vaccination is not our only weapon and we should not be held to ransom to them either. 

Nor is driving fear of lockdowns, travel bans, school closures and social restrictions that batter our mental health - drive down our natural immune responses and create a downward spiral that makes us more vulnerable to infection!

Let's get creative, and harness all the information we have a year on, to protect our NHS and nation with at home interventions. It’s time to move society from being submissive and fearful to one that is proactive  and  to a greater degree taking responsibility for their own health status. 

That means informing and empowering our nation, with what other options there are that are known to effectively combat infection by SARS-CoV-2 and build our natural immune defences, not deplete them with stress and isolation. 

This document by the World Council for Health needs to be the blueprint to a country that looks after their bodies, becomes responsible for their lifestyle choices and in the process  protects its' NHS.  Giving proactive advice on helping "us"  to change our diets and use nutrient supplementation to help more people live healthier and get into the driving seat of their own health. Improving individual health will ultimately reduce pressure and demand on a healthcare system that’s on the verge of total collapse due to the overwhelm of largely preventable and reversible chronic disease such as type 2 diabetes, on top of the last almost two years of pandemic. 

This, is truly integrated, responsible and creative medicine. 

In health,

Tanya x