More than 6 months ago was when our reassuringly
mundane lives werefirst transformed and turned topsy-turvy by a pathogen.
An invisible enemy is ravaging the globe,
mercilessly killing thousands of people and the global economy simultaneously.
COVID-19 has instilled fear in the hearts of
mankind and doesn’t seem ready to back off any time soon. As this global
pandemic rages on, the trending buzzword for the new decade is undoubtedly – robust
immunity, not ordinary pre-COVID-19 immunity.
Immunity, along with safety measures like
handwashing and the use of masks, is what is touted to be the only thing that
can save our lives now. Everyone is running helter-skelter adding so called
immunity boosters to their daily diets in an attempt to feel safe from this
Be it simple things like drinking turmeric
milk on an empty stomach in the mornings or more complicated ones like chemical
supplements that promise to tone up the “immunity army” within our bodies in
preparation for war on the virus, pretty much everyone has advice to offer on
what works best to “boost” your immunity.
But are immunity “boosters” really the
solution we should seek in these trying times? What about people with a genetic
predisposition that causes their immune systems to go into overdrive at the
What could happen to them if they try to
“boost” their immunity unaware of the implications?
Inflammatory diseases, for instance, are a
group of diseases caused by an overactive immune system. It includes a vast
array of disorders including asthma, autoimmune disorders, coeliac disease,
allergies and so on. What happens in a person who has an immune system with the
tendency to overact is that,it ends up attacking the body’s own tissues instead
of the foreign material.
Immunity and immune responses in each
individual are genetic and depend on several factors. It is fine-tuned and
adheres to a delicate balance that works for each individual differently. This
is precisely why dust mites can trigger an asthma attack in one person while it
doesn’t for another.
What does this mean in the COVID- 19 scenario
wherein everyone is stocking up on immune boosters?
It is vital at this point to note that a
leading cause of death among people with COVID 19 is called cytokine storm. It
is a severe immune reaction in which the body releases too many cytokines into
the blood too quickly. Uncontrolled levels of cytokines lead to
hyperinflammation that could prove fatal.
A healthy immune system is characterised by
balance. It should know what to react to and when it should or shouldn’t react.
It is this discernment that our life depends on, given the millions of pathogens
that live inside and around our bodies at all times. The immune system is
extremely powerful. So powerful that, if not well regulated, it has the power
to kill you in a matter of seconds.
Immunity certainly is the need of the hour. While
immune boosters aren’t the ideal way to go about equipping oneself in facing
the pandemic or any disease for that matter, there are ways to help your immune
system stayin balance.
Unfortunately for many, they are habits and
not magic pills.
Two such habits that help in maintaining
balance in your immune system are adequate sleep and lower stress levels.
Stress and lack of sleep are two factors that have been proven to impede the smooth
functioning of our immune system.
Another aspect, alongside immunity, that one
needs to take note of in these times is lifestyle diseases. The presence of
more than one such disease in the same person leads to the unwelcome condition
called Comorbidity. Potent micro-organisms tend to have a field day if the
person it has infected has any such comorbidities.
This is why comorbidities have been identified
as another main culprit behind over 75-80% of COVID- 19 deaths across the
world. These include lifestyle diseases like diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular
disease, hyper tension, autoimmune diseases etc.
How many of us know how to protect ourselves
from lifestyle diseases?
Yes, exercise, a healthy diet and other such
positive changes are definitely the means to go but are they enough to protect
us from every lifestyle disease out there? How do we know which ones we are
A whopping 90% of lifestyle diseases are
genetic in nature which means a genetic predisposition test like the Viegenome
test can help us identify the diseases each person is more susceptible to. The test
covers more than 200 such health conditions and identifies the specific ones
you are at risk of being affected by.
To add to thatthe Epigenetic Lifestyle
Modification(EPLIMO) provides a complete lifestyle modification plan based on
your genetics and metabolic conditions, which can empower you to take charge of
your health and protect yourself from these diseases.
This along with the added benefits of a
healthy immune system translates to increased protection from not just COVID- 19
but also any other such hurdle that may come our way in the future.