What The CDC Isn’t Telling You
The Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 has caused a concerning increase in COVID-19 cases across the U.S. We are now seeing scores of breakthrough infections where the fully vaccinated contract the virus. New mask recommendations and mandates, cancellations, and restrictions are becoming the norm. Here we go again—just when we thought this was about over.
What we are quickly learning is getting vaccinated will not put an end to our concerns about COVID or any other infectious disease. What everyone seems to be ignoring is the effectiveness of a vaccine depends not only on the vaccine, but also on the health and characteristics of the person being vaccinated.
Ohio State University researchers reviewed 49 vaccine studies conducted with humans over the past 30 years. They found that stress, depression, loneliness, and poor health can negatively affect the body’s immune response to vaccination. Being obese can reduce the effectiveness of a vaccine by as much as 50%. Chronic stress can reduce the effectiveness of a vaccine by as much as 50%. And getting as little as four hours of sleep for just one night can reduce immune response by as much as 70%.
We want a vaccine to save us from a pandemic, but many of us participate in a lifestyle that negatively affects a vaccine’s ability to produce an immune response.
The obesity rate in our country is 42.4%. One-third of us eat fast food on any given day. The average American eats only one serving of fruit and only one-and-a-half servings of vegetables every day. At the same time, most of us eat about three pounds of added sugar a week. We spend about ten hours a day sitting and two and a half hours daily on social media. Only 60% of us get enough sleep, and we spend about three hours and seven minutes each day watching TV.
The message we keep getting from the CDC and NIH is get vaccinated, wear a mask, wash your hands, avoid large crowds. There is no messaging from any major health organization telling us to take responsibility for improving our health as an effort to improve the effectiveness of a vaccine. There is also no messaging telling us that living an unhealthy lifestyle can significantly decrease the effectiveness of a vaccine—it can.
No wonder we are seeing so many breakthrough cases. A vaccine just won’t work very well if you eat crap, get no physical activity and stress yourself out continuously with TV and social media.
A vaccine will not end this pandemic until Americans start taking responsibility for their own personal health. We want doctors, drugs, and vaccines to save us. They can, but not very well when we don’t do our part to save ourselves.
Our government and all its associated agencies keep telling us to do our part and get vaccinated. I’m not against vaccines—I’m very much in favor of them—but they won’t save us if we don’t do our part by living a healthy lifestyle.
Here is a list of the most important things you can do to improve your immune response to any virus, whether you are vaccinated or not.
Get at least 7 hours of sleep every night. There is an overwhelming amount of evidence that getting six hours of sleep or less will dramatically compromise your immune system.
Eat four servings of fruit and two servings of vegetables every day. There are more than 25,000 disease fighting compounds in fruits and vegetables, most of which we still don’t understand. If you want to live a long, healthy life, take advantage of nature’s medicine chest every day.
Reduce stress. Walk daily, meditate, get outside, practice your spirituality, and unplug from the digital world as much as possible. Too much stress can rapidly compromise a healthy immune system.
Avoid all processed foods. Sugar, industrial seed oils, and grains should be avoided at all costs. All these substances will increase inflammation, which will disrupt your immune response.
Strength train once a week. The strength of your immune system is directly tied to the strength of your muscles. The stronger you are, the stronger your immune system will be.
I’ve checked the major public health websites. There is no messaging anywhere telling us to take responsibility for improving our health in addition to getting vaccinated. Given a chance, the human immune system is very strong. It’s allowed us to survive thousands of viruses over millions of years. I’m not against getting vaccinated. But our species has survived for millions of years based on the strength of our immune systems.
Do your part: get 7 hours of sleep, eat tons of fruits and vegetables, reduce stress, stop eating crap, and strength train once a week.
Stay Strong and Healthy,