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January 17, 2022

How to build a strong immune system with Dr. Robert Lahita

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Now more than ever, we see the need to have a strong immune system. On episode 521, Dr. Robert Lahita (Dr. Bob) and I discuss his book, Immunity Strong.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:20.850] – Allan

Hey Ras, How are things going?

[00:02:22.980] – Rachel

Good Allan, how are you today?

[00:02:25.030] – Allan

I'm doing all right. Made it through the new year. Getting into this year. We're recording this. We're just getting into the new year. But now we're into January. And so this is kind of a busy time for a lot of people that are trying to change things. This is kind of the season. January tends for a lot of people to be a season of change, a season of renewal or season of doing something different to try to make the next year even better. But I'm guessing that some of the folks listening to this also probably already quit some of the resolutions, some of the things that they started because that's kind of the long tail of this is that people just start dropping off week three, week four, week five. The gym's packed in January.

[00:03:10.830] – Allan

In fact, the first day we were open this year was one of the busiest days we've ever had. And you and I are talking. It's not even half over, and we've already had more guests and more people sign up in the first 4 hours of being open than we would normally have in a whole week. So, yeah, this is the time that people get started. But I'm just here to encourage you to keep going. Keep going. You're on the right track. If you're moving forward, you're on the right track. Keep moving.

[00:03:41.250] – Rachel

Absolutely. Please keep moving. I think about this time of year. It's quit day. There's a day for quit day. And I can't remember what it is.

[00:03:48.970] – Allan

I think it's in February. I do think it's in February, but I can just tell you from years and years of being a gym goer, it tails off. A lot of people will sign up the week before New Year. More people will then sign up in the first week, and then it just they blast for the first week, and then it just starts adding down, particularly, like I was always in early morning. I was either in the gym early in the morning or in the middle of the day.

[00:04:17.450] – Allan

So that's not peak time. I try to go. And there's not a lot of people there. And so what you would see is 05:00 in the morning as a workout time, typically on a typical day in a normal day of the year, there's three of us in there. And we all know each other. We don't know, maybe not even by name, but it's that head nod as you walk into the gym. We know it's the same three guys and one girl occasionally comes in and gets on the treadmill.

[00:04:42.230] – Allan

But that's it. And then this time of year, 10, 15 people in there at 05:00 in the morning for about a week or so. To me, it's the people that overextend. It's like, are you really going to show up at 05:00 in the morning every day for the rest of the year? And the short answer for most people is, no, that's not sustainable. And so they kind of took that non-sustainable slam of, oh, I'm going to eat salads. I'm going to do this. I'll pack my lunch.

[00:05:13.750] – Allan

I'm going to do that. I'm not going to go out. I'm not going to drink. I'm not going to over and over and then boom, one thing goes south. It all just crumbles because it wasn't sustainable.

[00:05:23.350] – Rachel

Oh, it's too much. It's too much to make such drastic changes across your entire life and expect to hang on to every single one. We've talked about it before. Just take one thing. One change. Make it 5:30 in the morning. Gym day, a couple of days a week. Do it at noon or at night, the other couple of days a week. I mean, spread it out. You don't have to make so many drastic changes all at once. Don't do it.

[00:05:46.440] – Allan

But you did something drastic. Polar plunge.

[00:05:49.900] – Rachel

Oh, yeah. My local run club, run caledonia run. An incredible group of really brave, adventurous people. They decided to start a polar plunge. We did it last year.

[00:06:03.540] – Allan

I have different adjectives. I have different adjectives.

[00:06:07.570] – Rachel

Yes. I can imagine. It's a little chillier up here than it might have been in other parts of the country or the world. But, yeah, we met after a run. We did a run together, and we did a polar plunge in our little Lake. Luckily, there was not very much ice this year. We didn't have to hack through it like we did last year. But, yeah, it was still chilly, still icy and snowy up here. But, yeah, it was super fun. Super cold. But it's super fun.

[00:06:34.210] – Allan

All right. Anything else going on?

[00:06:37.190] – Rachel

No, just excited. I love the new year. I love getting a new calendar. I love planning out my goals. I've got goals that will last all year, and I'm still pondering what I want to do, but I just love this. This is an exciting time of year for me, so I hope that other people find the excitement and hold on to that because that's what's going to keep you motivated throughout the year.

[00:07:00.250] – Allan

All right, well, let's have a conversation with Dr. Lahita.

[00:07:03.670] – Rachel



[00:07:51.620] – Allan

Doctor Lahita, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:07:54.610] – Dr. Lahita

Thank you. My pleasure.

[00:07:56.370] – Allan

Now, I want you to step aside for a little while. Let me talk to Dr. Bob, because Dr. Bob is sort of more on my level of actually being able to explain these things in a way that I think is awesome. Now, don't get me wrong. Dr. Lahita is cool, and I really enjoy the science, the things I learned going through the book and the hard words and just kind of seeing it all pieced together and the science, obviously. But Doctor Bob he's my buddy right now.

[00:08:24.030] – Allan

I like Dr. Bob because he talks my language. And then your book is called Immunity Strong: Boost Your Natural Healing Power and Live to 100. Again, all of that is really important to me. We've gone through a few years where talking about the immune system is pretty much a daily thing. So I think a book like this is huge. Everybody needs to read this book because we have to be the Masters of our body. We have to be the Masters of where you put it  the city.

[00:08:56.830] – Allan

We have to be the ones in control, the government of ourselves. Thank you for writing this book.

[00:09:03.190] – Dr. Lahita

Thank you.

[00:09:04.300] – Allan

Now, when you look at the immune system and we'll see things in newspapers and magazines, and someone will say, Well, this works this way because of that. We were taught germ theory when we were in high school. Maybe some people even going into biology in College or at some level, we all kind of know. Okay, there's these parasites, bacteria and viruses, and they get in our system, and some of them are actually not too bad for us, actually, maybe even better for us. But some of them are actually pretty bad buggers criminals, as you put in the book, and they're not out to kill us. But sometimes they end up doing that and just trying to live their lives the way they do or live their existence the way they do.

[00:09:50.110] – Allan

Can you kind of take your first responders view of the immune system and just give us a general overview so that someone who is reading a newspaper article can kind of wrap their mind around it, maybe just a little easier when they start throwing out beta cells and T cells and cytokines and all those things.

[00:10:09.240] – Allan

Can you kind of talk about that in terms of how our immune system basically works?

[00:10:14.590] – Dr. Lahita

Yes. So I've been explaining the immune system for many years to lay audiences, and I found over the years that the best way to explain this very complicated system, which exists in all of us. And that's what's amazing and most people don't realize is we are so complicated. But the immune system is one of the most beautiful organ systems in the body. It's a protective network, so you can go to police departments or armies, and you can see the same kind of protection set up in many layers and tiers in society, as you see with our immune system.

[00:10:53.480] – Dr. Lahita

So we have basically two kinds of response. We have what we call an innate immune response, which I refer to as the SWAT team of the body. So when you have an injury or a bacterium enters you and it is not supposed to be in you, and we'll get into that in a minute. But like a virus, like influenza or a bacterium that goes into your foot because you stepped on a nail. This is all offensive to the body, and the immune system goes to the scene of the crime.

[00:11:24.270] – Dr. Lahita

And Interestingly enough, we have lymph nodes placed throughout the body in strategic locations. I like to refer to it as the TSA of the immune system. You have lymph nodes in your groin, around your neck, anywhere where there's a possibility even around the ears, where the possibility of a breach of your personal bodily security occurs. The immune system reacts and it reacts locally, first with the innate response and then about two to three days later with the adaptive immune response. Now, your listeners, I'm sure have all heard of antibodies, the proteins in the blood that are very specific at times and affect invaders.

[00:12:09.230] – Dr. Lahita

We call them neutralizing antibodies because they go and they neutralize the criminal. I think of the invaders of the body as criminals. I go into this in great detail in the book so that the criminals that are carried away by a police Department, if you will, specific cells designed to remove criminals and take them away either whole or in pieces to the spleen. The spleen, if you have one and if you don't have one, the lymph nodes then become the place where the criminals be they whole or in part are removed.

[00:12:43.300] – Dr. Lahita

This goes on every millisecond of the day in our bodies imperceptibly. You really don't know when this is happening unless you happen to step on a nail or slice your hand with a knife or you have a tree limb fall on you. Some major trauma. The immune system then jumps into action and plays a major role in keeping you protected and alive. So that's what happens. The foreign invaders are truly criminals. These are organisms, be they parasites, viruses or bacteria that the body has never seen before.

[00:13:23.200] – Dr. Lahita

Unrecognizable. And so they are called antigens versus antibodies. Antigens are foreign invaders. Now, antigens are very serious and can kill you if your immune system is challenged either by you overdrinking alcohol, by smoking cigarettes or by having an inborn that is a genetically inherited defect in your immune response, you can die. And there are other diseases like cancer, like diabetes, like a lot of other things that can challenge your immune system and make it somewhat dysfunctional. And hence the reason for the current vaccines being given to people either 65 and older, where your immune system is beginning to wane in its strength.

[00:14:10.990] – Dr. Lahita

We can talk about that in a second. But the other thing is that if you're on chemotherapy for either an autoimmune disease or some sort of cancer that you have, like prostate cancer or breast cancer, you are at risk because your immune system is having a heck of a time trying to deal with the malignancy. But it's now also being asked to deal with a foreign invader. And people with other viruses like hepatitis C or even HIV have a tough time because their immune systems may not be able to Mount an adequate protective response for their bodies.

[00:14:47.290] – Allan

Yeah. So again, I encourage everybody to get this book. If you want to learn how your immune system works and you're reading the newspapers and seeing the press and thinking, okay, none of this makes any sense to me. Get the book because he goes through it. It is fascinating the way you put this together. Like I said, I was blown away by how simple you made it seem. It's not simple, but you put together a really good analogy metaphor, if you will, of how this all works. So it can literally take away all the jargon and just say, okay, I understand my body has a police force.

[00:15:28.000] – Allan

There's different people on the police force doing different things. They're responding in different ways. Sometimes something's going to happen that's going to kind of confuse my SWAT team and my police force, and they might actually even attack my own body, like in an autoimmune disease. Like I said to me, it was brilliant, and I really appreciate that and want people to learn this. So do that.

[00:15:52.570] – Allan

I want to take the next step because you took the next step, which is something that is important to me, because as I get older, it's like, okay, how do I stay alive and beyond just doing some practical things that we'll talk about later, you brought up a concept of what kind of keeps a lot of people alive longer than others.

[00:16:12.030] – Allan

And it was the biological soul. But we have to give full credit to your wife because she came up with the term.

[00:16:21.050] – Dr. Lahita

She's a wonderful artist. That's why she came up with that term.

[00:16:24.890] – Allan

And I love it. So tell her that. But explain the biological soul and why that's important for us to maintain our health, particularly in this environment.

[00:16:36.130] – Dr. Lahita

Today, there are very few organs that span the entire body, including the brain. The brain shares characteristics with the peripheral. When I say peripheral, I mean, the rest of your body, your arms, your legs, your ovaries, your testicles, your heart, lung, et cetera. So there are very few organs that are that extensive. One other organ might be your skin, which is widespread and injuries to the skin can be very severe and actually kill you. For example, a bad burn of a certain percentage of your body. The immune system is throughout the body.

[00:17:14.490] – Dr. Lahita

So that is what is so important and it interacts with your body, your mind, your brain directs most of the immune system and your spirit. Now, I'm not one of these alternative doctors that does all of this Hocus Pocus stuff, but I'm a real immunologist. And I would say that she's onto something with regard to the mind, body and soul. The mind, if you're depressed, if you are stressed, if you have a divorce, if you sell a house and have to move out to some place, if you lose your job, all of this affects your immune system.

[00:17:54.820] – Dr. Lahita

And we know that from actual data, it's not something that is focused and made up by me. Whether you believe in God or have a religion or whatever, it doesn't really matter. The spirituality of your body, that's the essence of who you are as a person really runs what your immune system does. It really means a lot to be healthy, to exercise aerobically. That means outdoors, if you can, but to breathe oxygen on a daily basis in a big way and to really stress your body a little bit physically, not mentally, but the biological soul permeates everything it wants you.

[00:18:35.840] – Dr. Lahita

This soul wants you to live beyond the age of 100. And we have many people who are centenarians now. And the reason for that is good healthy living. People have taken up the idea that in order to live a long time, they have to do things like yoga, keep a good diet. Many people are vegetarians. Many people take vitamins every day. Many people take care of their bones with calcium and vitamin D and so on and so forth. We now know now more than we knew 50 years ago about how to stay healthy.

[00:19:10.610] – Dr. Lahita

And there are lots of things. And that's where the soul comes in, because the biological soul, which was the original thing I called the immune system. I called it the biological soul after she told me about this. And I said, wow, this is really amazing. This is true, because when you die, your soul dies. Your biological soul dies. Your spiritual soul, if you believe in that goes on and on and on into the ethers. But your biological soul is really there to protect you. And it does so in a very amazingly complex way.

[00:19:43.450] – Dr. Lahita

And so that's why I called it the biological soul. I think a soul is a duality in everybody spiritual biological. If you're an atheist, you can still be a spiritual person. You can go out and enjoy the sunset. You can enjoy the ocean or being in the middle of a forest with nobody but you and the animals. That's what I mean by spirituality. And the soul that we have. This biological soul is there to protect us implicitly. And another point is that we're not the only ones that have these biological souls.

[00:20:16.170] – Dr. Lahita

I mean, if you go to the average mouse or rat, which we experiment with, and by the way, this is where the data on the mind body soul came from experimenting with animals with regard to light cycles and stressing mice on treadmills and other things, and seeing that their resistance, their cell populations dropped, their neutralizing antibody disappeared, et cetera. So this comes from animal work, animal research, which is very basic and is about 30 to 40 years old. So we now can extrapolate it to human beings.

[00:20:47.150] – Dr. Lahita

And so that kind of without me going on and on and talking too much. When you read the book, you'll experience that kind of voila enlightenment about your own inner workings.

[00:20:58.580] – Allan

Yeah. And I think we all know we intrinsically know that there's this connection, this thing going on with us in the world around us, the people around us, and you see it all the time. Someone retires from their job. They are 65 years old, they seem to be in good general health. But two years later they're gone, or a spouse passes, and within two years, the other spouse passes. And it's just kind of that loss of connection, loss of spirit, if you will, that now their immune system has just decided to shut down and let them terminate.

[00:21:35.630] – Dr. Lahita

Right? Exactly. And that happens all too commonly. And it is important to understand what your body is all about and what's going on inside. You don't have to be a doctor to have an appreciation and respect for your system. And there are protective networks and other species, even flies, butterflies. When I go out now I look at animals differently. I look at plants which have their own protective system as well. We all have these biological souls, which may actually philosophically be the basis of religion entirely. Whoever the Creator was has imbued all of us, even the lowest species with protection, which is pretty amazing.

[00:22:23.150] – Allan

Now there is this one creature, if you will. It's a coronavirus we now call COVID-19, and there are various variations of it that have occurred over the last two years or so, and maybe even longer, much longer. As you said in the book, I would just say 1959. I think a lot of us thought this was just going to we would get the vaccine. Most of us would take the vaccine or we would get it survive, get it die. But at some point we were talking her immunity where we were talking about this being over.

[00:22:57.290] – Allan

And I don't think any of us, if you ask me in February, March of 2020, when I was shutting down my gym that I just bought in June, I reopened in February of this year, but at the same time, if you told me this was going to happen and last this long, I wouldn't have believed it. But now it's almost like, well, this might never end. I mean, we might always have COVID-19. I think we'll always have coronaviruses and rhinoviruses and those things because they just mutate come back as a slightly different variant.

[00:23:33.210] – Allan

We get it a cold again and we move on. It's a seasonal thing, mostly. But you get that the covid doesn't seem to follow the seasons as well as most of the things we've dealt with. And it seems to have its own little world going north and south and east and west and past here and past there. And this one's scary that one's not. Is covid endemic? Is this something we're always going to be dodging and dealing with?

[00:23:58.080] – Dr. Lahita

Well, it's not endemic yet. It will be shortly. It's pandemic right now because it involves and infects so many millions and millions of people. And this new Omicron variant, which came around around Thanksgiving holidays and is undoubtedly going to spread during the mixing of the Christmas holidays, results in another rush. Now, as I said in the book, these viruses up regulate and they down regulate because that's what viruses do now. Remember, viruses are not alive. They're particles. So they get into you and they use you to really replicate, to multiply.

[00:24:40.370] – Dr. Lahita

They don't have their own spirit. They don't have their own soul. They don't even have the soul of an earthworm. An Earthworm, at least has a nervous system and has an immune system of its own. The virus doesn't. So what our immune systems are doing essentially right now is they're learning to combat this virus as they do with every other virus. Once the virus is controlled by our collective meaning, collective being the world's immune systems with the help of vaccines, monoclonal antibodies and other now new medications that are coming out that I can talk to you about, these viruses will be controlled and will become endemic.

[00:25:22.820] – Dr. Lahita

But what do we mean by endemic? They're going to be with us forever because a coronavirus not the novel coronavirus, the COVID-19, but the regular coronavirus has been the cause of the common cold for the past five or 600 years in humans. And so it's around. And this virus is a first cousin to that coronavirus. So I suspect that we will get a shot every year with the inclusion of multiple variants and the beauty of molecular medicine now, unlike 1918, during the flu pandemic is we can look actually at the RNA that lives inside of this virus and we can tell where the glitches are, where the mutations are and how to overcome these mutations.

[00:26:05.630] – Dr. Lahita

Our bodies are doing the same thing. Our protective police network doing that via T cells and B cells, which you don't hear much about. All people talk about is neutralizing antibody. Well, neutralizing antibody comes and goes and it's not present in everybody. And some people have strong responses and some people don't. But I talk about that in the book that we have our own cellular immunity, which is long lasting. It's your ability of your police Department to know who the criminals are. It's basically be on the lookout for XYZ Bolo.

[00:26:39.830] – Dr. Lahita

The police use this term. Be on the lookout. And when you're exposed to coronaviruses, some of us have immune systems that already recognize it. Even the novel coronavirus. Many of us have immune systems that don't and they have to learn about it. Vis a vis vaccines. That's what a vaccine does. It teaches your immune system to recognize a foreign invader. So that was a long answer to your question, but I don't think we're at the endemic stage yet. We're still in the pandemic stage.

[00:27:10.860] – Allan

Okay, thank you for that. Now, I like practical, which is my thing. I don't want to necessarily depend on someone else to help me. If I can do something to help myself. And in the book, you shared some tips, some areas that we should focus on to maximize what our own immune system can do for us, because I think we've seen healthier people have better health outcomes with Corona. What are some things that we should be focused on right now for ourselves to have the best immune system possible?

[00:27:44.150] – Dr. Lahita

Well, aside from mitigating the current infection, which means wearing a mask, washing your hands, etc. For the way to really handle the coronavirus and to make sure you're in tip top shape. And this goes for older people as well. People that are in their 70s and 80s is to exercise every day in some way. And number two, if you can meditate even ten minutes a day to relax your brain, remember, the brain controls the immune system, and if you're super stressed, you're going to get a horrible infection, you will recover from it in all likelihood.

[00:28:21.260] – Dr. Lahita

But you may wind up regretting that you are so stressed out so that's important sexual relationships, intimacy doesn't have to have sexual relationships. But if you do, if you can great, it can be homosexual or heterosexual. But nevertheless, there are certain hormones that are elicited within our bodies that really promote immune function. I'll just mention two of them prolactin in women in particular and in men, but less so in men. And the hormone oxytocin, which comes about from intimate relationships. And those two neurohormones are very important to immune function.

[00:29:03.390] – Dr. Lahita

Now, we have communication molecules in our bodies called cytokines. That literally means cell communication. And we have chemokines that tell cells where to go. And most people don't know this. But in that complex police Department, which in real life in New York City, for example, they use two way radios to talk and say, Somebody's been shot. I need help. Well, in your immune system, the chemokines and cytokines are released immediately by your innate immune system. Certain cells T cells. And this tells your body that there's an invasion.

[00:29:37.990] – Dr. Lahita

And when the coronavirus comes in through your nasopharynx in your nose and through your mouth, that happens, there's an alarm that goes out, and your immune system not being familiar, will try to find the novel coronavirus in its library of criminals. And if the library of criminals doesn't include it, it sets up a new response so that if you're re challenged, you're recognizing this. So what the vaccine does is it teaches your immune system that this criminal is not unique and new. You can be infected with the coronavirus.

[00:30:14.340] – Dr. Lahita

Nauseum. People say, oh, I got vaccinated, and my test is positive. Well, that's okay. You got the virus residing in your nasopharynx. You can transmit it to somebody else. If you're not wearing a mask or you're sloppy, but you're not going to get sick and die. You're not going to be on the respirator because your immune system is already familiar. It recognizes this virus, and that's what's cool. It's really cool. That's the only term that I can think of to say this is a cool way to have your own body respond imperceptibly.

[00:30:44.820] – Dr. Lahita

I might add to your coronavirus. Now, one glitch there is that we all have what's called immunogenetics. We inherit how our systems work, like our hearts, our brains. We inherit how our lungs work from our forefathers, from our grandparents, from our great grandparents and so on. So if you're unlucky to have bad immunity through immunogenetics being not so great, that could be a problem and that we usually find to be very rare. And yet it does exist out there. And, for example, to give you an example of that would be a tennis player or some guy who's an athlete who gets the coronavirus and succumbs very quickly.

[00:31:30.060] – Dr. Lahita

And that's happened. We've seen these muscular guys who are in good health. They look like the picture of health. They get the coronavirus and three days later they're on a respirator, and then five days later they die. So you don't know. The biological soul is different in each individual, and it depends on a lot of factors. But in order to keep you healthy and to boost your immune system, exercise and I don't mean marathon running or triathlon. I mean simply jogging, bicycling, getting on the elliptical for like 30 minutes every other day.

[00:32:04.840] – Dr. Lahita

You don't even have to do it daily. Get yourselves in tip top shape, lose weight. This coronavirus is fat. We've known that it's been published this week last week in The New York Times. Fat is a wonderful substrate for the virus. It likes to live in fat. It hides itself in the fat cells. So get thin, lose weight. If you never did before, now is the time to do it. Once this thing becomes endemic, we're going to see it every year. We're not going to see as many cases, but we're going to see it from now until the end of time.

[00:32:39.430] – Dr. Lahita

So that's a long wind answer to your question.

[00:32:43.550] – Allan

Dr. Bob, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest. You can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:32:53.510] – Dr. Lahita

Okay. So I mentioned a few, but the way I see staying well is to exercise. Number one. Number two, there's moderation to everything. If you like to drink wine, great. Drink on the weekends. Have a glass of wine every day every other day, but don't have a bottle a day. If you're an alcohol drinker, drink very moderately. I think exercise is incredible for those who are religious out there. And I know in Latin America, religion is important. Prayer is extremely important and very strong force, very strong force.

[00:33:33.570] – Dr. Lahita

Even if you're not a religious person. Prayer, prayer is like a way of meditation, yoga. The Chinese have it in Tai Chi and Qigong. If you've been to China and you see the people doing Tai Chi every morning or Qigong every day, you see that they're extremely healthy. They keep themselves very thin. It's a good way to live. Again, if you're a jogger jog, you don't have to do, in fact, I say in my book that the data show that if you're a runner and you run marathons or triathlons, it's actually not a good thing because it does

[00:34:09.920] – Dr. Lahita

At some point you reach a curve where your immune system begins to be oppressed by over exercising. And then, of course, relationships is very important. Meditation is important, and of course, a good diet is critical.

[00:34:25.250] – Allan

Thank you. Dr. Bob, if someone wanted to learn more about you or more about the book, Immunity Strong, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:34:34.010] – Dr. Lahita

Well, they can pre order the book on Amazon. Now, if they want me, they can go to my website, which is doctorboblahita.com, and I'm there, and they can always write to me. Send me an email. Look at me on Twitter, I'm on Facebook, and I'm on Instagram. So I have many ways that you can see me. A lot of my TV appearances talking about the book or about the immune system are out there now, and I welcome people to come and contact me. And if I can, I will personally respond to them.

[00:35:07.060] – Allan

Great. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/521, and I'll be sure to have the links there. So, Dr. Bob, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:35:17.840] – Dr. Lahita

Thank you. Thanks for having me. I really appreciate talking to you. And I hope the listeners have gained some insight into how our immunity works. And the title of the book is Immunity Strong. And I mean that Immunity Strong, the biological soul in its full force today during the pandemic.

Post Show/Recap

[00:35:43.170] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:35:45.090] – Rachel

Hey, Allan, what a fascinating interview. I really need to read this book. I am fascinated about the immune system and all its complicated workings. This is a great interview.

[00:35:56.390] – Allan

Yeah, he did an outstanding job because I read a lot doing this podcast and just other things because this topic obviously interests me. Otherwise, I wouldn't be doing it for over six years. But the immune system is one of those things where it is so critical to us staying alive. And I remember this from when I was really young. There was a movie that John Travolta was in called Boy in a Bubble or something like that. And the kid didn't have an immune system. And so he had to live in a bubble his entire life and went through all the way to his teens because I guess his parents could afford to put him in a room in a suit and things like that, which a lot of people wouldn't have access to.

[00:36:40.210] – Allan

So that's just kind of one of those things of saying. Okay, what if you didn't have an immune system? Or now we're seeing more and more with autoimmune disease? What happens if you have an overactive immune system? And so if you're dealing with autoimmune issues or dealing with leaky gut or dealing with a lot of other things that all are related to your immune system, then this is a good book to get just so you can kind of pick up on what those words are, what they mean, what is a cytokine storm and what does that actually mean?

[00:37:09.400] – Allan

And what are these T cells and beta cells and all these different things that you hear about and more and more particularly with Covid. We're hearing these terms and so kind of at least understanding it so that you're making the right decisions for yourself and for your family and making sure that you're taking care of this system because it's not something you just stop taking care of and hope for the best.

[00:37:35.570] – Rachel

Right. Well, I appreciate how he broke it down and a really fun analogy using the term SWAT team and having TSA agents kind of monitoring things. And my other favorite term, BOLO be on the lookout so that your body has its own way to be on the lookout for certain invaders like Covid or any other flu and cold and other invaders.

[00:38:02.010] – Allan

Yeah. That's why when you'll hear something like they'll say, okay, because of the nature of this variant, your body, if you've already had it or you've been vaccinated, your body is better prepared for it when it happens, because it's got that Bolo going on versus a virus like typically a cold virus, it mutates so fast that by the time you get re exposed to another round of or another variant of even maybe the same cold, it is so very different. Your body doesn't respond to it. When we get flu shots, they're not giving you one flu shot.

[00:38:38.520] – Allan

I mean, it's not one thing. It's like three or four things that they think might be, because by the time they get it manufactured, they don't know who's going to mutate several times, but they're trying to get as close as possible to a few different types of variants that they think will give you that opportunity for your body to respond the right way.

[00:38:57.990] – Rachel

It's an interesting science watching how they monitor other parts of the world to determine what kind of threats we might have here. But you know what? That's kind of like you mentioned that's almost like being on the defense, like we're waiting for something to happen. We're being responsive. But on the other side of the coin, we could be a little bit more Proactive by paying better attention to the things that we do in our normal day to day lives. That kind of protect us from these types of situations.

[00:39:24.150] – Allan

Absolutely. And that's the takeaway of this is you can be passive and let science do what science does. They'll get your shots, do your thing, avoid people, lock yourself away. But if you want to live your life, which all of us do, then we can be Proactive in the way we approach these things. So instead of being passive, we're active. And that active is exercise, eating right, getting good sleep, stress management, having great relationships. If you listen to me for any time at all, what does that go back to?

[00:40:02.460] – Allan

That goes back to just being healthy. It goes back to weight loss. And we say weight loss is sort of a side effect, while a strong immune system is a side effect of living a healthy lifestyle.

[00:40:14.370] – Rachel

Absolutely. And to have a strong immune system means that we could manage all of these different types of illnesses a lot easier when the common cold comes around every summer or the flu every winter. Pneumonia. As long as we take good care of our bodies, our bodies will respond faster to these invaders, and then we won't have the side effects or the serious illness that often comes with these things.

[00:40:40.590] – Allan

Yeah. And the thing about this that I want to put out there that I think is really important to think about is this is not a point in time. It's just going to go away. We talked about covid being endemic, and what that means is that there's probably always going to be a version of this floating around somewhere, just not a lot of it. Meaning if you come back around and surge back up and be kind of dangerous. But we're always going to be dealing with flus.

[00:41:05.190] – Allan

We're always going to be dealing with colds. And there's many cancers that are forming viruses. And if you just think back, bird flu, H1N1, AIDS, like, every five to ten years, something kind of sparks up in the world. There's almost 8 billion of us right now. So something sparks up in the world that has the potential to be just another one of these things. Now, why does it not happen? Well, because some people have strong immune systems, and so it out. And so it's just kind of one of those things of saying you do have control, get vitamin D, get outside, get some Sunshine, get some vitamin D, make sure you're eating right.

[00:41:49.720] – Allan

Which means whole foods where you're getting good energy, good vitamins, good minerals, and then exercise. Basically, it puts a resilience in your body that nothing else can. It's a hormetic effect of push yourself and get stronger. And just that work, your body is getting better. And then stress management and sleep. Those are two hard ones. Don't get me wrong. I know, because I've been down that road before, and I know that sleep is hard because we have so much to do. And I know that stress management, which was the hardest and last thing I tackled as far as I was going, was, how do I do this?

[00:42:32.620] – Allan

And I did something pretty drastic that a lot of people can't do, but just having mitigating tools and knowing that's your issue and focusing on it. So a healthy lifestyle equals a healthy immune system and a lot of other downstream effects of weight loss, more energy, better everything.

[00:42:55.260] – Rachel

Oh, absolutely. That's absolutely perfect. Great tips.

[00:42:59.710] – Allan

All right. Well, Rachel, with that I'll bid you adue. And we will talk next week.

[00:43:05.680] – Rachel

Take care, Allan.

[00:43:06.770] – Allan

You too.

[00:43:07.670] – Rachel



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