As we continue to live in the ‘COVID’ world we see more and more information coming out that continues to confuse us. When the World Health Organization recently stated “asymptomatic people cannot transmit the virus”, they got immediate push back from the scientific community and retracted that statement, makes you wonder doesn’t it?
What I want to share with you today is kinda deep, so hang in there with me! I know some of you have already been tested for the COVID antibodies. Now we are seeing some research that shows that those tests may not be accurate.
Your Four Antibodies
There are four types of antibodies that each have a different function: IgM, IgG, IgA, and IgE. Generally, IgE is responsible for classical allergy symptoms (many of you know what this feels like). IgA are particularly important for protecting the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, mouth, and gastrointestinal tract. In the immune response to an infectious disease, IgM usually appears first. IgM is followed by IgG and IgA, with occasional contributions from IgE. I imagine this in my mind like the emergency response, first 911 call, EMS from fire responds. Then an ambulance shows up and sometimes you might get transported to the hospital.
Current antibody tests for COVID-19 test only IgM and IgG, and assumes that IgM represents a recent infection. While IgG will represent a recent or distant infection. IgM comes first, followed by IgG. IgM disappears rather rapidly, while IgG stays elevated for a very long time.
Are We Testing the Right Antibody?
A preprint IgA dominates the early neutralizing antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 by French researchers, found things work completely differently with COVID 19.
In the first week, there are nearly twice as many people who are positive for IgA to the COVID protein than those who are positive for either of the other antibodies. IgA continues to be most prevalent in the second week. It’s almost as prevalent as IgG in the third and fourth weeks. IgM is never the most prevalent and it drops off in the fifth week just like IgA . Only IgG remains prevalent in the fifth week.
IgA antibodies were five times more effective than IgG antibodies at neutralizing SARS COv-2. This is the coronavirus that causes COVID-19!That suggests that during the major period when the virus is being fought off, it is IgA antibodies against the spike protein that offers the most important defense in people who produce them effectively.
This also suggests that the existing antibody tests are based on false assumptions. IgA, rather than IgM, should be used to indicate a recent infection. The authors suggest that we may even be able to use saliva samples to test for IgA against the virus. This would be especially useful for home testing.
So……should you be tested based on this latest information? I know many of you are curious if you’ve been exposed. I would wait a while to see if this recent research study changes the way we test.
Is there a nutritional strategy to get a better IgA response? You betcha!
Avoid vitamin A deficiency.
A vitamin A deficiency compromises the production of flu-specific IgA during flu infections.
IgA are particularly important for protecting the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, mouth, and gastrointestinal tract. They are very dependent on the amount of vitamin A in the body!
Vitamin A has always been one of my “go-to” supplements for immune-boosting and cold and flu prevention. I’ve often been asked about vitamin A toxicity. The RDA upper limit for Vitamin A is 10,000IU daily. When considering an immune-boosting program I’ve often recommended quite a bit more than that for short periods of time (2-3 weeks). If someone is extremely immune-compromised we can go longer. Remember, vitamin A is “fat-soluble” and stores in the body so short bumps in dosing can help the body store up vitamin A for future use.
Synthetic vs Natural
When I was first introduced to nutritional supplementation by a clinical nutritionist over thirty years ago. I was educated on “natural vs synthetic” supplements and how the body responds. It still makes total sense to me that we would want to use supplements that are “from nature”. That is what our body was designed to use from our dietary sources.
There’s been a flood of supplements that have come on the market in the last thirty years. The majority coming from a man-made source, easy and cheap to make. The most common synthetic form of Vitamin A is “palmitate”. Vitamin A in its natural form is actually a large group of natural compounds. Natural vitamin A only comes from animal sources. The truly natural dietary supplement forms usually are from fish oils. Think Cod Liver Oil, grandma had it right!
Now, I know you’re running to see what’s in your multi-vitamin and/or your vitamin A supplement. The question is “do we utilize any of the synthetic A?” Yes, about 30%, but remember, it’s fat-soluble so you don’t “pee” it out. It stores in the tissue and has to be eliminated by our detoxification pathways. I will often tell my clients “don’t throw it out, use it up and make a better choice next time.”
With this latest information on testing, the continued concern about exposure, and the possible “second wave” of COVID-19 it’s still good to keep those immune systems tuned up!
Stay well my friend,
P.S. Have you gained a few ‘quarantine pounds?” Our next 10 Day Detox starts July 13th, we would love to help you release a few pounds, gently detox and learn the power of natural, whole foods to boost your immune system. Learn more HERE