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Pre & Post Your Injection – How to Support Your Body

What supplements should I take before my vaccine and how to support my body after?

With a global push for the majority of the population to receive their injections to help manage the pandemic, by far, this is the most common conversation I am having currently in my clinic. The reality is, there is a lot of information out there and it can be hard to navigate.

There is so much fear and fear mongering about the pandemic and how the virus and indeed the vaccination will affect you. I want to arm you with information based upon the research to help support you in moving forward over the coming months.

Answering these questions is BIG and opens lots of cans of worms, so I have spent the last few weeks watching webinars, reading widely on this topic and speaking with colleagues about the best approach to take.  

To be clear before I start, this is not a debate for and against vaccine. You are entitled to make your own informed choice.  Do your research on how the virus works and how the vaccination works and decide for yourself.  I encourage you to think deeply about your choices.  We are in a brave new world, you may well be making a decision based on a new framework. Mandatory vaccination are a very real possibility.  

Internationally the goal for vaccination rates are above 70-80% to assist us with life getting back to some kind of normal. In Australia the push is on for as many of us to be vaccinated as soon as possible with daily updates. 

My area of focus is how to support your body in the lead up to and post your vaccination to get through it well and have an optimal immune response to the vaccine. In order for a vaccination to be effective, your body needs to have an acute immune response in order to produce immunity.  Without this the vaccination has minimal effect.  There are many factors that influence how well your body responds to a vaccination.

Factors that affect efficacy of a vaccination

  • Age 
  • Overweight/obesity
  • Stress
  • Smoking
  • Lack of exercise
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Inflammation
  • Poor microbiome balance (gut health)
  • Lack of quality sleep
  • Environmental factors including chemical exposure
  • Allergies and sensitivities
  • History of auto immune disease or impaired immunity

Your immune age which is influenced by all of the above.   Now some of these we can have minimal impact on in the short term lead up to vaccine, you have had a lifetime to create some, but others are modifiable and able to be supported. Luckily there are a number of nutrients plus dietary recommendations to help support your system in its response to the vaccination.

My Nutrient Super Hero’s pre and post vaccination

Vitamin C – Vitamin C facilitates the innate and adaptive immune responses by enhancing NK cell activity, stimulating white blood cell production and function.

Zinc – Zinc is a powerful antioxidant and is involved in several aspects of immunological function including differentiation and proliferation of T & B cells, NK cell activity. 

Vitamin D  –  Vitamin D to modulate innate and adaptive immunity, necessary to illicit a strong immune response to acquire vaccine immunity and increase host resistance to infection.Vitamin D also has a role in DNA methylation.

Vitamin A – Vitamin A is involved in the development of the immune system and plays a regulatory role in cell immune response. Vitamin A maintains the health of epithelial cells of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tract, which function as the front line of defence against pathogenic invasion.

Glutathione  – Glutathione is a potent antioxidant and also important for healthy immune system function. It helps in protection of immune cell integrity and activity via both antioxidant processes and by inhibiting the cell damaging effects of complement system proteins. Glutathione also promotes the synthesis, proliferation and activity of natural killer cells, T-cells, lymphocytes and dendritic cells. 

Probiotics  – Probiotics induce cellular immunity in phagocytic and NK cells, and promote IgA secretion into saliva to enhance vaccine effects. A meta-analysis of randomised control trials found that probiotic interventions, including Lactobacillus paracasei, administered for 2 to 28 weeks improved seroconversion and seroprotection rates to influenza vaccines (including H1N1, H3N2 and B strains).

Diet and Lifestyle Support

Anti Inflammatory Diet  Focus on a whole food anti-inflammatory diet or Mediterranean diet approach in the lead up to your vaccination.  These foods contain high levels of fibre and nutrients. I have attached a food list for you. An anti inflammatory diet is based on whole foods – fruit, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds and reduce inflammaging and provides key nutrients for immune function.

Minimise intake of inflammatory foods and beverages – Processed foods, trans fats, refined carbohydrates, alcohol, sugar all cause inflammation and accelerate immunological ageing. It’s all the food you know you should be eating less of.

Include pre and probiotic foods in the diet – These support gut microbiome and digestive function.  
Prebiotics – garlic, asparagus, leek, dandelion root, artichoke and onions
Probiotics – yoghurt, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, kefir

Reduce Stress – excess stress accelerates immune ageing. Stress reduction techniques such as meditation, counselling and nutritional & herbal support can help (seriously, let chat stress support). 

Ensure a good nights sleep – Sleep plays a key role in immune regulation. Lack of sleep is associated with impaired immune function and inflamaging.  This is especially important the nights before your injection and after. You need at least 6 hours sleep the night before your vaccine. A 70% reduction in immune response is noted with poor quality sleep.

Nature & Outdoors –  Regular exercise is a great way to support your immune system.

Pre-vaccination support 1-2 weeks before vaccine

Pre Vaccination support should commence ideally 2 weeks before your scheduled vaccination.  If you don’t have 2 weeks, the sooner the better (you need to contact me asap).  Your health history plays a role in what nutrients are right for you. 

Post Vaccination Plan Your chosen nutrients will be continued from before your first dose and after your second dose. You will take these for 2 weeks after completing your vaccination schedule.

Nutrition is not a one size fits all model of care. Each person needs to be assessed to choose the right combination of nutrients and dosages. If you would like to discuss your plan please book an appointment.

Stay informed, and stay up to date.

Has this blog post helped you?

Please feel free to send it to a friend. If you need help with a personalised plan please book an appointment with Cindi today.

About Cindi

Cindi Young is a leading Gold Coast/Mullumbimby Naturopath with over 20 years experience helping people live happier, healthier lives with a special interest in hormone, preconception health, fertility and weight loss programs. Available by appointment for online, or face to face appointments at The Cycle of Life, Robina, Gold Coast, QLD and Mullum Integrative Health in Mullumbimby, NSW. Book your appointment today.