(Please note: This is a highly simplified explanation of one part of the complex immune system.)
Antibodies are one part of our adaptive immunity and are formed to combat specific pathogens, such as viruses, bacteria, or parasites, including the Covid-19 virus.
When exposed to a pathogen, the adaptive immune system starts figuring out what the pathogen is and makes an antibody to that specific pathogen. These antibodies reduce the ability of a pathogen to function and present the pathogen to other immune cells that further inactivate or kill the pathogen.
For example, every time you get the flu or a cold, your body makes antibodies for that specific virus. Children get more colds than adults because they are being exposed to these viruses for the first time. Over time, the child builds a “library” of antibodies that they use to respond to pathogens quickly if re-exposed. Most adults have a large library of antibodies that reduce their risk of getting ill again.
The reason we have a cold for 7-10 days is because it takes time to mount a full immune response. It is hard to speed this process up. Supplements, herbs, and a low inflammatory diet may reduce the severity of a disease, but the time it takes for the body to react to a virus is similar for everyone. If one has the antibody to a virus in the library, the body may resolve the infection before a full immune response is needed.
Covid-19: A Sneaky Genius
The sneaky genius of Covid-19 is two fold:
- The word ‘Novel’ when describing the Novel Corona Virus refers to its debut to the world’s population. As humans, we are all like children in that we are experiencing this Corona virus for the first time. Our immune reactions are like that of children: new.
- Covid-19 has an ability to inhibit the initial innate immune response, increasing significant inflammation, and potentially slowing or stopping the communication needed to build antibodies[i],[ii],[iii],[iv]. If you’ve had Covid-19, you created antibodies to the virus, but slowly.
Out-Sneak Covid-19: Use an Antibody Super Booster
The vaccines developed following Covid-19 epidemic allow the body to create antibodies before an infection occurs. The vaccines have the blueprints from mRNA to help a cell manufacture a portion of the virus’ spike protein that is then presented to the immune system. (These mRNA blueprints do NOT integrate into your DNA and are destroyed by the body after 72 hours). The adaptive immune system does not know that this spike protein is not a real threat, it only knows that is it a foreign object and must be responded to. Anti-covid-19 spike protein antibodies are then manufactured and are ready to quickly deploy the next time a spike protein enters the body, i.e., as the full virus.
The vaccination process allows the body to start fighting a Covid-19 infection from the moment of infection, compared to a delayed and inflammatory response if unvaccinated.
|Type of Response to Covid||Initial Antibody Creation||Covid virus affect|
|Natural Response / Unvaccinated||Slowly – Antibodies need to be made from scratch||Covid-19 suppresses immune response, increasing inflammation and slowing down antibody creation|
|Vaccinated Response||Quickly – already in Library||Reduced – the antibodies are already in the library, ready to attack the virus.|
Some vaccinated people may still get a Covid-19 infection, but their pre-manufactured antibodies allow them a fighting chance to clear the virus before the virus has a chance to rapidly grow and cause debilitating disease or death.
Some may argue that the mRNA vaccines are not natural. An alternative argument is that these vaccines stimulate your strongest tools to super boost your natural adaptive immunity before you get exposed to this potentially deadly virus.
Besides the Covid-19 vaccines, it is important to support your innate immunity by:
- Eating an anti-inflammatory diet (reduce/avoid sugar, alcohol, and foods you know cause inflammation). Click here[vii] for more information.
- Supplement your immune system. Click here[viii] for more information.
- Develop and maintain healthy sleep habits. Click here[ix] for more information.
- Exercise daily to the level of your capability.
- Find ways to laugh and relax daily. Click here[x] for information on tools to help reduce stress and anxiety.
- Avoid toxins in your daily life such as fragrance, chemical cleaners, or pesticides that may damage your immune system. Click here[xi] for more information.
- Identify and avoid food sensitivities. Click here[xii] for more information.
If you are struggling with any of these issues, please seek care with your naturopathic physician who is trained to help you find balance.
[i] Azkur AK, Akdis M, Azkur D, et al. Immune response to SARS-CoV-2 and mechanisms of immunopathological changes in COVID-19. Allergy. 2020;75(7):1564-1581. doi:10.1111/all.14364
[iii] Chowdhury MA, Hossain N, Kashem MA, Shahid MA, Alam A. Immune response in COVID-19: A review. J Infect Public Health. 2020;13(11):1619-1629. doi:10.1016/j.jiph.2020.07.001
[vi] Ebinger JE, Fert-Bober J, Printsev I, et al. Antibody responses to the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine in individuals previously infected with SARS-CoV-2. Nat Med. 2021;27(6):981-984. doi:10.1038/s41591-021-01325-6