One of the most popular weed-killing products used today is glyphosate, commercially sold as Round-Up. There is a lot of controversy about this chemical, including potential cancer risks. However, did you know that glyphosate may also promote aging? A recent study looked at how glyphosate and its metabolite aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) affects DNA and gene expression, also referred to as epigenetic changes. Glyphosate’s metabolite AMPA “was associated with greater epigenetic age acceleration.” Both Glyphosate and AMPA were found to be “associated with DNA methylation differences that could promote the development of cancer and other diseases.” https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP10174 Manually pulling weeds may take more time, but the benefits include getting some exercise and stress reduction found from interacting with the earth. However, if spraying weeds is more your style, then consider using a 20% vinegar solution. Vinegar dehydrates the weeds without dehydrating your DNA!
Dr. Rodgers had the pleasure to interview two personal coaches: Lori Dodson of Empowered Abundance and Blaine Bergeson of Bergeson Leadership Services. They both help people be their best selves. We sat down to discuss why coaches may be key to accomplishing life goals. Lots of wisdom provided! Listen to our conversation HERE
As the last vestiges of winter depart, Leaving us looking forward to warmer weather and longer days, We must also look to the health of our sinus and bronchial passages. Spring flowers embrace us with beauty and fragrance, but We may also become coated with POLLEN.
Here are some suggestions to remain snot, cough, and fatigue-free during the allergy season.
Masks. Face Masks can reduce your inhalation of pollen. Consider a mask when pollen counts are high, when walking in windy weather, cleaning up the garden, or during fire smoke season. For chemically sensitive individuals, a N95 or equivalent standard mask can reduce unexpected exposure to fragrance.
You may also want to download any weather app that has pollen count info.
Keep windows closed at night. We spend 6-8 hours nightly in a relaxed breathing state. This is a great time for pollen to enter our breathing passages and create havoc! Keep your windows closed to help reduce pollen inhalation.
Air Purification. An air purifier can reduce pollens that sneak in when your door or windows are open.
Use a damp rag to reduce pollen on your indoor/outdoor pet’s coat. Animals that spend time outside may bring in pollen on their coat. A damp rag over your pet’s coat may reduce invasion of pollen into your home.
Supplementation. Vitamin C and bioflavonoids such as quercetin may help stabilize mast cells that produce the histamine that will make your nose miserably drippy.
Herbs. Nettle leaf as tea or tincture may help also stabilize your mast cells. Caution, nettles may also act as a diuretic (increase urine flow). Do not use Nettles if you currently take any cardiovascular medications without first consulting your medical provider.
Know your food sensitivities? If you know you react to certain foods, now is the time to avoid these foods diligently. If you don’t know if certain foods increase inflammation, now is the time to find out. Dr. Rodgers offers methods to help you identify your food sensitivities.
Glenda Bell, LMT of Radical Lymphatic Therapy describes why taking care of our Lymphatic System is so important.
Lymphatic Massage helps clear toxins from the body and support the Immune System. it is an excellent technique to move toxins from breast tissue, decrease inflammation before and after surgery, and perhaps even re-set emotional trauma.
Avoiding Covid means reducing physical exposure to the virus. Other articles explore the Immune Strengthening Strategies to reduce getting sick once exposed to the virus.
3 main strategies have been shown to help reduce Covid exposure.
Avoiding Exposure to the virus. Avoid crowds and unmasked individuals. Creating pods of friends who maintain good virus avoiding strategies.
Block the virus from getting into your sinuses and lungs. This includes a physical barrier over the ports of entry. A mask covering your nose (port of entry into your sinuses) and mouth (port of entry into your lungs) can greatly reduce virus particles from entering your body. N95 masks or equivalent type of masks are significantly helpful to reduce viral exposure.
Cleaning the Air that may contain virus particles. A HEPA or ULPA HEPA air filter can trap viral particles.
HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air. HEPA will trap 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns and larger in diameter.
ULPA HEPA, (Ultra Low Particulate Air) will trap 99.99% of particles 0.12 microns and larger.
The SARS CoV2 virus is approximately 1 micron in size.
Both HEPA and ULPA HEPA filters are good at removing small particles like viruses. Most viruses are carried on larger particles like vapor and will be stuck to the filter. Electrostatic charge can also reduce viral loads in the environment.
A word on ozone emitting filters. Ozone can inflame the respiratory tract. Avoid ozone emitting devices due to possible damage to the lungs. (Medically prescribed ozone is used in a different mechanism than that generated by air filters.)
A HEPA or ULPA HEPA air filter is also very handy during poor air quality days, such produced by fire smoke.
(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
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.
People who had an Covid-19 infection may benefit from vaccination as well but may only need one vaccination injection. [v],[vi]
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
Hormone balance can greatly affect immune function. 3 hormones are very important in this process.
Dr. Rodgers provides the following tests for her patients.
Thyroid hormones. When the thyroid system is not functioning properly, the innate immune system may not function optimally[i]. Innate immunity is the part of the immune system that is always functioning to reduce infection. Innate immune cells include natural killer cells (NK cells), white blood cells, macrophages, and other immune cells such as dendritic cells.
Cortisol Cortisol is an important stress hormone produced in the Adrenal glands. Cortisol reacts to stress by raising blood sugars, activating the immune system, and triggering the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines (inflammatory signaling molecules). Chronic stress can dampen the feedback system that helps to reduce cortisol production.[ii] Chronic cortisol release may lead to chronic inflammation, resulting in a reduced immune response when needed.
Testing cortisol levels: A diurnal rhythm test of cortisol and cortisone (cortisol’s storage form) can be helpful to determine the daily total amount of cortisol and if there are high and low points of cortisol release during the day. A diurnal rhythm test is usually collected from urine or saliva samples.
AM Cortisol. If a diurnal test is not available, an early morning blood draw can be helpful. Obtain the blood sample as early in the morning as possible, before 8 AM.
Vitamin D Vitamin D has a significant role in supporting immunity. Vitamin D helps to regulate innate immunity. Vitamin D influences the immune system in the digestive tract, the location of majority of immune cells. Vitamin D may also be a key nutrient to reduce inflammatory cytokines.[iii]
Testing Vitamin D levels: A simple blood test can determine Vitamin D levels.
Retesting. Testing 3 times a year for several years may be helpful to determine your levels during high and low sun exposure months.
Test results low: If you have low Vitamin D levels. Please ask your prescriber how much Vitamin D you need to raise your Vitamin D levels. Also ask for a re-test of Vitamin D 6 weeks after you start supplementing. A re-test will determine if the therapy was successful.
[i] Montesinos MDM, Pellizas CG. Thyroid Hormone Action on Innate Immunity [published correction appears in Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2019 Jul 19;10:486]. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2019;10:350. Published 2019 Jun 4. doi:10.3389/fendo.2019.00350
[ii] Morey JN, Boggero IA, Scott AB, Segerstrom SC. Current Directions in Stress and Human Immune Function. Curr Opin Psychol. 2015;5:13-17. doi:10.1016/j.copsyc.2015.03.007
[iii] Sassi F, Tamone C, D’Amelio P. Vitamin D: Nutrient, Hormone, and Immunomodulator. Nutrients. 2018;10(11):1656. Published 2018 Nov 3. doi:10.3390/nu10111656
Patients with any brain dysfunction such as ADD, ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia, Processing disorders, Concussions, Traumatic Brain Injury, Vertigo/Dizziness, Chronic fatigue, or neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, and Multiple sclerosis usually struggle on a daily basis.
Dr. Spencer Zimmerman of Idaho Brain and Body Institute discusses the treatments options he offers to help patients relieve suffering.