(Part 3 of 4)
We decided to sit down and have a chat with our practice owner and MD, Dr. Philip Oubre, and functional nutritionist, Aubree Steen.
We’re diving into another 4 part series. We’re diving into part 3 here, following with:
1. Our gut and it’s role in the immune system
2. Factors that suppress your immune system (this video)
3. How to support your immune system (this video)
4. The differences between COVID-19, the flu, and a common cold
Feel free to watch the video, or read our transcript below.
Dr. Philip Oubre (00:00):
Aubree Steen, FNTP (00:01):
Dr. Philip Oubre (00:01):
This is our third video of four in our immune system discussion. And so in the last couple videos, we’ve been discussing things that lower the immune system or suppress immune system and how the gut is involved in the immune system. So in this video, we’re going to talk about things that boost the immune system.
Dr. Philip Oubre (00:16):
And there’s lots of videos and people out there saying, “Oh, take all these supplements,” and we can certainly do the same. There’s a whole list of things you can do to boost the immune system. But what you want to be is you want to be precise and you want to do the things that support you the most in boosting your immune system because, ultimately, I’m a big believer that you can only swallow so many pills, you should only spend so much money on supplements. And if you try to take everything that everyone was selling you, you wouldn’t even need to eat any food, and that’s not ideal either.
Dr. Philip Oubre (00:43):
The most important thing you can do to boost your immune system, as we discussed before in the other videos, is you got to eat the right foods, you have to remove the inflammatory foods, and you have to heal your gut. In this video, we don’t have the time to go through the whole, how do you heal your gut? I’ve put together a course. We’ve put together a course on healing your gut. So go to our courses on our website, and you can look at our Gut Restoration Course. You can buy the course and learn how to reset your gut on your own. It’s the exact same protocols we treat our patients with in the office. It’s tell-all on the course and exactly how to do it and how to work with your doctor on getting those things. Almost everything is supplement, but there’s a few prescriptions in there.
Dr. Philip Oubre (01:22):
Number one thing is you’ve got to heal your gut. You’ve got to be eating the right foods. You’ve got to be taking care of your body. Lifestyle, as far as the last video, we talked about lifestyle and how to appropriately address those lifestyle issues. But we also want to talk about some of the supplements that we can use to boost the immune system.
Dr. Philip Oubre (01:37):
So one of the things we have done is we’ve actually put together a COVID Action Plan. Now, COVID is not the only issue going on out there that you want an immune system for, but of course, it’s the hot topic right now. We’ll put our link in the description, but if you go to our COVID website, you can actually fill out the form. And when you fill out the form, it’ll send you our nutrition tips, a lung tracker, our COVID Action Plan, several PDFs on kind of what to do.
Dr. Philip Oubre (02:05):
And the reason why the COVID Action Plan, we put it together, is because we were all overwhelmed of what we were recommending to our patients. Right?
Aubree Steen, FNTP (02:11):
Dr. Philip Oubre (02:11):
We were all like, “Oh, you take this,” and then they’d see the nutritionist, they said take this. And so they end up with a list of 10 supplements just for their immune system, and that’s just overkill.
Dr. Philip Oubre (02:19):
So the way we designed the COVID Action Plan is a green, yellow, red. Is, hey, if you just want to be mindful and healthy, take the green supplements as a kind of a preventative measure or an immune-boosting measure. But then the yellow zone is if you get sick, COVID or not, you can take the green supplements and they add on the yellow supplements. And of course, it gives you food recommendations and things to think about also. And then the red is, “Oh, crap, I’m really sick. I should be taking these supplements and going to see my doctor,” basically.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (02:47):
And we’ve seen a lot of really good success with this COVID Action Plan. I mean, I have a lot of college patients who got sick, and we ended up sending them the action plan. And what we would do in the office, it was great. We sent the supplements in there. Y’all can get these supplements from our Fullscript. So if you feel like, “Oh, my gosh, I’m getting sick, or I have COVID,” go through that action plan. And everyone who did it felt better. I feel like their symptoms were reduced, and then the severity of it was reduced.
Dr. Philip Oubre (03:11):
Mm-hmm (affirmative). If you don’t have access to these high-quality supplements, as Aubree just mentioned, go to our website, hit the Store button, and it’ll take you to the store, so you can buy these professional-grade supplements, because quality matters. If you’re going to spend any money, buy the one that actually has the listed ingredient, doesn’t have a bunch of fillers, or just don’t take them at all.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (03:29):
Right. And that being said, do not purchase from Amazon. And I’ll say it tenfold and every single time I’m talking to y’all. They have put out a statement, too, that they have no kind of authority or kind of control over those supplements.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (03:42):
We have to jump through hoops to get a practitioner account to be able to sell those things. So you have to think that and take that into consideration. If that we have to go through a process just to sell them and buy them ourself, you should not be able to purchase them on your own. They’re very high quality, they’re very potent, and they’ve been studied and proven for their efficacy.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (03:59):
So supplement brand and quality matters. And we’ve done a lot of research and clinical experience in the practice of what supplements actually work. So what we recommend is what we take, what we give to our family, what we give to our friends, and what we suggest over anything.
Dr. Philip Oubre (04:13):
And we get directly from the manufacturer. Because the issue on Amazon is the statement they put out is saying that there’s copycats out there and there’s no way to regulate them.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (04:20):
There aren’t, so …
Dr. Philip Oubre (04:22):
The bottle can look the same, but it’s been manufactured to look the same, and the ingredients are not the same. What specific supplements, other than fixing your gut first, eating the right foods, what supplements do you want to go over and kind of tell them that are … Or actually, before we listed the supplements, we want to talk about the elderberry controversy.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (04:43):
Yes, we do.
Dr. Philip Oubre (04:43):
The big deal with elderberry in the very early stages of COVID, they were saying, “Oh, elderberry is bad.” We did, and by we, I think Aubree did the research on elderberry and why is it considered bad for COVID and what’s the real deal.
Dr. Philip Oubre (04:56):
And so ultimately, the real deal is that we thought it might be bad, elderberry for COVID, but ultimately, it turns out no. Elderberry’s wonderful as far as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, immune … They were worried that the immune-boosting part of elderberry would stimulate the cytokine storm. But kind of, as we talked about in the other videos, it’s more of an immune confusion that happens. And so that cytokine storm is the immune system confused, going out of control. So anything that helps restore the immune system, even boost the immune system, doesn’t cause cytokine storm.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (05:28):
No, it’s an immune modulator. The most it’s ever been shown to even increase cytokines or do that is one and a half to three times maybe maximum, and in a cytokine storm it’s 6,000 times. So three times to 6,000 times is a drastically different number. So I like the immune modulating effect, that it knows when to boost it a little bit, and it knows when it shouldn’t be as hyperactive, which is one of my favorite things about elderberry.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (05:53):
So you can take it in a syrup, drizzle it on certain foods, have it a tea. Just do it preventatively, and it will really help you.
Dr. Philip Oubre (06:00):
Last year … Well, we didn’t have COVID last year, but last year, elderberry, it was really hard to find during the flu season. So might want to stock up now before the flu season hits because it’s going to be hard to find probably again.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (06:12):
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah.
Dr. Philip Oubre (06:15):
Aubree Steen, FNTP (06:16):
Viracid has it, right?
Dr. Philip Oubre (06:16):
Yeah, Viracid has a little bit of elderberry, too. Viracid’s a common supplement we use. It’s made by Ortho Molecular, and it’s got a combination of different stuff in there. We really like combination supplements instead of taking 10 bottles of individual ingredients. That’s why we like Viracid and we like Immune Active from Metagenics.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (06:31):
Immune Active, which is great.
Dr. Philip Oubre (06:32):
So instead of taking a zinc pill and a quercetin pill and an NAC pill, Immune Active is great because it’s sprinkled a lot of that in there, and you get kind of multiple bangs for one pill.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (06:42):
And you don’t need as much. So instead of taking [inaudible 00:06:44] four different pill bottles with a high amount, when you have a less amount of those separate ingredients, but together they do have a synergistic quality and they amplify the effects of one another. And they help the efficacy of one another as well. So take two pills, which is Immune Active, two capsules a day, instead of probably like the five or 10 pills.
Dr. Philip Oubre (07:02):
Once again, go to the COVID website, and we’ll put the link, go to the COVID website, fill out the form, you’ll get our action plan, and it’ll list exactly what supplements to get. And it’ll make that fairly easy.
Dr. Philip Oubre (07:12):
But there’s plenty other things out there that are immune boosting that you might feel works better for you or you would rather take that than one of the ones we recommended. So Aubree put together a sheet that you’ll get by signing up on the website. So Aubree, what kind of supplements do you want to go over? What do you want to go over for immune boosting?
Aubree Steen, FNTP (07:30):
Yeah. I’ll kind of slowly or lightly touch base on these foods because you will have this PDF. One of my favorite things is cordycep mushrooms. They’re wonderful for immunity regardless of what you heard. If you are super moldy, I’m going to have one disclaimer, tell your practitioner and see if cordyceps are going to be okay for you. Sometimes if you have an excess of mold overgrowth, feeding actual mold in your body, as silly as it may seem, sometimes will kind of increase or affect that mold growth. So my only disclaimer on that one.
Dr. Philip Oubre (07:56):
Mold is a fungus, mushrooms are a fungus.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (07:58):
Right. You don’t want to keep feeding what you’re trying to kill. They improve mitochondrial function and the energy production in the body, which is great. And they actually shown that VO2 max testing and fatigue resistance has been improved in the body as well. So a lot of-
Dr. Philip Oubre (08:12):
Aubree Steen, FNTP (08:12):
Yeah. Which is pretty cool about cordyceps. You can find it sometimes in a little powder. Om, like om, Mushroom has a little powder that you can sprinkle in your coffee if you want to or your smoothie. Super easy.
Dr. Philip Oubre (08:23):
If you want to ruin your coffee.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (08:24):
Yeah, okay. They also help with cortisol. So remember the stress that we were talking about in the fight or flight, these help lower cortisol and balance them. So one of my favorites.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (08:33):
Ashwagandha and schizandra.
Dr. Philip Oubre (08:34):
I love ashwagandha.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (08:36):
I do, too. Super supportive for the adrenals, which those stress hormones that we talked about again.
Dr. Philip Oubre (08:41):
Big component of the immune system is controlling your stress, controlling your adrenals.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (08:46):
Exactly. Exactly. And of course, vitamin C.
Dr. Philip Oubre (08:48):
Now, wait. Just to caveat that, you can’t take ashwagandha and then go to a job you hate and exercise two months. That’s not how it works. You can’t supplement your way out of a bad lifestyle.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (08:58):
Right. And that’s where you need to take into consideration, try maybe box breathing those mindful moments. Mindfulness is anything that is going to be removing any of those continuous thoughts and focusing on one thing. For instance, gardening. If you’re only focusing on that one task and eliminating everything else, that’s mindfulness, that’s a stress reducer. So find things that work for you in that way.
Dr. Philip Oubre (09:19):
I’m not very good at gardening. It’s kind of a stressor to me.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (09:21):
You have good food though.
Dr. Philip Oubre (09:23):
Aubree Steen, FNTP (09:23):
It’s okay. Good okra. Okay. Next one is vitamin C. One thing I do want to say is that they’ve been trying to prove … well, they have proven that vitamin C in a food form is tenfold more or 10 times more actual … What am I trying to say?
Dr. Philip Oubre (09:39):
Aubree Steen, FNTP (09:39):
Powerful than taking a supplement by itself.
Dr. Philip Oubre (09:42):
Which makes sense.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (09:43):
There’s one, I can’t remember what the title is called. I have to find it. But one of my favorite books of all time is that they’ve tried to prove these isolates from food, right? So taking vitamin C out of an orange. They try to prove, does this actually work, or why is it absorbed in the food better? And it’s this synergistic quality, this magical quality of the food itself that we literally can’t quantify. They’ve tried and they’ve stopped after 10,000 reactions, and it was different every single time. Mind-blowing to me.
Dr. Philip Oubre (10:07):
So nature packages it better than humans.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (10:10):
Exactly. That’s a good way to say it. Thank you. Thank you.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (10:12):
But one of my favorite things is apples, actually, has 200% more vitamin C absorbed sometimes than a vitamin C supplement itself-
Dr. Philip Oubre (10:20):
Aubree Steen, FNTP (10:20):
… which is insane. Yeah. 200% more absorption. Of course, get organic and local if you can because, remember, the farther away from the source, the more denatured it is. A few foods in here, right? Apples, oranges, bell peppers, tomatoes, mustard greens. All of these, if you eat-
Dr. Philip Oubre (10:37):
Nasty. Mustard greens?
Aubree Steen, FNTP (10:38):
I know. I saute them a little bit, put a little bacon in there. Those are really powerful.
Dr. Philip Oubre (10:42):
Bacon makes everything better.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (10:43):
I know. Pasture-raised organic bacon.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (10:46):
Foods high in zinc. I love zinc, so instead of kind of taking a supplement, think about this. It helps with the skin and the mucosal membranes in there. It’s a powerful antioxidant. You can find them in sprouted pumpkin seeds. They have an insane amount of zinc.
Dr. Philip Oubre (11:00):
Aubree Steen, FNTP (11:01):
Insane amount. Like almost your daily value in two servings. It’s wild. And they’re delicious. One of my favorite brands is Go Raw. So get those. Brazil nuts-
Dr. Philip Oubre (11:09):
Okay. Can people sprout them themselves, I guess?
Aubree Steen, FNTP (11:12):
You can, and there’s whole techniques on soaking and sprouting. So honestly, if you Google how to sprout or soak a pumpkin seed or a nut or seed, it’s really easy to do.
Dr. Philip Oubre (11:20):
Aubree Steen, FNTP (11:20):
Brazil nuts are huge, and they also have selenium, which is really good for boosting the immune system.
Dr. Philip Oubre (11:25):
Tastes nasty, but …
Aubree Steen, FNTP (11:26):
Yeah. And then a few other things in here, like grass-fed and pastured meats. B vitamins, right? Very important for cellular function, energy metabolism, supporting the immune system. Leafy greens, nuts, wild and sustainable fish, organic pasture-raised eggs. I put foods in here for y’all.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (11:44):
Quercetin is one of my favorites. It’s really important in the COVID world. It’s a beautiful anti-inflammatory, especially if you have histamine reactions to foods or allergies, whatever it may be. It’s wonderful. So it actually has been proven to quench the cytokine storm. So if you can be proactive and go ahead and feed your body those foods that are high in quercetin, you’ll be awesome. You’ll be set.
Dr. Philip Oubre (12:06):
Read the labels on the supplements in the COVID Action Plan because is quercitin, zinc, some of these are already in the Immune Active. You don’t need to buy them separately. And the other thing we like about some of the things in Immune Active and quercetin and stuff is that these agents also act as secondary detox agents.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (12:20):
Yeah, they do.
Dr. Philip Oubre (12:20):
And so even if you don’t need the immune boosting, so you take these supplements for six months, you’re like, “[inaudible 00:12:24] I didn’t even get COVID, I didn’t even get sick,” then maybe it worked. Or B, you didn’t waste it because it was also helping on the detox [inaudible 00:12:30].
Aubree Steen, FNTP (12:30):
Exactly. Exactly. And some of my favorite foods, matcha tea has a high amount of quercitin in there. Red onions, [brocky 00:12:38] … Brocky.
Dr. Philip Oubre (12:37):
Aubree Steen, FNTP (12:37):
Dr. Philip Oubre (12:37):
That’s like a baby broccoli.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (12:41):
Leafy green vegetables. They’re wonderful. Yeah. And just a few other things I’ll give you on this food list. Ginger is beautiful. It’s anti-inflammatory. And manuka honey. Get manuka honey from New Zealand if you can. It has the highest amount of antioxidants.
Dr. Philip Oubre (12:55):
Aubree Steen, FNTP (12:55):
It is very expensive, but it’s worth it. You just need a tiny bit in your coffee or your tea.
Dr. Philip Oubre (12:58):
A little dab’ll do you.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (12:59):
Yeah, just a little dab, that’s it. Garlic, lemon, a lot of these things, bone broth, you can make healing soups and teas from this. I made an immune soup, and it has most of these ingredients in here. And you think about it, you just need a little bit. A little bit goes a long way. Maybe just like an inch of turmeric, an inch of ginger in that super tea. And it has that synergistic effect, so a little does go a long way.
Dr. Philip Oubre (13:22):
I guess what we’re trying to preach is don’t always rely on supplements and buying the latest, greatest. Remember that food has way more power than any supplement. So focus on your food. I’d much rather you eat food. You got to eat food anyway. But the supplements are an extra expense, so if you focus your expenses on food, you’ll get way more bang for your buck than any supplement.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (13:39):
Right. And the most important thing is that we’ve put some specific foods on here, but avoid the inflammatory foods, but eat whole, real foods. Whole apples in its product as opposed to just constantly buying apple chips. Making fresh salads. Cooking them. You do want a balance of raw and cooked vegetables. They do let out different phytochemicals, different antioxidants, different compounds that will boost your immune system. So just think about that. Make it 75% of your diet as these whole and denatured foods. And just be … I don’t know. Be mindful about what you’re actually eating.
Dr. Philip Oubre (14:11):
Yeah. You put garbage in, you get garbage out.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (14:12):
You are garbage. I’m just kidding.
Dr. Philip Oubre (14:14):
Oh, wow, name-calling. And with that, we’re going to end this video. Like our channel. Subscribe to our channel.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (14:22):
The little bell.
Dr. Philip Oubre (14:22):
Hit the bell to a get alerts on our next videos. And we’ll see you next time.
Aubree Steen, FNTP (14:25):
Okay. Bye, guys.