Vitamins & Nutrients For A Stronger Immune System

The immune system is the key to your overall health and especially now during a global pandemic, everyone is wondering how they can strengthen their immune system.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, the immune system is a network of organs, white blood cells, proteins (antibodies), and chemicals. It works to protect your body from bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi that cause infection and illness.

But since our bodies are different, that means our immune systems are different, too. “Signs that a person has a weak immune system is truly individual,” explains Maya Feller, MS, RD, CDN, of Brooklyn-based Maya Feller Nutrition. “If you are experiencing significant systemic changes or onset of symptoms, it is important to seek out the help and guidance from your primary care provider or specialist so they can help determine the appropriate course of action.”

  • Vitamins D
  • Vitamin C and B-Complex
  • Zinc
  • N-Acetyl Cysteine, Probiotics and Astragalus.


We have known for a long time that it is important to maintain healthy Vitamin D levels  for bone health, cardio metabolic health, and a strong immune system.

There is emerging evidence that Vitamin D deficiency may be relevant to the risk of developing COVID-19 infection and to the severity of the disease based on information from Dr. Joanne Manson, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. It was found that there was about an eight-fold higher risk of having severe illness among those who entered with Vitamin D deficiency compared with those who had sufficient Vitamin D levels.

Additionally, a recent publication in the British Medical Journal indicated that those participants in a study who had normal Vitamin D levels had a 70% lower risk of respiratory infection than those with significant Vitamin D deficiencies.

It is important to be outdoors and physically active, while maintaining social distancing. This will lead to increased synthesis of Vitamin D in the skin, just from the incidental sun exposure.

It is recommend to begin dosing with 5000 IUs (125 mcg) a day; people with autoimmune diseases should probably start with 10,000 IUs a day,” says Steven Gundry, MD, author, medical director at the International Heart and Lung Institute, and founder of GundryMD. Sources for Vit D information at


Rationale for Using Vitamin C in Patients With COVID-19

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a water-soluble vitamin that is thought to have beneficial effects in patients with severe and critical illnesses. It is an antioxidant and free radical scavenger that has anti-inflammatory properties, influences cellular immunity and vascular integrity, and serves as a cofactor in the generation of endogenous catecholamines.

Because humans may require more vitamin C in states of oxidative stress, vitamin C supplementation has been evaluated in numerous disease states, including serious infections and sepsis.

Because serious COVID-19 may cause sepsis and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), the potential role of high doses of vitamin C in ameliorating inflammation and vascular injury in patients with COVID-19 is being studied. Consuming foods and nutrients with Vitamin C has shown to help in recovery by its positive impact on cellular repair.

Vitamin B Complex

“B vitamins—particularly vitamin B6, vitamin B9 (or folic acid), and vitamin B12—support strong immune function,” explains Serena Poon, CN, CHC, CHN, chef, nutritionist, and founder of the Culinary Alchemy program.

“A deficiency of vitamin B6 is associated with a decrease in antibody production among other immune system–weakening functions. A deficiency in vitamins B9 and B12 can ‘drastically alter immune responses’ through a variety of processes.

Vitamin B12 is solely found in animal products, so a vitamin B12 supplement is particularly important if you are a vegan or vegetarian.”


Zinc is an essential mineral that must be consumed via diet and that you need to consume it daily since the body lacks the ability to store the mineral. “Zinc supports the functioning of immune cells like neutrophils and macrophages,” she explains. “As a result, a zinc deficiency can lead to a higher risk of infections.

Zinc is thought to potentially drive down the duration and severity of symptoms associated with the common cold by preventing the entry of the virus into cells and stopping it from multiplying in the body.”

Vanessa Rissetto, MS, RD, a registered dietitian nutritionist and co-founder of Culina Health, adds that zinc can help symptoms like nasal congestion, nasal drainage, sore throat, and coughing.

Prebiotics and Probiotics

The digestive system and the immune system are interconnected, and a balanced digestive system is crucial for immune function.

Along with eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruits, adding probiotics to your diet can support your digestive tract by adding good bacteria that supports a balanced microbiome. Prebiotics are fibers that act as fuel for probiotics.

N-Acetyl Cysteine NAC

This supplement that supports detoxification, respiratory health, and muscle recovery after workouts. NAC is a precursor to glutathione, the body’s most powerful antioxidant particular for the liver.


This plant has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years, and has many evidence-backed benefits, including immune support, heart disease and diabetes prevention, and increasing strength and stamina.

It’s important to note that people who are on immunosuppressants, anticoagulants, and diuretic medications should not take astragalus.

Final Thoughts About Immunity.

Leaky Gut Syndrome or as it’s referred to in medical literature, “increased intestinal permeability” is a recognized risk factor for autoimmune dysfunction and considered by many professionals a hidden epidemic.

More than ever, its vital that we focus on a healthy gut lining by reducing any gut permeability, as experts feel this is the foundation of a strong immune system. Most nutritional experts recommend focusing on removing inflammatory foods, repairing the gut lining with medical foods and nutrients, and restoring a proper bacterial balance.

Schedule a courtesy phone consultation to discuss any questions about boosting your immune system.

Are Allergies Coming From Our Gut?

sneezeIn the 1990’s Time Magazine published an article entitled “Are Allergies Coming from Our Gut’”. This poignant article discussed the link between the gastrointestinal system, allergies and autoimmune disease.

Our miraculous gut lining provides a protective barrier allowing nutrients from food to absorb through its lining into our blood, while simultaneously eliminating toxins and waste. Often this barrier (gut lining) becomes damaged over the years becoming “cracked” or “permeable” allowing these toxins to “leak” into the blood contributing to a variety of problems from allergies to auto immune disorders. This is commonly known as Leaky Gut Syndrome.

The balance of our gut (gastrointestinal system) plays a vital role in our health as approximately 80% of our immune system is located in our gut. A healthy gut can prevent toxins from being released into the blood stream causing inflammatory reactions contributing to and worsening allergy symptoms.

Allergies and asthma may start in your gut. Upset the gut’s natural mix of helpful bacteria and allergies may develop. Microflora in humans can be thrown off by antibiotics and a sugary, high fat, low fiber diet. (WebMD 2004)

Functional Medicine and Clinical Nutrition protocols focus on improving gut health as part of a comprehensive treatment to boost the immune system and reduce symptoms associated with seasonal allergies and food sensitivities. This is much different than the standard medical approach to addressing the symptoms with prescriptive or over the counter medication.

5 effective steps to reduce inflammation and balance gut health.

  1. Anti-inflammatory Diet – This is an ideal time of year to reduce foods linked to an inflamed gut, including wheat (gluten), simple sugars and alcohol.
  2. Food Sensitivity Testing – This testing allows your health professional to identify those foods your gut finds irritating and taxing to the immune system.
  3. Improve Gut Health – Once you have identified and removed those inflammatory food groups, replenish your gut with nutrients and medical foods designed to restore balance and heal the gut lining.
  4. Home Filtration w/HEPA Filters – Ideal for the main rooms of your home to reduce exposure to irritating elements in the air. Don’t forget to change your HEPA filters every 30 days.
  5. Rest – Cat naps, relaxation techniques and going to bed an hour earlier can do wonders and help support your immune system.

Anti-inflammatory Diet – Dr. Loren Cordain, a professor at Colorado State University and an expert on Paleolithic lifestyles, “humans are NOT designed to eat grains, and doing so may actually be damaging to your gut.” Grains actually contain anti-nutrients that may damage your gut. Cracks in your intestinal wall can then allow undigested proteins to enter your blood stream. These large complex substances are allergenic, stimulating our immune system to produce antibodies against them.

Eat more greens and essential fatty acids. Dark leafy greens are an incredible source for anti-inflammatory carotenoids, which in turn have been noted to significantly limit the effect seasonal allergies can have upon your overall health. Foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids has also been recommended for anyone trying to fight back against seasonal allergies.

These foods include salmon, herring, albacore tuna, walnuts and mackerels, which are all found to have incredible anti-inflammatory properties. Adding a few servings of these types of foods in your daily diet may be the difference between an allergy-free day or much time spent running for the tissues.

Stay hydrated – keeping your body hydrated is for boosting your defense against seasonal allergies. According to the Mayo Clinic, the average adult male should be drinking around 13 cups, or 3 liters of water a day, while the average woman should be consuming around 9 cups, or 2.2 liters. However, seniors who are living with seasonal allergies should be drinking even more water than what is typically recommended. PBS also states that the more water you’re putting into your body, the more support you provide to help with draining various pollens or mold out of your nasal passages, as well as tears to protect your eyes. It’s important to keep the importance of hydration in mind, especially as spring comes into full swing.

Food Sensitivity Testing – There are labs (Alcat & Immuno Labs) that specialize in identifying those foods that can contribute to an inflamed and an unbalanced gut. Inflammation caused by reactions are linked to a wide variety of chronic health problems like obesity and diabetes, as well as skin, heart, joint, and digestive disorders. Symptoms can show-up hours or even days later, making it hard to connect the dots.

Improve Gut Health. – Include Daily Probiotics “Healthy Bacteria”. Taking the right type of probiotic is important to address a healthy gut. Look for a probiotic containing high counts of both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Studying whether gut bacteria affect food allergies, a team by Cathryn Nagler, PhD, Bunning Food Allergy Professor at the University of Chicago, has made a remarkable discovery. They found that the presence of Clostridia, a common class of gut bacteria, protects against food allergies.

Natural sinus relief remedies. Nasal rinse with a Netty Pot, nasal saline or mild herbal remedies along with a natural anti-histamine containing stinging nettles, quercetin and bromelain. Our clients have had success year round by replacing over the counter products with a nutritional product called D-Hist by Orthomolecular Products.

Other Common Remedies:

  • Peppermint tea has shown an ability to reduce inflammation and kill bacteria.
  • Eucalyptus oil is an effective anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial.
  • Butterbur acts as like a natural antihistamine blocking chemicals that trigger swelling in the nasal passages.
  • Sinupret is a product developed in Europe from a blend of botanicals effective for chronic sinusitis.

If you suffer from seasonal allergies schedule a Dietary and Metabolic Analysis today. We will review current diet, discuss symptoms, review the benefits of Food Sensitivity Testing and healthy alternatives to over the counter medicine.

Boosting The Immune System

Boosting The Immune System 4

Cold and Flu Season & COVID 19


Cold and Flu season is around the corner and experienced nutritionists know that the best defense is a good offense when it comes to preventing the flu and disease. Now is also the time to focus on boosting the immune system to help your body in case of exposure or recovery from COVID-19.

Experts know that a strong immune system requires focusing on a healthy gut, reducing inflammatory foods and increasing the consumption of plant-based foods and long with effective supplementation. A strong immune system (T Cells) helps attack foreign invaders BEFORE a severe inflammatory (cytokine) reaction occurs throughout the body and brain.

  • Reduce or eliminate simple sugars! Studies show that daily sugar consumption can reduce white blood cell count and over burden the gut and the immune system.
  • Drink More Water! By drinking more water, you are boosting your natural detoxification system. Experts recommend consuming at least ½ ounce of purified water per pound weight.
  • Wash your hands and wear a mask around others!Use old fashioned soap and hot water for 20 seconds and only when unavailable, use an antiseptic gel!
  • Schedule a regular massage! – Sure – who has the time for that you may say! Yet studies show that regular massage boosts your body’s lymph system, to help eliminate toxins.
  • Cleanse & Power Nutrients– Cleansing will help release trapped fat and toxins that build up in the body and strengthen the immune system. Vitamin D – N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) and B-Vitamins to name a few. Glutathione helps with gut repair and Leaky Gut Syndrome.
  • – Daily exercise and elevating your heart rate for 20-40 minutes has shown to boost the immune system while stimulating natural endorphins for pain relief and relaxation.
  • Quality Sleep with 20 Min-Power Naps – We cannot overlook the importance of sleep. Rest is an effective boost to your immune system! If possible, try a mid-afternoon power nap!
**Vitamin D is an important factor in immune system health. Some studies have shown that there is a link between vitamin D status and the risk of developing influenza. People who have low vitamin D levels may have an increased risk of developing influenza. (Flu) Vitamin D receptors are found on the surface of cells where they receive chemical signals.
** Vitamin D works in the immune system by reducing levels of inflammatory proteins called cytokines, as well as increasing the amount of antimicrobial proteins, which are naturally occurring antibiotics that destroy invading germs and viruses. This combination of lowering inflammation and increasing antimicrobial defenses can help an individual’s immune system fight infections more effectively.

Check Your Vitamin D Level — How do you measure up? Optimal levels should measure in the (50-80 nmol/l) range. All too often, patients are told their levels are adequate if over 30 nmol/l – when in fact – they are borderline low.

Clean Up The Gut! The foundation for all immuno-therapy begins with addressing any GI imbalance.

Functional Medicine and Science Based Nutrition

Prescriptive Nutrition for Optimal Results

hj455A Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist is a Functional Medicine practitioner and trained in the diagnosis and nutritional support for most health disorders. From fatigue and headaches to chronic digestive disorders. Incorporating Functional Blood Chemistry Analysis and specialty lab testing.

Functional Medicine practitioners look at all the major systems of the body and employ both traditional and specialty lab do tests to provide a more targeted approach to nutrition.

  • Chronic infection, hormone imbalance, adrenal fatigue, intestinal permeability.
  • Systemic inflammation triggered by specific foods and gluten sensitivity.

Functional Medicine and Science Based Nutrition helps bridge the gap between traditional medicine and holistic nutrition.”

Going beyond basic nutrition – most clinical nutritionists utilize homeopathic, herbal and whole food programs to restore balance and treat any underlying bacterial or viral imbalance. Pharmaceutical grade nutrition through companies like: Metagenics, Xymogen, Biotics, Thorne, Integrated Therapeutics, Pure Encapsulations, Orthomolecular.veg

Dietary Analysis & Weight Management Consulting Food Sensitivity Testing

  • Functional Blood Chemistry Analysis
  • Vitamin & Antioxidant Testing
  • Hormone and Neurotransmitter Analysis
  • Digestive Analysis

What to Expect on Your First Visit!

Your initial visit is about an hour and will include a Comprehensive Health Consultation, review of symptoms and general dietary & lifestyle analysis. This information will allow your nutritionist to determine if any clinical testing is required to accurately determine the cause of your symptoms and review your current state of health. Often, and immediate course of treatment can begin to reduce symptoms.

Nutritional Analysis & Dietary Recommendations – This is a personalized dietary program to include the necessary balance of protein, carbohydrate, nutrients and optimal calories to support your current lifestyle.

A variety of programs are available from the Paleo Plan to Gluten Free dietary plans.

Healthy Cleansing for Better Digestion – Weight Loss & Boosting the Immune System – Part 2

Cleansing & detoxification programs have grown in popularity over the years and proven to be a wonderful health remedy for common health complaints. As a physician and nutritionist, I have found many still “unclear” about what “cleansing” involves and cautious about some of the programs on the market today.

Our body is exposed to hundreds of toxins every single day. Cosmetics and grooming products, cleaning products, and exposure to food and environmental toxins can, over time, create “toxic overload” and interfere with our body’s natural ability to detoxify. This toxic burden can show up in a number of symptoms and impact general health and wellbeing.

Are Toxins Making You Sick?
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration over 50 pesticides used on non-organic crops are classified as “carcinogens”. In addition, more than 10,000 additives are added to our food supply, not to forget the new GMO foods produced by Monsanto. The average American eats about 142 pounds of additives a year. According to the Environmental Protection Agency more than 1,000,000 Americans drink water laced with pesticides.

Common Symptoms from Toxic Overload.

  • Headaches – Fatigue & Irritability
  • Hair, Skin and GI Disorders
  • Brain Fog (Difficulty Concentrating)
  • Weight Gain

Cleansing should begin by removing foods that may be inflammatory and harmful to the body and including only those foods that support, not hinder, the body’s ability to detoxify our daily exposure to toxins.

Occasional cleansing has been referred to as “Spring cleaning” for the body and digestive system.  We all clean our homes on a regular process – yet once or twice a year we clean the screens, ceilings, carpets, vents and do a deeper cleaning or “house cleansing”.

Published studies support the benefits of intermittent fasting & cleansing. Studies show that we can not only eliminate harmful chemicals from our blood, but also release trapped abdominal and visceral (organ) fat with healthy cleansing. Cleansing, done right, can be an effective way to recharge, rejuvenate and renew our cells.

Important Cleansing Guidelines

  • Choose only organic products to limit your exposure to preservatives, pesticides and toxins.
  • Drink filtered water though out the day. (1/2 ounce of water per pound of body wt.)
  • Food Sensitivity Test is recommended prior to begging your cleanse.
  • Eliminate alcohol, grains, dairy, legumes, sugar and bottled or canned juices.
  • Consume smaller portions of food every 3 hours to help keep blood sugar levels balanced.
  • Research supports intermittent fasting (liquid only) for 24-48 hours.
  • Discuss your cleansing program with your physician or any licensed health care practitioner that is an experienced cleansing coach.
  • Consume a daily minimum of 1/2 gram of protein per pound of body weight.
  • Include a comprehensive whole food vitamin & mineral supplement program.

For more information about healthy cleansing programs – schedule a free brief 15-minute health consultation with Dr. Xanthos 602.264.4040. Our center offers a variety of safe and effective cleansing programs personalized to meet your needs.

Dr. Robert Xanthos is Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist and Director of The Wellness Center at Spine In Motion. 5112 N. 40th Street, Suite 101, (602) 264-4040.

Healthy Cleansing for Better Digestion – Weight Loss & Boosting the Immune System – Part 1

Whether you suffer from occasional indigestion, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, or heartburn, you have a digestive disorder and you are not alone.

  • Digestive disorders have reached epidemic proportions in the US. Over 6o million men, women suffer from disorders of the digestive system and GI tract. More and more children are treated for digestive disorders.
  • Digestive disorders are directly linked to dietary and lifestyle imbalances, including chronic stress, excessive alcohol, and smoking.

The health of our gastrointestinal system (gut) has a dramatic impact on our immune system.

  • Research has shown that an imbalanced and unhealthy gut contributes to obesity, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, depression and more.
  • Chronic stress has shown to have a direct impact on our gut health and its ability to digest food, absorb nutrients and eliminate toxins.

Clinical Nutrition Protocols for the Treatment of Most Digestive Disorders

  • A Comprehensive Dietary Analysis and Food Sensitivity Test will help identify those foods, and toxins that are contributing to the imbalance of the gut so they can be eliminated immediately from the daily diet. Step one is to removing the primary causes of imbalance and irritation to the GI system.
  • Step two is to begin repairing any damage to your gut with safe and clinically proven nutrients, including medical foods to both reduce inflammation and repair the GI lining.
  • Step three is to restore the natural balance of the gut and colon with probiotics and valuable enzymes from whole foods and supplementation that also support the detoxification process.

Cleansing Foods and Tips for Better Digestion

  • Digestive enzymes taken with meals help breakdown foods for better absorption.

Indigestion is often the result of food groups that do not digest well together like meat and potatoes.

  • Taking probiotics like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium help restore friendly bacteria to the gut.

Organic unsweetened yogurt is safe and easy to digest, providing high levels of good bacteria and therefore cleansing to the colon.

  • Eat smaller meals, chew your food thoroughly and limit fluid intake with meals.
  • Got fiber?

Soluble and insoluble fiber have a number of health-promoting activities, provides bulk to stools, and speeds up the transit time of food through the GI tract alleviating constipation.

 A diet that is high in fiber is excellent for keeping your digestive system working efficiently!

  • Apples are an ideal cleansing food, as most colon cleansing products contain some form of apple.  Apples contain pectin that thickens in your GI tract and helps with better elimination.
  • Celery is one of the best foods to cleanse your colon, high in dietary fiber and even burns calories during the digestive process!
  • Garlic contains a substance called Allicin, and is considered a natural antibiotic by most health experts. A great immune booster that also helps reduce bad cholesterol and lower blood pressure. If you are not a fan of garlic, try aged and odorless organic supplements available in most health food stores

Americans are suffering needlessly from digestive disorders. Many of these conditions are treated effectively with the use of medical foods and nutrients that are designed to reduce inflammation, heal the damaged GI lining, and restore the healthy balance of friendly bacteria.

Call 602.264.4040 and schedule a free brief nutritional consultation.

Dr. Robert Xanthos is Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist and Director of The Wellness Center at Spine In Motion, 5112 N. 40th Street, Suite 101, (602) 264-4040.

For more information about Corporate and Family consulting services visit

Surviving Holiday Stress!

For some, the holiday season is a time for celebration and sharing time-honored traditions with family and friends. Shopping, cooking, parties, more shopping and let’s not forget our out of town guests.

It’s also a season that many of us experience higher levels of fatigue, stress and anxiety often linked to a weakened immune system and sickness.

Continue reading