Functional medicine - 10 biohacks!
Updated: Oct 4
"Functional medicine determines how and why disease occurs and restores health by addressing the underlying causes of disease/symptoms/dysfunction for each person.
The functional medicine model is an individualized, patient-centered, science-based approach that enables patients and physicians to work together to address the underlying causes of disease and promote optimal well-being. It requires a detailed understanding of each patient's genetic, biochemical and lifestyle factors, and uses this data to guide personalized treatment plans that lead to better patient outcomes.
By addressing the root cause rather than the symptoms, doctors become attuned to recognizing the complexity of the disease. They may discover that one condition has many different causes, and similarly - one cause can result in many different conditions. As a result, functional medicine treatment targets each person's specific disease symptoms."
- The Institute for Functional Medicine
Below you will find the 10 most important elements of building immunity in the 21st century according to the principles of functional medicine and building the so-called SUPERORGANISM, according to the WHO immunity-building agenda.
1. Social community over social media! Build communities.
Research unanimously confirms that building relationships and communities have a direct beneficial effect on our immunity, and that poor relationships as well as overuse of social media increase inflammation and reduce protection against viruses. We are not lonely islands; we need the support of others to build healthy habits, just as we do for raising children or self-development. For the biodiversification of the microbiome alone, we need other beings, and this is just one level of influence.
2. Exercise to delay cellular aging.
Physical activity allows the immune system to function more effectively in the body. The increase in blood flow and pressure allows for better exchange between blood and lymph, which allows for better handling of immune cells to distant sites in our bodies, such as the lungs. This allows for better "immune surveillance." Weight-bearing exercise is indicated for everyone, regardless of age as strengthening the mitochondria and the skeleton, where the body's energy production and fluid flow (marrow production) begins in turn.
3. Help your bacteria.
You are a superorganism, a combination of human cells and bacterial cells. Scientists recently coined the new term "Holobiont," defined as different species working together in the same space for the benefit of all. I wrote about how to take care of the microbiome in one of my newsletters, which you can access below. Your diet is your daily microbial therapy, make sure it's high in fiber and fats to feed and diversify the bacteria.
4. Check vitamin D levels.
The evidence is overwhelming that vitamin D is a major player in optimal immune system function. In the case of Covid-19, studies have shown that a deficiency of this vitamin can not only put you at greater risk of developing the disease, but also more serious consequences. Check your blood levels of vitamin D, the target levels should be 80-100 ng/ml, if they are lower, together with your functional medicine specialist, determine the supplementation formula and doses, also staggered. And catch the sun, especially in winter and even when it's behind the clouds.
5. Sleep efficiently.
It's during sleep that the body has a chance to assimilate everything that has happened during the day, both on a cognitive level and, most importantly, to cleanse the brain of the by-product of metabolites, which is the reason why we sleep at all. The glymphatic, or lymphatic, or brain-cleansing system works right at night during the deep sleep phase, so don't just make sure you sleep the right number of hours, but sleep efficiently. Meaning how? Watch my two live shows about sleep.
6. Remember magnesium!
Today, already 70% of the population of highly developed countries is deficient in magnesium, which is the most important cofactor of ATP energy production in the mitochondria. For almost every molecule of energy there is a molecule of Mg attached to it, that's how important it is. There is no other product as rich in Mg as cocoa (raw, of course), also include it in your diet. Unfortunately, Mg results in the blood tell us little about its actual levels, but based on your symptoms with your functional medicine specialist, you can determine if and what additional supplementation is needed.
7. Nature Nature Nature...
We instinctively know that being outside and surrounded by nature is good for us, and we became even more convinced of this during the lockdown. Humans are part of nature, and by staying in nature we observe a whole range of improved health parameters, such as better sleep, lowered blood pressure and reduced stress, to name a few. In functional medicine, we recommend taking a break from work for a minimum of 30 minutes spent outside. Use this time to sit quietly and eat a healthy lunch in a calm and relaxed manner without additional stimuli like your phone, away from the pressures of work. Treat your lunch break not only as an opportunity to eat healthy, but also as a chance to reduce stress.
8. Eat acids.
Fatty acids, especially Omega-3, more specifically EPA and DHA. Along with vitamin C, these are now some of the better studied substances for their positive effects on the human body. They can act as antidepressants, they also have anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, and are needed to support both the nervous system, mitochondria and intestines. The minimum dose of EPA per day is 1,000mg - eat fish or support yourself with a good quality micronutrient formula, with proven galenics, and preferably fix the formula with a specialist.
9. Hug, or skin hunger.
Hugging is fueled by the release of a social bonding hormone called oxytocin. Oxytocin makes us feel pleasant, making us feel more connected to those around us. It can not only reduce stress and anxiety, but also lower blood pressure and positively affect our immunity. Hugging can also reduce pain. Especially recently, "skin hunger," a deficiency in contact with another being, has become a popular phenomenon, which strongly adversely affects our health, so cuddle - with loved ones, with kind people, with animals.
Last but not least. Functional breathing is effortless, smooth, soft and nasal. It moves both the abdominal cavity and the thoracic cavity, as well as the clavicular area from above which the tops of the lungs protrude. There is no more basic function without which all others are irrelevant.
11. And additional one... drink water!
Thank you for being here, have a good time and may your mitochondria work like photovoltaics! --- Karo