When it comes to building the immune system quickly and effectively, nothing provides more protection than the Exposure Protection Pak.
Every Exposure Protection Pak box contains 30 individual packets, with seven capsules in each—a total of 210 capsules.
And each of these 210 capsules is jam-packed with nutrients proven by research to help build a powerful immune system. On this page we we provide a “mini archive” of some of that research. You can use this info to start your own research; however, this is just a sampling of the extensive research on these nutrients:
• Vitamin A is a critical immune-building nutrient, and supplementing it could prevent thousands of Tuberculosis deaths each year, according to research published in The Journal of Immunology in March 2014.
• A Purdue University study found that critical immune cells protecting the body from infection would be lost without “directions” provided by Vitamin A. The study was published in the journal Immunity in June 2015.
• Vitamin A as one of the five vitamins critical in the prevention of Covid deaths, according to findings published in British Medical Journal – Nutrition, Prevention and Health. The research was published in April 2020.
• A 2018 meta-analysis of nine randomized studies found extra therapeutic doses of Vitamin C at the onset of colds helped reduce the duration of symptoms. Study published on PubMed Central July 2018.
• A review of six controlled trials by researchers at the University of Helsinki found that Vitamin C shortened hospital patients’ time in ICU by an average of 8.6%. The study was published in Nutrients in March 2019.
• A meta-analysis of 10 randomized control trials found cold symptoms were shorter for patients supplementing Vitamin C compared to patients who were administered antiviral therapy alone. The study was published in PubMed Central in April 2021.
• Clear back in 2010 researchers at the University of Copenhagen established that Vitamin D is crucial to activating our immune defenses. They showed that without sufficient intake of the vitamin, the killer cells of the immune system (known as “T cells”) are not able to react to and fight off serious infections in the body. The research was published in Nature Immunology in March of that year.
• Jumping forward to 2017 a worldwide study led by researchers at Queen Mary University of London found that Vitamin D supplements “protect against acute respiratory infections including colds and flu.” The results were based on an analysis of raw data from around 11,000 participants in 25 clinical trials conducted in 14 countries. The study was published in the British Medical Journal in February 2017.
• The most critical Vitamin D findings come courtesy of the Covid pandemic. At the onset of the pandemic individual countries almost immediately found a link between Vitamin D deficiency and high mortality rates. In 2020, research led by Northwestern University confirmed the individual findings when they analyzed patient data from 10 different countries. The researchers found that patients from countries with high COVID-19 mortality rates had lower levels of Vitamin D compared to patients in countries that were not as severely affected. The findings were published online at MedRxiv in April 2020.
Though typically thought of as the crucial vitamin for eye, skin and hair health, in recent years researchers have also studied the immune-supporting characteristics of Vitamin E:
• A 2011 study published in Vitamins & Hormones found supplementation with Vitamin E “significantly enhances both cell mediated and humoral immune functions in humans, especially in the elderly and animals.”
[Study is archived at Science Direct database here.]
• A review published in Nutrients in November 2018 concluded that Vitamin E had been shown to enhance immune responses in animal and human models and to “confer protection” against a number of infectious diseases.
• Studies conducted in The Netherlands and New Zealand are just two of the many 2020 studies that found low Vitamin K status in Covid-19 patients was associated with a greater risk of mortality. The risk was related to the Matrix Gla Protein, one of the body’s proteins which is dependent on adequate levels of Vitamin K2 to become active. In general, higher circulating Matrix Gla Protein means healthier arteries and immune function.
[PubMed Central archive – The Netherlands study] • [PubMed Central archive – New Zealand hypothesis study]
• A Tufts University long-term study found adults aged 54-76 with low circulating Vitamin K levels were more likely to die within 13 years compared to those with adequate levels—suggesting Vitamin K provides protective health benefits as people age. The results were published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in June 2020.
• In 2021 researchers at University Hospitals Cleveland found that deficiencies in both Vitamin K and Vitamin D were independently associated with worse COVID-19 disease severity. The researchers stated their findings indicated “a potential synergistic interplay between these two vitamins in COVID-19.” The research was published in Oxford Academic’s Open Forum Infectious Diseases in October 2021.
• Research conducted at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University found that vitamin B3 was effective in helping combat the antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections that are becoming increasingly common around the world. The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation in August 2012.
• According to research conducted at Swinburne University in Melbourne, Australia, supplementing with a complex of B-vitamins was effective in “reducing oxidative stress and inflammation through increasing oxidative metabolism.” The research was published in Nutrients in October 2018.
• A report published by medical researchers at Singapore General Hospital found a combination of nutritional supplements, including B-12, could “reduce the progression of COVID-19 into the severe or fatal stages.” The paper was published June 2020 on the MedRxIv medical platform.
Other benefits of immune nutrients
On this page we highlight the immune support benefits of all the ingredients included in the Exposure Protection Pak; however, each of these nutrients support human health in a number of other ways. Please follow any of the links below to learn about other benefits of these key immune nutrients:
• For the first time, in 2013, scientists studying the cellular processes underlying the body’s response to healing demonstrated how a “flash” of calcium is the initial trigger in the immune response. The research was conducted at University of Bristol and the findings were published in Current Biology in March 2013.
• Research published in 2016 found that “calcium signals play a vital role in keeping the immune system finely balanced, ramping responses up and down at the appropriate time.” The study was conducted by scientists at NYU Langone Medical Center, in collaboration with researchers at at the University of Wurzberg in Germany, and the findings were published in the journal Immunity in May 2016.
• Calcium deficiency (Hypocalcaemia) has long been associated with an increased risk of acute respiratory failure and mortality among critically ill patients. A 2020 study conducted on hospital patients in China found this was also true relative to Covid-19 patients. The conclusion of the researchers was: “Hypocalcemia commonly occurred in severe COVID-19 patients and it was associated with poor outcome.” The study was published in the Journal of Infection and Public Health in October 2020.
[Study archived in Science Direct database here.]
According to the Linus Pauling Institute, iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency worldwide. This is unfortunate since iron is critical for healthy blood and proper immune functioning. The Cleveland Clinic, which lists iron as one of the eight vitamins and minerals needed for a healthy immune system, states: “Iron helps your body carry oxygen to cells and plays a part in many of the immune system processes.”
• Almost 20 years ago a Pennsylvania State University study published findings that low iron status can have serious immune consequences as people age. The study reported that iron deficiency impaired levels of immunity from 28% to 50% in test subjects who were over the age of 60. Study results were published in The American Journal of Medicine in August 2004.
• A 2015 study found that blood donors who took an iron supplement were able to restore hemoglobin concentration substantially faster than test subjects who did not take an iron supplement. The researchers found that recovery of hemoglobin in participants who received supplements took a median of 76 days; meanwhile, participants not taking the supplements had a median recovery time that was longer than 168 days. The findings were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in February 2015.
• A 2021 Chinese study COVID-19 patients with iron deficiency had an “8.2 times greater possibility of developing severe pneumonia and requiring timely intervention and attention” compared to patients without anemia. The research was conducted by scientists at Huazhong University in Wuhan, and the results were published in Future Virology in July 2021.
“DMB” for COVID-19
Researchers recognize all nutrients require adequate levels of other nutrients for proper absorption. For this reason many studies are conducted for the purpose of assessing the “synergy” of several different nutrients administered together. These studies show the most effective immune building occurs when critical nutrients are taken together.
A recent example includes research published June 2020 that found it was advantageous to take Vitamin D3, magnesium and Vitamin B12 together.
The supplement protocol was dubbed “DMB,” and was found to be especially beneficial for older patients. Read DMB Supplement Combo Reduces COVID-19 Severity in Singaporean Study here.
• Thyroid hormones play essential roles in both the innate and adaptive immune responses, and kelp supports thyroid health with its high iodine content. In a 2011 Japanese study kelp improved thyroid function of patients with severe motor and intellectual disabilities and hypothyroidism due to iodine deficiency. When patients were given powdered kelp daily their thyroid function was restored, increasing the concentration of iodine in the urine. In another study, conducted in the U.S., supplementing with kelp increased the levels of the hormone that stimulates the thyroid gland (thyrotropin).
[Japanese study in Clinical Pediatric Endocrinology.]
[U.S. study in Endocrine Practice.]
• Research published in 2015 found fucoidan extracted from kelp had a variety of immune-modulation effects, such as promoting natural killer cells and T cells, and enhancing anti-viral and anti-tumor responses. The researchers, which included scientists from the U.S., China and Japan, concluded that fucoidan “can be potentially useful as a therapeutic agent for infectious diseases.” The study was published in Marine Drugs in March 2015.
• A 2017 Chinese study revealed that fucoidan extracted from kelp blocked influenza infection in vitro. The researchers reported that fucoidan was able to “inactivate virus particles before infection and some stages after adsorption.” In addition, fucoidan was able to prolong the survival time of virus-infected mice, and presented an ability to “significantly improve the quality of immune organs, immune cell phagocytosis and humoral immunity.” The study was published in Scientific Reports in January 2017.
• A review of existing studies on kelp conducted in India in 2020 concluded that kelp extracts held the potential to open new avenues to designing therapeutic products not only for COVID‐19, but also for the other viral infections: “We conclude that based on the available reports algal metabolites hold promising potential for the development of novel anti‐viral therapeutics,” the researchers wrote in their summary.
[All studies cited in the review can be seen at PubMed’s Wiley Public Health Emergency Collection.]
• A broad-range 2003 study which was reviewing the link between magnesium and immune health concluded: “There is a strong relation between magnesium and the immune system.” The many areas of examination included magnesium’s involvement in inflammation, apoptosis, thymocyte gene expression, asthma, aging processes, and apoptosis in humans. The results were published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition in September 2003.
[Study details at Nature.com database here.]
• The magnesium immune benefit that is most often cited by health experts is its critical function in enabling Vitamin D metabolism in the human body. A 2018 study conducted by researchers from Vanderbilt University, Harvard Medical School and Purdue University found that “optimal magnesium status was related to healthy Vitamin D levels.” The double-blind randomized controlled trial was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in December 2018.
• In a review entitled “The relevance of magnesium homeostasis in COVID-19,” researchers studying the link between COVID-19 and magnesium deficiency concluded: “Existing data seem to corroborate an association between deranged magnesium homeostasis and COVID-19.” The researchers further noted that they hoped to encourage “a deeper appreciation of magnesium” in view of its role in chronic non-communicable diseases and infectious diseases. The findings were published in the European Journal of Nutrition in October 2021.
[The complete review, with links to all the studies cited, can be found in PubMed database here.]
• A Harvard University meta-analysis reviewing the effectiveness of vitamins and minerals in treating acute respiratory tract infections found that zinc supplementation “substantially shortened the duration of symptoms.” The researchers reported their study included 80 random controlled trials and that the research was a “synthesis of global evidence from randomized controlled trials.” The findings were published in the British Medical Journal in December 2020.
[Study details at BMJ Global Health.]
• According to 2004 research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, selenium supplements boosted the immune response in test subjects. The improved immune response was measured by increased production of interferon gamma and other cytokines, an earlier peak T cell proliferation, and an increase in T helper cells. Test subjects who received selenium supplements also showed more rapid clearance of the poliovirus. The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Liverpool and the Rowett Research Institute in the UK and was published in July 2004.
• A 2019 study showed that selenium supplementation reduced oxidative stress by increasing total antioxidant capacity and glutathione peroxidase levels. Supplementation also decreased the level of serum malonaldehyde. All of these processes are crucial factors for reduction of oxidative stress—and, in turn, a reduction in inflammation. The study was published in Hormones in December 2019, and was updated in July 2020.
[Study is archived in the Springer Link database here.]
• The disease fighting properties of copper have been recognized for literally thousands of years, with uses dating back to ancient Egypt. With this in mind, much of the research on copper has focused on using it topically as an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. A 2020 study found that SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the coronavirus pandemic, is no longer infectious on copper within four hours, whereas it can survive on plastic surfaces for 72 hours. The study was published in The Journal of Hospital Infection in March 2020.
[Study details at Elsevier database here.]
• With regards to modern dietary supplements, a 2017 study from Brazil found that copper was an effective treatment for toxoplasmosis, which is one of the most common parasitic diseases in the world.
[Study details at Science Direct database here.]
• A U.S. study found copper supplementing reversed hypertrophic cardiomyopathy—a condition where the heart becomes thickened and results in the heart being less able to pump blood effectively. The study was conducted at University of Louisville School of Medicine and was published in March 2007 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.
[Study details at Rockefeller University Press archive here.]
Expert testimony to congress: Americans are deficient in nutrients
Many of the ingredients in the Exposure Protection Pak are basic vitamins and minerals. There’s a good reason for this: Americans are whoefully deficient in the vitamins and minerals most critical for immune health.
On December 10, 2020 the U.S. Congress heard expert testimony about these inadequacies. Using information from the National Health And Nutrition Examination Survey, the experts asked congress to help build public awareness of what they considered the four most critical deficiencies: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and the mineral zinc.
Read details in our article here.
Manganese is an essential trace element required for a variety of physiological processes, including neurodevelopment and antioxidant defenses.
• A November 2020 Peking University study designed to test the immune response in mice found manganese to be beneficial in “improving the efficacy of clinical immunotherapy” of test subjects. The findings were published in Cell Research, where the researchers summarized: “Collectively, these data suggested that [magesium] synergistically improved the efficacy of immunotherapy.”
Chromium is a trace mineral that helps regulate insulin function and blood glucose control in the body. It has long been associated with heart health, but studies during the past two decades have also linked chromium to immune health.
• A 2002 study from India found that once the immune system has been activated, chromium increases the proliferation of T and B lymphocytes. These are the white blood cells charged with protecting the body from invading pathogens. Increased levels of these immune cells provide an enhanced immune defense against foreign organisms. The study was published in Immunology and Medical Microbiology in September 2002.
• A early study conducted at Istituti Ortopedici Rizzoli in Bologna, Italy was one of the first to demonstrate that chromium has a beneficial effect on cytokines—the chemical messengers that regulate immune response. The study found chromium increases TNF and IL-4, two important cytokines that initiate an inflammatory response to an invading pathogen. This enhanced defense allows a pathogen to be neutralized and removed much more efficiently, thus strengthening the overall immune response. Study published in Biomaterials in February 1998.
• A 2013 study demonstrated that molybdenum functions as a cofactor for many enzymes that speed up vital compound changes. These changes are important for the well-known carbon, sulfur, and nitrogen cycles of the body. The presence of molybdenum is essential for enzymes including xanthine oxidase, sulfite oxidase, and aldehyde oxidase. Published in Journal of Biological Chemistry in May 2013.
• A 2021 study conducted at University of Nebraska Medical Center and Creighton University in Nebraska found that creatine was beneficial for immune health via its anti-inflammatory properties. The researchers specifically noted that creatine was historically known for muscle support in the sports industry, but they wanted to investigate creatine for benefits “outside of the musculoskeletal system, specifically, the immune system.” In their summary, the researchers reported: “If an individual has a condition exacerbated by pro-inflammatory mediators, then CR administration should be considered as an adjuvant therapy since it appears to ameliorate pro-inflammatory processes.” The study reviewed creatine use across all age groups, with the researchers noting “all available data attest to its safety.” Results were published in Nutrients in February 2021.
There is a lot of confusion with regards to the relationship between curcumin and tumeric. Put simply, curcumin is a part of tumeric…. it is the principle curcuminoid in the tumeric plant (curcuma longa). Tumeric is a member of the ginger family and has a long history of use in the traditional medicine systems of China and India. Tumeric—and its primary constituent, curcumin—have numerous proven health benefits. Topping the list are anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
• A ground-breaking study published in Annals of Allergies, Asthma & Immunology in 2016 found that the immunomodulatory effects were so profound that it even alleviated nasal swelling, congestion and sneezing. The researchers concluded the healing benefit was accomplished by curcumin’s anti-inflammatory properties. The researchers summarized: “This pilot study provides the first evidence of the capability of curcumin of improving nasal airflow and modulating immune response in patients with allergic rhinitis.”
EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) from green tea
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is a type of plant-based compound called catechin. Catechins may be further categorized into a larger group of plant compounds known as polyphenols. EGCG and other related catechins act as potent antioxidants that may protect against cellular damage caused by free radicals. EGCG exists naturally in several plant foods, with the highest content being found in green tea. In addition to immune support, decades of studies have supported the use of EGCG for lowering cholesterol, fighting cancers and aiding weight loss.
• A 2012 study found EGCG was effective against the influenza A virus. According to the researchers’ summary: “Our findings are in line with other studies that described suppression of viral replication and reduction of viral lung inflammation by EGCG… The excellent antiviral and anti-inflammatory activities observed in our study add further appeal to the medicinal use of EGCG or other green tea polyphenol-rich products.” Published in Acta Pharmacologica Sinica in December 2012.
• Relative to COVID-19, since EGCG has been proven effective against other viruses it is also expected to inhibit coronavirus; however, the handling of the SARS-CoV-2 viruses is extremely limited. For this reason, there is little experimental infection data. Notwithstanding these limitations, recent research conducted in South Korea found that “EGCG inhibits human coronavirus replication in vitro.” The findings were published in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications in April 2021.
• Likewise, a preliminary statistical study found “striking differences” in COVID-19 morbidity and mortality between groups of countries with ‘high’ and ‘low’ green tea consumption. The researchers concluded: “Evidence supporting the idea that green tea constituents could reduce overall risks related to COVID-19 has been obtained.” The findings were published online at MedRxiv, a pre-print server for posting before peer-review, in February 2021.
Luteolin is a flavone, a type of flavonoid that is found in plants. Luteolin was recently identified as the major active ingredient of Mosla scabra, a plant common in the wilds of Southeast Asia. Mosla scabra has been used as a therapeutic in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years, primarily to treat pulmonary diseases.
• A 2021 study found luteolin was effective in treating lung injury and respiratory distress. In their conclusion, researchers stated: “The beneficial effects of luteolin in acute lung injury/acute respiratory distress were evidenced by the alleviation of pulmonary edema, and enhancement of both amiloride-sensitive alveolar fluid clearance and short-circuit currents.” Results were published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in January 2022.
Glucosinolates are natural components of many pungent plants such as mustard, cabbage, and horseradish. The pungency of those plants is due to oils produced from glucosinolates when the plant material is chewed, cut, or otherwise damaged. These natural chemicals act as a defense mechanism for the plant against pests and diseases—and today the same components are extracted to accomplish disease protection in humans.
• A 2013 Australian study examining the medicinal properties of glucosinolates extracted from aromatic plants concluded they all contained effective anti-inflammatory properties. The researchers assayed seven glucosinolates in total, and reported findings that all glucosinates in the family lowered inflammation to one degree or another. The research was published in Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry in October 2013.
Proteolytic Enzymes (in Opti-Blend delivery system)
While proteolytic enzymes are most commonly known for their role in the digestion of dietary protein, fats and carbohydrates, they also perform many other research-proven functions.
• Research from Hungary published in 2013 found proteolytic enzymes are essential for cell division, blood clotting, immune function and protein recycling, among other vital processes. The findings were published in Biomolecules in December 2013.
• A 2005 study found proteolytic enzymes were effective at reducing inflammation and relieving symptoms in people with sinusitis, a condition that causes the nasal passages to become inflamed. The research, which focused on the proteolytic enzyme bromelaine obtained from pineapple, was conducted in Germany. The findings were published in the journal In Vivo in March 2005.
Lycopene is a carotenoid found in a number of fruits and vegetables, but most abundantly in tomato. In recent years, there has been an ever-increasing interest in lycopene’s health benefits. It is not only a potent antioxidant, but provides protection for wide variety of diseases—as demonstrated by many systematic reviews and meta-analysis studies.
• A 2020 review of dozens of earlier lycopene studies concluded: “Lycopene possesses potent anticancer, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antidiabetic potential. In addition, it is a nutraceutical which protects against a wide variety of heart, liver, bone, skin, nervous, and reproductive systems diseases, as evident from numerous studies.” Contributing researchers hailed from Pakistan, Russia, South Korea and Iran, and the review included 160 citations. The study was published in Antioxidants in August 2020.
[Study details – includes all 160 citations.]
Molasses is the syrup that is created when sugar is removed from sugarcane juice. When the process of evaporation, crystallization and centrifugation is repeated, the resultant less-sweet syrup is called blackstrap molasses. Blackstrap molasses contains many vitamins and minerals—especially iron and magnesium—so it is not surprising that it is an effective antioxidant and immune building ingredient. It is frequently recommended to combat anemia because of its high iron content.
• A 2019 study on patients with gut inflammation, researchers determined that black strap molasses not only helped replenish minerals lost, but also provided an anti-inflammatory cytokine benefit. The study was conducted at Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences in Ahvaz, Iran, and results were published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine in December 2019.
[Study abstract archived at the PubMed.gov database here.]
Lutein is a carotenoid and is found in high quantities in green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale. It is also found in dlower amounts in egg yolks and animal fats. With regards to health benefits it is most often associated with vision maintenance: a concentration of lutein is contained in the retina of the eye.
• A 2020 study conducted by researchers in the UK and Germany found lutein to be “an extremely good cell protector” against free radicals. This held true at all oxygen concentrations and in both normal and abnormal inflammation conditions. The research was published in Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences in December 2020.
• A 2017 Swedish study found that lutein exerts anti-inflammatory effects in patients with coronary artery disease. “Taken together, these results show that lutein has the potential to play a role in resolution of chronic inflammation in coronary artery disease patients,” the researchers summarized. Published in Atherosclerosis in July 2017.
Zeaxanthin is a carotenoid and, like its sister carotenoid lutein, is essential for eye health. The two carotenoids are often studied together due to their similarities, and because the human body can convert lutein into zeaxanthin. Though most studies on zeaxanthin highlight its relation to eye health, the same antioxidant properties have also been shown to benefit immune health.
• A 2020 study from the University of Colorado, Boulder found that zeaxanthin was a “photoprotector, anti-inflammatory, and brain food.” The study was published in Molecules in August 2020.
• A 2016 Chinese study of visual disorders and cognition diseases reported that zeaxanthin’s antioxidant properties “helped prevent oxidative stress and reduced inflammation.” The study was published in Molecules in April 2017.
• A 2019 economic modeling study reviewing dozens of earlier studies determined probiotic supplementing reduces flu-like respiratory tract infections significantly. The researchers found that even a modest increase in probiotic supplementing in the U.S. would save millions of “infection days” and over a billion dollars in healthcare costs each year. Researchers from Netherlands, U.S., Denmark and France contributed to the research, which was published in Frontiers in Pharmacology in August 2019.
• According to a 2020 study conducted in Mexico, COVID-19 hospital patients who consumed probiotics once a day for a month had lower remission rates. They also saw shorter duration of symptoms and viral load. The study—a placebo-controlled, double-blinded clinical trial—included four strains of probiotics. The study was published on the ClinicalTrials.gov platform in August 2020.
• According to a 2019 study conducted at Kings College London, supplementing with multiple strains of probiotics is far superior to supplementing with a single strain. “Our research suggests that future treatments to improve human health should focus on targeting microbial teams and their functions, rather than single microbial species,” the researchers commented in their summary. The study was published in Nature Communications in October 2019.
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