The Long Haul of COVID-19 Recovery: Immune Rejuvenation versus Immune Support.

Integrative medicine (Encinitas, Calif.). 2020;19(6):18-22
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Following Covid-19 infection, sufferers have reported various residual symptoms, which have been likened to those experienced by chronic fatigue sufferers and those with Gulf War syndrome. This review paper aimed to assess whether the body has a similar immune response to these diseases during Covid-19, and if so, what therapies could be used. It also reviewed any diet and lifestyle factors that may be affecting the immune response. The paper stated that Covid-19 infection is associated with inflammation, which can damage immune cells and inflammation prior to Covid-19 infection may contribute to severity of the infection. Prior research in seemingly healthy individuals indicates that environment, diet, and lifestyle factors can all contribute to differing “immune identities” and eliminating immune cells which carry the imprint of memories should be a therapy focus in Covid-19 patients. Fasting, diets low in refined sugars and high in omega-3 and plant chemicals were discussed as ways for the body to clear out immune cells. It was concluded that personalising therapy strategies based on an individual’s immune identity to reduce inflammation could ultimately support the immune system. This paper could be used by healthcare professionals to understand the importance of diet and lifestyle changes to reduce inflammation and support the immune system.


With the COVID-19 pandemic still affecting communities all over the world and "Long Haul" chronic health issues emerging, it is time for us to look back at past multi-symptom health conditions that required a different approach to their treatment, beyond just managing symptoms. It is important for us to consider how to apply what we have learned about immune rejuvenation and its impact on conditions associated with chronic immune dysfunction. We know more than we ever have before about how to reduce chronic inflammation at its source through the support of selective immune cell autophagy/mitophagy and improved immune cell mitochondrial activity, followed by remodeling of the immune epigenome, and-ultimately-a reset of immune function.

Lifestyle medicine

Patient Centred Factors : Mediators/Inflammation
Environmental Inputs : Diet ; Nutrients ; Microorganisms
Personal Lifestyle Factors : Nutrition ; Exercise and movement
Functional Laboratory Testing : Not applicable

Methodological quality

Jadad score : Not applicable
Allocation concealment : Not applicable
Publication Type : Journal Article