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With so many new viral variants on the rise, I thought it might be a good time to re-explore the basics of how viruses function and strategies to stay healthy.

Viruses are everywhere. By some estimates, viruses are the most plentiful organism on the planet. Did you know that between 4-8% of your human genome is made up of viruses? These are called human endogenous retroviruses (or HERVs) and they are the vestiges of ancient retroviral infections which inserted themselves into our genome.

Viruses that exist outside of our genome are called exogenous, and these include all of the familiar players that we encounter in our daily lives like cold and flu viruses, as well as the viruses responsible for common childhood illnesses like croup and chickenpox.

Unlike humans, whose genetic material is made up of both DNA and RNA, the genetic material of viruses is typically either DNA or RNA.

RNA viruses, including the current pandemic virus, are generally considered to be more unstable than their DNA cousins because they are more prone to mutation. According to some estimates RNA viruses have a mutation rate that can be up to a million times higher than their host’s cells. Such high rates of mutation allow RNA viruses to effectively evade common immune strategies, including drug and vaccine therapies. High rates of mutation also increase the likelihood that RNA viruses cross species and find novel hosts.

Because RNA viruses are so prone to mutation, strengthening our body’s innate immune system continues to be our best defense against novel viral variants.

My Immune Building Protocol is a great place to start. Individually tailored for adults and children, the protocol includes a combination of nutrients and botanicals that have been extensively researched in the medical literature both for their immune building properties, as well as their targeted effects on viral growth and proliferation.

For more information on my specific recommendations, please see my free ebook, Everyday Immunity: A Wellness Primer.

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