Top 10 Tips for a Super Immune System
‘Tis the season when your kids come home from school sounding mucous-y and everyone at work is a little more generous with their germs. But getting sick this time of year is not inevitable. Stay healthy all year long with these strategies.
The 2016 flu pellets are in! Influenzinum 9c is a homeopathic flu remedy that is updated yearly based on the flu strains predicted by the World Health Organization (WHO). The tiny pellets dissolve easily in your mouth and contain the same three viral strains as the conventional flu vaccine, diluted to 1 part per billion, which eliminates the need to use mercury as a preservative.
This method of preparing the vaccine greatly reduces the risk of side effects, and is safe for all ages. Made according to the guidelines of the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States (HPUS).
2. Exercise every day
Exercise has many benefits for your health, including that it stimulates your lymphatic system. The job of the lymphatic system is to carry lymph, a fluid containing infection-fighting white blood cells, throughout the body. Unfortunately, lymph vessels do not have pumps that force the lymph to circulate. They instead rely on the squeezing of your muscles around them to get lymph moving. When you engage in light exercise while you’re coming down with something, the sniffles might just disappear before they’ve gained traction.
Sleep is your body’s time to rest and repair. When you feel under the weather, listen to your body and be gentle with yourself. Do not overload your to-do list at the expense of a good night’s sleep, every night.
4. Stay hydrated
There is a reason that we’re advised to increase fluid intake when we are sick. Our bodies need adequate hydration in order to flush toxins out of our systems, and most of us are perpetually dehydrated. Water is necessary for proper digestion and elimination, as well as for keeping respiratory secretions thin (thick, congested mucous cannot clear those buggers out as effectively as a runny nose) and controlling a fever. Stay away from sugary drinks like Gatorade, juice or soda and opt instead for tea, water and clear broth.
5. Vitamin D
Vitamin D3 has been shown incredibly effective at preventing flu during “flu season,” which happens to coincide with a drop in daytime sun exposure and concurrently decreased vitamin d levels. And not only does Vitamin D help to prevent flu, it also works to combat it when taken in high doses at the onset of symptoms (one dose of 50,000 iu or 10,000 iu 2-3 days in a row).1 It is now well-established in medical research that Vitamin D plays a role in regulating the immune system, with vitamin D receptors on B cells, T cells, and antigen presenting cells. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with higher levels of autoimmunity and greater susceptibility to infections.2
It is estimated that upwards of 70 percent of your immune system resides in your gut. Probiotics are therefore one of our most important immune boosting allies.3 Good bacteria fight for space in your intestinal tract with bad bacteria and pathogens, protect the lining of your intestines (which not only functions to absorb nutrients, but also to keep foreign invaders from entering your blood stream) and help reduce inflammation.
7. Eat a nutrient-dense diet
While we are on the topic of your gut microbiome, let’s talk about diet. Eating a variety of vegetables, grass-fed dairy (if you can tolerate it), and lean, pasture-raised protein may be more expensive than eating processed garbage (or even conventional produce and factory farmed animals), but your body will thank you for it. Animals raised on antibiotics and vegetables sprayed with pesticides are not doing your immune system 4, 5, nervous system 6, or waistline 7 any favors!
Zinc is absolutely necessary to the functioning of your white blood cells and thymus gland 8, and many of us are deficient, which is especially bad news during cold and flu season. Because zinc is most abundant in animal sources, and phytic acid in grains, legumes and seeds can block the absorption of this mineral 9, vegans, vegetarians, and those eating a high-grain diet are often the most at risk for zinc deficiency. An overabundance of copper as well as certain medications can also cause low levels. If you often get sick, it is prudent to have your zinc levels checked and work on getting them optimized. I also take zinc preventively if I start to feel under the weather to give my immune system an edge.
9. Take some V Clear at the first sign of respiratory gunk
You know the feeling—that niggling scratch at the back of your throat, the first few sneezes you chalk up to coincidence, the stuffy nose. Everyone around you is walking around with plague-like symptoms and now you’ve started to succumb. Fortunately, even if you do get sick, it does not have to be a drawn-out, multi-week affair, because you can harness the power of pelargonium sidoides, also known as South African germanium.
V Clear is made from an extract of this attractive plant, and in a randomized double-blind controlled trial, it was shown to significantly decrease symptoms and reduce duration in adults with acute bronchitis versus a placebo. 10
10. Vitamin C drip
If you are lucky enough to be a patient here or at another practice with nutrient infusions, I highly recommend a vitamin c drip, especially if everyone around you seems to be dropping like flies, or you are gearing up to travel. A megadose of vitamin C has been found to decrease cold and flu symptoms by as much as 85%.11
1- Schwalfenberg, G. (2015). Vitamin D for influenza. Canadian Family Physician,61(6), 507.
2- Aranow, C. (2011). Vitamin D and the Immune System. Journal of Investigative Medicine : The Official Publication of the American Federation for Clinical Research, 59(6), 881–886. http://doi.org/10.231/JIM.0b013e31821b8755
3- Round, J. L., & Mazmanian, S. K. (2009). The gut microbiome shapes intestinal immune responses during health and disease. Nature Reviews. Immunology, 9(5), 313–323. http://doi.org/10.1038/nri2515
4- Nicolopoulou-Stamati, P., Maipas, S., Kotampasi, C., Stamatis, P., & Hens, L. (2016). Chemical Pesticides and Human Health: The Urgent Need for a New Concept in Agriculture. Frontiers in Public Health, 4, 148. http://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2016.00148
5- Sommer, M. O., PhD, & Dantas, G., PhD. (n.d.). Antibiotics and the Resistant Microbiome. http://orbit.dtu.dk/fedora/objects/orbit:42115/datastreams/file_6453561/content
6- Sarah Mackenzie Ross, I. C. McManus, Virginia Harrison & Oliver Mason (2013) Neurobehavioral problems following low-level exposure to organophosphate pesticides: a systematic and meta-analytic review, Critical Reviews in Toxicology, 43:1, 21-44, DOI: 10.3109/10408444.2012.738645
7- Lee, D., Steffes, M. W., Sjödin, A., Jones, R. S., Needham, L. L., & Jacobs, D. R. (2011). Low Dose Organochlorine Pesticides and Polychlorinated Biphenyls Predict Obesity, Dyslipidemia, and Insulin Resistance among People Free of Diabetes.PLoS ONE, 6(1). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0015977
8- Fraker, P. (2000). Impact of Nutritional Status on Immune Integrity. Nutrition and Immunology, 147-156. doi:10.1007/978-1-59259-709-3_12
9- Couzy, F., Mansourian, R., Labate, A., Guinchard, S., Montagne, D.H. and Dirren, H. (1998) ‘Effect of dietary phytic acid on zinc absorption in the healthy elderly, as assessed by serum concentration curve tests’, British Journal of Nutrition, 80(2), pp. 177–182. doi: 10.1017/S0007114598001081.
10- Matthys, H., Lizogub, V., Malek, F., & Kieser, M. (2010). Efficacy and tolerability of EPs 7630 tablets in patients with acute bronchitis: A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled dose-finding study with a herbal drug preparation from Pelargonium sidoides. Current Medical Research and Opinion, 26(6), 1413-1422. doi:10.1185/03007991003798463
11-The effectiveness of vitamin C in preventing and relieving the symptoms of virus-induced respiratory infections Gorton, H.Clay et al.Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics , Volume 22 , Issue 8 , 530 - 533