People often wander how their immune system fares with the upcoming cold and flu season. Supporting the immune system is critical to good health. Good health is also neccessary for supporting the immune system. The best way to support the immune function is a comprehensive plan involving lifestyle, stress management, excercise, diet, nutritional supplementation, glandular therapy, and plant-based medicines.
Toxic emotions, or your state of mind's health influences your immune function. Stress increases corticosteroids and catecholamines, which at high levels are immune suppressive. Components of the immune system have receptors for many of the hormones and neurotransmitters of the hypothalamic-pituatery adrenal and the sympathetic -adrenal medullary axes. Stress reduction and adequate sleep are helpful to boost your immune function.
Balance: Macronutrient status including a clean diet rich in natural foods, low in refined sugars, and adequate but not excessive amount of proteins. Sugars in excess of 100 gm has been shown to significantly reduce nutrophil function. Toxins such as alcohol are more susceptible to infections, especially pneumonia.
Micronutrients: Vit. A: shown to stimulate and enhance immune function including cell mediated cytotoxicity against tumors, natural killer cell activity, lymphocyte function and antibody response.Carotenes function as antioxidants and been shown to have immune enhancing effects.Vit C: showing immune enhancement as well as showing antiviral, antibacterial as well as improving in host resistance. It also has a direct biochemical effects similiar to those of interferon.Vit. E: enhances cellular and humural immunity. Deficiency results in lymphoid atrophy.Iron: deficiency may cause dysfunction even when hemoglobin levels are not low.Zinc: has multiple functions related to the immune system from binding of complement to immune complex, protectant against free radicals, lymphocyte transformation and activating thymic factor. It also inhibits growth of several viruses. Selenium: affects all components of the immune system. Deficiency has been found to inhibit resistance to infection.
Lifestyle: smoking cessation, regularity in meals, reduced simple sugars, weight reduction, alcohol restriction, improved sleep, and excercise.Drink plenty of water including vegetable juices, soups, and herb teas.
Diet: whole, natural foods such as fruit, vegetables, grains, beans, seeds, and nuts. low refined sugars, and adequate protein. reduction in alcohol.
Vitamin A: 5000iu/day, Carotenes: 25,000 iu/day, Vit C: sodium ascorbate powder 5000mg twice daily ( average adult dose), Vit E and Iron.
Zinc: 30 mg /day
Selenium: 200 mcg two times a day
Ecchinacea: results in increase in all immune parameters. It works on healthy as well as sick people enhancing the effects of white cells. It also exerts antiviral activity and helps prevent spread of bacteria by inhibiting hyaluronidase.
Panax ginseng: exerts immunomodulating activity.
Astragalus: effective for the common cold. shown to reduce the duration and severity of symptoms as well as raise white cell count in those with chronic white cell reduction.
Seek the advice of a functionl medicine practitioner who can diagnose and who is knowledgeable in supporting your immune system.
**Statements made are not intended to diagnose , treat or cure disease. Refer to the appropriate sources for dosages and any contraindications you may have to single nutrients and botanicals.**