Lifestyle, Diet, & Nutritional Supplements to Support Weak Immune System
KEY CAUSES OF WEAK IMMUNE SYSTEM
- Deficiency of: vitamin D, zinc, magnesium, vitamin B12, selenium, vitamin C, A, K, and E. There is a growing amount of research which suggests that a lack of vitamin D could be an important factor greatly contributing to weakness of the immune system and its inability to overcome viral infections. Almost every person in England is deficient in vitamin D which is very important also for human nervous and immune system.
- Insufficient number of good probiotic bacteria in the colon
- Lack of antioxidants such as glutathione, SOD, alpha lipoic acid, NAC, CoQ10, etc.
- Lack of sleep
- Insufficient sun exposures
- Unhealthy diet low in raw vegetables and fibre
- Overconsumption of milk and all dairy products, cheese, pizza, refined sugar and foods containing sugar, meat, white flower products, white rice, etc.
- Use of antibiotics and stimulants (smoking, alcohol, caffeine, drugs, etc.)
- Emotional stress, anxiety, depression, low mood, negative thinking
- Lack of exercise and poor blood circulation and oxygenation of immune cells
- Hormonal imbalance
- Toxins: Mercury, lead, fluoride, and other toxins.
NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS TO SUPPORT IMMUNE SYSTEM
In order to make your immune system stronger you need to address the listed above causes.
- Take a decent immunity-supporting nutritional supplement such as Betaimune which contains a unique combination of well-known powerful Antioxidants including Pine Bark Extract, CoQ10, Mixed Berries, Mixed Carotenoids, Citrus Bioflavonoids, Red Grape Extract (rich in resveratrol), together with carefully selected Vitamins and Minerals including Vitamin D3, A & E, Zinc, Selenium, and other nutrients for optimum immune support.
- Take a good quality Probiotic formula (such as ImmuProbio) for to 2-4 months every day, as inflammations, weakness of the immune system and autoimmune diseases are linked to the deficiency of the probiotic bacteria in the gut.
- Vitamin D3: Researchers investigated and compared data from 25 studies on vitamin D that involved 10,000 people to explore the effect of vitamin D in preventing cold, flu, bronchitis and pneumonia. Their conclusion suggests vitamin D supplementation was very beneficial in preventing respiratory tract infections. According to the NHS new guidelines on vitamin D, everyone should consider taking vitamin D supplements during the winter months: “
- Magnesium plays important role in proper conversion and absorption of vitamin D. Therefore, in cases where large doses of vitamin D3 don’t seem to work the true problem is magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is necessary to activate all the enzymes that metabolize vitamin D. Magnesium deficiency causes vitamin D to be stored and remain inactive!
- Zinc: In Zinc deficient body immune system is not able to overcome viral infection. Zinc inhibits influenza & cold viruses; Taking Zinc at the start of a cold or flu helps minimise duration and severity of symptoms. In 2014 meta-analysis of 67 studies researchers have found that zinc is the best supplement for warding off colds and flu! According to the 2013 study, “Zinc (lozenges) administered within 24 hours of onset of symptoms reduces the duration of symptoms.”
- Selenium boosts immunity and helps defend viral and bacterial infections, autoimmune diseases and allergies. For instance, in people who already contracted HIV, selenium has been shown to also be able to slow down the progression of the disease into AIDS. It was discovered that 200 micrograms of Selenium per day helps prevent viruses from replicating.
- Vitamin B12: 1,000 to 2,000 mcg a day under the tongue (sublingual Methylcobalamin, such as Metcobin, is the best option). This vitamin is involved in the production of white blood cells which are responsible to deal with viral infections and many people with inflammations, weak immune system and autoimmune diseases have low levels of this most important vitamin. Many individuals today have low WBC count (including meat-eaters) due to very common today vitamin B12 deficiency.
- Vitamin C: Being an antioxidant Vitamin C helps maintain strong immune system by protecting it against oxidative damage caused by free radicals: “Vitamin C is known as an essential anti-oxidant and enzymatic co-factor for hormone production, collagen synthesis and immune potentiation.” According to Linus Pauling, “Effectiveness of ascorbic acid in providing protection against viral diseases results from its function in the synthesis and activity of interferon in preventing the entry of virus particles into the cells… For many people 1000 mg to 2000 mg of Vitamin C per day is the optimum rate of ingestion.“ A 2013 research maintains that, “Vitamin C Is an Essential Factor on the Anti-viral Immune Responses through the Production of Interferon-α/β at the Initial Stage of Influenza Virus Infection.” To prevent flu and reduce its symptoms, apart from vitamin C, also zinc and vitamin D3 are recommended for better results.
- Boost Glutathione levels which is a most powerful of all antioxidants and strengthens the immune system and is one of the most effective remedies against inflammations. It boosts body’s ability to modulate and regulate the immune system. It is also important to provide body with ingredients that increase glutathione production in the liver by taking turmeric, milk thistle, L-cysteine or NAC (N-acetyl cysteine), Alpha Lipoic Acid, bilberry, vitamin C, asparagus, broccoli, peaches, avocado, spinach, garlic, squash, grapefruit.
- Propolis: Due to its proven anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antibacterial properties Propolis can help prevent and shorten the duration of common respiratory diseases such as flu or cold. In one study a regular daily doses of acropolis were given to a group of school children during the cold season. As a result the children treated with propolis had significantly fewer colds with acute or chronic symptoms. According to the results of another trial, the group of adults on propolis extract became free of cold symptoms two and half times faster than the control group. It was reported that Propolis improves the cellular immune response by increasing mRNA for interferon-γ and activating the production of cytokines.
- Ginger can kill viruses, bacteria, and yeasts according to numerous cellular studies. It not only soothes a sore throat, but can kill rhinoviruses (the cause of most colds) and stimulates immune system by increasing body temperature. Ginger also prevents the accumulation of toxins that make you susceptible to viral, fungal and bacterial infections.
- Garlic: Studies have demonstrated that garlic helps reduce the risk of flu or clods and may reduce the severity of symptoms. One study gave 146 volunteers either garlic supplements or a placebo for three months. The garlic group had a 63% lower risk of getting a cold, and their colds were also 70% shorter. Another study also concluded that colds were on average 60% shorter for subjects on garlic, compared to a placebo group. Their colds were also less severe.
- Astragalus extract is regarded now as energy and immune system booster. A 2012 study displayed its ability to control T-helper cells 1 and 2, essentially regulating the body’s immune responses. As a result of taking astragalus extract the macrophages and the natural killer cells of the immune system have a markedly enhanced ability to fight intruders, including viruses, five- to six-fold! It looks like no other herb can be more effective immune system stimulator than astragalus. According to Dr. Randy Horwitz, Medical Director at the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, “Astragalus has been found to have both antiviral and immune-enhancing properties. Research shows that the 50 or so different compounds in astragalus work by stimulating immune cells, such as T-cells, phagocytes, and macrophages, to fight off disease. In Asia, it’s even given to cancer patients.” Astragalus – Like zinc, selenium, and vitamin D does not only makes immune system stronger but it also modulate immunity helping prevent leukocytes from attacking own body and reducing symptoms of inflammation as well as various autoimmune diseases.
- Chlorella and Spirulina may be very beneficial in various infections. After 3 months of treating patients with Chlorella researchers discovered that the condition of 70% of the patients significantly improved.
NUTRITIONAL AND LIFESTYLE RECOMMENDATIONS
- Don’t use stimulants such as caffeine products, alcohol or smoking.
- Learn to control stress and think positive!
- Exercise in the morning outside to boost circulation, oxygenation and serotonin levels!
- Light therapy. Expose your body to sunlight whenever it is possible or use strong light imitating sunlight.
- Go to sleep as early as possible. Try to sleep at least seven or eight hours a day.
- Eat raw home-made Sauerkraut every day, as inflammations, weakness of the immune system and autoimmune diseases are linked to the deficiency of the probiotic bacteria in the gut.
- Avoid foods with refined sugar as it makes leukocytes behave like drunken soldiers. Also white flour products weaken immune system because they are quickly converted to sugar. Instead of sugar and other harmful sweeteners you can use xylitol, erythritol, stevia or organic raw honey in moderation.
- Avoid all artificial sweeteners, high glucose/fructose syrup (HFCS) and monosodium glutamate (MSG).
- Increase consumption of plant-based and unrefined foods with plenty of raw vegetable juices and raw vegetable salads.
- Avoid or significantly reduce consumption of cheese, pizza, meat, bad fats & dairy.
Written by Slawomir Gromadzki, MPH
– Linus Pauling, Vitamin C and the Common Cold, p. 38, 84
– Yejin Kim, Hyemin Kim, Seyeon Bae, et al (2013) Immune Netw. 2013 Apr; 13(2): 70–74
– The Telegraph, G. Michael Allan, MD and Bruce Arroll, MB ChB PhD (2014) Prevention and treatment of the common cold: making sense of the evidence. 28 Jan 2014 CMAJ. 2014 Feb 18
– Singh M1, Das RR (2013) Zinc for the common cold. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Jun 18;(6)
– V Vetvicka, J Vetvickova (2014) Immune-enhancing effects of Maitake.
– Propolis: Otolaryngologia Polska 1989;43(3):180-4.
– Propolis: Isr Med Assoc J 2002 Nov;4(11 Suppl):923-7.
– Propolis: Int Immunopharmacol. 2004 Jul;4(7):975-82.
– Propolis: Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2007 Mar 15;116(1-2):79-84.
– Echinacea: Daily Mail 10/10/2012
– Melchart D, Linde K, Fischer P (2000) Echinacea for preventing and treating the common cold. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2000;(2):CD000530.
– Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory tract infections: systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data. BMJ 2017; 356 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i6583 (Published 15 February 2017): http://www.bmj.com/content/356/bmj.i658
– NHS: The new guidelines on vitamin D – what you need to know, Thursday July 21 2016: https://www.nhs.uk/news/food-and-diet/the-new-guidelines-on-vitamin-d-what-you-need-to-know/
– Nantz MP1, Rowe CA, Muller CE, Creasy RA, Stanilka JM, Percival SS. (2016). Supplementation with aged garlic extract improves both NK and γδ-T cell function and reduces the severity of cold and flu symptoms: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled nutrition intervention. Clin Nutr. 2012 Jun;31(3):337-44. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2011.11.019. Epub 2012 Jan 24.
– Josling P1. (2001). Preventing the common cold with a garlic supplement: a double-blind, placebo-controlled survey. Adv Ther. 2001 Jul-Aug;18(4):189-93.
– Astragalus: https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/the-cold-remedy-that-actually-works-20160316
Any information or product suggested on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition. Never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. Consult your primary healthcare physician before using any supplements or making any changes to your regime.