By Jennifer Smith, Natural Medicine Practitioner and Certified in Holistic Nutrition
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The trick to using immune system supplements is to know your body. You need to know what your body is lacking in, what it needs, and how to achieve that goal without overdoing it on other vitamins and minerals you may not need. Supplements can be taken in many forms including pills, liquids, and powders.
Here are a few immune boosting supplements that can give your body the extra edge it needs to boost the immune system and fight off illness without taxing your body.
The main reason to add Omega 3 to your system is due to how it interacts with your white cells. The omega 3 fatty acids help your white cells to work at optimal levels to help fight bacteria. If you are taking Vitamin D supplements, the Omega 3 will also help the Vitamin D work at optimal levels as well. You can boost your omega 3 supplement during times when you are sick with a cold or flu to help boost the immune system and the white cells working on the bacteria.
One of the leading supplements to take when you are trying to boost your immune system is a probiotic. There are several reasons for this, but the number one reason is your digestive system. When you get sick, your body may start to slow down and become sluggish. This includes your digestive tract. This means that toxins are being held in your body and could be harboring bacteria that makes it harder for you to get over the illness you are experiencing. Probiotics will help break down these toxins and flush your system.
Probiotics also help by helping to correct the balance of good bacteria in the gut. In our modern society, antibiotics, GMO's, conventional farming with pesticides and other chemicals can cause bad bacteria to overpopulate our gut. Adding good bacteria found in probiotics can help to restore proper balance, which will provide a major boost to your immune system. You can learn more about causes of leaky gut in our post.
Vitamin C is a standard when it comes to supplements for your immune system. You may know you should be taking it, however you may not know what it does. Though it does help building your immune system, it also helps to flush out your system while maintaining the stomach lining and intestinal lining and not disrupting or damaging these areas.
While food sources of Vitamin C are beneficial, the only way to get enough Vitamin C to receive therapeutic benefits is to take it in the form of either ascorbic acid or sodium ascorbate powder. I prefer sodium ascorbate because it is buffered and not as acidic in taste as ascorbic acid. Thomas Levy in his book Curing The Incurable: Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases and Toxins, describes the average adult should be taking a minimum of 6,000-12,000 mg of Vitamin C each day to meet the body's basic metabolic needs. If you are sick, or have a chronic disease you will most likely need higher doses, sometimes even up to 200,000 mg. or more per day.
So just how do you know how much Vitamin C you will need? Levy explains that you should refer to Robert Cathcart's bowel tolerance as described in the 1981 Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine.
A general guideline is to take enough vitamin C, until it makes you have to run to the bathroom. It's best to start with 3,000-5,000 mg. and continue to take 2,000 mg. every 15 minutes until you reach bowel tolerance. Once you know what that loading dose is, continue taking just a little less than bowel tolerance, 3-4 times a day until the illness is resolved.
Times when I have felt myself getting sick, I immediately take vitamin C to bowel tolerance and then the doses as described above. I have been able to avoid getting any sicker and the tickle in the back of my throat disappears within hours.
Once resolved, take 5,000-15,000 mg. daily; or less if you reach bowel tolerance at this maintenance dose.
Vitamin D is my favorite of all the immune system supplements! And it's not just good for your immune system. It can also help to restore balance to many other systems of the body.
According to author of The Optimal Dose and doctor Judson Somerville, MD; optimal dosing of Vitamin D can help to:
Quoted from page 128-229 The Optimal Dose by Judson Somerville, MD
Now I know what you may be thinking, 'Vitamin D, does all of this? But I've taken vitamin D and I still have XXX issue'. Dr. Somerville's book explains what he describes as the "optimal dose", he recommends his patients take 30,000 i.u.'s a day. He also recommends people have regular testing of their vitamin D levels, a few times a year. He looks for his patients levels to stay between 100-140 ng/ml of vitamin D3 in the blood and he confirms this through a biomarker 25(OH)D blood test.
Dr. Somerville reports that none of his patients taking the 30,000 I.U. dose, have come down with the flu in the 8 years that he has been recommending and using it in his practice. He has had two individuals that chose to take a lower dose of 10,000-20,000 i.u.'s, who contracted H1N1 in 2011, however both of those individuals survived. Those individuals attributed their survival with taking the higher than average dose of vitamin D. As you can probably see, vitamin D really earns it's place as my #1 pick for immune system supplements!
Jennifer Smith, NMP, CHN, FBCC , BHC
Jennifer Smith is a Natural Medicine Practitioner, Certified in Holistic Nutrition, Faith-Based Clinical Counselor and Biblical Health Coach. She has completed advanced certificates in Functional Nutrition, Functional Medicine, Natural Health Consultant diploma, Biblical Natural Medicine and Biblical Eating and Clinical Nutrition.
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Unfortunately doctors do not have solutions for chronic conditions. They are great with emergency services and ok with acute care, though this can be improved too.
But what about all the rest of the people who are suffering with chronic issues? Doctors only know how to recommend pills or surgery and then these just lead to compound conditions that they recommend, more pills and surgery for.
For crying out loud, let’s get to the bottom of these chronic issues rather than putting band-aids on them and telling people to in their heads! Are you with me?
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