What supplements or foods can I use to boost my immune system?
I am asked this question multiple times a week. There are tens of thousands of supplements on the market, but a few quality ones can give you a huge boost in immunity to viruses, bacteria, and disease. With so much confusion lately, let me suggest my favorite 5.
We all convert sunshine into vitamin D but when the weather is too hot or cold we may not be able to enjoy the outdoors. This makes supplementing is imperative! A study was done including 95,766 participants that were followed for 19 years. The 2014 report published in the British Medical Journal linked genetically low Vitamin D to an increased risk of mortality. [i]
During this time 10,349 of the participants passed revealing the increase of 30% increased risk of mortality was due to a genetic link associated with low vitamin D. There was also a 40% higher risk of cancer-related deaths due to low levels of this essential vitamin in those genotypes. [ii]
Not only is our resistance to the Covid virus boosted by vitamin D, but it can also significantly decrease mortality risks as found in a study of 8417 older German adults who had their genetic variants genotyped. The wonderful thing is that we don’t need to be tested to know the multitude of benefits! I have all clients 12 years old and beyond on 5,000 I.U. daily unless they work or play in the sun for 2 or more hours. Testing with blood work every 6-12 months is a good way to ensure you are adequately covered. 
Not many vitamins can claim to cure but Vitamin C is a known cure for scurvy, as it is a disease of vitamin C deficiency. We can’t make it within so a proper diet and possibly supplementation is necessary. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, tomatoes, berries, peppers, potatoes, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and spinach.
This amazing vitamin (also known as ascorbic acid) is necessary for the repair, development, and growth of all body tissues. It plays a role in iron absorption, formation of collagen, immune system function, wound healing, cartilage, teeth, and bone maintenance. It is needed to create blood vessels, muscle, cartilage, and collagen in bones. Vitamin C is also essential to the body’s healing process and is an antioxidant that helps protect your cells against the damage of free radicals.
Research shows a diet rich in these plants may decrease the risk of cancers such as colon, lung, and breast cancer. Taking oral supplements regularly can reduce the length or severity of a cold (MAYO LINK) and in combination with other vitamins and minerals prevent age-related Macular degeneration. With higher levels, the risk of developing cataracts can be lowered as well. 
Who is more likely to be deficient?
- Smokers or those exposed to secondhand smoking
- Those exposed to the sun’s radiation repeatedly or for long periods
- People who have had multiple X-rays or radiation exposure from other sources (WiFi)
- Folks having forms of gastrointestinal conditions or some types of cancer
- Anyone with a limited diet or not eating fruits and vegetables regularly
Vitamin C may interact or work well with the following:
- Statin medications or niacin effectiveness that are taken to reduce high cholesterol may be reduced. I prefer other methods if you would like to discuss them further.
- Estrogens used for oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapies may further increase your estrogen levels.
- Aluminum absorption from medication (especially heartburn aids such as Tums, Rolaids, etc.) is increased which can trigger not only cognitive disorder but also headache, neurological issues, anemia, flatulence, as well as liver and kidney malfunction.
- Protease inhibitors used for antiviral treatment may reduce its effectiveness.
- Warfarin, Coumadin, or Heparin are known as anticoagulants/blood thinners may lose some of their effectiveness with high doses of vitamin C.
- Chemotherapy effectiveness has been said to be reduced but many in the natural health field may disagree.
The RDA or recommended daily amount of vitamin C is 90 milligrams for adult men and 75 milligrams for adult women but the true test of how much you need is found with a bowel tolerance test. Yes, it is exactly what it sounds like. By increasing your intake until you have loose stools, you will find where your body’s needs are and adjust accordingly to maintain optimal levels.
We all know vitamin C helps to fight colds and even cancers but did you know that vitamin E can help to regulate the body’s immune system?
Vitamin E can also be called alpha-tocopherol. The synthetic form is all rac-alpha-tocopherol products that may also be labeled dl-alpha-tocopherol typically derived from petroleum products. The natural form is RRR-alpha-tocopherol and can be found in wheat germ, sunflower or safflower oils, avocados, nuts, and seeds.
It regulates neutrophil entry into the lungs and can significantly reduce inflammation while fighting off infection caused by the common pneumonia bacteria according to Elsa N. Bou Ghanem, Ph.D.
In one study, mice of all ages were given extra vitamin E for four weeks before being infected with bacterial pneumonia with the control group receiving no supplementation. Two days after exposure, the older control animals showed 1,000 times greater with 2.2 fold higher neutrophils in the lung and a 2.25 fold increased rate of septicemia (bacteria infection in the bloodstream or blood poisoning causing sepsis) compared to younger mice. [iii]
As you can see it can be incredibly powerful in bolstering your immune system!
In the natural health realm, we have known for a very long time that elderberries combat influenza infections with phytochemicals. It stops the replication of viruses. It is a small, common antioxidant and an antiviral-rich fruit is otherwise known as Sambucus nigra. The phytonutrients give it a rich purple color.
This amazing berry stimulates the cells to release certain cytokines. We often scarily see this term lately when we hear the cytokine storm is mentioned in regards to the Corona Virus shot. These chemical messengers which are essential, are used within the immune system to communicate among different cell types to coordinate an efficient immune response against an invading pathogen. It is only when we are overloaded with pathogens that a harmful storm occurs.
Elderberry inhibits the early stages of viral infection by blocking key viral proteins that are responsible for both the viral attachment and entry into host cells. This makes it a natural killer of the influenza virus and most likely other viruses. 
According to research it also contains anthocyanidins, (plant pigments) that have an antioxidant effect to protect your cells from becoming damaged. 
Pine Tree Oil
Pine Tree Needle oil tea may sound strange and yes, it tastes like you think it would, but it is very powerful! It is a very potent anti-oxidants used by the Native Americans to treat stress, depression, inflammation, cancer, pain, and respiratory infection as well as killing parasites naturally.
Fresh needles from the right trees (white pine, spruce, fir, cedar needles, red pine, and some conifer trees) can be a source of vitamin C and contain other phytochemicals. The pine needles contain substances that reduce platelet “clumping”, possibly preventing blood clots leading to heart attacks, strokes, and pulmonary embolisms.
Shikimic acid or Shikimate in a pharmaceutical form is called Suramin. These needles are the natural basis taken as the medication Tamiflu in a chemical form to make the anti-viral drug. The extraction of this acid from this plant needle is the key natural ingredient that kills the flu virus. It is also found in the Chinese herb Star Anise at almost 9% potency. 
According to esteemed Dr. Judy Mikovits, a world-renowned virologist, it can help stop a spike protein transmission as well. The most common use has been to treat human sleeping sickness caused by parasites.
As you can see there are a few very powerful supplements, foods, and organic items possibly right outside your door or locally that can help you in bolstering your immune system against all types of flu or bacterial exposures. You are not defenseless.
LET’S CHAT about your health goals!
[i] Br. Med J. Nov. 19, 2014
[ii] The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 102, Issue 2, 1 February 2017
[iii] In the Journal Immunol Dec. 15, 2014
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