Building Up Your Immune System for the Cold and Flu Season - Supplements
Post 2/4 On Building Your Immune System
Additional links about building the immune system:
Today the topic is Supplements.
There is so much information out there about what vitamins, herbs, probiotics you can take. It can be very confusing. Let's break it down:
** Vitamin D **
We don't make enough or at all (we must ingest it or have sunlight exposure without SPF to help our bodies change the Vit D in our bodies to a usable form.) - In the 1920's studies showed that people in sunnier locations had lower rates of infection. Numerous studies recently (2009 during Swine Flu Epidemic), have shown that daily vit D supplementation reduces risk of catching Influenza and Pneumonia from Influenza. These studies were done in both kids and adults.
- All the cancer research demonstrates a decrease in risk of cancer in those taking vitamin D or living near the equator. (Cancer is held in check by immune cells)
- How much do you need: Babies- kids 400 International Units (IU), teens 600-1000 IU, adults 1000-2000 IU. It is best to get your levels checked for accurate dosing
- Food with Vit D, Organic Whole Milk with Vit D, Fish, pasture raised organic eggs, and liver are the best sources in food
** Probiotics **
In Chinese medicine it is said that if your gut is out of sync, so is the rest of your body. Western Medicine has spent millions of dollars in research to come to the same conclusion.
The first line of defense against invading viruses and bacteria is our skin and our nose and mouth. Assuming our skin is intact, the body has to have the correct army to fight off the germs being sneezed at us, coughed on us, and residing on unwashed hands (now we are all grossed out). Our gut is populated with trillions of bacteria that helps us with digestion and immune defense. If you eat a diet containing processed foods, tons of sugar and food coloring, or fake sugars like Splenda and Equal, your gut bacteria becomes weak and somewhat useless. How do you build this army?? First change your diet Building Your Immune System - Nutrition. Second, probiotics of course, but which one?!!
- Currently I am obsessed with VSL#3. Tons of research in the Journal of Gastroenterology shows its effect on Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Inflammatory Disease (both illnesses are inflammatory conditions).
When looking at probiotics - they need to have the following:
- at least 6 strains (this has 8).
- billions of colonies (the non-prescription has 118 billion ).
- must be refrigerated (it's live bacteria).
- studies need to show that the pills in the bottles are actually active.
- I welcome comments for other probiotics that have published studies. I am always looking for new and fresh ideas backed by science.
- other great options to build your belly with probiotics is by eating Kefir, sourkraut, kimchi, and other fermented foods.
** Juice Plus (JP)**
What might I be talking about?? These are gummies and capsules made from Fruits and Veggies grown organically and pulverized. We need 7-9 servings of fruits and veggies a day and in the winter months this becomes even more important to fight off the grossness that is out there. Not many folks get that regularly. So supplementing with JP will help. Forget your man-made chemical vitamins and think Fruits and Veggies.
- Back to studies.... Several studies done on Law Students and Adults show an increase in immune function and decrease in viral infections just by taking JP over 60-70days.
Here are the links to the study and several other studies for those interested. Reduction in cold symptoms, Immunity in Humans after eating JP, Immune Function in the Elderly, Illness Improvement in Men
You can find more info at Juice Plus. For further questions, the contact is at the top right.
** Omega 3 **
Omega-3 has been shown to help improve the function of immune system cells, specifically B cells. Omega 3 can be found in many foods - From fish oil, flax see, hemp hearts, chia seeds, walnuts, fatty fish like salmon, sardines, organic minimally pasteurized milk (never raw).
- Chia seeds – 3Tbsp = Fiber 11gm, Protein 5gm, Iron, 4800 mg Omega 3
- Hemp Hearts (nutty flavor if any) – 3Tbsp = fiber 3gm, Protein 10gm, 3000mg Omega 3
- Flax Seed Powder (no taste) – 2 Tbsp= Fiber 4gm, Protein 3gm, 2800mg Omega 3
- Barleans Flax Seed Oil is another great alternative that is sweet and flavorful, comes in Berry and Banana Strawberry and adds 1000mg of Omega 3 per Tbsp
You can find some great tips to incorporate these into your diet here: Morning Smoothies
WHAT NOT TO SUPPLEMENT WITH
- fast food
- Refined carbs
- Refined sugars
- Store bought juices (fortified OJ is sugar with Vit D added, just get the Vit D and Layoff the sugar)
- Processed foods
- Non organic dairy
- Flinstone vitamins (filled with corn syrup, tons of sugar, food coloring)