Boosting the Immune System
Use Selected Supplements:
I think the two most important supplements for prevention are:
Vitamin D 2-5000 iu daily
Especially in the winter months (2000 iu daily for children)
In one study of different groups of people followed for one year the group that took no vitamin D there were 31 attacks of flu and colds whereas in the group that took 2000iu vitamin D there was only one episode.
Doses of up to 10,000 iu are safe (exposure to sunlight in a swimming costume on a hot day for ½ hour can produce 10-20,000 iu of Vitamin D)
The second key supplement is zinc 30-50mg daily, best taken in the evening.
If possible add
EPA Fish oil 1000-2000mg daily
Vitamin C 2-4 grams daily (not at same time as zinc)
Immunity and the Gut
(85% of our immunity comes from our gut).
Take these 2 studies: one found taking a daily probiotic (bifidobacterium) in children aged between 3 and 6 reduced coughs and colds and a meta-analysis of 8 studies showed a daily probiotic (with lactobacillus and/or bifidobacterium) reduced respiratory infections in adults and children.
However I think if you take a probiotic and don’t feed the bugs you are likely to be wasting your money. You need to feed the good bugs (with vegetables, low-sugar fruits, nuts, seeds) and stop the sugar and processed foods (and antibiotics) which either damage the friendly bacteria or feed the harmful ones.
At Onset of Infection
Take Vitamin C 1-2 grams every 2-4 hrs (up to 80-90% of bowel tolerance where the stools become slightly loose and then reduce slightly usually this happens at 10-15 grams vitamin C but more in a severe infection). Vitamin C powder is the easiest form to use for these high dosages. (see Vitamin C leaflet for more details).
After this take 2 to 4 grams daily
Taking Echinacea can help or the more expensive but probably more potent Olive leaf extract.
Beta-glucans, which are derived from the cell wall of fungi, yeast and grains, can help during infections and to protect against infections. Use from 70 -150mg daily. They are available from many health food shops.
Sugar can double the number of bacteria in 20 minutes. It also competes with vitamin C. Anyone with an infection or recurrent infections needs to be on a diet which is very low in sugar and refined carbohydrates (bread, cereal, white rice, pasta) until they have fully recovered.
Increase fruit, vegetables, nuts & seeds
(one group of pre-school children who ate one kiwi fruit a day reduced the number of infections by nearly half
Increase daylight/sunlight exposure – known to boost immunity
Here’s a study that’s been buried in the medical journals since 1944. 112 patients with cold were given cod-liver oil (containing 150,000 units Vitamin A and 15,000 units Vitamin D) on the first day and a third of this on the second day. If symptoms remained two-thirds of the original dose was given on the third day. After 24 hrs 30% were symptom free and 52% almost free – that’s 82% virtually cured in 24 hours. No adverse effects were seen. I understand this regime has been used in successfully in nutritional clinics since then.
Most cod-liver oil these days has much lower levels of Vitamin A or D so usually extra supplements of these would be needed to reach these levels today.
NOTE: this amount of vitamin A is not suitable for pregnant women.
The key organ controlling immunity is the thymus gland which lies under the sternum (breastbone). Thymus tapping involves tapping in the middle of the sternum which stimulates the gland. Tap with four fingers, enough to cause a gentle vibration. Try 10 taps daily as a preventative, going up to 60 three times daily during infections. No studies exist on this but it costs nothing and is worth trying.