Health Vitamins & Nutrition Centre, Langley BC
Preparing for the fall, boosting your immune system
  • August 15th, 2012
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  • Briony Martens BSc ROHP
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Preparing for the fall, boosting your immune system

For the last 100 years medicine has focused on drugs designed to kill invaders, anti-biotic, and anti-viral agents. These drugs are meant to be poison to the invader and to the body. Anti-biotics initially have been shown effective at killing bacteria but long term has shown to do more harm then good. Why not instead, look to our bodys natural ability to kill off pathogens and support and strengthen from within. So what can we do to boost our immune system so that our bodies can fight its own battles?

Exercise: research has shown that vigorous exercise can actually suppress your immune system leaving you vulnerable to infection. Conversely gentle exercise like walking, yoga, and tai chi has shown to support and boost your immune system.

Optimal nutrients: Your immune system is reliant on an optimal amount of nutrients. Deficiency of vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, folic acid, C and E suppresses your immune system as does a deficiency in some essential minerals, iron, zinc, magnesium, and selenium.

Antioxidants to fight infection: Most invaders produce oxidizing chemicals, known as free radicals, to fight your immune system. Therefore; increasing your intake of antioxidants in particular vitamin C can help keep our immune system strong and able to neutralize the free radicals. This question always arises, how much vitamin C? Research has shown that one gram daily (1000mg) has protective effects on the immune system.

Probiotics: 70% of our immune system is in our gut. It is the first line of defense against invading bacteria and other pathogens. Beneficial bacteria are so effective because they both consume the nutrients that would otherwise feed the bad bacteria, and they also block the harmful bacterias ability to be absorbed and enter the bloodstream. In addition beneficial bacteria also product lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide which effectively stop the harmful bacteria from proliferating. Note that anti-biotics kill off the beneficial bacteria existing in your gut leaving your immune system vulnerable to further infection.

Medicinal Mushrooms: Mushrooms have been used for thousands of years to restore your body to optimum health. Dont confuse these amazing medicinal mushrooms with your grocery store variety, they are completely different. Medicinal mushrooms, for example red reshi, are often referred to as adaptogenic as they help your body rebalance and find greater health. Red reishi mushroom is well known for its ability to increase white blood cell production, boosting your immune system as well as its anti-tumor properties. Definately a must for the person who is affected by stress, poor sleep and tends to get bogged down in colds every flu season.

Diet: In order to keep our immune system up we should be avoiding refined grains and sugars which trigger a stress response and in turn suppress our immune system. Emphasize fresh fruits and vegetables, and avoid food allergens will help keep our immune system strong.

Make sure coming into the fall that you are taking a good quality probiotic, we at Health recommend Dr. Ohhiras probiotics or New Chapters whole food based probiotics. Take a good quality daily multivitamin, and supplement with additional vitamin C and zinc.

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