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Immune Booster Supplements

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About Immune Booster Supplements

Supporting the immune system with natural supplements may reduce the occurrence or severity of infections, whether they be the common cold, candida or cold sores. The human body has a powerful and complex way of dealing with infections, whether they be fungal, viral, bacterial or protozoa. However, for all the immune system's strength and adaptability, it does need adequate nutrition with a healthy lifestyle in order to function at its peak.

 

There are many types of white blood cells (leukocytes), which are produced in the bone marrow and have the important role of targeting and destroying infections. It's important to have the right number of immune cells, as seen on the white cell count of a blood test, but also the activity. After all, a team of brick layers aren't much help if they are lazy, no matter how many you have. 

 

There are many ways to positively influence the synthesis and activity of immune cells. Commonly, herbs like Echinacea and Elecampane are used, or nutrients such as Selenium and Zinc. In fact, research shows that Selenium status is not ideal in Australians, and a even worse in New Zealanders, due to the varying soil content of this mineral. This was reported in the Journal of Trace Elements and Biology in 2005. This may not relate to you if you regularly eat Brazil nuts, however. Brazil nuts are typically grown in the Amazonian basin in selenium rich soil.

 

Another piece of research from Molecular Nutrition and Food Research in 2008 indicated that selenium not only boosts antioxidant status, but also protects against viral infections, at intakes that are higher than those found in normal diet. Given that the human body only needs micrograms (one-thousandth of a milligram) daily, keeping your selenium status topped up is not only a powerful and cost-effective immune system strategy.

 

Some whole foods, like garlic, have natural anti-bacterial properties and work independent of the immune system, reducing the growth of bacteria and viruses directly. This lessens the burden upon the immune system, giving it a head-start in the fight. Zinc at relatively high dosages short-term has also been reported to have an anti-viral effect, particularly when taken with ionophore, such as quercetin. Medicinal mushrooms can assist in improving the immune response to pathogens, including mushrooms like Shiitake, Reishi and Cordyceps.

 

Note, these are different to the standard button mushroom found at the supermarket. Just Reishi mushroom alone has been reported to stimulate the immune system, as shown by increases in CD3, CD4 and CD8 lymphocyte percentages. However, Shitake mushroom is believed to be the most potent of the medicinal mushrooms.

 

Vitamins and Minerals are potent immune modulators, the most robust of which are Vitamin C, Zinc, Selenium, Vitamin A, Vitamin E and Vitamin D. Many of these nutrients also function as antioxidants and will aid in reducing free-radical induced cellular damage. An immunomodulator is a compound that stimulates a healthy or normal immune response, and will not necessarily boost the immune system into unnecessary activity. Glutamine can also be helpful in supporting immune function.

 

If you are trying to preserve muscle mass during a cold or flue, sipping on an essential amino acid powder is a great way to keep the muscle protein synthetic pathways of your body active. It has been suggested that during infectious illness, protein requirements actually double,or triple, due to the rate at which amino acids are used for repairing tissue and producing new immune cells and immunoglobulins. And if we don’t provide these integral nutrients through quality protein food or supplements, they will be catabolised from muscle mass, which is a reservoir of these important nutrients that we need to preserve.

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