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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, such as the common cold, candida and cold sores. The human immune system has a powerful and complex way of dealing with infections, whether they are fungal, viral, bacterial or protozoa. The immune system's potency and adaptability does depend on adequate nutrition and a healthy lifestyle to function at its peak.

 

Many different white blood cells (leukocytes) are produced in the bone marrow and have the role of targeting and destroying infectious agents. It's important to have the right quantity of immune cells, as seen on the white cell count of a blood test, but enough activity. After all, a group 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. While nutritional supplements supply nutrients that are considered essential to human health, herbal medicines supply specific bioactive phytochemicals. Research shows that Selenium status is not ideal in Australians, and a even worse in New Zealanders, due to poor 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, as they 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 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, inhibiting the growth of bacteria and viruses directly. This lessens the burden on 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 ionophores, such as quercetin. Medicinal mushrooms can assist in improving the immune response to pathogens, including mushrooms like Shiitake, Reishi and Cordyceps.

 

These types of medicinal mushrooms are different to 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. Shitake mushroom is believed to be the most potent of the medicinal mushrooms.

 

Vitamins and Minerals often have immune modulating effects, 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.

 

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 double or triple. This is believed to be due to a high rate of tissue repair and new immune cell and immunoglobulin synthesis. If quality protein food or supplements aren't consumed to provide these essential amino acids, they will be catabolised from muscle, a reservoir of these important nutrients.

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