By Michael A. Smith, MD
As a follow-up to my previous blog posting, here are some additional suggestions for boosting the immune system:
Glutathione is the body's best antioxidant. It has been shown to increase the life span of immune cells, specifically B-cells and T-cells. This means extended antibody production and direct viral-killing effects.
Take 500 mg/day of reduced glutathione on an empty stomach.
Ubiquinol CoQ10 is the second most potent natural antioxidant. Higher blood levels of CoQ10 enhance the immune system's direct viral-killing effects.
Take 200 mg/day.
Vitamins E & C
Everybody knows about vitamins E and C. The immune system effects of these two vitamins are well-documented and supported by several clinical studies. They work together with glutathione to activate B-cells and T-cells.
Take 400 IU/day of E and 2000 mg/day of C.
Zinc & Selenium
Zinc and selenium are natural immune-boosting minerals that increase antibody production by activating B-cells. Antibodies bind to the flu virus and kill it.
Take 50 mg/day of zinc and 250 mcg/day of selenium.
Quercetin is a bioflavonoid that supports cellular health and function. In human cell culture studies, it has been shown to block the manufacture and release of inflammation-causing substances, which can help support a healthy immune response to seasonal viruses.
Additionally, quercetin helps to reduce sinus congestion, making it tough for viruses to enter your body. Take 500 mg/day of a quercetin extract.
The seeds from grapes contain natural immune boosters that enhance the first-line of defense: natural-killer cells (NK cells). NK-cells are responsible for orchestrating "search & destroy" missions. They circulate throughout the vascular system searching for foreign invaders and killing them upon contact.
Take 500 mg/day of grapeseed extract.
A type of fiber, beta glucan can also enhance the function of NK-cells, the first-line of defense. The carbohydrate part of the fiber attaches to invading flu viruses and acts like a "tractor beam" for immune cells to follow. Coated in fiber, the flu virus can't hide and is easily killed.
Take 100 mg/day of beta glucan fibers.
The last natural immune booster is the hormone melatonin. Not only does melatonin regulate sleep cycles, but it also manages the immune system's communication mechanisms. Immune cells need melatonin to coordinate an attack by regulating the release of cytokines (protein molecules).
Take 5 to 10 mg at bedtime.
To learn more about natural immune boosters, read Life Extension's immune protocol at www.lef.org and search "Immune Boosters."