In Ayurvedic terms, we are in the “Vata” season when it tends to be more cold and dry. The heat from the summer has gathered in our bodies and is rising as heat does. In nature, we see this in the changing of the leaves to fiery orange, yellow, and red colors. In our bodies, this shows up as increased mucus production that creates the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and viruses. If we do not manage mucus production and support our immune pathways, sickness develops.
Companies market their products for “boosting immunity” without offering much on how they boost immunity. Before making any purchases, I encourage you to empower yourself by asking “by what mechanism does product ‘X’ impact my immune system?” Challenge companies to show how their product sourcing and preparation, is the best option for your immune system.
Often the best option for strengthening your immune response is to make sure that your body has all the tools (nutrients) it needs to function correctly. According to a 2019 publication, an immune deficiency is mainly caused by chronic malnutrition; even if you are eating enough healthy food, you may not be absorbing it properly.
Start by maximizing your digestion by following these five easy steps. Also, consider getting a NutrEval test to find out what your body may be low or deficient from a cellular level. Even if you eat well, due to poor soil quality, we all tend to have nutrient deficiencies. In clinical practice, I’ve never seen anyone that didn’t have at least seven low nutrients. If you are interested in nutrient testing, reach out to me.
In the meantime, there are a few of my favorite supplements that show clinically to support your immune system by several different mechanisms.
1. Coated Silver: There are many ways to use coated silver. You can use it for water treatments or drinking bottles to neutralize bacteria, tooth brushing, or gargling. It is excellent in humidifiers to treat and sanitize the air, or to clean medical equipment such as CPAP machines. For Netti pot users, consider adding it to your rinse. The best part, you only need one drop.
In the correct form, silver works as a potent mineral antibiotic that can neutralize viruses, fungus, yeast, and mold. Unlike other antibiotics, coated silver supports the “good bacteria” that is imperative for a healthy digestive system. Studies show that coated silver possesses a strong antibacterial and antiviral activity. 1
Silver nanoparticles have primarily been studied for their antimicrobial action against bacteria, and have also proven to be active against several types of viruses such as HIV, hepatitis B virus, herpes simplex virus, respiratory syncytial virus, and monkeypox virus. 2
2. Shilajit: Contains fulvic acid and more than 84 minerals that are essential for immune function. It also acts as an antioxidant that can improve the body’s immunity, reduce inflammation, boost energy, and enhance your memory, even preventing Alzheimer’s disease.1 There have been studies showing its anti-cancer benefits; we’ll discuss that in more detail in a later blog.
Recent exciting studies on shilajit shows inhibitory activity against herpes simplex type 1 and 2 (HSV-1, HSV-2), human cytomegalovirus 33 (HCMV), human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), human rotavirus (HRV).2,3 Preliminary studies show that it can also raise hemoglobin levels in those with iron deficiency.4,5 There are at least four kinds of shilajit, and only the lauha, which is brownish-black, contains iron.
3. Omega-3: Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids may help to boost the immune system by enhancing the functioning of a kind of white blood cells known as B cells; cells that produce antibodies.6 Other studies show that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids may enhance local inflammatory responses aiding in wound healing.
Some companies are starting to use astaxanthin in their Omega-3 blends – I’m a fan. There are studies as recent as 2018 noting that this antioxidant has photoprotective, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects on the skin. Astaxanthin supplementation shows in research to improve exercise metabolism, performance, and recovery inhibits lipid peroxidation, may prevent diabetic nephropathy by reduction of the oxidative stress, help with renal cell damage, increase insulin sensitivity, is a potential therapeutic agent against atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and shows significant antitumor activity.
4. B12/folate: As someone with the MTHFR mutation, taking a proper folate supplement has changed my life in ways I didn’t know was possible. Sticking with our immunity topic taking a quality B12/folate has helped me with overtraining syndrome, that is, boosting my immunity around training so that I am not as susceptible to illness when I’m pushing hard.
Low levels of folic acid and B12 show to drastically impact the immune responses by changing the production of nucleic acid, protein synthesis, inhibiting the activity of immune cells and interfering with metabolic processes, such as methylation and serine, glycine, and purine cycles.7
B12 shows to act as an immunomodulator for cellular immunity, with specific impact on cytotoxic cells (NK cells, CD8+ T-cells) and facilitates the production of T lymphocytes.8
Folate also Has roles in cell-mediated immunity as it is crucial for the sufficient antibody response to antigens and supports Th 1-mediated immune response.8
5. CBD shows to enhance immunity by many pathways. A well-known mechanism of action is reducing inflammation. If your body is highly inflamed, it will use many nutrient resources in other areas and not be able to address sickness.
Newer research is showing that cannabidiol works against Gram-positive bacteria, including those that cause severe infections like Staphyloccocus aureus (MRSA) and Streptococcus pneumoniae.9
I use a CBD with Tetreahydrocurcumin, another one of my preferred compounds for immunity. Tetreahydrocurcumin supports the immune system by inducing glutathione (GSH) peroxidase. GSH works with lipopolysaccharides (LPS) to reduce infection in terms of intracellular viral protein production; influenza nucleoprotein.10
6. Lomatium: is one of the most effective herbs on the planet. For immunity, the mechanism of action starts with the volatile oil factions in the root that have a viro-static effect making it antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal. It is said to eliminate the harmful micro-organisms without harming the good bacteria.
By 1944, the Journal of Bacteriology reported, the antibiotic activity of lomatium was determined on 62 strains and species of bacteria, molds, and fungi. It may help eradicate HPV, HIV/AIDS, herpes, Epstein-Barr, and Lyme disease. Updated studies are hard to find on lomatium, but you can find more information here from Dr. Max Barlow. I’ve had an excellent outcome with Secrets of the Tribe lomatium.
7. Sea moss, even though this is a food, I had to include it because it is one of my favorite functional foods for immunity. It contains potassium chloride that helps with inflammation and phlegm in mucous membranes; this is one of the reasons the late Dr. Sebi was a huge advocate of its consumption. He believed that all disease stems from mucus build up in our system, and sea moss helps dissolve mucus.
This superfood also has 90 of the 102 minerals our bodies need to thrive including the 12 essential minerals such as selenium, calcium, potassium, and magnesium as well as Vitamins D, F, A, E and K. The iodine content helps support the thyroid because the thyroid uses iodine to make thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Some practitioners use sea moss to help treat thyroid dysfunction.
What are your favorite practices for immunity? Share them in the comments below!
The information on this website is not meant to cure, prevent, or treat any disease, nor is it to replace legal advice. Always consult with your healthcare practitioner before starting any new regiments.