Preparing for Fall-Winter: Immune System Priming & Support

 

                                                               

It’s That Time of Year! 

~with that comes colds, the flu, return to school, & vaccinations~

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How Can You Optimize Your Immune System?   

Attend to the Basics!

 

  Sufficient & Quality Sleep:

  Eat a Well-Balanced, Colorful Diet:  

  Stress Management:

  Ensure Moist Mucus Membranes:

 

Other ways to support your immune system?    

Supplement & Herbs  

 

  Zinc, Vitamin D and C *

 

  Medicinal Herbs & Mushrooms 

   Examples of some that enhance immune function

    Astragulus Root has been shown to increase IgA (immune surveillance) in the nasal cavity and may be one reason for this herb's ability to prevent colds and flus when taken preventively.

   Maitake and Shiitake * have immune enhancing properties and can be eaten as part of your fall-winter routine.

   Panax Ginseng * when taken daily during cold and flu season, it can decrease incidence of upper respiratory infection (URI), and decrease duration & severity if a URI does develop.

 

* Please discuss use of supplements & herbs with a knowledgable practitioner, especially with existing medical conditions.

 

How else can you prime your immune system?

Vaccinations

These play a role in our immune defense against specific organisms.

The below is written with the intent to express my view on a subject that is emotional and personal to many. This is NOT a judgement of a person’s decisions or choices.

What Is in a Vaccine?

It is a preparation containing modified whole virus or particles from bacteria or viruses together with other ingredients: 

INGREDIENTS

  EXAMPLE

  FUNCTION

Preservatives

   Thimerosal (only in multi-dose vials of flu vaccine)

   To prevent contamination

Adjuvants

   Aluminum salts

   To help boost the body’s response to the vaccine

Stabilizers

   Sugars, gelatin

   To keep the vaccine effective after manufactured.

Residual cell culture materials

   Egg protein

   To grow enough of the virus or bacteria to make the vaccine

Residual inactivating ingredients

   Formaldehyde

   To kill viruses or inactivate toxins during the manufacturing process

Residual antibiotics

   Neomycin

   To prevent contamination by bacteria during the vaccine manufacturing process

 

Intent:

Is used to prime your defense system against potentially harmful organisms such as influenza (flu) or Clostridium tetani (tetanus).

The vaccine provides a safer way for the body to have its first encounter with these bacteria or viruses. Only after a first encounter, can the immune system generate a memory based, more effective defense against future encounters.

In this way, your immune system can rally more quickly to fight the intruder before it fully penetrates and overwhelms your defenses.

 

How It Works:  

When the particles or modified whole virus is introduced to the body, a cascade of events occurs:

 

Side Effects and Adverse Events:

Can happen with anything we ingest or place into the body. There are multiple sites to read more about vaccine associated events, such as CDC and http://www.vaccinesafety.edu/IOM-Reports.htm.

 

 

Regardless of  how you view vaccines, supplements & herbs, we can all benefit from just attending to the basics:

Healthful Food,  Sleep  and  Stress Management.

REFERENCES:

  1. Dr. Tieraona Low Dog.
  2. Am J Clin Exp Immunol. 2017; 6(6): 92–96.  Published online 2017 Dec 20. Human immune system during sleep. Nayyab AsifRazia Iqbal, and Chaudhry Fahad Nazir
  3. Pflugers Arch. 2012 Jan; 463(1): 121–137. Published online 2011 Nov 10. doi: 10.1007/s00424-011-1044-0 Sleep and immune function
  4. Luciana Besedovsky,1,2 Tanja Lange,1,2 and Jan Born
  5. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Jun 18;(6):CD001364. Zinc for the common cold. Singh M1, Das RR.
  6. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004 Oct 18;(4):CD000980. Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold. Douglas RM1, Hemila HD'Souza RChalker EBTreacy B.
  7. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/additives.htm
  8. American ginseng. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database website.
  9. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013; 2013: 352130. Published online 2013 Apr 9 . Astragalus in the Prevention of Upper Respiratory Tract Infection in Children with Nephrotic Syndrome: Evidence-Based Clinical Practice. Chuan ZouGuobin SuYuchi WuFuhua LuWei Mao, and Xusheng Liu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author
Head Shot of Dr. Leong Dr. Lillian Leong

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