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Top 5 Immune Boosters

It is that time of year again – cold and flu season! Just about everyone could use a little boost in immune system function as we head into the winter months.

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Vitamin C

While the general population only sees about an 8% decrease in the likelihood of catching a cold when supplementing with (200mg per day) of Vitamin C, those exposed to extreme cold, wet weather or extreme physical exercise may see decreases as high as 50%. Those already suffering from a cold may find some relief from taking Vitamin C due to the anti-inflammatory properties. The reduction of swelling may reduce aches and pains as well as relieve pressure in the sinuses.

While relatively safe, Vitamin C intake should be increased slowly, as unabsorbed Vitamin C in the gastrointestinal tract can produce symptoms of diarrhea, nausea and abdominal cramping.

Echinacea

Studies have shown that Echinacea increases lymphocytes in the spleen as well as the effectiveness of natural killer cells, and significantly increases interferon production, inhibiting tumor growth. Echinacea has also been shown to have significant anti-inflammatory properties.

Goldenseal

Goldenseal stems and roots can be dried and used as teas or made into liquid or solid extracts. Goldenseal has been traditionally used for treatment of many bacterial and fungal infections. It contains the chemical berberine¸ which is antibacterial and antifungal. Goldenseal should not be used by pregnant or nursing women and should not be used in children, as it may contribute to jaundice in infants.

Zinc

Zinc has been shown to help the immune system fight off bacteria and viruses. Zinc lozenges or syrup have shown to reduce symptoms of a cold if taken within 24 hours of onset. Deficiency in zinc has been linked to high risk of pneumonia and other infections. Zinc is also vital in wound healing.

Garlic

Garlic contains organosulfer compounds (OSCs) which have been shown to offer significant immune protection against bacteria, viruses and fungal infections. Garlic has strong anti-microbial agents that offer protection against invasion from a variety of pathogens, as well as anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties that not only aid the body in immune responses, but also aids in fighting off cancer as well.

Fight Off Colds and Infections

Natural Wellness offers an easy way to ensure your body has the help it needs to fight off colds and other infections this winter. Immune System Support contains all of these ingredients and more, offering a well-researched, comprehensive combination of herbs and vitamins to maximize immune system function. For daily nutritional support, Clinical Multi-Vitamin offers the optimum vitamin intake for overall health. This nutritional support not only maximizes the body’s immune system, but is also designed to support ideal liver function.

Liver function is a vital aspect of immunity as the liver is the body’s primary filtration system, removing pathogens from circulation. For maximum support of the immune system, liver function and digestive system support, try UltraNourish, which offers a complete combination of fruits, vegetables, vitamins and minerals along with digestive enzymes for maximum health, liver function and immunity.

NIH Editors. (2015). Goldenseal. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Retrieved on 11/22/15 from https://nccih.nih.gov/health/goldenseal.

NIH Editors. (2015). Vitamin C: Fact sheet for health professionals. National Institutes for Health: Office of Dietary Supplements. Retrieved on 11/22/15 from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/.

NIH Editors. (2015). Zinc: Fact sheet for consumers. National Institutes for Health: Office of Dietary Supplements. Retrieved on 11/23/15 from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-Consumer/.

Schafer, G.; Kaschula, C.H. (2014). The immunomodulation and anti-inflammatory effects of garlic organosulfer compounds on cancer chemoprevention. Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry. 14: 233-240. Retrieved on 11/23/15 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3915757/pdf/ACAMC-14-233.pdf.

WebMD Editors. (2015). Goldenseal. WebMD: Find a vitamin or supplement. Retrieved on 11/22/15 from http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-943-goldenseal.aspx?activeingredientid=943&activeingredientname=goldenseal.

Zhai, Z.; Liu, T.; Wu, L.; Senchina, D.S.; Wurtele, E.S.; Murphy, P.A.; Kohut, M.L.; and Cunnick, J.E. (207). Enhancement of innate and adaptive immune functions by multiple Echinacea species. Journal of Medical Foods. 10(3): 423-434. Retrieved on 11/22/15 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2362099/pdf/nihms41071.pdf.

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