8 ways to boost your immune health
It is one of the most asked questions at CANCERactive: How do I boost my immune system? People who want to prevent disease know that a strong immune system will give them better protection. People who have something wrong with them understand that their immune system has failed them.
There is no quick fix. The immune system is just that - a system. And different parts respond to different things.
1. CLEAN UP YOUR LIVER is the organ of detoxification in the body and in cancer patients it becomes toxic. If it cannot clear away fats and cholesterol into the alimentary canal, the lymph system which carries your white immune cells becomes impaired and the immune response declines. In cancer:
Fats and cholesterol clog it up anyway.
There may be dead bacteria, microbes or even parasites.
The cholesterol can collect around dead cells and form gallstones - there may be thousands of these particles, most only the size of grains of sand. One US estimate was that 99.99 per cent of cancer patients had gallstones blocking the bile ducts so the liver could not excrete the toxins into the waste system properly.
- Then there is the lactic acid from cancer cells. Plus the drugs from steroids to chemotherapy that must be detoxified. And then there may be lots of dead cancer cells.
So you need to ´unblock your liver. You can strengthen it anyway with milk thistle, dandelion, artichoke, magnesium and vitamin K, but to clean it you either need a liver flush involving Epsom Salts and olive oil, or coffee enemas.
2. DIET: The Rainbow Diet, which advocates eating foods with vibrant colours across the week is an important starting point. Several research studies have now shown that it is actually a better diet for diseases like heart, diabetes and cancer than that recommended by Health Authorities. It provides adequate levels of minerals while giving the body natural compounds from anthocyanins to carotenoids and sulphorapanes. Garlic, selenium, fish oils, carotenoids, salvestrols like resveratrol, the dark red anthocyanins of beetroot and cherries are all important. There is plenty of reference to what is in the Corrective and Protective Rainbow Diet on this web site. And you can also buy the book by going to the Natural Selection shop - click the link at the top of the page.
3 EXERCISE improves the immune system. It moves the lymph to take toxins away from cells, it oxygenates the blood, and it increases levels of happy endorphins and Human Growth Hormone, both of which can reduce levels of bad hormones. Research shows that half an hour every day is the level you need - if you can manage it. It improves survival rates of some cancers by 50 per cent. It does not have to be strenuous. But you have to do it. Movement is essential as you have no ´heart´ to pump the immune sysatem for you. You have to do this for yourself.
4. TAKE YOUR SUPPLEMENTS
Research shows that vegetables and fruit provide more immune boosting vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and natural compounds than are derived from synthetic vitamin and mineral supplements - providing you EAT WHOLE FOODS and that they are ORGANIC. Top natural food sources for the everyday antioxidants are:
: 2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds (11 mgs); 20 almonds (8 mgs); 1 tablespoon wheat germ (3mgs)
1 large red pepper (224 mgs); 100 gms raw broccoli (90 mgs) 150 gms papaya (90 mgs); 1 large orange (65 mgs)
: 1 cup carrot juice (24 mgs); 1 medium sweet potato (10.0 mgs) 5 dried apricots (6.2 mgs); 1 cup cherries (6.2 mgs); half cup cooked spinach (5.7 mgs)
6 oysters (55 mgs), I medium steak (8 mgs); 4 tablespoons sunflower seeds 96mgs); serving of All Bran (4 mgs)
4 cracked Brazil nuts (150 mcgs; 4 slices of wholemeal bread (60 mcgs); 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds (15 mcgs); 1 free range egg (15 mcgs); 1 chicken breast (10 mcgs)
Tomatoes, especially cooked tomatoes - 1 tin tomato soup (65 mgs); 5 tablespoons tomato paste (22 mgs).
The major problem with trying to Eat your vitamins and minerals is that soil depletion has caused big losses. The US Government Senate has reviewed the matter three times and each time concluded that people should supplement. People whoi are ill are often simply deficient in minerals or natural compounds.
research with cancer uses levels of 200 mgs and both tocopherols and tocotrienols forms*- these levels are almost impossible to achieve through diet alone. Supplement with a natural vitamin E containing all 4 tocopherols and all 4 tocotrienols.
the new liposomal vitamin C compounds, whilst expensive, deliver far more of the compound into the blood stream than cheap synthetic products
, vitamin A and carotenoids: As with vitamin E, many high street products do not contain the full spectrum of natural beta-carotene leaving out cis- or trans- variants. Chlorella
is a natural food source that delivers higher levels of beta-carotene than carrots pound for pound!.
Minerals are important ´helpers´: Zinc
: 15 mgs per day, Selenium
: 200 mcgs per day should be considered as corrective
But this, standard way of boosting your immune system will only get you so far.
The breakthrough in very recent times has been the discovery of natural compounds like flavenoids and phenols in plants, which are many, many times more powerful as antioxidants than bog standard vitamin supplements. In the 2012 report on the PIVOT vitamin study in America Grape seed extract
was a clear winner. It is an OPC, and many people use Pine Bark Extract
as well or instead arguing that it is an even stronger immune booster. If you are thinking of buying Grape Seed Extract
, click here to see what the Natural Selection has in store.
These will increase the volume of certain of your white cells. Here herbs can do an even better job: Turmeric (curcumin), echinacea and cat´s claw are powerfull immune boosters. But recent research has shown what Medical Herbalists have known all along. Getting a strong immune build up is worthless if your white cells cannot identify the rogue cells. This is particularly important in cancer where cancer cells can hide from the immune system. Herbs such as Astragalus not only boost the immune system ´volume´, but can promote this response.
The next scientific breakthrough has been the discovery of the importance of polysaccharides in booth boosting the levels of T-and B- lymphocytes, cytokines, interleukin and Natural Killer cells AND getting this cellular communication process going. Medicinal mushrooms (Shiitake, Reishi, cordyceps) have been used in the Far East in this way for years. Polysaccharides are easy to find in nature, providing you have a healthy diet - for example, apples, pears, whole brown rice, onions, garlic and so on. Aloe vera contains polysaccharides and there are cancer ´treatments´ containing the polysaccharide D-Mannose but they are expensive and of questionable delivery.
has extensive research to support its claims that it can boost the immune system best of all of the above. Again it is expensive but you may well find it worth the money.
5. ACTIVATE YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM. It seems that boosting the volumme of the white cells AND getting them to recognise a rogue cell still isn´t enough. 2011 research showed that the first thing your T-cells do before they attack a rogue cell is pick up a vitamin D molecule to ´activate´ themselves. Vitamin K plays some part in improving this process but this is not perfectly clear as yet,
6 CUT OUT FATS AND GLUCOSE FROM YOUR DIET. I have told you that cholesterol and fat can ´clog up´ (it´s a biochemical term!) your liver and lymph. People reach for a fruit smoothie on their supermarket shelp and do not realise how the glucose ´hit´ hammers their immune system about 30 minutes after drinking it. Cut out all glucose - it damages your immune system and cancer cells love it. People with the highest levels of blood glucose develop more cancers and survive least.
7 GET YOUR SLEEP in a darkened room. One of the most powerful antioxidants is also a hormone and known to be a powerful immune system booster. That is Melatonin. You cannot buy it in the UK although there are natural herbal equivalents like Asphalia. You make melatonin about 90 minutes after falling asleep and it pushes you into a deeper sleep. But a darkened room, free from synthetic lighting and EMF´s is essential You can supplement but 3 mgs of melatonin is the prefered maximum. Above 10 mgs can cause hallucinations.
8 LAUGH. People who laugh a lot have stronger immune systems; go and buy some old funny videos. People who have good sex lives have stronger immune systems - no comment. People who meditate have stronger immune systems.
See, I told you it was complex!