Daniel T. Wagner, Pharm D, MBA, RPh
The human immune system is a complex world made up of microscopic cells functioning to defend and protect your body from disease, infection and other potentially harmful foreign agents.
The human immune system is a complex world made up of microscopic cells functioning to defend and protect your body from disease, infection and other potentially harmful foreign agents. It's actually a superbrain identifying, recording and remembering foreign substances and incoming menaces. A strong immune system will respond to invaders quickly and efficiently and be able to maintain health in the whole organism, even when exposed to toxins, chemicals and other oxidative stress.
A lifestyle that promotes ready-to-act immunity is critically important. Standard or conventional medicine (including pharmaceuticals) can effectively alleviate illness and treat diseases by fighting them on an external level. However, drugs and surgery do little or nothing to strengthen natural, built-in defences. What frequently ensues is successive illness. Optimizing your body's ability to ward off offenders and fight disease on its own leads to an increased level of health and well-being.
One trillion cellular guards (white blood cells) that arise in bone marrow patrol every inch of the circulatory system, bathing cells. The immune system, comprised of 10 times as many cells as in the entire human nervous system, manufactures about 40 different immune agents. It's elaborate and finely tuned and is controlled not by a central organ such as the brain, but rather by a complex information network operating among the individual members.
Organs of Immunity
There are five "immune" organs in the human body:
Proper nourishment unprocessed, whole foods that are easily digested and assimilated provides fuel for the body. A diet rich in whole grains, fruits, nuts and vegetables is essential in maintaining a resilient immune defence which can respond efficiently to offenders. A high-sugar diet puts undue stress on the body and has been associated with a higher risk of illness and a shortened life span.
Routine physical exercise is also an important factor. Moderate physical exercise enhances immunity and leads to fewer illnesses and disease states.
Nutrients Strengthen Immunity
When confronted with the fact that herbal and "alternative" medicines have become popular in Europe and the USA, the reason given is that they prevent disease and boost the immune system. Botanical and herbal medicines have been used for centuries for this very purpose. As well, a regular supply of antioxidants ensures protection from damage caused by oxidation and helps to maintain health. Some antioxidants are:
Probiotics and Immunity
Fermented dairy products and the probiotic bacteria used to produce them have traditionally been associated with beneficial effects on human health. Recently, public interest in their immune-boosting potential has increased.
Probiotics are "good" bacteria that work in the intestinal tract. They fight pathogenic infections and promote recovery from infections by stimulating the production of antibodies, interleukins and cytokines. These target and neutralize pathogens like E coli and Salmonella. Since our gastrointestinal tract is the most important line of defence against pathogens, it's important to keep it vigilant with the aid of probiotic supplementation.
Studies have shown that there is no single probiotic bacteria that can do it all, but that a blend of documented strains (such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lb rhamnosus and Bifidobacteria) is a better choice, as each has been shown to modulate unique components of the immune system. Probiotics come in different forms, including chewable tablets, capsulated blends and enteric-coated capsules.
Source: Joanna Wozniak
Vitamin C: How Much is too Much?
Vitamin C is one of the most effective and popular supplements on the market. One question everyone asks is, how much is too much?
For treatment purposes, everybody has a unique "bowel tolerance," which is the maximum amount of vitamin C it's possible to consume before experiencing diarrhea. Robert Cathcart, MD, has spent decades treating thousands of patients using large doses of vitamin C. He has noted that the amount of oral vitamin C (ascorbic acid) a patient can take before the stools become loose depends on his state of health. Generally, the sicker the person, the more he can absorb. Dr Cathcart's article, "Vitamin C, Titrating to Tolerance," is available at orthomed.com/titrate/htm.
Many illnesses and symptoms can be eliminated by performing a "vitamin C flush." This process involves increasing your vitamin C intake until the body reaches its maximum saturation point, which is normally just before experiencing diarrhea. The best vitamin C flush is done with buffered vitamin C powder, taking a teaspoon in juice every half-hour. Once bowel tolerance level is reached, the dosage can be cut back to where the stool is normal.