A robust immune system will help ensure you are in top form, for work, for family time, or recreation, while others may be feeling sick from colds, flu and other symptoms of immune dysfunction.
Key immune support vectors include:
- Healthy variety in your diet – fruits, vegetables, proteins, fermented foods, low in sugar, starch, pesticide and herbicide residue
- Healthy weight for your body type
- Healthy bones
- No smoking
- Immune boosting and anti-inflammatory nutrients
Immune health begins with immune supportive nutrients from diet or supplementation, relies on cellular energy to energize the body to fight disease, includes a healthy gut, and surprisingly relies on healthy bones.
Nutrition for Immune Health
“There’s a wealth of data that shows the role that good nutrition plays in supporting the immune system. As a society we need to be doing a better job of getting that message across along with the other important, more common messages.”
“The roles that vitamins C, D (and zinc) play in immunity are particularly well known. Vitamin C has roles in several aspects of immunity, including the growth and function of immune cells and antibody production. Vitamin D receptors on immune cells also affect their function. This means that vitamin D profoundly influences your response to infections.”
RDA stands for Recommended Daily Allowance. It is the minimum amount that will keep a person from dying of a disease directly caused by an individual nutrient deficiency. The term RDA is often misleading. Multivitamins can be formulated to much higher standards than avoiding death. They can be formulated to help a person attain their best health and have a strong immune system.
Professor Adrian Gombart at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University and colleagues are urging not only the minimum RDA dose, but doses of 200 to 2,000 mg/day of vitamin C, 2,000 IU of vitamin D and 8–11 mg zinc in healthy patients. They suggest higher doses for patients not exhibiting optimal health. Healthy vitamin D levels are known to modulate the response of white blood cells, preventing them from releasing too many inflammatory cytokines. Recommendations of a vitamin D3 loading dose of 10,000 IU/day and a maintenance dose of 5,000 IU/day were presented in a June 2020 study.2
For other nutrients, including omega-3 EPA and DHA, Professor Gombart said “optimal nutrient intake, including supplementing above the RDA for certain immune-supporting vitamins, promotes optimal immune function.” Optimal nutrient intake “helps to control the impact of infections, and could help limit the emergence of novel, more virulent strains of pathogenic viruses.”
“Inadequate intake and status of these immune boosting nutrients are widespread, leading to a decrease in resistance to infections and as a consequence an increase in disease burden,” wrote the researchers. The typical diet provides inadequate micronutrient nutrition, though diet is a preferred source of immune boosting nutrients. For those who don’t eat a highly varied diet, dietary supplements can provide key immune boosting nutrients.
Should you rely on a vaccine for everything? This 2020 report notes that since the 2011-2012 flu season, influenza vaccine efficacy has ranged from 19% to 54%.1
Professor Gombart emphasized that current public health practices—stressing social distancing, hygiene and vaccinations—are important and effective but in need of complementary strategies. A nutritional focus on immune system support could help minimize the impact of many kinds of infections.1
Immune boosting nutrients which directly support the immune system include Vitamins C, D3, K2, calcium, magnesium, selenium and zinc.
Gut Microbiome Supports Immune Health
Seventy percent of your immune system is in your gut. In your gut, your microbiome is your first line of defense against environmental microcontaminants which are a primary cause of disease according to Dr. Joe Pizzorno in his recent book The Toxin Solution: How Hidden Poisons in the Air, Water, Food, and Products We Use Are Destroying Our Health–AND WHAT WE CAN DO TO FIX IT.
The healthiest microbiome is the most diverse, containing probiotics (beneficial bacteria) that protects the body from harmful bacteria, viruses, and environmental contaminants, as well as supportive prebiotics (insoluble fiber that provide nourishment to probiotics).
A robust microbiome supports absorption of immune boosting nutrients from food and supplements.
Immune Response Requires Adequate Sleep and Energy
Immune health requires adequate sleep for the body to restore itself.
Believe it or not, there are some processes that occur during sleep that do not occur while awake. One of those processes that was only discovered in the last 10 years is that of the glymphatic system, so it is likely your doctor does not even know about this process (and there are no pharmaceutical drugs to fix the glymphatic system). Only while asleep, the body delivers nutrients to the brain and central nervous system, and removes waste. Read more about immune boosting nutrients and the fascinating glymphatic system under Sleep, CNS, and Brain Aging here.
Immune health depends on cellular energy reserves, so that your body can quickly respond to outside invaders with the energy necessary to power immune support. Cellular energy reserves come from healthy mitochondria.
There are ways to both increase the number of mitochondria in a cell and to increase the cellular energy produced in the mitochondria. A person with a greater number of mitochondria, less microcontaminants in their mitochondria, and healthier mitochondria will be able to outperform their peers, whether in the boardroom, on the playing field, or in bed – haha, I was thinking – fighting a cold or flu. Read more about vectors to support body energy and healthy mitochondria here.
Bone Health is Key to Immune Health
Your bones are a living, evolving part of your body. Bones provide key immune factors – stem cells to replace damaged cells and immune cells that must quickly get to the site of an attack on your body. While healthy bone marrow provides the stem cells and new immune cells, there exists an until recently unknown vascular (blood circulatory) system within your bones that can quickly (when healthy) or slowly (when in an unhealthy state) move new stem cells and new immune cells from bone marrow out of the bones and into the normal blood system for transport to the site of the immune invasion.
For more information on the fascinating blood system within your bones, read our Skeletal Health discussion.
Supplements for Immune Support
To keep you performing at the top of your game, immune system support supplements are key to staying healthy year-round. To boost your immune health and daily performance, we recommend the following RS Labs supplements:
Colloidal Silver Spray: This supplement supports the body’s defenses when under occasional stress. It is produced by a unique electrical-chemical process that charges silver particles for suspension in de-ionized water to ensure purity, potency, homogeneity and stability.
Green C™ Immune Support: The strongest immune system wins! The health benefits of vitamin C are energized in Green C™ by making more vitamin C available for both immune support and free radical scavenging. After vitamin C carries out its antioxidant function of neutralizing free radicals, it is oxidized and spent. The unique blend of immune boosting nutrients in this supplement – nonacidic Vitamin C, alpha-lipoic acid, N-acetyl cysteine, quercetin, and grape seed extract – reactivate and recycle vitamin C in the body. This provides the body with increased antioxidant activity and an upgraded, robust vitamin C for immune health as well as healthy aging and heart health.
Gut Optimizer™: Inside each of us is a complex and vast ecosystem that helps digest food and contributes to well-being and health. Maintain your gut microbiome to stay healthy throughout your body by optimizing digestion and elimination. Gut Optimizer™ contains a distinctive combination of beneficial species and bacteria.
Maximum Vitality® ESP: Experience vitality at home, at work, and everywhere you go with Maximum Vitality®, which was designed to provide optimum micronutrient support for both women and men. Our award-winning formula fills the inevitable micronutrient dietary gaps to support healthy cell signaling, cognitive, cardiovascular, immune, muscle, neurotransmitter systems, longevity, and structural integrity. For immune support, it contains vitamins A, B-complex, C, D3, K2, calcium, magnesium, selenium, and zinc.
Road Warrior™ Daily Packs: These supplement packs combine sophisticated micronutrient support with advanced lipid replacement therapy, superfoods immune energizer™, cellular energy, metabolism, and microbiome support in two convenient daily packets. It is formulated for lifelong nutritional support for men and women and is convenient for daily dispensing, eating out, and traveling.
Superfoods Immune Energizer™: This supplement contains organic greens, fruit and organic adaptogenic mushroom blend, which helps support normal balance of the immune system when under occasional stress. It contains a wide array of antioxidants, polyphenols, and phytonutrients (plant-based nutrients) from green vegetables, fruits, and mushrooms.
The Traveler™ Daily Packs: These supplement packs combine sophisticated micronutrient support with lipid replacement therapy, Superfoods Immune Energizer™, metabolism, and microbiome support all in one convenient daily pack. This formulation offers convenient lifelong nutritional support for both women and men.
Vascular Flex™: Provides high dose vitamins D3 and K2 (MK7), a powerful combination to support immune health through calcium metabolism for bone and vascular health, as well as vascular health within bones.