Why that immune booster is the LAST thing you should take this winter

Every year around this time, my patients start calling the office on a daily basis, begging for tips on how to boost their immune systems.

My advice?

DON’T!

I know it goes against everything you’ve probably heard. For years, the medical community has only had one answer for dealing with one of the most complex systems in your entire body… Boost it.

But blindly boosting your immune cells actually makes no sense at all.

To begin with, it doesn’t begin to cover the vast complexities of your immune system.

As an article from Harvard put it, “Attempting to boost the cells of the immune system is especially complicated because there are so many different kinds of cells in the immune system that respond to so many different microbes in so many ways. Which cells should you boost, and to what number? So far, scientists do not know the answer.”

As I tell my patients, taking an immune booster is like trying to repair the International Space Station with duct tape and chewing gum…restoring the statue of David with Super Glue and thumbtacks…touching up the Mona Lisa with spray paint and white out.

You get the point.

But when you get right down to it, the fact is, boosting your immune system may be one of the worst things you can do.

Your immune system is made up of billons of cells. And they all need to be working in perfect harmony in order to keep you healthy. Blindly dumping “immune boosters” into the mix can tip this delicate balance dangerously off kilter.

But as long as this “boosting bonanza” continues to rake in money, that’s exactly what your garden variety pharmacy is going to offer!

But let me make one thing absolutely clear: Supporting your immune system is NOT the same as boosting it.

And in fact, the approach I recommend to my patients — and to you — for getting through the rest of the winter is multi-tiered, targeted support for every aspect of immune health.

Here are my top picks for optimal immune support:

  • Dimethylgycine. This is a naturally occurring amino acid and antioxidant. Research suggests that it may help optimize both your humoral and your cell-mediated immune responses. This keeps your immune cells and your antibodies on guard—offering two layers of defense.
  • Larch tree extract. Larch tree extract is packed with arabinogalactins—polysaccharides that pack serious immune support. In fact, clinical research shows that taking high doses of larch arabinogalactan may raise your odds of staying healthy by more than 50 percent.These results aren’t surprising, since studies also show that arabinogalactins call your natural killer cells to action. And these cells are your immune system’s first and most critical line of defense.
  • Maitake D-fraction.® This powerful mushroom extract may help support all of your immune system’s key players—including macrophages, T-cells, natural killer cells, and interleukin-1 and -2.
  • Beta 1,3 glucan. These are sugars extracted from the cell walls of baker’s yeast. And clinical studies show that supplementing with beta 1,3 glucans offers crucial support to a stressed immune system.
  • Olive leaf extract. Extracts from olive leaf deliver a long list of phytochemicals that may help keep your immune system primed. That’s one reason why it’s been revered in the Mediterranean as the secret to good health since Biblical times.

As you can see, each of these ingredients performs a complex function to help keep every aspect of your immune system healthy. But multi-tiered support like this doesn’t necessarily have to mean taking dozens of supplements.

In fact, I designed my ImmuneLogic formula to offer this sort of faceted support in a single formula. Actually, a single capsule of ImmuneLogic a day is all it takes.

Getting through the winter doesn’t get much easier than that!

Sources:

http://www.health.harvard.edu/flu-resource-center/how-to-boost-your-immune-system.htm

J Infect Dis. 1981 Jan;143(1):101-5

Current Medical Research and Opinion 2013; 29(3): 251-258

Journal of Naturopathic Medicine 1996 (4);32-39

“Maitake Mushroom,” American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org), accessed 11/14/13

J Am Coll Nutr. 2012; 31(4): 295-300.

Br J Nutr. 2012 May 10:1-9. [Epub ahead of print]

Diet Suppl. 2013; 10(3): 171-183.


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