Immune Boosters

By Pamela Shervanick, DO

Due to mineral depleted soil, even the most beautifully grown organic produce doesn’t possess the vitamin and mineral content it should in our world today. Even though good, clean nutrition is vital to a healthy lifestyle, it simply isn’t enough to use as the sole resource for essential nutrients any longer. In addition, due to the toxic nature of our environment, we need larger amounts of essential nutrients to help our over worked detoxification systems function.

Not all supplements are made the same. Since there are no regulatory mechanisms in place for the industry, some supplements may have harmful non-active ingredients in them, and some may not have as much of the actual active ingredient in them as listed on the packaging.

  • Vitamin C (recommended as buffered ascorbic acid to ease potential gastrointestinal distress)
    • Nearly every cell in the human body needs this vitamin to function. It is necessary for a healthy heart, for healthy skin, ears, nose, throat, stomach and intestinal functioning, musculoskeletal system, for healthy reproductive organ functioning in both males and females, for a healthy pregnancy and baby, for healthy eyes, brain, lungs, liver, pancreas, adrenal glands, immune system, gums and the prevention of obesity….just to name a few. This vitamin is also a potent antioxidant (antioxidants stabilize free radical scavengers, which cause cancer and other disease states), and has powerful anti viral and anti bacterial properties.
  • Probiotics
    • All bacteria are not bad. Humans are designed to live symbiotically with various strains of bacteria and other microorganisms. Good gut flora are absolutely essential to physical health and mental well-being. 
    • Your gut is the first brain. Some would say more important than the actual brain. These networks of brain cells (nerve networks) in the gut are responsible for feeling a sense of well-being and satisfaction in the world, as well as serving our immune systems so that they can protect us from harmful toxins and pathogens that cause disease, and are necessary to maintain healthy digestion in our stomachs and intestines.
    • There are many strains of probiotics that are helpful. To keep it simple, here are three that I recommend that All people will benefit from – lactobacillus, bifidobacterium, and saccharomyces boulardii.
  • Vitamin A – 200 mg a day has anti-viral properties
  • B Vitamins – Take a strong B complex every morning (This could energize you and interfere with sleep) with food (could upset your stomach without food.)
  • Vitamin E – 400 mg twice a day
  • Omega Fatty Acids – I like Nordic Naturals, Pro Omega 2000, twice a day. Put them in the freezer to avoid ‘fish burps’.
  • Selenium – 200 mcg a day.
  • Zinc – Zinc Picolinate is the optimal form, due to it’s high bioavailability. Start with 30 mg a day and titrate up to 60 mg in a few days. Take with food. The best absorption is when you take this separate from other supplements.
  • Magnesium
    • Over 700 necessary reactions in your body cannot occur without magnesium. It is an essential cofactor in numerous chemical reactions in our bodies. (A cofactor is something that has to bind to an enzyme in a chemical reaction for the enzyme to work. An enzyme in a chemical reaction changes one thing into a new thing. Everything in the human body runs via various chemical reactions.) That means that without this ion (charged particle), your body cannot perform the necessary functions of life.
    • Magnesium regulates temperature, produces and transports energy within every cell of the body, is necessary for the conduction of the heart and the nervous system and brain, relaxes muscles and alleviates anxiety. Fat, protein and glucose cannot be metabolized without it. It is also vital in the absorption of calcium to maintain strong bones, and allows the body to use stored vitamin D.
    • As a psychiatrist, clinically it has been incredibly effective to help people relax and feel less anxious, it alleviates the symptoms of restless leg syndrome and has been the only answer for many patients who would sweat uncontrollably and excessively in the heat. It can be used topically, orally, or in the bath.
  • Fulvic Ionic Minerals
    • When agriculture was a natural process, and soil was toxin free and naturally replenished with vital nutrients and minerals, our food contained a plentiful supply of fulvic ionic minerals. These ionic minerals make up fulvic acid, a natural substance that greatly increases the amount of vitamins and minerals that are absorbed into our cells, so our bodies can utilize them in the essential reactions necessary for life. In today’s world, soil is depleted due current farming practices and our neglect of considering the long-term benefits of healthy soil conditions. This weakened soil contains very little fulvic acid, and it cannot store and uptake water and nutrients effectively, or pass the fulvic acid into the food so those who eat it can remain healthy.
    • This solution of minerals enhances cognition, supports the immune system, assists in the digestion and assimilation of nutrients, helps to detoxify the body and provides essential electrolytes that allow us to utilize the nutrients we take in.
    • Fulvic minerals are also great to put in your soil when you are growing your own beautiful organic produce
  • Vitamin D3 and K2 (Mk7) – Cells need vitamin D to function, but without K2 the vitamin D cannot be utilized properly. The best food source of Mk7 (the most important form of K2) is in fermented soy beans (Natto) and other fermented foods.
    • Vitamin D3 – take a minimum of 5000 IU a day (125 mcg.) together with K2
    • K2 – aim for 150 mcg. a day
  • Organic CBD Oil – The endocanabanoid system is a great source of immune boosting strength. 
  • Elderberries – Research found compounds in black elderberry (Sambucus nigra) could directly inhibit viral entry into cells and subsequent replication, in part attributed to the anthocyanidin responsible for the vivid purple coloring of the fruit. It also decreases the length of a viral illness.
  • “Let Food Be Thy Medicine” – Foods include: Organic grass-fed raw, unpasteurized milk and whey protein (from organic, grass-fed cows); fermented foods; raw, organic eggs from free-range chickens; grass-fed beef or organ meats; coconuts and coconut oil; organic vegetables; blueberries and raspberries; mushrooms; chlorella; propolis; teas; and herbs and spices (see below).
    • Mushrooms strengthen your immune system because they are rich in protein, fiber, vitamin C, B vitamins, calcium, and other minerals. Mushrooms also contain powerful compounds called beta-glucans, which have been long known for their immune enhancing properties. Beta-glucan 3 enhances immunity through a variety of mechanisms, many of which are similar to those of echinacea or astragalus root.
    • Chlorella is a single-cell freshwater algae that acts as an efficient detoxification agent by binding to toxins, such as mercury, and carries them out of your system. It is the chlorophyll in chlorella that makes it so powerful. Chlorophyll helps you process more oxygen, cleanses your blood and promotes the growth and repair of your tissues.
    • Propolis is a bee resin and one of the most broad-spectrum antimicrobial compounds in the world, if not the broadest spectrum, according to master herbalist Donnie Yance. Propolis is also the richest source of caffeic acid and apigenin, two very important phenolic compounds that aid in immune response.
    • Organic green teas, matcha (unfermented green teas)
    • Tulsi Tea (Holy Basil)
    • Chaga Tea
    • Garlic (anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-viral)
    • Honeysuckle and chrysanthemum (good antivirals)
    • Artemisia, Andrographis (“King of Bitters”- antiviral and helps modulate inflammatory response)
    • Licorice (buffers the inflammatory response by increasing steroid output by the adrenal glands)
    • Turmeric, black pepper, oregano, cinnamon, cloves, elderflower