I often get asked, “What’s the best way to boost my immune system, to keep my immune system strong? I’m very prone to infections or viral attacks.” I’m going to tell you exactly which vitamins and minerals are the best ones to take. There are so many choices out there and people just randomly go out to the vitamin store and buy, I hate to say it, but garbage supplements. So what’s right and what’s wrong? Today I’m going to educate you on that. I’m not going to get into every single supplement under the sun, but I want to get to the most important ones in all of the categories that I just mentioned.
Minerals are really awesome for immune support, for viruses especially. The number one mineral for immune support is actually calcium. Now, most people, when they think of calcium, they think of bones. But calcium is utilized in every area of the body, and it is the most abundant mineral that exists in the body. It’s crucial and very important for the immune system as well, especially for viruses. In our clinic, we use a form of calcium called Calcium Lactate, which is very well absorbed compared to what’s on the market, which is mostly calcium carbonate. That’s basically just limestone, so it’s very difficult to absorb. Citrate is sort of in the middle, it’s halfway decent. But like I said, in our clinic we use calcium lactate, and that is the number one mineral for viruses especially.
Calcium is a macro mineral, then you have the smaller minerals, the trace minerals. The number one in this category is zinc. You’ve heard of zinc and I’m sure you’ve probably heard that zinc deficiency is very common, and it is. It’s very hard to be absorbed actually even from food because of other factors that you may be ingesting at the same time, because of gut health. But zinc is really, really crucial for the immune system. So the best forms of zinc to take are zinc orotate or zinc picolinate.
First, let’s talk about the number one vitamin that people think of when they think of immune system, vitamin C. Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin, meaning that it doesn’t stay in your body very long. You have to get it on a regular basis in order for it to be utilized. It’s obviously in many foods that you can get in your diet, so that’s a great thing. But if you’re not eating foods rich in vitamin C, you may have a deficiency. So this is a great vitamin to make sure you’re getting enough of when you’re sick.
One thing I want to mention as far as the vitamin C on the market, about at least 90% of the vitamin C’s on the market are synthetic. They are not actually the whole vitamin C complex. They are just ascorbic acid, which is just a fraction of the actual vitamin C complex. In a whole food form, vitamin C has other factors in it besides just ascorbic acid.. Take a look at your vitamin C bottle and read the ingredients, and you will see that the only ingredient listed there is ascorbic acid. Nine times out of 10, that’s basically just genetically modified corn syrup and from China nowadays. Make sure you’re getting a whole food vitamin C. At our office we use one from Standard Process called Cataplex C. Like I said, it contains all of the complex of vitamin C, not just ascorbic acid, which is basically a preservative.
Next, let’s move on to the most important fat soluble vitamin, vitamin D. I’m sure you guys have heard about vitamin D, it’s all over the news all the time. Even your doctor is checking your vitamin D levels. Even though it’s considered a vitamin, it’s also more like a hormone. It’s very strong and has very strong actions in the body. The best way to get vitamin D, as you probably already know, is from the sun.. You only need about 20 or 30 minutes a day. If you can get outside, even just your face and part of your skin uncovered without sunglasses every day for 20 to 30 minutes, or even stand near a window, that would be great, because that’s the best way to get it into your body. You can take it as a supplement as well.
However, when you supplement with D, you have to really be careful with all the other co-factors or what other deficiencies you could possibly have, because all the vitamins work together in tandem. If you’re getting too much or too little of something, you could be effecting everything else. So when you’re taking vitamin D, you have to make sure you’re taking the right amount of calcium, magnesium and vitamin K. It is kind of complicated, so you might want to work with someone on this to make sure you’re taking vitamin D correctly. At least your doctor’s probably going to test your vitamin D so you’ll be able to know if you’re low in this vitamin that’s very important for immune health.
Last but not least, we’re going to talk about the best herb in my opinion, to boost overall immune health, and that is echinacea. Echinacea is a very popular herb, and I’m sure you’ve heard of it. What it basically does is it boosts your innate immune system. There are two branches of the immune system, the innate immune system, and the antibody mediated immune system. Most of the immune system in our body is innate, about 95% is innate. That’s basically the way that our body just fights off any invaders that come into our body. Echinacea just makes the innate immune system stronger to help you fight things off.
The product that we use at our office is from a company called MediHerb, and it’s called Echinacea Premium. Not all echinacea formulas are created equal. One of the ways that you can tell if your echinacea is good and pure is to put it on your tongue and see if it starts to make your tongue tingle a little bit. If it does, then you know you have a good form of it.
One other thing I want to mention, because autoimmune disease is really common nowadays, and a lot of people think that they can’t take echinacea if they have autoimmune disease. Even though you might see some things online about that, the company that we use has also done their own research into this area and they have found that the echinacea that we’re using does not interfere or make autoimmune disease worse. As a matter of fact, it makes it better. That’s a very controversial subject and I’m sure some people are going to comment about it, which is fine, but I have not seen any bad effects from using echinacea with any of my autoimmune patients. I personally take it year round just to keep my immune system very strong.
To recap, the number one mineral is calcium, the number one trace mineral is zinc, the number one water soluble vitamin is vitamin C, the number one fat soluble vitamin is vitamin D and the number one herb is echinacea. Click on the link and you can download my free ebook that tells you more in detail about nutrient deficiencies and goes into detail. If you need our help, we offer free consultations and we can give you a customized protocol to help you with your individual needs.