How to strengthen your immune system

If our immune system is strong and healthy, we could sleep with people dying with “contagious disease” and never even get sick. This includes the disease du jour Ebola — or SARS, H1N1, avian flu, the common cold or whatever. What a relief this is to know but how difficult it is to get people to believe.

So how do we ensure we have a strong immune system? It starts with a rested body and a healthy, alkaline diet. Higher alkalization means more oxygen and more oxygen signifies higher immunity.

For an alkaline diet we must consume whole, nutrient-rich foods, mostly from raw, living sources. When you eat more than 50 percent raw foods, you can stop the inflammation triggered by processed, refined or even cooked or baked foods.

Our diet should be 80 percent vegetables (organic) with only 20 percent meats (preferably free range and not exposed to GMOs or antibiotics). Avoid anything processed, which creates acidity in the body. Acidity leads to disease.

We should stay hydrated with fluids. Powerful tonics that can help fight viral infections are herbal teas containing cats claw, ginseng and ginger root; and chamomile tea can help calm your nausea. But don’t forget water. People – seniors especially – drink too little water. Water helps the body flush away toxins and acids.

The magic foursome

There are a number of natural supplements you can take that boost your immune system. But peak immunity begins with a magic foursome. That magic foursome is calcium, vitamin D, vitamin C and vitamin F. The calcium should be calcium lactate, calcium citrate or calcium bicarbonate. The vitamin D should be natural vitamin D3. The vitamin C should be whole complex vitamin C (not just ascorbic acid). And vitamin F a special form of fatty acid which is linolenic and linoleic acids, which are converted to arachidonic acid in our liver.

This foursome is a synergism. This means that they not only work together, they are interdependent.

Calcium lactate is the perfect form of calcium because it quickly converts to calcium bicarbonate which is the only kind of calcium you can ionize in your bloodstream. Other forms of calcium go through about a dozen changes to become calcium bicarbonate. Calcium bicarbonate is ionized by vitamin D and put into the bloodstream.

So far we have the right calcium. We took it into the gut and we used vitamin D to transfer calcium from the gut (in the form of bicarbonate) into the bloodstream.

Our bodies require a lot of calcium lactate and a lot of vitamin D. Researchers have now discovered that the human body requires many times the RDA of vitamin D supplementation because nobody gets anywhere near enough sunshine.

Vitamin D3 is really a hormone. Long suppressed by the medical establishment, it is now being reluctantly embraced. More and more studies by mainstream medical publications are showing vitamin D3’s benefits in suppressing a host of infections. A study published by the National Institutes of Health in PubMed in 2012 stated, “vitamin D is a key factor linking innate and adaptive immunity, and both of these functions may be compromised under conditions of vitamin D insufficiency.”

Of course you boost you vitamin D levels naturally with sunshine. Foods like beef liver, cheese, egg yolks and fatty fish also add vitamin D to your diet. Cod liver oil is a time-honored source as well.

Vitamin F is primarily arachidonic acid derived from fat meat and real butter. It is third and pivotal in this magic foursome because it is the biochemical basis of diffusible calcium in the tissue. And diffusible calcium is absolutely essential and paramount in the great battle of fighting back all kinds of viruses.

Now to the fourth part of the magic foursome, vitamin C. This is a special whole complex vitamin C that promotes phagocytosis, increases oxygen carrying capacity of the blood and is a vital adrenal activator. This C has all the C complex factors — the P factors, vitamin K, vitamin J, enzymes and other organic factors. Altogether they give superior functional potency. Functional potency can only come from a live food. High doses of vitamin C inhibit viral activity. It should be whole complex vitamin C along with calcium lactate. Many times when vitamin C fails a quick response, calcium makes the difference, especially in children and seniors.

Vitamin A and/or vitamin C should be called “vitamin AC” as both are needed to guard against infection. Most people, maybe as high as 80 percent, are short in vitamin A. The prevalence of night blindness and the common cold gives convincing evidence of this deficiency.

A study in the Proceedings of the Nutritional Society showed that vitamin A and related retinoids play a major role in immunity, including expression of mucins and keratins, lymphopoiesis, apoptosis, cytokine expression, production of antibody, and the function of neutrophils, natural killer cells, monocytes or macrophages, T lymphocytes and B lymphocytes. Recent clinical trials suggest that vitamin A supplementation reduces morbidity and mortality in different infectious diseases.”

But vitamin A is not very stable. Since it is easily destroyed by heat and we cook almost everything, we don’t get nearly enough vitamin A. We may consume a generous amount of vitamin A and still have low body levels.

Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin and requires normal fat assimilation. Any liver function impairment defeats the body’s ability to secure an adequate intake. Carotene (pro-vitamin A), as found in raw carrots, is much more efficient in raising the body’s level of vitamin A than fish liver oils. Carotene as in carrots can be stored in the liver in quantity while only a small quantity of true vitamin A can be stored. It follows that most of our consumption should be in the form of pro-vitamin A or carotene.

More ways to boost your immune system

Then there is iodine. Iodine is a very potent anti-infective agent.  It is hell on bacteria and parasites. Iodine is a big part of a peak immune system. David Brownstein, M.D., says that no virus, bacteria or parasite can resist it.

Brownstein believes, based on its symptom of bleeding out of the orifices, that Ebola is a scurvy-like disease. Scurvy is caused by insufficient vitamin C. He recommends doses of 3,000 to 5,000 mg/day at a minimum, if your body can tolerate it. During acute infections he recommends 5,000 to 7,000 mg/day, but dosages that high are only to be taken by IV and only under the supervision of a healthcare practitioner.

Another immune booster is astragalus. This herb has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine to help improve your cold and disease-fighting abilities. Plus, this supplement is thought to have a diuretic effect and may help lower blood pressure and relax blood vessel constriction.

DHEA is a hormone that has been proven to boost your immune system response and effectively fight some viral infections.

Melatonin offers beneficial protection from viruses. Lactoferrin is an immune booster that inhibits viral attachment to cells.

A study conducted at Harvard found that a red algae species called Griffithsia gave mice complete immunity to the virus that causes Ebola. Another study on mice proved it also stopped the SARS and HIV-1 viruses from replicating. Red algae supplements —  and all the supplements and vitamins mentioned above — are available at health food stores and online.


Bob Livingston

By Bob Livingston

Bob Livingston has been writing most of his adult life on matters of health, nutritional supplements, natural alternatives and social importance.