Pesticides Damage Immune System

Your kitchen faucet might be just as dangerous as your stovetop, according to a recent study published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Researchers found elevated levels of dichlorophenols, chemicals used in tap water and pesticides, in the urine of people affected with food allergies.

The tap water study is one more drop in the bucket of research indicating pesticides wreak havoc on the immune system. This study also illustrates how pervasive these harmful chemicals are. Exposure to pesticides is difficult to avoid, but immune booster supplements may help.

The Evidence against Pesticides

In 1996, the World Resources Institute published “Pesticides and the Immune System: The Public Health Risks.” The paper cited worldwide examples of immunosuppression.

After experiencing a dramatic rise in pesticide use, Philippian farmers also experienced higher mortality rates. High mortality only affected men who farmed, while their wives and men in other occupations experienced no such rise in mortality.

In Uzbekistan, people living in cotton-growing regions where high levels of pesticides were used suffered from more kidney disease, upper respiratory tract infections and gastrointestinal diseases. The study also concluded that pesticides damage organs and exacerbated existing conditions like tuberculosis.

The World Resources Institute goes on to say that people exposed to pesticides are more likely to develop cancers associated with immune suppression. Even though farmers enjoy less heart disease than other occupational groups, they are more likely to develop cancers normally reserved for people with a weakened immune system.

Pesticides Lower Immunity

A report from the Environmental Health Center in Dallas, Texas may help explain pesticides devastating impact on the immune system. Researchers examined 107 patients who had been exposed to pesticides. They found that 81 percent had low levels of T and B cells, immune cells that fight off infections. Furthermore, these levels improved after the patients were free of pesticide exposure for at least four days.

The report also says that a group of South American Indians who, thanks to the dense jungle canopy, were pesticide-free were also free of the diseases associated with industrialized civilizations.

Pesticides are Difficult to Avoid

Pesticide use is on the rise. According to the EPA, the U.S. spent almost $12 billion on pesticides in 2007.

Such heavy use has made pesticides hard to avoid. 99 percent of Americans test positive for DDT, according to the Pesticide Action Network (PAN). 93 percent test positive for a harmful insecticide. PAN says exposure to chemicals begin in the womb.

It may be nearly impossible to eliminate all of your pesticide exposure and its detrimental effects on immunity. Also, if you are one of the millions of Americans afflicted with food allergies due to pesticides, you are also more likely to succumb to wellness challenges.

Immune Booster Supplements May Help

Immune booster supplements, particularly Purx ReBound, may be able to bolster your body’s defenses. Purx ReBound contains over 20 ingredients clinically shown to provide immune system support.

For example, licorice root was shown to increase T cell activation in one study. Researchers at Harvard found that vitamin A supports the activity of both T and B cells. One of the most important immune booster vitamins, vitamin D is helps regulate the immune system’s production of T cells.

Environmental pollutants like pesticides are a fact of modern life. As research like the tap water study becomes more prevalent, perhaps the use of environmental pollutants will decrease. In the meantime, you can support your immune system by using high quality immune booster supplements like Purx ReBound.

Your Complete Guide to Staying Well This Season

Hospitals are restricting visitors to reign in the flu in Fayetteville. Schools are closing because of the flu in Charleston and other areas. Flu-related doctor visits are already higher this year than in past years. Not even the CDC knows how much worse the flu season will get since peaks are not usually seen until January or February. From immune booster supplements like healthy nutrition and exercise to best practices like staying away from the most germ-filled places, here is a list of the most effective ways to prevent the flu.

Prevent the Flu and Other Illnesses

The following tips are the best practices for preventing the flu.

Wash your hands correctly. A squirt of soap and a quick rinse aren’t enough to prevent the flu. First, use water that is as hot as you can tolerate. Use plenty of soap and wash for at least 20 seconds. Finally, don’t forget the forgotten spots: under fingernails and your wrists. Always wash your hands when you get home before you touch much else in the house.

Use gloves and hand sanitizer. Washable gloves are the easiest way to keep your hands germ-free in public spaces. When gloves aren’t an option, use hand sanitizer regularly.

Protect yourself from the most germ-filled places. Gyms are among the dirtiest public places, as are public computers and school desks. Other places to avoid or be on the ready with sanitizer are ATMs, public soap dispensers and all door handles.

Clean key personal items. Germs make themselves at home on some of your personal gear. Sheets, cell phones and backpacks are among the items that should be cleaned regularly.

Prevent the Spread of Flu to Other Family Members

Despite your best efforts, sometimes the flu or other virus will infect someone in the house. When a member of the home gets sick, extra diligence can keep the bug from spreading.

Limit the illness to one area. Whether it’s the couch or a bed with a TV, give the ill person a space apart from the rest of the family.

Open a window or two. It seems counterintuitive during cold weather. But one of the factors that lead to more illnesses in winter months is shut-up homes. Opening a window once or twice a day will help clear out airborne pathogens.

Give the ill person a mask to wear. It may seem extreme, but there’s a reason these paper goodies are popping up in doctors’ offices. Considering germs spread to a six-foot radius around the infected person who is talking, sneezing and coughing, masks are an effective preventive measure against the flu.

Maintain a Strong Immune System

Despite a pharmacy on nearly every corner, many medical experts agree that a strong immune system is the best way to prevent illness. The state of New York lists immune booster supplements like exercise and diet as effective measures to preventing illness.

The Cleveland Clinic suggests that supplementing with vitamins for immune system support and increasing your antioxidant intake may help boost the immune system.

Purx ReBound contains ingredients known to be the best immune supplements. Herbs like licorice root and isatis have been shown to increase the activation of immune cells. Purx ReBound also contains vitamins C, D and A, all of which have been shown to be important vitamins for immune system support.

The flu season is starting earlier than usual in 2012 and is making headlines across the country. Before the season peaks, you can implement the above best strategies to prevent the flu. When you pay special attention to your immune system’s health, you can increase your overall sense of wellness and energy as well.

Influenza Increases Risk of Pneumonia & Other Infections

It’s confounded scientists since the Spanish Flu outbreak in 1918. While 50-100 million people perished in that pandemic, most died due to secondary infections, especially pneumonia, rather than the flu itself. The immune mechanisms leading to these superinfections, as scientists call them, have remained a mystery until now. Remarkably, a new study shows the influenza virus seems to manipulate the immune system into shutting down some of its defenses against bacteria. A lifestyle that includes exercise, a healthy diet and natural immune system supplements may boost immunity during seasonal challenges.

The influenza virus has sleeper spy cells within the immune system. These cells, called TLR7, can detect viral genomes and launch an immune response. But when the invading virus is the flu, these same cells release a signaling substance. This substance, IFNGamma, rushes to the immune system’s bacteria-fighting scavenger cells with a deadly message. In essence, these scavenger cells are commanded to stop killing bacteria.

Flu-related deaths over the past 30 years have ranged anywhere from 3,000 to 49,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Still, researchers aren’t any closer to preventing flu-induced superinfections despite the study pinpointing IFNGamma as a culprit.

One of the study’s authors, Dr. Stegemann-Koniszewski, says that while it may seem logical to inhibit IFNGamma production, doing so may “have unforeseen repercussions” in a tightly regulated immune system.

Stay Healthy With a Strong Immune System

Experts do agree, however, that people with a weak immune system are more likely to get the flu. Dr. Merrell of Beth Israel Medical Center in New York says that “The strength of our immune system is what makes the difference between who gets sick and who doesn’t.” A combination of exercise, a healthy diet and immune booster vitamins can support your immune system this season.

Moderate Exercise is Key

When it comes to preventing the flu, avoid marathons and other activities that call for intense training. But don’t be a couch potato either.

A study divided mice infected with the flu virus into three groups. One group was like that of the typical couch potato. The second group was put into intense training. Imagine the Boston Marathon for rodents. The third group was given a decidedly less appreciated form of exercise: mild jogging.

More than 50 percent of the deadbeat mice died. Still, they fared better than their hyper-active counterparts. 70 percent of the mice that exercised vigorously died. And the casually exercising mice? Only 12 percent of the gently jogging mice died.

It seems that moderate activity improves immune function more than intense exercise.

Eat a Rainbow of Vegetables

Nutrition is a critical component of a healthy immune system, according to a review published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says that even a mild nutrition deficiency can inhibit your body’s ability to fight infections.

Helpguide suggests a simple approach to diet. Instead of counting calories, focus on eating whole foods. 5-8 servings of colorful vegetables will provide a variety of nutrients. Helpguide also suggests enjoying mealtimes as a way to chew slowly and reconnect with your body.

Get Support from Natural Immune Booster Supplements

Several natural immune booster supplements have been clinically shown to provide immune system support during wellness challenges. Natural immune system supplements that include several of these herbs and vitamins, like Purx ReBound, may be the most effective.

Purx ReBound contains Umckaloaba, which grows in South Africa and has been used medicinally by the indigenous people for centuries. Umckaloaba effectively decreased symptoms including chest congestion in one double-blind, placebo-controlled study.

Licorice Root is another immune booster supplement in Purx ReBound clinically shown to have immune-boosting properties. A 2010 study concluded that licorice root stimulates T cell activity and is a “potential alternative for mounting an effective immune response. . .”

Isatis increases immune function, according to a Chinese study. Another 2004 study found that Isatis increased lymphocytes, important cells of the immune system.

An active lifestyle, a healthy diet and immune booster supplements can help keep you energized this season. Remember to keep your exercise moderate and enjoyable. Your diet should include plenty of colorful vegetables. And the best immune supplements contain herbs clinically proven to be effective.

 

Best Supplements for Mood Enhancement: St. John’s Wort

With halo-like yellow petals and liquid pulp the color of blood, it’s easy to see why St. John’s Wort is named to honor the martyred saint. However, its history goes back several centuries earlier when the Greeks used St. John’s Wort for a variety of ailments, including premenstrual syndrome, stomach issues and, of course, low mood. Today, science is proving St. John’s Wort is effective as one of the best supplements for mood enhancement.

Improve Low Mood

Low mood is common, affecting one in10 people. Yet, when stricken with low mood, sufferers can feel alone in their misery. Low mood can cause sleep disturbances, weight fluctuations and even excessive Internet use. And if you suffer from low mood, your career can suffer since you are more likely to miss work and have a low level of productivity.

The many causes of low mood include a traumatic childhood, loss of a loved one and even stress. Recently, low mood has been implicated as a cause of diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

Several studies show St. John’s Wort is one of the best supplements for mood enhancement. In 2006, researchers in Denmark found that St. John’s Wort produced “frequent” and “significant improvement” in people suffering with low mood. A study in Germany found St. John’s Wort “more effective than placebo” for the treatment of low mood. Researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health in the U.S. found that St. John’s Wort can be an effective treatment for low mood.

How St. John’s Wort Works

Researchers believe that hypericin is the substance in St. John’s Wort responsible for its positive effects on mood. In 2005, a review of the data surrounding hypericin concluded that it is a “promising” approach “in medical diagnostic and therapeutic applications.”  Studies report that hypericin may improve low mood and boost the immune system. Researchers have found that hypericin also has a positive effect on enzymes and neurochemical receptors. This positive effect results in improved mood and calm emotions.

With dramatic yellow petals and red pulp that flows like blood from its cut stems, it’s easy to see why St. John’s Wort is associated with one of humanity’s most painful conditions: low mood. Low mood is disruptive and destructive to a productive life. A malady from ancient times, low mood may be improved with a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise and supplements. The best supplements for mood enhancement include St. John’s Wort, along with other ingredients for a powerful, synergistic effect.

Best Supplements for Memory: Bacopa

Bacopa is one of the best memory supplements to spring from the ancient Indian system of medicine known as Ayurveda. Yet, like Ayurveda, Bacopa is shrouded in mystery despite numerous clinical studies that prove its effectiveness. In this post, you’ll learn why Ayurveda is an esteemed method of medicine and how one of its most used herbs, Bacopa, effectively boosts memory. You’ll also learn the reasons the best supplements for memory contain this potent memory-enhancer.

Ayurveda Earns Western Respect

As one of the oldest methods of medicine, Ayurveda seeks to balance the body, mind and spirit. Over the course of 5000 years, Ayurvedic practitioners developed such advanced procedures as cataract surgeries, cesarean sections and amputations.

Of particular interest to modern scientists are the 250 plants used in Ayurvedic herbal formulas. The Indian government began a formal research initiative in 1969 on these medicinal plants. Researchers around the globe have been intrigued by their promising findings and perform additional studies to discover the benefits of Ayurvedic herbs.

Improve Memory with Bacopa

Bacopa is an Ayurvedic herb that is one of the best memory supplements, according to several studies. A 2002 Australian study found people who take Bacopa experience improved memory. Another Australian 2010 study found that those who take Bacopa experience “significant improvements” in learning, memory acquisition and memory retention. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20590480)

Improve Cognition Bacopa

Bacopa can enhance your cognition, according to a placebo-controlled study in Australia. The Australian researchers found that Bacopa improves cognitive processing, learning and memory. Another study in Oregon found that older adults who took Bacopa for 12 weeks experienced improved cognition. The placebo-controlled study followed 54 older adults. Participants taking Bacopa experienced improvements in mood, increased calm emotions, improved memory and increased cognitive functioning. Participants taking a placebo showed none of these improvements. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3153866/)

Learn How Bacopa Works

Australian researchers believe Bacopa works by increasing antioxidant activity within the hippocampus. A horseshoe-shaped area deep within the brain, the hippocampus is responsible for memory retention. Bacopa has a number of unique antioxidants in the form of alkaloids and saponins that boost this important region of the brain. (http://www.nature.com/npp/journal/v27/n2/full/1395862a.html)

Thanks to scientific interest in Ayurvedic medicine, many of its herbs are being tested and proven. Bacopa is one of these powerful herbs and is earning a reputation as one of the best memory supplements. Studies have shown that Bacopa effectively improves memory thanks to its powerful, brain-boosting antioxidants.

Immune System Booster to Keep You Fit

Exercise is a “wonder drug,” say researchers at Macmillan Cancer Support. While a 50 percent increase in cancer survival rates is impressive, exercise also manages and prevents heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. But exercise is no slouch, so to speak. New research suggests exercise is also one of nature’s immune system boosters.

Researchers at Iowa State University divided mice into three groups. The first group was sedentary. The second group exercised moderately. The third group exercised strenuously. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19811098)

The researchers then infected the mice with influenza. The mice in the first two groups developed severe symptoms. But the moderately exercising mice experienced fewer symptoms for shorter durations.

The researchers concluded moderate exercise results in fewer symptoms and faster recovery.

Researchers at the University of Illinois wondered why moderate exercise is one of nature’s immune system boosters. They found moderate exercise enhances the immune system’s T1 cells and T2-helper cells. (http://journals.lww.com/acsm-essr/Abstract/2009/10000/Exercise_and_Respiratory_Tract_Viral_Infections.3.aspx)

T1 cells are the immune system’s fighter cells. They attack the virus, producing inflammation. When there are no more virus cells, T1 cells begin attacking the body’s own cells.

T2-helper cells tell the T1 cells to stop attacking.

To clear your body of an infection, your immune system must exquisitely balance T1 cells and T2-helper cells. Exercise, being one of nature’s immune system boosters, helps maintain that balance.

Researchers discovered that not exercising at all reduces the number of T1 cells available to fight infection. Alternately, exercising too strenuously increased T2-helper cells too rapidly, thus halting the T1 cells’ response before the immune system cleared the infection.

However, moderate exercise initiates the Goldilocks reaction: balancing T1 cells with T2-helper cells to make the immune response “just right.”

WebMD says walking 100 steps a minute for 150 minutes per week is enough to benefit from moderate exercise. (http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/news/20090317/what-is-moderate-exercise)

But what if you are in training that requires some strenuous exercise? And what if you are exercising in a gym where bacteria live on surfaces for days?

It’s easy to avoid getting sick when you exercise strenuously or at the gym when you use an immune boosting supplement proven to enhance the immune system’s T cell response.

When herbs scientifically proven to enhance immune system function combine with vitamins vital for the immune response, the result is a superior immune boosting supplement.

When you take a high-quality immune boosting supplement while exercising strenuously, you won’t have to worry about a cold or the flu derailing your spring training. You’ll also get the benefits of a “wonder drug” that strengthens your heart, normalizes your blood pressure and prevents type 2 diabetes—without the side effects that accompany prescription drugs.

Why You Need to Boost Your Immune System with Vitamins

Vitamins are the foundation of immune system support. From improving the effectiveness of natural killer cells to safely curbing the immune response once the threat is extinguished, a healthy immune system depends on a ready supply of vitamins. But fighting viruses and bacteria isn’t the only role of vitamins. The vitamins you eat have a lot of work to do before—and if—they make it to your immune system.

In fact, eating is one activity that depletes your body’s supply of vitamins to boost immune system function.

Digested food enters your cells. Within your cells are mitochondria, tiny factories of energy. The mitochondria use the food and the oxygen you breathe to produce energy. Free radicals are a by-product of this energy manufacturing process.

Left unchecked, free radicals steal electrons from the tissues in your body, leaving them damaged. According to Mark Hyman, M.D., this damage can result in many of the illnesses we associate with aging.

The mitochondria rely on certain vitamins, also known as antioxidants, to suppress the free radicals before they can damage cells and tissues.

One such vitamin is vitamin E, one of the essential vitamins to boost immune system function. Researchers in Japan found vitamin E aids in the development of T cells within the thymus. Researchers at Tufts University found vitamin E “improves immune responsiveness in healthy individuals”  (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2203257).

Vitamin C is another of the vitamins to boost immune system function that does double-duty as an antioxidant. Researchers in Germany found T cells and phagocytes require vitamin C to function properly (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19263912).

Vitamin A is also squelches free radicals. Researchers at Harvard Medical School found vitamin A is essential for the formation lymphocytes and T-helper cells. It also aids in preventing inflammation and autoimmune diseases (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19172691).

Vitamins E, C, and A are essential to healthy mitochondria function and for immune system support. If you eat food that is high in calories but low in nutrients, your mitochondria needs even more vitamin E and other antioxidants to convert the food into energy. As a result, your body may lack vitamins to boost immune system function.

The USDA survey found Americans are lacking in key nutrients. According to the survey, Americans are not getting the recommended daily allowance of vitamins E and A. Americans are not getting the amount of vitamin C necessary to boost immunity, which is 10 time the current RDA values.

Vitamins may be the foundation of immune support, but they also fight disease-causing free radicals. The many roles vitamins play in your health means you need to boost your immune system with a high-quality supplement.

Your Poor Diet is Hurting Your Grades

You have a new laptop, a small fortune invested in books, and a tutor to get you through your statistics class. But you’ve neglected the most powerful tool you have for a successful academic career: your brain. It may not be the first thing you think of when you hear “school supplies,” yet a well-nourished brain is essential for outstanding academic performance.This is because even though your brain makes up only two percent of your body weight, it absorbs a whopping 20 percent of your caloric intake.1 Your brain’s voracious appetite means that your unhealthy eating habits don’t just undermine immune system support. Poor nutrition could lead to ailing grades.

You don’t eat breakfast. Mom’s known it for years and researchers are finally getting a clue—breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. The New York Times says researchers examined 47 studies and found eating breakfast contributes to better mental functioning in students.2 The researchers aren’t sure why breakfast improves grades, but speculate breakfast causes changes in the concentration of neurotransmitters, chemicals that act as messengers in the brain. Experts recommend a breakfast containing protein, natural sugars, fiber and a little fat to maintain blood glucose levels and sustain energy.

You eat lots of salt and saturated fat. Fast food fits a college student’s budget, and of course, it’s fast. But researchers at the University of Alberta examined the diets of 5,000 school children and found those who ate diets high in salt and saturated fat performed poorly on tests compared to those whose diets consisted of fruits, vegetables, protein and fiber.3 Live Science reports that rats given excessive amounts of saturated fat suffered damage to the hippocampus, an area of the brain important for the formation of memories.1

You eat too many calories. According to an article in Live Science, an overload of calories can reduce the flexibility of synapses in the brain.4 Synapses act like a parking garage for neurotransmitters. Rigid synapses make it difficult for neurotransmitters to travel across neurons. Excessive calories also increase oxidative damage in the brain, which experts think may contribute to Alzheimer’s.5

The fish you eat is swimming in fat. Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids, which support synaptic plasticity. Omega-3s make fish a great brain food—except when it’s battered and deep-fried in vegetable oil.  Researchers at Northwestern University in Chicago analyzed the fish-eating habits of over 80,000 women. They concluded those who ate fried fish forfeited any health benefits from Omega-3s and actually increased their risk of heart failure.6

You eat three or fewer meals a day. Live Science reports that the brain runs on a constant supply of glucose. When your glucose levels fall, your ability to think suffers. Live Science goes on to say that your brain works best with 25 grams of glucose circulating in the blood stream.7 To prevent too much or too little glucose in your blood stream, eat frequent, small meals throughout the day.

Keeping your brain healthy by eating nutritious food may do more than boost your grades. Psych Central says that omega-3 depletion or being overweight may increase your risk of depression.8 From your mood to your G.P.A., studies indicate that good nutrition does more than simply boost immune system. In addition to providing immune system support, eating well can improve your grades and your well-being.

1 Live Science, Brain Food: How to Eat Smart, Retrieved January 5, 2012 from http://www.livescience.com/3186-brain-food-eat-smart.html

2 New York Times, Good Grades for Breakfast, Retrieved January 5, 2012 from http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/17/health/17nutr.html

3 Chicago Tribune, Nutritious Meals Make Better Grades, Retrieved January 5, 2012 from http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/sns-health-nutrition-better-grades,0,5338820.story

4 Live Science, Good Diet, Exercise Keep Brain Healthy, Retrieved January 5, 2012 from http://www.livescience.com/2675-good-diet-exercise-brain-healthy.html

5 Agricultural Research Service, Nutrition And Brain Function, Food for the Aging Mind, Retrieved January 5, 2012 from http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/aug07/aging0807.htm

6 US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Fish intake and the risk of incident heart failure: the Women’s Health Initiative, Retrieved January 5, 2012 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21610249

7 Live Science, Brain Food: How to Eat Smart, Retrieved January 5, 2012 from http://www.livescience.com/3186-brain-food-eat-smart.html

8 Psych Central, Can Nutrition Help Fight or Ward Off Depression?, Retrieved January 5, 2012 from http://psychcentral.com/lib/2010/can-nutrition-help-fight-or-ward-off-depression/

Best Supplements for Immune System Support

The best immune supplement is like a bee hive. Worker bees each have a job—collecting water, cleaning the cells, collecting pollen. Likewise, each nutrient is essential to your body in different ways. Just as the bees create a hive that is stronger and more enduring than its individual parts, the ingredients in the best supplements for immune support create an immune booster that is more effective than its individual nutrients.

Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, nutritionist for Stanford University and author of 25 books about nutrition, says, “For many years the science of nutrition has focused on specific pieces of the puzzle instead of the power inherent of the whole picture.” (http://bewell.stanford.edu/healthy-food-combinations) Recently, researchers interested in “the whole picture” examined nutritional synergy and found nutrients work better in combinations than they do individually.

Researchers at the University of Illinois wanted to know if eating 5 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables daily really prevents cancer. They fed groups of mice different combinations of tomatoes and broccoli and their individual components, like lycopene. They found the combination of broccoli and tomato reduced tumor weight by an astounding 52 percent, more than broccoli or tomatoes alone. (http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/67/2/836.short)

In Finland, researchers studied how combining the right supplements can reduce plaque build-up in arteries, otherwise known as atherosclerosis. They found combining vitamin E with vitamin C slowed down the progression of atherosclerosis, while each vitamin taken alone had no effect on plague build-up. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12600905)

In a paper titled “Antioxidant Capacity of Berry Crops, Culinary Herbs and Medicinal Herbs,” the U.S. Department of Agriculture says the “antioxidant activities in fruits and herbs may be attributable . . . to synergistic interactions.” The paper goes on to say supplementing with high doses of individual nutrients is less effective than combinations of nutrients.

These studies and others like it demonstrate vitamins and herbs working together are surprisingly more effective than working alone.

Considering how ingredients interact is important when choosing supplements for immune system support. For example, many immune supplements contain vitamins A, C and E, nutrients well-documented for their immune-boosting properties. But not many immune supplements contain vitamin D. Once revered for its effect on bone health, vitamin D also regulates the immune system to prevent autoimmune disorders. The best immune supplements contain nutrients like vitamin D as well scientifically proven herbs like Forsythia, Reishi and Scute.

Synergy abounds in nature. Like bees, individual nutrients work together for results that multiply their individual contributions. When choosing the best supplements for immune support, look for a formulation that combines nutrients proven to boost immunity with scientifically proven herbs. The result will be a stronger and more effective immune system.

Why You Need to Boost Your Immune System with Vitamins

Vitamins are the foundation of immune system support. From improving the effectiveness of natural killer cells to safely curbing the immune response once the threat is extinguished, a healthy immune system depends on a ready supply of vitamins. But fighting viruses and bacteria isn’t the only role of vitamins. The vitamins you eat have a lot of work to do before—and if—they make it to your immune system.

In fact, improper eating habits can deplete your body’s supply of vitamins to boost immune system function. This is because when the energy factories within your cells, mitochondria, convert your digested food into energy, an insidious by-product emerges: free radicals. The mitochondria rely on certain vitamins, also known as antioxidants, to suppress the free radicals before they can damage cells and tissues. According to Mark Hyman, M.D., this damage can result in many of the illnesses we associate with aging.

Vitamins E, C, and A are essential to healthy mitochondria function and for immune system support. If you eat food that is high in calories but low in nutrients, your mitochondria needs even more vitamin E and other antioxidants to convert the food into energy. As a result, your body may lack vitamins to boost immune system function.

Vitamin E is one of the vitamins to boost immune system function that also acts as an antioxidant. Researchers in Japan found vitamin E aids in the development of T cells within the thymus. Researchers at Tufts University found vitamin E “improves immune responsiveness in healthy individuals”  (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2203257).

Vitamin C is another of the vitamins to boost immune system function that does double-duty as an antioxidant. Researchers in Germany found T cells and phagocytes require vitamin C to function properly (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19263912).

Vitamin A is also squelches free radicals. Researchers at Harvard Medical School found vitamin A is essential for the formation lymphocytes and T-helper cells. It also aids in preventing inflammation and autoimmune diseases (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19172691).

The USDA survey found Americans are lacking in key nutrients. According to the survey, Americans are not getting the recommended daily allowance of vitamins E and A. Americans are not getting the amount of vitamin C necessary to boost immunity, which is 10 time the current RDA values.

Vitamins are not only the foundation of immune support, but they also fight disease-causing free radicals. The many roles vitamins play in your health means you need to boost your immune system with a high-quality supplement.