My personal recommendations for winter wellness:
As the owner of Optimum Health Vitamin, I have been able to examine and use some very effective supplements on the natural health market. In addition to using these myself, I have learned from the people I have consulted since 1993 on what items work for them and their families.
The objective of this blog post is to share with you a few of the items that I have found particularly useful in keeping myself and others healthy during the cold & flu season. Please note, I am privileged to have access to many supplements and obviously I can use them at my discretion. I am not suggesting that you use all of the items I have outlined in this article, but rather use it as a quick reference on products that may be useful in your quest to keep your immune system working optimally.
Part 2 of 2 - General Ongoing Supplements for Maintaining Healthy Immunity:
With the recent spate of cold and flu bugs, I have gotten a lot of inquiries as to what I use to maintain daily ongoing immunity. So to cut to the chase, here they are:
1. Vitamin D - Microencapsulated (a lot more than 1000 IU)
2. ImmunoMulti by Canprev
3. Omega-More by Enerex …(containing Omega 3’s and 6’s plus extra Vitamin A, D, & E)
4. Ecomer (Alkylglycerols extracted from shark liver oil)
5. Iodine…(as a blend with potassium Iodide by Iomed)
6. Zinc Bisglycinate
7. NAC or liposomal glutathione
1.) Microencapsulated Vitamin D:
Based on the fact that a Caucasian with no sunscreen, and full-exposure to our summer sun will produce approximately 1000 IU of Vitamin D PER MINUTE (!), starting in October, when we in Canada stop producing vitamin D from the sun, I bump my Vitamin D intake to 10,000 IU per day. (I may miss one or two days a month) If I am fighting a bug I may take 20 to 25,000 IU for one to three days. As spring arrives I decrease this until the summer, where if I get good sun exposure, I may not take any that day or the next. I have always gotten and seen the best results for immunity and inflammation with microencapsulated Vitamin D.
2.) ImmunoMulti by Can Prev:
This is my favourite multi for immunity and energy. I take it for its spectrum of nutrients, and anti-inflammatory phytochemicals, and because it produces excellent results for me. Many individuals that I consult use this multivitamin as a “go to” for colds, flu, and daily immunity.
More info on ImmunoMulti
Scoffed at for decades by the establishment, the evidence for the importance of probiotics for immunity, combatting inflammation and improving gut function is now overwhelming! At Optimum Health we have been stressing the importance of probiotics for good health ever since opening in 1994. The only catch is that each person’s gut bacterial profile is as unique as your fingerprint, and determining which source of
probiotics works best for you may involve some trial and error. Fermented foods work well for some, but not everybody. Some get heartburn from pickled vegetables, and others are allergic to milk products. If you are fighting a bug, I would say a supplement is a better bet to avoid succumbing to it, or recovering from it, especially if it involved a lot of nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
As for dosage, for daily maintenance I take 1 or 2 of a 50 Billion capsule per day, but if your chosen product is high potency, say 75 to 100 billion per capsule, 1 capsules a day will likely suffice. Yet if you are actively fighting off a bug, you can safely take far more than this. Even though the numbers seem high, remember that you are adding this to well over 100 Trillion bugs already in your gut...so like a pinch of sand in a 5 gallon pail! Morning and bedtime are usually what I recommend, but those with digestive difficulties may find that taking their probiotic supplements with their meal helps digestion.
4.) Omega More by Enerex:
I like this supplement for winter wellness, because of the extra immunity offered by the Vitamin A that it contains, along with Omega 3 EPA and DHA, and Omega 6 GLA. I cannot get into the debate of how much is too much vitamin A here, but suffice it to say that I believe Vitamin A is going to be another example of a fat-soluble nutrient that the public has been scared into avoiding, to the detriment of their health. (Remember how we used to get told: “OMG don’t take more than 800 IU of Vitamin D”?)
I noticed bolstered immunity and reduced reactivity shortly after starting to take this product, as well as improvement in my skin. Remember that Vitamin A is not only critical for immunity, skin health, and mucous membranes ( particularly of the lungs), it also regulates inflammatory aspects of the immune response. Especially for those who suffer from chronic lung infections or bronchitis, dry or stinging eyes, acne, or poor night vision, I highly recommend trying this supplement at a dose of 3-4 capsules per day, at least for the winter. If you are concerned about negative side effects, make sure you are getting ample Vitamin D & K2 as they work in tandem with Vitamin A. (The doses of Vitamin D and E in this product are relatively small, but become relevant if 3-4 caps are taken.)
Alkylglycerols extracted from shark liver oil are dramatically underappreciated for immune support. They again reduce the inflammation associated with the immune response, and as highlighted in my recent article ( link below) it is actually the inability to keep inflammation from the immune response in check that increases susceptibility to, and severity of symptoms of a cold…(and by extrapolation the flu). Traditionally used in Norwegian cultures for lung and bronchial health, based on available literature and positive outcomes, I have been recommending Ecomer to clients since 1993 for physical support during cancer therapies. I have also had discussions with many individuals who said it keeps them well through cold and flu season. Personally I take 1-2 capsules per day, but for more serious conditions, recommend 2 capsules 2-3x per day. (Due to its ability to moderate inflammation, we have also seen some very immediate responses in those suffering from asthma and allergies.)
6.) io-med by Alterra:
A potassium iodide blend: Iodine is an age-old bug fighter and anti-microbial, providing support for thyroid function, and hence mitochondrial support, (energy production). The debates about supplemental iodine are again not something I will get into here, but after reviewing the topic for years, I feel that the potential benefits far outweigh the detriments. I take 1 capsule of this product about 3-5 days a week.
Though I get what I feel is adequate amounts of zinc from my multivitamin and mineral supplements, I actually started taking additional zinc to experiment with its role in testosterone production, and add the additional 25mg occasionally if I am feeling under the weather. I have included it this list because it is so
commonly deficient, so vital to the immune response, and so critical to ensure your intake of if you are getting sick frequently with viral and/or bacterial infections. In those clients where I suspect zinc deficiency due to poor diet, and/or low immunity, I have seen it produce results extremely quickly. From 10-25 mg daily is fine for most, and older men may go up to 50mg per day for prostate function. But know that if you are going to take a lot to try and combat a bug, (say 100 mg or more), do not maintain this for more than a few days. Zinc is something you can get too much of, and like so many vitamins and minerals, the symptoms of excess can be exactly the same as deficiency, i.e. in this case poor immunity.
8.) NAC or Liposomal Glutathione:
I list these two products together because NAC can convert into Glutathione in our bodies. Either will likely suffice, and NAC is dramatically less expensive. But given the number of critical roles that glutathione plays in our body, including healthy immune function, if you are really having a rough time recovering from an illness, or want to provide extra immune support, liver support, energy production, or lung protection…(and the list goes on)…you may want to try the liposomal form of glutathione. Note that powder forms of glutathione in capsules, (not in a liposomal form), are somewhat of a waste of money as the glutathione molecule gets broken down in the gut, and you hope it reforms in your cells. But blood samples show zero glutathione after taking large doses of non-liposomal powder, whereas good studies show that the liposomal forms raise intracellular levels. Glutathione has a very sulfury smell, as does NAC. I find that the liposomal form produces noticeable improvements quickly, but you also hit a ceiling and stop noticing it with within a week or two. For most people maintenance with NAC will suffice...1 - 2 capsules per day on an empty stomach. But remember that it is quite reactive itself, and should be taken with other antioxidants like Alpha-lipoic acid, Milk Thistle, or selenium. (Optimum Health’s Opti-Liv Extra provides all the necessary companion nutrients for best results from NAC, which was part of the rationale for the formula.)
To read part 1 of this series, click here
Hope this information is helpful.
Disclaimer: The above information is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your physician.