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  • 1. Boosting Your Immune System A Talk About: Vitamins, Herbs, and Supplements Jen Years Kaplan University
  • 2. Boosting Your Immune System Immune System Help For the most part, our immune system works on its own to defend against disease and illness. Sometimes though, it is not strong enough and we get sick. We want to boost our immune system when we feel we may be weaker. There are a lot of vitamins, herbs, and supplements out on the market. Let’s take a look at some of these options: The Immune System Ways to Boost Supplementing *This presentation is not intended to provide medical advice. If you have a medical issue or are considering taking a supplement or other product, please consult with your primary care provider.
  • 3. Boosting Your Immune System The Immune System “The immune system is a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to protect the body from infection. The human body provides an ideal environment for many microbes, such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites, and the immune system prevents and limits their entry and growth to maintain optimal health”. (NIH, 2014) This system will try to identify those microbes and react accordingly. If the system does not work together, or it does not recognize the microbe, it will kick in the immune response… fighting infection of a foreign body. Being sick is physical evidence of our body fighting for homeostasis.
  • 4. Boosting Your Immune System Ways To Boost Our healthy bodies naturally regenerate cells and tissues within this system. Harvard Medical School (2014) has several suggestions for keeping healthy so our bodies can continue this process: Healthy Living Basics • Don’t smoke. • Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in saturated fat. • Exercise regularly. • Maintain a healthy weight. • Control your blood pressure. • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation. • Get adequate sleep. • Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly. • Get regular medical screening tests for people in your age group and risk category.
  • 5. Boosting Your Immune System Ways To Boost Healthy living means healthy nutrition and getting your essential nutrients. Here are some dietary recommendations to ensure a healthy immune system from WebMD (2012): Button Mushrooms “Button mushrooms have selenium and antioxidants. Low levels of selenium have been linked to increased risk of developing more severe flu. The B vitamins riboflavin and niacin, found in these mushrooms, play a role in a healthy immune system. Animal studies have also shown mushrooms to have antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-tumor effects.” Watermelon “Hydrating and refreshing, ripe watermelon also has plenty of a powerful antioxidant, glutathione. Known to help strengthen the immune system so it can fight infection, glutathione is found in the red pulpy flesh near the rind.”
  • 6. Boosting Your Immune System Ways To Boost Here are more dietary recommendations to ensure a healthy immune system from WebMD (2012): Almonds “A handful of almonds may shore up your immune system from the effects of stress. A recommended 1/4 cup serving carries nearly 50% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin E, which helps boost the immune system. And they have riboflavin and niacin, B vitamins that may help you bounce back from the effects of stress.” Grapefruit “Grapefruits have a good amount of vitamin C. But science has yet to prove that you can easily get enough vitamin C through foods alone, without supplementation, to help treat cold and flu. However, grapefruit is packed with flavonoids -- natural chemical compounds that have been found to increase immune system activation. Dislike grapefruits? Try oranges or tangerines.”
  • 7. Boosting Your Immune System Ways To Boost Here are more dietary recommendations to ensure a healthy immune system from WebMD (2012): Low-Fat Yogurt “A daily cup may reduce your chances of getting a cold. Look for labels listing "live and active cultures." Some researchers believe they may stimulate your immune system to fight disease. Also look for vitamin D. Recent studies have found a link between low vitamin D levels and an increased risk of cold and flu.” Garlic “Garlic offers several antioxidants that battle immune system invaders. Among garlic's targets are H. pylori, the bacteria associated with some ulcers and stomach cancer. Cooking tip: Peel, chop and let sit 15 to 20 minutes before cooking to activate immuneboosting enzymes.” For a list of all 15 immune boosting foods like spinach and broccoli, check out the full PowerPoint presentation online by WebMD (2012) listed in the references.
  • 8. Boosting Your Immune System Supplements It is always healthiest to get your nutrients from real food, but if you have dietary restrictions, food allergies, or you are just not getting the nutrition from your food intake, you might be considering supplements. The National Center of Complementary and Alternative Medicine NCCAM (2012) provides a few tips. “Take charge and get information. Marketing standards – TV, print, labels, for supplements are different from drugs. "Natural" does not necessarily mean "safe." Learn about the side effects, short term and long term. Interactions are possible. Some dietary supplements may interact with medications (prescription or overthe-counter) or other dietary supplements, and some may have side effects on their own. Be aware of the potential for contamination. Some supplements have been found to contain hidden prescription drugs or other compounds. Read the labels and information. Talk to your health care providers. Tell your health care providers about any complementary health products or practices you use, including dietary supplements. This will help give them a full picture of what you are doing to manage your health and will help ensure coordinated and safe care.”
  • 9. Boosting Your Immune System Supplements There are varied studies to show the effectiveness of popular immune booster supplements. Here is a simple explanation by Livestrong Foundation (2014): “The immune system functions most efficiently when adequate levels of micronutrients are present in the body. When micronutrients become deficient, immunity can become suppressed, leaving the body vulnerable to infections. A 2007 article published in the "British Journal of Nutrition" notes that vitamins A, B-6, B12, C, D, E and folic acid, as well as minerals iron, copper, zinc and selenium, all work to improve immune function in different capacities. The authors of the article note that supplementation with these micronutrients can enhance immune function. The simplest way to ensure sufficient levels of these various vitamins and minerals is to take a multivitamin.”
  • 10. Boosting Your Immune System Sources of Information for You Websites Use in This Presentation Harvard Medical School. 2014. How to boost your immune system. Retrieved from http://www.health.harvard.edu/flu-resource-center/how-to-boost-your-immunesystem.htm McKnight, Clay. Livestrong Foundation. 2014. The Best Immune Boosting Supplements. Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/382809-the-best-immune-boostingsupplements/ National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). 2012. Time To Talk About Dietary Supplements: 5 Things Consumers Need To Know. Retrieved from http://nccam.nih.gov/health/tips/supplements National Institutes of Health (NIH). 2014. Immune System. Retrieved from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/immunesystem/Pages/default.aspx WebMD. 2012. PowerPoint: 5 Immune Boosting Foods. Reviewed by Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD on March 28, 2012. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/ss/slideshow-immune-foods
  • 11. Boosting Your Immune System Sources of Information for You Additional Websites SuperTracker : https://www.supertracker.usda.gov/ The United States Department of Agriculture provides an online tool for journaling food and exercise. This website also has a reports feature to breakdown your nutritional intake and show you if you are getting enough nutrients in your food intake. National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements: http://ods.od.nih.gov/ This website is a valid credible resource for providing the current, researched information about overall supplement information or individual supplement details. More Resources Health Care Professionals – Doctors, Nutritionists, and other professionals Local presentations – at your near-by medical facility – check newspapers for events