Cold and flu season is here -- what can you do to boost your immune system and avoid getting sick? Always follow recommended cold and flu prevention habits, such as washing your hands frequently, maintaining good sleep, exercise, and healthy eating. But when you need a "boost," try Dr. Randolph's "best boosters" -- his top vitamins and supplements to kick your immune system into high gear!
The following "best boosters" work best in your daily regimen.
Vitamin D3: Studies have shown that people with low vitamin D levels have a higher chance of getting the flu. This vitamin is very important to activating your immune system. (In addition, a deficiency in Vitamin D3 has also been linked to an increased risk of osteoporosis, depression, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.) Most adults need between 5,000-10,000 IU daily to achieve therapeutic effects.
Vitamin C: This vitamin helps increase the production of white blood cells, which help fight infections. Because the body does not produce or store Vitamin C, it is important to get enough through the foods you eat or by taking a supplement. You can find Vitamin C in most citrus fruits, as well as red bell peppers and spinach. An appropriate dosage for supplementation is between 500-1,000mg per day.
Probiotics: 70% of our immune system is in our gut. A well-functioning gut can be supported with probiotic supplements, such as Dr. Randolph's signature formulations Daily Probiotic DF (30 billion CFU) or Max Probiotic DF (100 billion CFU), both available at the Wellness Store. Select a probiotic with a minimum of 20 billion CFU (Colony Forming Units) and expect the effects of this supplement to take about two weeks to kick in.
Antioxidants: NAC (N-acetyl-cysteine) is Dr. R's favorite antioxidant -- it is an extremely strong amino acid derivative that replenishes levels of the antioxidant glutathione (GSH) and causes the liver to detoxify more efficiently. This detoxification effect improves immune function. Most people get positive effects from taking 600-1,000mg/day.
If you still catch a cold or the flu despite your best efforts at prevention, Dr. Randolph recommends a homeopathic remedy like Oscillococcinum, by Boiron, or an herbal compound like Viracid, by OrthoMolecular, (see sidebar at left) to knock out the virus quickly.