Immune system upkeepers

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    Mar 27, 2009 12:59 AM GMT
    With the winter behind us, and the common cold all too common, does anyone use supplements to keep the free rads down and support the immune system?




    I need it, been sick 2x in the past month, which put a hold on work outs... icon_sad.gif
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    Mar 27, 2009 2:11 AM GMT
    What to eat to prevent flu and colds

    Eating health-promoting foods that increase immune function is a major factor in preventing flu and colds. That's because it's not just a viral infection in your upper respiratory system that causes a cold - it's your body's susceptibility to the virus that really counts. Many factors - including stress, exposure to toxins (such as cigarette smoke and polluted air), excessive exercise, and poor sleep - influence your body's susceptibility to flu and cold viruses. Getting important immune-supporting nutrients from your food, while reducing your intake of food additives that can stress your body, is a very important step in promoting health, both in cold and flu season, as well as throughout the year.

    What foods to eat more often

    The World's Healthiest Foods are health-promoting foods that help prevent flu and colds. Select foods rich in vitamin A (including beta-carotene and the other carotenoids), vitamin E, and vitamin C. The best sources of vitamins C, A and carotenoids include carrots, spinach, cabbage, kale, red bell peppers, mustard greens, oranges and melons.

    read the rest...

    Onions

    "Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Bacterial Activity

    Several anti-inflammatory agents in onions render them helpful in reducing the severity of symptoms associated with inflammatory conditions such as the pain and swelling of osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis, the allergic inflammatory response of asthma, and the respiratory congestion associated with the common cold. Both onions and garlic contain compounds that inhibit lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenase (the enzymes that generate inflammatory prostaglandins and thromboxanes), thus markedly reducing inflammation. Onions' anti-inflammatory effects are due not only to their vitamin C and quercitin, but to other active components called isothiocyanates. These compounds work synergistically to spell relief from inflammation. In addition, quercitin and other flavonoids found in onions work with vitamin C to help kill harmful bacteria, making onions an especially good addition to soups and stews during cold and flu season."

    http://whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=45



    --------------------

    ....essential roles of vitamins in modulating a broad range of immune processes, such as lymphocyte activation and proliferation, T-helper-cell differentiation, tissue-specific lymphocyte homing, the production of specific antibody isotypes and regulation of the immune response. Finally, we discuss the clinical potential of vitamin A and D metabolites for modulating tissue-specific immune responses and for preventing and/or treating inflammation and autoimmunity.

    http://www.nature.com/nri/journal/v8/n9/abs/nri2378.html

    ----------------------

    FEEDING YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM

    Vitamin C increases the production of infection-fighting white blood cells and antibodies and increases levels of interferon, the antibody that coats cell surfaces, preventing the entry of viruses.

    Vitamin E stimulates the production of natural killer cells, those that seek out and destroy germs and cancer cells. Vitamin E enhances the production of B-cells, the immune cells that produce antibodies that destroy bacteria. Vitamin E supplementation may also reverse some of the decline in immune response commonly seen in aging.

    Beta carotene increases the number of infection-fighting cells, natural killer cells, and helper T-cells, ...

    Zinc. This valuable mineral increases the production of white blood cells that fight infection and helps them fight more aggressively. It also increases killer cells that fight against cancer and helps white cells release more antibodies

    Garlic. This flavorful member of the onion family is a powerful immune booster that stimulates the multiplication of infection-fighting white cells, boosts natural killer cell activity, and increases the efficiency of antibody production. The immune-boosting properties of garlic seem to be due to its sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin and sulfides.

    Omega-3 fatty acids. A study found that children taking a half teaspoon of flax oil a day experienced fewer and less severe respiratory infections and fewer days of being absent from school. The omega 3 fatty acids in flax oil and fatty fish (such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel) act as immune boosters by increasing the activity of phagocytes, the white blood cells that eat up bacteria. (Perhaps this is why grandmothers used to insist on a daily dose of unpalatable cod liver oil.) Essential fatty acids also protect the body against damage from over-reactions to infection. When taking essential fatty acid supplements, such as flax or fish oils, take additional vitamin E, which acts together with essential fatty acids to boost the immune system.

    http://www.askdrsears.com/html/4/t042500.asp
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    Mar 27, 2009 3:59 AM GMT
    ginger- basically amazing on so many levels.

    and onions as previously stated.


    My suggestion is to buy "food your miracle medicine" you can get it on amazon for like $4. i HIGHLY suggest you get it, i'd elaborate more on it, but i'm tired, lol
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    Mar 27, 2009 4:00 AM GMT
    Lots of vitamin C. Try Airbourne. Good stuff
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    Mar 27, 2009 4:04 AM GMT
    Ginger...

    Immune Boosting Action

    Ginger can not only be warming on a cold day, but can help promote healthy sweating, which is often helpful during colds and flus. A good sweat may do a lot more than simply assist detoxification. German researchers have recently found that sweat contains a potent germ-fighting agent that may help fight off infections. Investigators have isolated the gene responsible for the compound and the protein it produces, which they have named dermicidin. Dermicidin is manufactured in the body's sweat glands, secreted into the sweat, and transported to the skin's surface where it provides protection against invading microorganisms, including bacteria such as E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus (a common cause of skin infections), and fungi, including Candida albicans.

    Ginger is so concentrated with active substances, you don't have to use very much to receive its beneficial effects. For nausea, ginger tea made by steeping one or two 1/2-inch slices (one 1/2-inch slice equals 2/3 of an ounce) of fresh ginger in a cup of hot water will likely be all you need to settle your stomach. For arthritis, some people have found relief consuming as little as a 1/4-inch slice of fresh ginger cooked in food, although in the studies noted above, patients who consumed more ginger reported quicker and better relief.

    http://whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=72
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    Mar 27, 2009 4:04 AM GMT
    As a health care provider, i would like to recommend that you eat foods that are rich in vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin E and selenium since these are immune stimulating foods.

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    Mar 27, 2009 4:11 AM GMT
    Selenium...

    "Selenium is indirectly responsible for keeping the body's supply of at least three other nutrients intact: these three other nutrients are vitamin C, glutathione, and vitamin E. Although the chemistry of these relationships is complicated, it centers around an enzyme (protein molecule in the body that helps "jump start" a chemical reaction) called glutathione peroxidase. This enzyme cannot function without selenium. "

    http://whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=95

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    Mar 27, 2009 4:16 AM GMT
    one thing i should have mentioned about ginger, its been clinically shown to cure the flu better than the flu vaccine itself. (source=book mentioned above- food your miracle medicine). oh yea, it also is a good cure for migraines

    But basically its simple:

    eating good fruits and veggies, while staying away from most processed foods, and the bad fats, you'll be healthy and rarely sick (for the most part). Exercising also helps
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    Mar 27, 2009 4:29 AM GMT
    I have no idea if this works since there are no scientific references cited....but it seems to follow what has been stated above.

    ...from Learningherbs.com:

    "This cold and flu home remedy is my SPECIAL-Tea

    The three secret ingredients to my “Special-Tea” are:

    1) Ginger

    2) Lemon juice

    3) Honey

    That’s it!


    Why ginger, lemon and honey?

    Well, you probably know that lemon is high in Vitamin C. It is also full of phytochemicals. These are plant constituents that help boost the immune system and much more.

    Ginger and honey are also well documented to help the immune system. Stephen Buhner does an incredible job of talking about the virtues of these and other herbs in his book, Herbal Antibiotics. ... "

    http://www.learningherbs.com/flu_home_remedy_tea.html
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    Mar 27, 2009 4:32 AM GMT
    Caslon9000 saidThe three secret ingredients to my “Special-Tea” are:

    1) Ginger

    2) Lemon juice

    3) Honey

    That’s it!


    That's a good drink! I suggest adding some Brag's Apple Cider Vinegar. And make sure the honey is raw (unpasteurized).
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    Mar 27, 2009 6:52 AM GMT
    I think you answered a post I wrote last year when I was getting regular sinus infections so I'll try to reciprocate. This is what I've been doing since the Summer that's different than what I was doing before which wasn't much.

    1. I started drinking tea...at least a cup or two a day. Doesn't matter if it's hot or cold. Tea is very high in antioxidants. Green tea's probably the best.

    2. My diet consists of at least one orange daily, and lots of blueberries. With foods I buy...even junk foods, I try to get the natural or organic versions.

    3. Daily yoga...I don't go hard every day, but I do a lot of it to help with my hip flexor injury as a bonus side effect it's mellowed me out a lot as well. I think physically the key is the deep breathing to open up all the pathways and release all the junk.

    If you live in a highly polluted area, you smoke, or live with inside smokers that's probably going to influence your health as well.
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    Mar 27, 2009 10:33 AM GMT
    Thank you for the replies, I love onions, and ginger, is a tough taste to get used to, I will get the root from grocers and add it to my diet. I used to eat ground flax seeds with my oatmeal in the morning, and I felt better so I should get back on that horse.

    I work 2 jobs, one as a biochemist (ironically enough, I will begin my grad program in immunology--- though it'll be mostly bacterial immunology heh...)
    and the other...

    which is more telling, I work as a barback/promoter at a bar Wed& Weekends, so I have very little sleep Thursday and Fri/Sat (I'm online now at 330 am), anyway

    I'm thinking that these time changes for me are giving my body no chance to recover from the cold.

    Caslon you are absolutely right, it's the body's immune system that has a lot more to do with whether or not you get the flu/cold than the actual antigen itself.


    The airborne stuff I'm not such a big fan on... its got mostly synthetic made vitamins that in my opinion just make stimulate the immune system in a similar way an antigen would... which explains (to me) why it's good at combating that "I feel like I'm getting a cold" feeling, cause it stimulates your system, but I don't know, just a thought.


    oh... and yoga! that's a cool idea.
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    Mar 27, 2009 11:36 AM GMT
    Caslon's excellent disertation is a hard act to follow. Some of what I'm going to mention is not related to the immune system but may help you recover.
    One of the reasons people get recurrent colds is that the immune system does not recognize the rhinovirus (the most common cause of colds) very well. So we get recurrent infection. Another problem is that cells lining the respiratory system may take up to 4 to 6 weeks to heal if they were damaged significantly the first time around. A chest xray may take over four weeks to normalize after an episode of pneumonia even though the individual feels well. During this weakened state it is easy to catch another respiratory tract infection.

    WebMD has 12 recommendations for cold. I'll mention a few
    Some these have been mentioned such as yoga for relaxation

    Drink Plenty of Fluids
    Water flushes your system, washing out the poisons as it rehydrates you. A typical, healthy adult needs eight 8-ounce glasses of fluids each day. How can you tell if you're getting enough liquid? If the color of your urine runs close to clear, you're getting enough. If it's deep yellow, you need more fluids.

    Take a Sauna
    Researchers aren't clear about the exact role saunas play in prevention, but one 1989 German study found that people who steamed twice a week got half as many colds as those who didn't. One theory: When you take a sauna you inhale air hotter than 80 degrees, a temperature too hot for cold and flu viruses to survive.

    Get Fresh Air
    A regular dose of fresh air is important, especially in cold weather when central heating dries you out and makes your body more vulnerable to cold and flu viruses. Also, during cold weather more people stay indoors, which means more germs are circulating in crowded, dry rooms.

    Do Aerobic Exercise Regularly
    Aerobic exercise speeds up the heart to pump larger quantities of blood; makes you breathe faster to help transfer oxygen from your lungs to your blood; and makes you sweat once your body heats up. These exercises help increase the body's natural virus-killing cells.

    You might want to try working out again in moderation

    Eat Foods Containing Phytochemicals
    "Phyto" means plants, and the natural chemicals in plants give the vitamins in food a supercharged boost. So put away the vitamin pill, and eat dark green, red, and yellow vegetables and fruits.

    Eat Yogurt
    Some studies have shown that eating a daily cup of low-fat yogurt can reduce your susceptibility to colds by 25 percent. Researchers think the beneficial bacteria in yogurt may stimulate production of immune system substances that fight disease.

    Don't Smoke
    Statistics show that heavy smokers get more severe colds and more frequent ones.
    Even being around smoke profoundly zaps the immune system. Smoke dries out your nasal passages and paralyzes cilia. These are the delicate hairs that line the mucous membranes in your nose and lungs, and with their wavy movements, sweep cold and flu viruses out of the nasal passages. Experts contend that one cigarette can paralyze cilia for as long as 30 to 40 minutes.

    Is there smoke in the bar where you work?

    Cut Alcohol Consumption
    Heavy alcohol use suppresses the immune system in a variety of ways. Heavier drinkers are more prone to initial infections as well as secondary complications. Alcohol also dehydrates the body -- it actually takes more fluids from your system than it puts in.

    Relax
    If you can teach yourself to relax, you can activate your immune system on demand. There's evidence that when you put your relaxation skills into action, your interleukins -- leaders in the immune system response against cold and flu viruses -- increase in the bloodstream. Train yourself to picture an image you find pleasant or calming. Do this 30 minutes a day for several months. Keep in mind, relaxation is a learnable skill, but it is not doing nothing. People who try to relax, but are in fact bored, show no changes in blood chemicals.

    Although not mentioned by WebMD, chicken soup may be helpful in treating colds..This is not a joke.icon_lol.gif Chicken soup has been found to reduce inflammation in the respiratory system thereby lessening symptoms.
    Here is the recipe for Lithuanian chicken soup from Stephen Rennard, M.D chief of pulmonary disease University of Nebraska.
    http://www.chetday.com/coldfluremedy.htm

    Good Luck
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    Mar 27, 2009 2:18 PM GMT
    GARLİC AND ONİON which are natural antibiotics

    and also beta-glucan, ginger, zinc, echinacea. but the last one shoundt be used longer than two weeks.
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    Mar 27, 2009 2:33 PM GMT
    turk saidGARLİC AND ONİON which are natural antibiotics

    and also beta-glucan, ginger, zinc, echinacea. but the last one shoundt be used longer than two weeks.


    What happens if one uses echinacea longer than two weeks?
    I'm aware that echinacea is recommended for colds by practitioners of alternative medicine but has not been evaluated for safety by western medicine.
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    Mar 27, 2009 4:12 PM GMT
    kneedraggen saidWhat happens if one uses echinacea longer than two weeks?

    Echinacea stimulates the immune system. Prolonged use apparently wears the immune system out. It just can't keep up producing white blood cells at such a rate and you develop leucopenia...a reduction in white blood cells.


    From European Medicines Agency --Evaluation of Medicines for Human Use

    COMMUNITY HERBAL MONOGRAPH ON ECHINACEA PURPUREA (L.) MOENCH, HERBA RECENS

    "4.8. Undesirable effects

    ...Leucopenia [decrease in white blood cells] may occur in long-term use (more than 8 weeks)."

    http://www.emea.europa.eu/pdfs/human/hmpc/echinaceae_purpureae_herba/10494506enfin.pdf


    From Wikipedia:

    Echinacea

    Medicinal effects
    A 2007 study by the University of Connecticut combined findings from 14 previously-reported trials examining Echinacea and concluded that Echinacea can cut the chances of catching a cold by more than half, and shorten the duration of a cold by an average of 1.4 days. However, Dr. Wallace Sampson, an editor of Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine and a Stanford University emeritus clinical professor of medicine, says that the referenced trials lack the similarities necessary to provide definitive results when combined into one report. “If you have studies that measure different things, there is no way to correct for that. These researchers tried, but you just can’t do it.”[1]

    A controlled double-blind study from the University of Virginia School of Medicine and documented in the New England Journal of Medicine[2] stated that echinacea extracts had "no clinically significant effects" on rates of infection or duration or intensity of symptoms. The effects held when the herb was taken immediately following infectious viral exposure and when taken as a prophylaxis starting a week prior to exposure. In a press release, Dr. Michael Murray, the Director of Education for Factors Group of Nutritional Companies, a manufacturer of Echinacea-related products, calls the study "faulty and inaccurate."[3] According to Dr. Murray, none of the three extracts used on the 399 study participants contained all three of the components of Echinacea responsible for its immune-enhancing effects: polysaccharides, alkylamides and cichoric acid. In addition, Dr. Murray said "the standard dosage for dried Echinacea angustifolia root is normally three grams per day or more and this study used less than one gram."

    An earlier University of Maryland review based on 13 European studies concluded that echinacea, when taken at first sign of a cold, reduced cold symptoms or shortened their duration.[4] The review also found that three of four published studies concluded that taking echinacea to prevent a cold was ineffective.

    The European Medicines Agency (EMEA) assessed[5] the body of evidence and approved the use of expressed juice and dried expressed juice from fresh flowering aerial parts of Echinacea purpurea for the short-term prevention and treatment of the common cold. According to their recommendations:

    It should not be used for more than 10 days. The use in children below 1 year of age is contraindicated, because of theoretically possible undesirable effect on immature immune system. The use in children between 1 and 12 years of age is not recommended, because efficacy has not been sufficiently documented although specific risks are not documented. In the absence of sufficient data, the use in pregnancy and lactation is not recommended.[6]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Echinacea#cite_note-4
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    Mar 27, 2009 4:16 PM GMT
    Try Ricola with Equinacea, it always works for me...
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    Mar 27, 2009 6:48 PM GMT
    Oh, and celery too...

    Promote Optimal Health

    Celery contains compounds called coumarins that help prevent free radicals from damaging cells, thus decreasing the mutations that increase the potential for cells to become cancerous. Coumarins also enhance the activity of certain white blood cells, immune defenders that target and eliminate potentially harmful cells, including cancer cells. In addition, compounds in celery called acetylenics have been shown to stop the growth of tumor cells.

    http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=14
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    Mar 27, 2009 6:55 PM GMT
    One caution about Echinacea. If you're HIV+, it's something you should probably avoid:

    http://www.thebody.com/content/art6034.html
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    Mar 28, 2009 10:17 PM GMT
    Sleep more. I always find that when I sleep more, I have less chances of developing colds.
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    Mar 28, 2009 10:28 PM GMT
    Well in terms of what I consume I am doing well. I eat onions, garlic, ginger, etc., in fairly large quantities. My problem is stress and lack of sleep. Especially the latter due to drug side effects.
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    Mar 28, 2009 10:32 PM GMT
    From where I am typing MuchMore, you may be behind in sleep, but not in beauty sleep.

    icon_biggrin.gif

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    Mar 28, 2009 10:35 PM GMT
    BradySF saidFrom where I am typing MuchMore, you may be behind in sleep, but not in beauty sleep.

    icon_biggrin.gif



    wow thats the gayest thing I've read i a long time..

    onions and garlic according to farmer lore... COLD FX
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    Mar 28, 2009 10:53 PM GMT
    A remedy that I have used for years for sinus (or any mucous membrane condition) and skin conditions .. Beta-Carotene (25kIU) (or daily carrot juice) and Glutamine before bed. It really works for me if I feel a sore throat or cold coming on. Vitamin C doesn't do a thing for me as far as colds

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GlutamineGlutamine is the most abundant naturally occurring, non-essential amino acid in the human body and one of the only amino acids which directly crosses the blood-brain barrier.[1] In the body it is found circulating in the blood as well as stored in the skeletal muscles. It becomes conditionally essential (requiring intake from food or supplements) in states of illness or injury.
    However
    Glutamine is contraindicated for those with Reye's syndrome, cirrhosis of the liver and kidney disease
    Beta-Carotene can aid regenerating mucous (i.e sinus) tissue but is contra-indicated for smokers at risk of lung-cancer.
    http://nutrition.suite101.com/article.cfm/eat_your_carrotsVitamin A is found in carrots, and also in all epithelial tissue. It helps maintain the integrity of the skin, the mucous membranes, the lining of the digestive tract and the respiratory system, protecting the body from invading microorganisms and toxins. Vitamin A also has been shown to prevent skin cancer and has immune-boosting effects. A diet high in beta carotene has been shown to prevent heart attacks.
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    Mar 28, 2009 10:59 PM GMT
    What's the gayest thing I've read in a while HotShotCDN?

    gay_haiku.jpg


    Here's one:

    English has no words
    For what we just did in bed.
    Oh, wait: "Tedious"