Which Should I Take: An Immune System "Booster" or an Immune System "Support" Supplement?
Your immune system is what your body uses to fight infection. When working optimally, it can easily combat organisms that invade your body. But with an imperfect diet and the added stresses of modern living, our immune system can be thrown off balance and require a boost or some extra support to fight infections.
If you are worried you have been exposed to an illness or feel you may be coming down with something, an immune system booster can help give you the "jump-start" you need to fight off an infection. If you are looking for sustained support, in other words something you can take on a regular basis, then you should consider an immune system support supplement or vitamin.
Immune System Boosters
As newborn children, we get our first immune system booster from our mother (if we're breast fed) in the form of colostrum, a thick, pre-milk fluid. The main purpose of this colostrum is to provide newborns with antibodies that will offer them some basic immunity to their new environment. But the benefits of colostrum don't end there. Bovine colostrum taken as a supplement (which has ingredients nearly identical to human colostrum) can help boost the immune system and provide resistance to infection and disease.
Bovine Colostrum supplements contain:
high levels of immunoglobulins (anti-bodies)
high concentrations of leukocytes, (protective white cells which can destroy disease-causing bacteria and viruses)
important growth factors (which help in the reproduction and repair of our bodies tissue)
"transfer factors" (which teach the immune system to recognize specific antigens and alert it to an impending danger)
As our bodies age, they lose some of their ability to fight infections. So it's important to prevent infections and diseases overcoming the body's defenses in the first place. Studies have shown that while supplementing with bovine colostrum, people caught fewer colds and flus, and those already sick experienced a faster than average recovery time.
Immune System Support
A healthy adult should suffer no more than two colds a year. If you find yourself catching everything that goes around, your immune system may need some support. Beta glucan, vitamin C, and zinc are three of the most proven and effective immune system supplements available.
Beta glucan is completely natural and doesn't have any known side-effects. Unlike some pharmaceutical drugs which may over-stimulate the immune system, beta glucan helps keep your immune system constantly alert, without becoming overactive. By keeping your white blood cells activated, intruders such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites don't have time to build up enough strength to harm your body.
Almost everyone has heard that taking vitamin C can help you fight off a cold. What most people don't know is the two ways it does this. By increasing the production of infection-fighting white blood cells and antibodies, Vitamin C can enhance the body's resistance to an assortment of diseases. It can also weaken the immune system's attack on the body's own tissues. In other words, the substances the body produces to fight a cold can also attack our mucous membranes, causing a runny nose and other symptoms. Vitamin C has been shown to offer relief from some of these symptoms.
Because our diets are often deficient in zinc, it is a very important immune system supplement. Zinc is well known for helping fight off colds and sore throats. It earns its reputation by helping to increase the production of white bloods cells and T-cells which, in turn, help fight infection.
Wai Lana's Immune Boost is an excellent source of bovine colostrum, and her Immune Support is one of the few immune system supplements available that contains a synergistic blend of beta glucan, vitamin C, and zinc, the three crucial nutrients in immune function and overall health that were described above.
Before trying these, or any, immune system vitamins or supplements, consult your doctor, especially if you're already taking other medications. In fact, it is always advisable to check with your doctor before you embark on any new health regimen or introduce a new dietary supplement. It is also advised that you avoid these products if you are pregnant or nursing.