Unless you were vacationing off the planet last week, you couldn't have helped but notice the announcement all over the media from US Health officials that they were scrambling to prepare for a massive shortfall in flu vaccines. Experts on television and in the press warned that the "fiasco" could cause the deaths of thousands of vulnerable people this winter. Officials have urged "healthy" adults and children to forego their flu shots this year to spare supplies for those at risk because a plant in Liverpool that produces the vaccine for the United States was shut down by British regulators. While the plant produces only a fifth of British vaccines, it provides almost 50% (46 million doses) of America's supply.
Now, we could argue the merits of the flu vaccine itself, a worthy discussion considering, by definition, it is designed around the previous year's strains of flu -- not the strains necessarily hitting this year; but that is not the purpose of today's discussion. What we want to talk about is what you can do about it.
In truth, the lack of the flu vaccine will not make a significant difference for most people. Why? Because nothing has changed. If you don't ramp up your body to defend itself, you were likely going to get sick anyway -- with or without the flu vaccine.
The bottom line is that the single best defense you can mount against the flu is not the flu shot, but to jack up your immune system as high as it can possibly go and regularly use known pathogen destroyers to clear out any viruses that do start to flourish in your body. And then, on an as needed basis, increase those pathogen destroyers markedly for a couple of days at any point that you feel the first onset of sickness, including: scratchy throat, unexplained muscle aches, slight fever, and/or the onset of congestion and/or excessive throat clearing.
But what (and here's what we want to talk about today) does it actually take to build your immune system?
I regularly get emails from people saying that they're taking this supplement or that to build their immune system, and yet they still get sick. They want to know, "What supplement do I recommend?" It's important to understand that there is no meaningful answer to that question. The problem is that the question itself is wrong. What do I mean by that?
Quite simply: the immune system, like the baseline of health itself, is only as strong as the weakest link in your body. That means, for example, that you can be taking all the Echinacea or colloidal silver or mangosteen juice in the world or getting a flu shot for that matter, but you won't have a strong immune system if:
- Your colon is filled with stagnant fecal matter which is slowly poisoning your body
- You haven't replenished the beneficial bacteria in your intestinal tract, which provide up to 40% of your immune function
- Your diet is filled with foods that have large indigestible proteins that form circulating immune complexes in your body that totally occupy your immune system by forcing it into a state of autoimmune disorder where it expends all of its resources attacking your body itself.
So, for the rest of this newsletter, let's talk about those things that affect your immune system.
Your Immune System
How good can your immune system be at optimum levels (taking all the supplements in the world that you want) if your colon is packed with 20 lbs of old fecal matter? A substantial portion of your immune system has to combat the effects of self-toxicity. Get your bowels moving freely and clean out the old fecal matter and toxins from your intestinal tract, and you free up your immune system to fight colds and flu -- and cancer for that matter.
Beneficial bacteria manufacture potent immune boosters such as Transfer Factor and Lactoferrin right in your intestinal tract. In other words, the proper balance of beneficial probiotics in your intestinal tract can substantially boost your immune system by increasing internal production of a number of powerful immune factors. When present, they account for as much as 40% of your immune function. Without those factors, your immune system is marginalized. In addition, these beneficial bacteria also serve as a first line of defense -- literally eating up and digesting invading bacteria and viruses. On the other hand, if you drink chlorinated water or eat meat or dairy bought in the supermarket (in most cases heavily injected with antibiotics) or smoke or use non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, then your beneficial bacteria have been destroyed. You have lost 40% of your immune system
Partially digested proteins from allergenic foods such as wheat, corn, and dairy form Circulating Immune Complexes in your body that deposit in your soft tissue. At that point, your immune system identifies them as allergens and begins to expend its resources in attacking your body itself to root them out. Using digestive enzymes with your meals to minimize their presence and proteolytic enzymes between meals to eliminate those that make their way into your body is essential for an optimized immune system.
Proper diet and nourishment boost your immune system. Each and every immune cell in your body is manufactured from the food you eat. A nutritionally deficient diet means functionally deficient immune cells. The bottom line is that you can't build the same immune cell out of pepperoni pizza, beer, and ding dongs that you can out of whole living foods. Supplementation with the proper vitamin and mineral complexes will significantly enhance the production of your body's immune cells.
Deficiencies of the key Omega-3 fatty acids is a sure invitation to a compromised immune system. In fact, some of the fatty acids actually work as immune system modulators that help to keep the immune system properly programmed so it doesn't attack itself.
A full spectrum antioxidant boosts the immune system in multiple ways. Just one example is Curcumin. In Immunological Investigations, 1999, Vol 28, Issue 5-6, pp 291-303, there are published studies that prove that Curcumin can increase white blood cell count by some 50% in just 12 days—not to mention circulating antibodies by some 512 in the same time frame.
Cleaning out the liver improves its ability to produce immune factors and remove bacteria from the blood. An impaired liver is like a death sentence to your immune system. Regularly liver cleansing (twice a year) is an imperative for an optimized immune system.
Cleaning out the blood and balancing your blood's pH also helps to improve immune function. In fact, low pH in body tissue is almost a guarantee for the onset of major illness.
Invading pathogens can eventually overwhelm the immune system, rendering it incapable of performing its normal protective functions. Regular use of pathogen destroyers like garlic and olive leaf extract are vital for an optimized immune system. (Massive use at the first sign of illness can nip your illness in the bud in almost all cases.)
Think Yourself Well
Your mental attitude matters. There is a strong statistical correlation between depression and colds and flu. There is literally a direct connection between the chemical messengers that your brain produces and your immune cells. Happy thoughts jack your immune cells through the roof. Depression, quite literally, shuts them down.
Lack of exercise reduces immune function and causes the lymph to stagnate—further compromising the immune system.
Lest We Forget
And keep in mind that the ingredients in a single can of soda can depress parts of your immune system by as much as 50% for as long as 6 hours or more. So what does that mean if you drink 4-5 cans of soda a day—or more?
Yes, there are indeed a number of immune boosters. If you've taken care of all the above issues, then using two or three of the following can provide your body with that extra insurance it needs to stay healthy. Some of these include:
- Pau d'arco
- Medicinal Mushrooms
- Aloe Vera
- Beta Glucan
In the next issue, we'll explore some of these immune enhancers in more detail. We'll also explore several of the pathogen destroyers, including garlic, olive leaf extract, and colloidal silver.
In the end, I think you'll see that what at first appears to be overwhelming becomes quite manageable when we view it as part of the whole.
Read more about how to Strengthen Your Immune System
Or visit our Natural Immunity Program