I want to give some basic immune guidelines for winter/spring 2020. Over the years we have experimented with a number of different approaches that have been effective against the flu, colds and other viruses. If you have developed a system that works for you, that is great! Keep using it. But if you find that you don’t have it quite dialed in, maybe this article will help.

I try not to be too dogmatic when it comes to health advice because variability of response is the norm. You will not find any substitute for experimenting with your own physiology to see what is working for you.  

First line of protection is detox!

We do however, find some basics that should be helpful for just about anyone. Let’s start with general detox. Glutathione is the primary detox agent of your body. Your level of glutathione production is directly related to your health and disease resistance. I have written extensively about glutathione and you can search those articles in this blog space. To keep it simple, you can take N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) and alpha lipoic acid (ALA) on a daily basis. 

In a crisis use vitamin C

Next up, vitamin C. Most people can benefit from a gram of vitamin C twice a day or so, more if you are fighting an active viral infection or getting a vaccine. Then your body will use up an amazing amount of C. In a crisis you use vitamin C up to the level of bowel tolerance meaning that you will tend to get loose stools when you have gone too far. Some people prefer a powered C formula and others are OK with C in caps. I don’t have a strong preference and readily use both. If I am fighting off a virus, I might mix some powdered C in a jug and sip it throughout the day. For routine use I use 1000 mg caps.

Zinc modulates the inflammation response to infections.

Don’t forget the zinc. Zinc helps modulate the inflammation response to infections. Zinc helps to keep your response to the infection strong but not out of control. The key here is you want just the right immune response. More is not always better. Make sure you are getting some zinc a couple times a day to prepare your system for the flu, cold or other virus. Some estimates are that 40% of adults are zinc deficient. The ones that are zinc deficient just might be the ones that tend to get those virus infections whenever they come around. Also zinc is perfectly safe for children and the lozenges work well for that!

Some people love their elderberry, garlic, echinacea, calendula, astragalus root, cat’s claw, licorice root, olive leaf, oregano, teas and more. Each of these has their fans and that is understandable as they have been used for centuries to help with virus infections. It is this doctor’s opinion that you should keep your glutathione, vitamin C and zinc up and then add these as desired to help in the fight.

Vitamin D helps both innate and adaptive immunity

Another foundational immune factor is vitamin D. For several reasons, modern peoples have trouble making and utilizing vitamin D. Even sugar cane workers in Hawaii have been shown to be deficient in D. Your need for vitamin D will be different from your neighbor but a general guideline is 5,000 IUs per day with 10,000 to 20,000 IUs once a week.

Wash your hands and stay calm!

Don’t forget to avoid sick people as much as possible, wash your hands with warm soapy water often, try to get your healthy sleep every day and keep you stress level as low as is practical. With these steps, you should dramatically reduce your probability of suffering from this type of illness.