Sherry Torkos, Pharmacist & author of "The Canadian Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine" came back to the show to teach us how to build up our body's immunity against infection and viruses through sleep, stress management and
Our immune system is an intricate network of cells and tissues throughout our body that is essential for our survival. The organs and cells of the immune system are present in our skin, respiratory system and digestive tract. Think of your immune system as your "suit of armor" as its role is to protect your body from potential assaults... viruses, bacteria and other infections. These foreign invaders are continually trying to compromise your immune system-break through that "armor" so it is important to adopt strategies to boost your immune function and reduce your risk of getting sick.
The health and function of our immune system can be influenced by a variety of factors, including:
How to boost your immune function:
Get adequate sleep at night, work on managing your stress levels and get regular exercise
Supplements to Boost Immune Function
1. Vitamin C - supports immune function: boost activity of immune cells; shown to shorten duration and severity of an infection. Available in tablets, capsules and effervescent powders.
2. Aged garlic extract (Kyolic) - shown in various studies to reduce risk of cold/flu; boost production of immune cells (macrophages, T-cells and natural killer cells). This form of garlic is also beneficial for supporting detoxification. Aged garlic extract is odorless and this socially acceptable!
3. Cold FX - a patented extract of American ginseng that supports immune function. Studies show that it reduces the frequency, duration and severity of cold and flu by boosting the immune system. Over ten clinical studies have been conducted to date showing significant benefits.
4. Probiotics - friendly bacteria that support immune function and intestinal health; they line our gastrointestinal tract and work to keep disease-causing bacteria away. It is very important to supplement with a probiotic after taking antibiotics as antibiotics can destroy your normal GI flora for up to 6 months after.
5. Echinacea - an herbal remedy that can be taken at onset of cold/flu and helps to shorten duration and severity of symptoms. Not effective as a preventative. Echinacea should be avoided by those with auto-immune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and Lupus.
Sherry Torkos is a pharmacist, author and fitness instructor. Her newest book, The Canadian Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, is a definitive resource on complementary medicine providing information about nutrition, lifestyle, and supplements in the management of health conditions A-Z. For more information, please visit: www.sherrytorkos.com