This is the earliest I can remember having flu outbreak in Virginia. Thankfully, my boys and I have not been sick. I have noticed the uptick in cases, however, by talking to parents at school, the cancellation of dinners with friends, as well as the cancellation of whole Christmas parties. And this flu is taking a lot longer to resolve than normal.
But do not fear! There are some natural ways to boost your immune system.
Here is a summary of the top 10 supplements:
- Vitamin D3 — 5000 IUs per day. This meta study shows a 50% reduction in infection risk in people with D3 deficiency. Make sure your version has K2 with Mk7.
- Vitamin A — on its own has a significant immune-stimulating mechanism. It should be taken with D3-mk7. When sick, you should take mega doses of D3 and A together, under the supervision of your clinician, which we talk about here.
- Vitamin C — 500-1000 mg/day for prevention. With symptoms, 1000 mg of Vitamin C hourly for the first 6 hours and then 3 times daily. These are two of many studies looking at how Vitamin C prevents and relieves viral-related respiratory infection and the common cold.
- BrocElite Sulforaphane — 5-10mg/day. This is shown to boost natural killer cells. Click here and type “broccoli sprouts” and “virus” to see the research: Effect of Broccoli Sprouts and Live Attenuated Influenza Virus on Peripheral Blood Natural Killer Cells.
- Silibinin (aka silybin) — from milk thistle. 600 mg. Reduced influenza virus replication.
- AHCC Mushroom Complex — 1 gram (Vitacost). Boosts the immune system for successful clearance of HR-HPV virus infections. And a cell line study shows boosting innate immune monocytes.
- Garlic — Boosts immune system by improving natural killer and T cell function and reduces the severity of cold and flu symptoms.
- N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) — 1200 mg/day. This randomized control trial showed that N-acetyl cysteine improves oxidative stress and inflammatory response in patients with community acquired pneumonia.
- Zinc — Zinc is a known anti-viral and has been shown to help with influenza symptoms. 100 mg per day for 3-4 days.
- EGCG — 1 tsp of green tea matcha has about 210 mg EGCG. Blocks early step in the influenza viral life cycle to inhibit internalization & reduce replication once inside. Additionally, EGCG is a zinc ionophore and should be taken with zinc to aid in transporting zinc into the nucleus.