With the call to reduce the number of antibiotics used both in farming and via prescription, how can we reduce our personal dependence on antibiotics?
Fears over pandemics of Australian Flu, Ebola outbreaks worldwide and Tuberculosis make regular headlines and for the elderly, poorly or very young these are especially serious threats to health.
Promote natural immunity
- Gastrointestinal integrity – the gut is crucial as a key player in mucosal defence and as a protective barrier against pathogens. Eat a diet abundant in organic vegetables, fruit and raw unsalted nuts to ensure that levels of vitamin C, bioflavonoids, vitamin A and zinc are at optimal levels for immune function.
- Remove white flour and added sugar from your diet to further boost immunity.
- Eat plenty of onions, garlic, turmeric and spices to provide extra immune boosting, virus and bacteria fighting phytonutrients (beneficial plant chemicals) into your meals.
- Avoid eating non-organic animal products as they will most likely have been treated with antibiotics.
- Don’t smoke. Smokers are at a much increased risk of infection and illness.
- Get enough sleep to make you feel revitalised and ready for your day, as we need sleep to repair.
- Avoid stress, find ways to relax and feel fulfilled.
- Put regular exercise and daylight high on your agenda.
- Stress levels – elevated stress hormones are known to weaken immune function.
- Sleep / recovery – recovery and restful sleep is essential for mounting a healthy immune response.
Reduce exposure to infection
- Regularly wash your hands with soap and warm water.
- Do not put your fingers in your eyes, mouth or nose, or in any open sore or cuts if you haven’t washed your hands first (and wash again afterwards). Most bacteria enters through these points of contact.
- Reduce your contact with any allergens or triggers; these could be true allergies such as allergy to cats (determined by a skin prick test), or something not so easily identified, such as sick-building syndrome whereby mould or a contaminated air conditioning unit is contributing to ill-health and infection.
Consider natural remedies
VITAMIN C is known to be a potent immune stimulating nutrient. It has been shown to inhibit viral replication and may reduce the severity of the common cold. A study of one hundred and sixty-eight volunteers were randomized to receive a placebo or a vitamin C supplement, two tablets daily, over a 60-day period. The results showed that vitamin C supplement may prevent the common cold and shorten the duration of symptoms.
Research has shown that supplementation with the Ester–C provides an effective way to build vitamin C reserves in the important immuno–competent cells of the blood; even when modest doses (one gram) are used. Ester C simply ROCKS as it is absorbed way better than normal Vitamin C, it's non acidic and stays in the body for up to 24 hours.
Astragalus has been shown to reduce the duration and severity of symptoms in acute treatment of the common cold as well as raise white blood cell counts. Astragalus works by stimulating several factors of the immune system: phagocytic activity, interferon production, and natural killer cell activity, T-cell activity, and other anti viral mechanisms.
Elderberry is noted for its potent effects on the non specific immune response, gently stimulating sweating during a fever, regulating temperature control, and so resolving infection more quickly and with less severe symptoms.
Garlic exerts broad-spectrum effects against many types of bacteria, virus, worms, and fungi. Garlic possesses immune enhancing properties. Garlic exerts a strong anti- viral response to the influenza virus, herpes simplex.
Olive Leaf has been for treatment of fevers and for the topical treatment of wounds or infection. Olive leaf may be a true anti-viral compound because it appears to selectively block an entire virus-specific system in the infected host.
Echinacea is regarded as the mother of all immune supporting herbals, Echinacea provides a broad spectrum of effects on the immune system and appears to offer benefit for all infectious conditions. Echinacea has shown to be effective against various viral infections including the common cold, influenza and herpes virus, and uro-genital infections. Research has demonstrated that Echinacea reduces severity of cold symptoms, time between infections, and increased the speed of recovery.
Probiotics are the healthy bacteria that inhabit our gut. Ensuring a good level of healthy bacteria in the gut will help boost immunity. Acidolin, one of the major antibiotic substances found in acidophilus has potent anti-viral properties and studies have shown effectiveness against herpes simplex lesions and in cases of mouth ulcers.
In summary, keeping your stress levels under check, taking care of yourself with good sleep, exercise and diet, good lifestyle choices such as cutting back on sugary foods and smoking, increasing your hand-washing and general sanitary practices, plus a few well-chosen supplements should help to keep your immunity high and your susceptibility to infection low.
Personally, due to the nature of my job, this time of year I am mostly dealing with people who have, colds, flu, viruses all day long, day in and day out. Due to the fact the little supplement company is my own business I cannot afford to have a day off so I take the following supplement to help keep my immune system firing.
I take solgars Omnium with massive amounts of antioxidants and also Ester C. Potentially the best super multinutrient in the world.
Solgar Probi 20 billion Probi - not the cheapest but absolutely amazing.
Terranova Astragalus, Elderberry and Garlic Complex - simply stunning and after rhodiola probably my favourite herbal complex.
Keep well Guys