Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Boosting Your Immune System During the Rainy Days

Boosting Your Immune System During the Rainy Days

Think the flu shot is the only way to beat the cold and flu season? Think again. Even if you're in high-risk group, the vaccination will only protect you against a few strains of the flu, so it still leaves you vulnerable to the myriad of other viruses out there. Your best bet is to support your immune system by reducing stress and getting adequate rest and nutrition. And be prepared with some powerful natural remedies in case you do catch a cold or the flu.

Colds-also called upper respiratory tract infections, or URIs for short-are the No. 1 infectious illness around the world and affect about 5% of Filipinos at any given time. It's not unusual for an otherwise healthy adult to get between two and four URIs per year. And a typical toddler can have anywhere from six to 10, especially if he or she is in school or day care. Here in the Philippines, the flu season has started same time with the rainy season, when 4 million to 5 million people can afflicted each year.

Here's a primer: Colds tend to come on slowly, mostly affect the head and throat, and usually don't cause a high fever or other prominent systemic symptoms. It's rare for a cold to progress into anything worse than a scratchy throat, nasal congestion and a headache. In contrast, the flu strikes with a vengeance that can sometimes be devastating. It usually comes on quickly with a fever, diffuse muscle aches, intense fatigue and a severe cough. The flu is responsible for 1,000 to 2,500 deaths each year in the Philippines, usually as a consequence of pneumonia.

Viruses don't cause symptoms by themselves. As soon as our immune cells realize that the body is under attack, they are activated onto releasing an array of messenger proteins and alarm chemicals. These substances are responsible for what is called the inflammatory response, with increased mucous production, swollen respiratory membranes, elevated body temperature and achy muscles. Even though all this congestion and heat can make you feel miserable, it is simply a consequence if your body doing what it has been programmed to do: Repel a foreign invader.

If your symptoms are bad enough to warrant a visit to your medical doctor, you will probably be given some combination of a decongestant (for shrinking swollen nasal membranes), a cough suppressant, an antihistamine (for drying up mucus), and/or an anti-inflammatory drug for alleviating pain and reducing fever. These medications may bring short-term relief, but they can also cause drowsiness, dizziness, anxiety and elevated blood pressure.

Furthermore, since they work by attempting to suppress the inflammatory response, they can actually increase the time it takes to recover from the infection. For example, some laboratory studies have found that suppressing a fever with aspirin or similar drugs allows both cold and influenza viruses to reproduce at a faster rate and may prolong the time it takes to clear them from the body.

If you definitely have the flu, you might be given a prescription for one of the newer antiviral drugs, such as either oseltamivir. Research shows that, at best, these drugs can shorten the length of illness by one or two days, but unless they are started within the first 48 hours of the infection, the drugs are minimally effective. In addition, they are expensive costing at least P1,000 for a five-day supply.

The bottom line for all of these interventions is that none of them does anything to assist the immune system in its task of fighting off the virus, and many of them can make the situation worse in the long run. In contrast, there are a number of natural remedies and nutritional supplements that can help alleviate the symptoms and accelerate the healing process without causing negative side effects. We have found the following to be among the most effective.

Chicken soup
One thousand years have passed since the death of the famed Egyptian Jewish physician-philosopher Moses Maimonides, but his recommendation to eat chicken soup for relief of the common cold and asthmatic symptoms lives on. Perhaps Maimonides would be pleased to learn that several medical studies have confirmed the accuracy of his sage advice. Research done in 1978 at the Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Miami showed that hot chicken broth is more effective than plain hot water or other liquids at clearing up congestion and increasing airflow in the nasal passages and lungs.

Research conducted in the 1980s at the UCLA School of Medicine found that cooking chicken releases high amounts of the amino acid cysteine (which actively thins mucus), especially when it is combined with such spices as garlic and chili peppers. More recently, a study conducted in 2000 at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha found that chicken soup contains substances that mitigate the excessive inflammatory response produced by white blood cells without interfering with their ability to fight off viruses. All of this adds up to a tasty and nontoxic remedy.

LifePak balances immune support
Vitamins A, C, E, carotenoids, vitamin B6, and zinc help to bolster the immune system and give your body the nutrients to perform optimally. LifePak contains optimal levels of these nutrients to support the normal function of the immune system and keep the body healthy. LifePak has been formulated to provide the nutrients missing from diets that fail to include 5 to 7 servings of fruits and vegetables.

IgG Boost Colostrum Microfiltrate boost your immunity
The immune compounds of colostrums include special proteins and messenger molecules that work with the body's own immune system to promote optimal health and wellness. The immune supporting proteins found in colostrum provide supplemental help to the body's own production of antibodies and include immunoglobulins, lactoferrin, and bioactive enzymes that provide specific immunity in the gut. The messenger molecules of colostrums include cytokines that function as messengers between immune cells and other memory transfer factors that pass immune "memory" from one cell to another. Colostrum also contains important oligosaccharides, found in human breast milk and in the first milk of cows, which support the immune system.

One particularly active component of both human and bovine colostrums is immunoglobulin G or IgG. Providing front-line immune support in the gut, IgG sticks to invading microorganisms making them easier for the body to recognize and eliminate. IgG also neutralizes possibly injurious toxic waste products.

In the developed world, people who eat correctly and take care of their bodies usually have healthy immune systems. However, most individuals undergo periods when their immune resistance is challenged. Stress and occasional sleeplessness, exercise training and fatigue, or poor diet can diminish the body's production of immune-fighting proteins. Production can also decrease with age by as much as 10% per decade after age 50.

Our immune systems can be further challenged by international travel and commerce that increase our exposure to a global network of potentially harmful microorganisms. Recent clinical studies show that regular consumption of bovine colostrums may strengthen our immune system by providing supplemental quantities of immune proteins.

IgG BoostTM contains Pharmanex's proprietary Colostrum MFTTM, a high-quality, standardized extract of bovine colostrums that took twelve years and $50 million to develop. Derived using a patented microfiltration process, Colostrum MFTTM has an extract standardized to 50% IgG content, making Colostrum MFTTM many times more concentrated than other colostrums products on the market today. Each daily dose of IgG BoostTM delivers 500 times the IgG concentration of raw milk and provides critical supplemental immune support to your body's own antibodies. IgG BoostTM is purified from excess first milk of cows in the dairy industry and meets the strict Pharmanex 6S quality standards for safety and efficacy.

Boost your immune system now!

You can buy Pharmanex products from the following link: (Register as a customer or a distributor)

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