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Boosting Immune Response

Updated on March 12, 2011

Taking steps to try and boost immune response can be beneficial for people that are frequently sick, as well as those with certain types of chronic conditions. During the cooler months, a healthy immune system can be beneficial for nearly anyone, since this is when colds and the flue are the most prevalent. However, boosting the immune system is not as simple as it may seem. For people with some autoimmune diseases, taking supplements and eating foods that boost immune response can counteract many types of medications and make symptoms worse.

Children with asthma, people with allergies, and the elderly may need additional immune support throughout the year, especially when the cold winds start to blow. There are several nutritional health supplements that can aid in immune functioning. In addition, there are a number of foods that will help the immune system become better prepared to ward off invaders such as bacteria and viruses.

One of the most useful supplements for boosting immune response is a probiotic such as acidophilus. Acidophilus is available over-the-counter in most drug stores and discount variety stores that have an in-store pharmacy, and it is readily affordable. Acidophilus comes as a tablet or as a tiny capsule that is often referred to as a “pearl.” There are also a number of other brand name immune-boosting formulas that contain acidophilus as well as other types of probiotics. One of the most recently introduced of these supplements is known as Align.

Aside from using nutritional supplements to help boost the immune system and fight off colds, eating yogurt on a daily basis can also offer much of the same benefit of taking a probiotic supplement. Yogurt contains high levels of probiotics naturally, and eating it on a regular basis is sometimes more affordable to consumers than purchasing an acidophilus supplement. Probiotics are naturally-occurring enzymes that help regulate unhealthy bacteria in the digestive tract. This allows the immune system to focus on other types of invaders in the body.

Another supplement that can help with immune response both during times of illness and when prevention is needed is vitamin C. The daily recommended allowance of vitamin C can be found in most multivitamins. Of course, vitamin C can also be found in citrus fruits and juices like orange, lemon, and lime. Zinc has also been shown to help strengthen the immune system and shorten the duration of the average cold. Zinc supplements are often available as lozenges, but the mineral can also be found in some multivitamins as well.


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