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View Full Version : Is boosting your immune system a good idea?



Tatyana
12-15-2009, 10:16 PM
Also, for those of you that do this, what exactly are you boosting?

partsRheavy
12-15-2009, 11:22 PM
What techniques are you talking about? I can think of at least five modalities to "boost the immune system" :

1) Immune-boosting supplements i.e. vit C, vit E, vit D

2) Allow house to get a bit dirty and visit farms, etc. I have a cousin who did that while raising her kids. Little more simple is just not using hand sanitizer. Similar idea is to take kids on vacation to developing countries that don't have extreme problems but are just a little grungy. Latin America, Middle East etc.

3) Get all vaccinations, each one scattered a few weeks apart to let the immune system respond to it. Even as an adult, get a couple of only-marginally-necessary vaccinations, such as the one for pneumonia or the meningitis.

4) Deliberately expose self to germs. I used to work with a healthy 50-or-so-year old guy who handled money all the time. Every time he gave change to someone, he'd lick his finger the way that some people do to get a sheet of paper off of a tight stack of brand new paper. He swore he never caught colds!! Or, go to a country where there is really a lot of malaria, diarrhea etc.

5) Eat raw meat or eggs. Or, eat fermented meat that is cured by a method other than salting. There are fermented meat products in some parts of the world. One is "biltong" in Africa, and I think "farsh" is a sort of fermented meat in Eastern Europe.

My personal opinion is that options 1), 2), and maybe 3) are good ideas.

I think that options 4 and 5 are only for those who are brave and confident they have access to medical care in case something really goes wrong.

Frosty
12-15-2009, 11:28 PM
The biggest thing that I think I do is take my cod liver oil. I haven't been sick in so many years I've lost count, and I beat the shit out of myself in the gym.

ArabMuscle
12-16-2009, 01:13 AM
The biggest thing that I think I do is take my cod liver oil. I haven't been sick in so many years I've lost count, and I beat the shit out of myself in the gym.

Same here. I've also noticed that whenever I start getting the sniffles, a cough or sore throat I'd pop an antihistimine after my last meal of the day. I'd wake up perfectly fine.

I've also noticed that herbal immune boosters (echinacea) and zinc supplementation hinder my immune system. Any ideas on why that might happen?

natron
12-16-2009, 01:16 AM
healthy immune system function will allow you to be disease/ailment free, so yes, its is a good idea.

The idea is to have optimal function, not increase immune system response to hyper drive, in which case the immune system causes illness/disease.

Frosty
12-16-2009, 01:46 AM
healthy immune system function will allow you to be disease/ailment free, so yes, its is a good idea.

The idea is to have optimal function, not increase immune system response to hyper drive, in which case the immune system causes illness/disease.

It's interesting that vitamin D both supports immune function as well as reducing auto-immune disorders.

But just like vitamin D has been overlooked, I also feel vitamin A is also overlooked (although not as egregiously as vitamin D). Vitamin A is very important for the immune system as well, and I'm not talking carotenoids.

UnfinishedBusiness
12-16-2009, 10:21 AM
I also remember reading at one point that healthy immune system function was a requirement for protein muscle synthesis. Don't remember the source, but I remember reading it.

Tatyana
12-16-2009, 10:55 AM
Same here. I've also noticed that whenever I start getting the sniffles, a cough or sore throat I'd pop an antihistimine after my last meal of the day. I'd wake up perfectly fine.

I've also noticed that herbal immune boosters (echinacea) and zinc supplementation hinder my immune system. Any ideas on why that might happen?

Echinacea has been proven in clinical trial after clinical trial not to work.

However, there may be a very small subset of people in which it does work.

What sort of things do you notice happen when you immune system is hindered?

Tatyana
12-16-2009, 10:57 AM
healthy immune system function will allow you to be disease/ailment free, so yes, its is a good idea.

The idea is to have optimal function, not increase immune system response to hyper drive, in which case the immune system causes illness/disease.

I think that is the issue. If you 'boost' your immune system, or find anything that actually works, and there is evidence that the pro-biotic drinks might do this (response to a foreign bacteria), and you do it regularly, you are creating a state of chronic inflammation.

As we all know, chronic inflammation is highly correlated to heard disease and cancer.

Tatyana
12-16-2009, 10:58 AM
What techniques are you talking about? I can think of at least five modalities to "boost the immune system" :

1) Immune-boosting supplements i.e. vit C, vit E, vit D

2) Allow house to get a bit dirty and visit farms, etc. I have a cousin who did that while raising her kids. Little more simple is just not using hand sanitizer. Similar idea is to take kids on vacation to developing countries that don't have extreme problems but are just a little grungy. Latin America, Middle East etc.

3) Get all vaccinations, each one scattered a few weeks apart to let the immune system respond to it. Even as an adult, get a couple of only-marginally-necessary vaccinations, such as the one for pneumonia or the meningitis.

4) Deliberately expose self to germs. I used to work with a healthy 50-or-so-year old guy who handled money all the time. Every time he gave change to someone, he'd lick his finger the way that some people do to get a sheet of paper off of a tight stack of brand new paper. He swore he never caught colds!! Or, go to a country where there is really a lot of malaria, diarrhea etc.

5) Eat raw meat or eggs. Or, eat fermented meat that is cured by a method other than salting. There are fermented meat products in some parts of the world. One is "biltong" in Africa, and I think "farsh" is a sort of fermented meat in Eastern Europe.

My personal opinion is that options 1), 2), and maybe 3) are good ideas.

I think that options 4 and 5 are only for those who are brave and confident they have access to medical care in case something really goes wrong.

This is an awesome answer.

The only thing I am not sure of is the efficacy of vitamins to really enhance immune system function.