Choosing Alternative Therapies/immune system
Is there anything a person can do or take to strengthen his immune system (that actually works)?
I have a friend who is overall the healthiest person I know. In his early 70s, he does everything right - doesn't smoke, drinks wine in moderation, eats right, washes his hands frequently. A recent check up showed good number on everything - BP, cholesterol, etc.
So what's the problem? Two or three times a year he gets a "cold" which develops into something much more serious - extremely painful sore throat, fever (sometimes with chills) and extreme shortness of breath. Will he go to the ER? Of course not! He told me yesterday, "I was close to dying last night, and 2-3 more episodes like this will kill me." He is not the type of person to exaggerate his symptoms. In fact, he is likely to underreport them.
What can I tell him to do or take?
Immune system problems are often due to nutritional deficiencies. We all have them, because the soils have been depleted, and most of us don't really eat right anyway. Nowadays, it takes huge quantities of foods to get the same nutrition you could get in a small portion decades ago. Eating organic helps, but it's not sufficient. Particularly in winter, when people don't get enough sun exposure, they won't manufacture enough Vitamin D. And if you don't live in one of the southernmost states in the United States, you probably won't get enough even in summer. Oklahoma is actually a bit far north, believe it or not.
There are certain supplements a person can take that will help. I take 5000IU of Vitamin D3 a day, and up to 10,000IU if I feel I need it. That goes with 200mg of Vitamin K2 to help absorption and utilization. I also take 30mg of zinc and 5000 units of Vitamin A. Vitamin A also occurs as a compound naturally, with bioflavinoids. Beta Carotene is difficult for the body to convert, so should not be a person's only source. This is for basic immunity. With this regimen, I have caught only one cold in the past ten years, and it lasted several weeks, but never did more than make me miserable (no sore throat, just cough and runny/stuffy nose). With the Vitamin K2, those doses of Vitamin D3 aren't toxic. Although I don't personally take Vitamin C regularly, it is another good thing to take. When sick, a person should take an amount up to bowel tolerance, which might be several grams a day. Always when starting something like that, take a small dose, and increase the dose daily until you reach the desired full dose. A single pill should be taken at a time, spreading it throughout the day. Most Vitamin C is ascorbic acid, which is a synthetic form. I don't personally have information on brands of natural Vitamin C compound, but internet research will turn up that information. If a person simply doesn't want to deal with the bowel tolerance issue, he can take lipolytic Vitamin C, where one gram is equivalent to four grams of ordinary Vitamin C taken by mouth.
Although I haven't personally done this, there are a couple of things that will knock out any such infection in just a few hours, including oxygen treatment and ozone treatment. For this, you have to find a doctor who has experience.
And by the way, for comparison purposes, I am also in my 70's. Whether this is relevant or not, I do hike several times a month, and can walk up to 5 miles in a single afternoon. I also take other supplements, and avoid GMOs (genetically modified organisms - highly important). These include vegetable oils, corn, soy, canola, cottonseed oil, Hawai'ian papaya, zucchini, and now, certain breeds of apples. Watch for other GMO "foods" to be released. Although not all of these are GMO, if it's not labeled GMO-free, or organic, assume it's a GMO variety. It's the only safe thing to do.
There are also other factors. A person should NOT use anti-bacterial soap. Just use regular soap. The reason is twofold. The soap contains toxic chemicals. It also destroys good bacteria, and these are important. Also, a person should NOT get a flu shot. These contain poisons and actually weaken the immune system. The more years a person does this, the less he responds to the flu shot (generates less immunity). Also, if he is taking any pharmaceuticals whatsoever, he needs to find alternatives. Nearly all pharmaceuticals are highly toxic, which causes inflammation. Although inflammation is a healing reaction, prolonged inflammation weakens the system.
In addition, a person should get some kind of pro-biotics. My personal favorite is drinking a small glass of goat kefir daily. There are other sources: kombucha, fermented vegetables including kim chee, which contains another very useful substance: cayenne. Cayenne is a wonderful anti-inflammatory herb. A person can usually get a prescription for pro-biotics from a doctor, but I personally do not favor doing this. And anti-inflammatories are important. Most older people don't make enough proteolytic enzymes, so they should supplement. I take one pill of Doctor's Best daily, though a person can take up to three. I actually found that taking proteolytic enzymes (on an empty stomach) before bedtime alleviated nighttime symptoms quite nicely. If you take proteolytic enzymes with food, they get used up for digestion. A person's diet should be high fat (animal fat, coconut oil, macadamia oil) and low carbs. Carbs weaken the system in many ways. Vegetables should be the only source of carbs. A person should stay away from grains, particularly those that contain gluten, whether they know themselves to be gluten-sensitive or not. Olive oil is also good, with a couple of caveats. Most olive oil, even when labeled "extra-virgin", in the United States, contain vegetable oil. And it should not be used for high-heat cooking (frying, for example). To help with sleep, because it is also important for recovery, Tart Cherry taken at bedtime is helpful and also anti-inflammatory and a rich source of anti-oxidants.
A person should also avoid any pills that contain magnesium stearate. Magnesium stearate dries out tissue, and dry tissue can become infected more easily. It costs a little more to buy supplements without magnesium stearate, and sometimes you have to do a fair amount of investigation to find one that doesn't have it, but it is important. Sometimes when ingredients are listed, they don't list the inert ones, and you have to do a search to find out if there is any in the product. I use the name of the supplement and "ingredients label" on Google to get that information (separate words, no quotes). If you simply cannot find that information, choose another brand.
Something else he might try, that I have only used for skin infections so far, where it is HIGHLY effective, is to apply coriander tincture to his throat skin. This will be directly absorbed into the skin. I don't know how deep it will go, since I haven't tried it for an infection deeper than the skin. It might also work to gargle with a few drops mixed in a swallow of water. Coriander is a culinary herb, so fully safe internally. That should be done if he actually gets an infection.
I hope this helps, and I wish him the best of health for many years to come.