Many of you have already skipped the first six steps to get to “enhance” – what you can take to improve your immune system.  It’s a natural reaction; most people are more interested in what they can take rather than what they can do, so I always leave this step for last.

Of course there are many things you can take to improve your immune system, these should be seen as secondary to what you can do.  Just the way Lipitor is not the right treatment for a lousy diet, so are supplements and vitamins merely an adjunct to a healthy lifestyle and the other six steps. Vitamins and supplements aren’t strong enough to compensate for someone who is failing to follow steps one through six.

But they could certainly add to the benefits of the prior steps.  There are a number of supplements in several categories that have been shown to help – vitamins, minerals, herbs, enzymes, cofactors, and many prescription medications have been shown to have positive effects on the immune system in many states of disease and health.

There is both a science and art to help answer the question “What should I take?”  Much of the answer revolves around the state of your immune system (is it hyperactive, or is it at peace?).  Health conditions, diet, genetics and your lifestyle all have an important bearing on what you should take.  People with hyperactive immune systems and autoimmune diseases generally should be taking more than people whose immune systems are already balanced and calm.

In my opinion, treatment should always be guided by knowing the status of some simple markers of your own immune system, like your C-reactive protein level and your white blood count.  People with autoimmune diseases should also know more—this can help you and your doctor learn which therapies are most effective for you.

Some things to be sure to be aware of include your multivitamin, added vitamin D, vitamin B6, zinc, selenium, and medications like aspirin, Advil, and statins, in some cases.

For more information on how to know which supplements are best for you, learn on by reading UltraLongevity

< STEP 6


Mark Liponis
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