Yes, it’s absolutely possible to boost your immune system! However, people generally think about it incorrectly. Before we dive in and explore the ways you can boost your immune system, it’s important to know that two major systems comprise our immune system:
1. The innate immune system
This is our daily immune system that functions to prevent illness.
2. The adaptive immune system
This is what kicks in when a foreign invader (viral, bacterial, mold, fungal, etc.) infiltrates our body.
So, when someone gets sick, if they haven’t taken the time to improve their innate immune system, it’s very difficult to improve immune function while your adaptive immune system is activated.
This is why you can’t boost your overall immune system with oral supplements quickly because it takes weeks of oral supplements to build up enough in the cells so they can help your body function better. It also takes a well-rounded approach to obtain and maintain a healthy immune system since so many factors and bodily systems are involved.
In fact, taking oral vitamin C during an illness is unlikely to provide many benefits at all. It’s a “too little, too late” kind of situation.
How IV Vitamin Therapy Can Boost Your Immune System
Any efforts to boost the immune system during an adaptive immune response should be done via IV Vitamin Therapy. IV Therapy is effective because it:
- Hydrates the body.
Suppose the body is dehydrated during an active infection, which is common, especially if a fever is present. In that case, the cells in our body are not very efficient. This causes a poor immune response, prolonged illness, larger amounts of inflammation, and even severe outcomes.
- Increases Vitamin C absorbtion.
When administered at the proper dosing, Vitamin C plays an essential role in stimulating immune protection and repair. It also helps to regulate the cytokine storm or severe immune reaction that can come during an illness. The cytokine storm often hurts the body the most because it leads to prolonged illness, chronic symptoms after an infection, and potentially life-threatening issues like ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome). Also, when Vitamin C is given via IV, the cells of our body have almost 100% bioavailability immediately after the infusion, as opposed to oral vitamin C, which has a very low bioavailability. This means it is more easily absorbed and, thus, more effective.
Most IV Vitamin drips contain zinc, b vitamins, magnesium, and other essential and non-essential nutrients. People who are sick usually do not eat, rest, and are dehydrated, reducing the probability of consuming effective amounts of these vitamins and minerals. And during an adaptive immune response, the goal is to give the body more resources than it would otherwise have to fight the infection effectively.
The body can deplete its stores if essential nutrients are not consumed during illness. That’s why eating healthy during infection or undergoing IV Vitamin Therapy is critical.
However, if your innate immune system isn’t well-fueled and optimized before infection, your adaptive response will not be great regardless of what IVs are given during the illness. So it’s important to focus on optimizing your immune system daily.
How to Optimize Your Daily Gut Health
Poor gut health causes:
- aging (lower NAD, lower mitochondrial energy, lower anti-oxidant levels, sub-optimal vitamin/nutrient/amino acid levels, etc.)
- poor sleep
- high cortisol levels over a long period of time (common in busy/stressed-out adults)
- low hormone levels
This all contributes to inflammation in the body, the body’s inability to be “adaptive,” or what some call metabolically flexible, which means your immune system can’t block illnesses. This also means that when you invariably get sick throughout the year, you can’t recover as quickly.
So aiding and fueling your innate immune system is an all-in approach that includes:
- glucose control
- stress reduction
- optimizing your sleep, limiting alcohol and smoking, underlying medical issues like autoimmune problems and metabolic syndrome (to name a few), and taking the right kinds of supplements depending on your individual needs/profile.
This is how you optimize your body’s immune system daily.
Oral supplements that support immune system function
If an average adult is going to take oral supplements to help their immune system without making any other changes, here are my recommendations:
Most light-skinned Americans are either vitamin D deficient or are very low. Vitamin D is involved in immunity through several mechanisms and regulates both the body’s innate and adaptive immune response. Therefore, it’s essential to optimize your Vitamin D levels!
You want a lot of vitamin C available to your cells for many different reasons. First, the body cannot make Vitamin C if you are not consuming it. And secondly, when you get sick, let’s say with Influenza, if your body has a surplus of Vitamin C to utilize, it won’t deplete your body’s reserves.
Other Ways to Boost Your Immune System
HYDRATE ALL THE TIME. All day. Every day.
Rest and get lots of sleep.
This is critical. We do more than just dream and replenish our energy when we sleep a night. Sleep is linked to our body’s ability to clear inflammatory cytokines, which is important for our body’s ability to restore/repair and not be under constant bombardment of inflammation.
Sleep is also linked to our body’s ability to produce innate immune system antibodies, which keeps things like shingles, herpes outbreaks, and Epstein-Barr viruses at bay. Furthermore, it helps our body produce influenza antibodies, whether post-vaccine or post-illness.
Sleep is also linked to gut health, NAD levels, and well— everything. If you’re not getting enough, this needs to be addressed. The following supplements can enhance your sleep and help your body repair overnight:
By the way, did I mention you should hydrate…all the time…?! I just wanted to make sure you caught that part.
In addition to drinking plenty of water, our team of trained physicians and medical providers can offer Immune Boost IV Vitamin Drip Therapy in your home or office. It’s the perfect combination of IV vitamins and nutrients to help you overcome an acute illness and prevent future illnesses. Request an appointment to discuss your care options.
About the author:
Jim Riggen is the Co-Founder of LX Medical, where he serves as Director of Optimization Medicine. He is a Physician Associate with ten years of experience in Emergency Medicine and five years in primary care. He is also an A4M Longevity Medicine Member and Fellowship trained since 2020 and holds a B.A. Nutrition and Food Sciences.