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Boost your Immune System Naturally Preventing illness during the cold and flu season Dr. Jese Anne Wiens B.Sc., N.D. HANS Natural Nutrition Event September.

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Presentation on theme: "Boost your Immune System Naturally Preventing illness during the cold and flu season Dr. Jese Anne Wiens B.Sc., N.D. HANS Natural Nutrition Event September."— Presentation transcript:

1 Boost your Immune System Naturally Preventing illness during the cold and flu season Dr. Jese Anne Wiens B.Sc., N.D. HANS Natural Nutrition Event September 20, 2014

2 Topics to be covered Naturopathic Medicine Colds & Flus The Immune System, White blood cells Symptoms of low immunity Important nutrients Botanical medicine Lifestyle considerations

3 N.D. = Naturopathic Doctor Therapies include Nutrition, Botanical Medicine, Traditional Chinese medicine including acupuncture, Physical Medicine, Homeopathy, Counselling. Extensive Training: 4 years B.Sc. & 4 year medical school. What do I treat? Any acute or chronic disease

4 Principles of Naturopathic Medicine First, Do no Harm Doctor as Teacher Support the healing power of nature Identify and treat the causes of disease Emphasize prevention Heal the whole person through individualized treatment

5 Colds & Flus Cold virus Symptoms (sx): runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, sore throat, cough, headache Incubation period. 2/3 days, up to 7 days Contagious period: first 2-4 days after sx Influenza virus Sudden onset, fever, aches, fatigue, cough, sore throat, stuffy nose, headache, nausea Incubation period: 1-4 days, avg 2 days Contagious period: 1 day before sx - 5 days

6 Colds and Flus Colds and flus are respiratory infections caused by viruses. However, because these viruses are so widespread, it is perhaps more accurate to say that colds and flus are caused by a decrease in immunity that allows one of these viruses to take hold. Biological terrain vs. germ theory. The state of the body can determine the severity of illness.

7 The Immune System Through a series of steps called the immune response, the immune system attacks organisms and substances that invade body systems and cause disease. Surface barriers skin, lungs, stomach, tears, saliva, flora Components of the Immune System: White Blood Cells circulate via blood and lymph. Lymph tissue Organs: thymus, spleen, bone marrow


9 White Blood Cells Two types of white blood cells (leukocytes) 1. Phagocytes, cells that chew up invading organisms. Eg. Neutrophil, monocyte, basophil 2. Lymphocytes, cells that allow the body to remember and recognize previous invaders and help the body destroy them. Lymphocytes start out in the bone marrow and either stay there and mature into B cells, or they leave for the thymus gland, where they mature into T cells. B cells make antibodies and eventually develop into memory B cells. T cells are helpers, cytotoxic, have memory, and regulate.


11 Symptoms of low immunity fatigue allergies frequent or severe colds/flus sore throats swollen glands headaches aching muscles

12 What can lower immunity? Stress, due to increased cortisol release Dietary fat imbalance high trans or saturated fats. Low omega fats Sugar Poor GI flora (dysbiosis) Use of alcohol, smoking Chemical pollutants Lack of sleep Caffeine Nutrient deficiencies (Vit A, C, E, D & Zn, Fe, Se) Some prescription meds (eg. Prednisone)

13 Important Nutrients Vitamin A. Beta carotene from foods is converted to Vitamin A. maintains the protective mucus barriers increases the number of infection-fighting cells, natural killer cells, and helper T-cells a powerful antioxidant that mops up excess free radicals that accelerate aging. It is high in orange and green vegetables. Stored in the liver. Caution in pregnancy

14 Important Nutrients Vitamin C Helps to kill viruses, maintains tissue repair, enzyme cofactor, & is an antihistamine Collagen (skin, blood vessels, cartilage) Carnitine production (energy) Neurotransmitters Highly concentrated in immune cells. Helps the activities of phagocytes, the production of cytokines and lymphocytes, & monocytes. Most useful at onset of illness or as a boost when exposure to illness increases.

15 Important Nutrients: Vit C cont. Due to a mutation, humans can’t make it. Also bats, guinea pigs, primates, & some birds. It is high in tomatoes, carrots, kiwis, citrus fruits, peppers, broccoli & berries. As a supplement: kids up to age 6 can take 250 mg per day. Older kids can take 500 mg per day. Adults 1-3 grams. Available as a powder, chewable, or capsule. Side effect: loose stool

16 Important nutrients: Vit C cont. Vitamin C action in the body: Tissues that accumulate 100x level in blood adrenal glands, pituitary, thymus, corpus luteum, & retina. Tissues that accumulate 10 to 50x blood level brain, spleen, lung, testicle, lymph nodes, liver, thyroid, small intestinal mucosa, leukocytes (WBC), pancreas, kidney and salivary glands. Deficiency can show as poor wound healing, brown discoloration on skin, bleeding gums, atherosclerosis High levels reduce incidence of cardiovascular disease including heart attacks, reduces all cause mortality.

17 Important Nutrients Vitamin E is an antioxidant. It is high in wheat germ, nuts & seeds. Stimulates the production of natural killer cells & enhances the production of B-cells Zinc maintains the immune system and generates new white blood cells. A vital mineral for enzymatic function, blood sugar metabolism, protein metabolism and DNA formation. Found in pumpkin seeds, wheat germ, & seafood. Children up to age 6 years can take 10 to 20 mg per day. Older kids and adults can take 20 to 40 mg per day. Esp important for those who suffer from recurrent infections, allergies, have diets high in dairy, or are elderly.

18 Important Nutrients Iron Needed for DNA replication / cell growth. Iron stores can be depleted during periods of rapid growth, e.g. puberty. Very important for children and menstruating women. Animal sources of iron are the most absorbable, 10 times more than plant forms. Chose organic beef, chicken, dark turkey meat, eggs. Plant sources of iron include dark green leafy vegetable, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, organic unsulfured dried fruits (raisins, prunes, figs, apricots, cherries), blackstrap molasses, beets, red beans, quinoa, almonds. Selenium is a boost to thymus activity, increasing NK cells and cancer fighters. Found in seafood, brazil nuts, & whole grains.

19 Important Nutrients Vitamin D ‘the sunshine vitamin’ Used for regulation of gene expression and so affects health in many ways. It is helpful in acute illness and to prevent infections. Recent studies show that deficiency is common and is a risk factor for many chronic diseases like cancer, autoimmune reactions, and diabetes. Supplementation is recommended for all ages, including breastfed infants. 1000iu per day for children up to age 12, 2000iu age 12 and up. Get tested! 25-hydroxyvitamin D, or 25(OH)D Optimal level is 125nmol/L or more.

20 Other Nutritional Tips Water. The cells lining the inside of the mouth and nose are extremely prone to dehydration. When these tissues dry out, they develop small holes and cracks, thereby offering free passage to cold viruses. In contrast, well-hydrated mucus membranes are plump and more resistant to infection Avoid sugar! It can paralyze white bloods cells starting at 30 minutes after ingestion and lasts for up to 5 hours. Decrease dairy to one serving per day. It creates mucus production that can congest the ears, nose, sinuses, intestines, and throat. Overall: Focus on whole foods, organic when possible. Wash all produce with a veggie wash to remove pesticides and bacteria.

21 Supplements Probiotics These are healthy bacteria that live in our intestines and help with our immune system. They inhibit colonization of pathogens in the intestinal tract, degrade toxins, stimulate local and peripheral immunity, promote enzyme activity, and produce antimicrobial substances. Probiotics are considered safe and well tolerated, making it a great supplement for all ages. Most studied include Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. casei, L. sporogenes, Bifidobacterium bifidus and Saccharomyces boulardii. 3-8 billion twice daily depending on age. Reduces the incidence and duration of infection.

22 Supplements cont. Pycnogenol Pine Bark extract from France anti-inflammatory & anti-oxidant 2013 research: decrease signs and symptoms of cold shorten the course of the common cold preventing some complications (progression to lower respiratory tract) alone or in combination (vit c & zinc)

23 Botanical Medicine Echinacea is used to boost immunity to prevent illness. Also decreases the severity of colds & flus. Increases phagocytosis, inc WBC count, effects immune cell activation. Long history of use with native americans & eclectic physicians Myths: take for short periods of time, use tops or water root extraction, use once sick, CI in autoimmune conditions Need to use root extracts with a high amount of alkylamides. E. angustifolia more than purpurea Caution if allergies to daisy family

24 Botanical Medicine cont. Astragalus. Common in Chinese Medicine, this herb has the ability to enhance natural killer cells and increase white blood cell immune activity. Can be used to increase resistance to infection. Also builds ‘ qi ’, aids recovery from loss of blood or chronic infection. Adaptogenic & tonic. Increases memory, physical endurance. Found as a piece of bark that can easily can be added to teas and soups.

25 Botanical Medicine Reishi Mushroom (Ganoderma) is used to boost antibody response and antiviral activity. It can also be used to boost recovery after illness or chemotherapy. ‘ the king of herbs ’ Garlic. stimulates the multiplication of infection-fighting white cells, boosts natural killer cell activity, and increases the efficiency of antibody production. The immune-boosting properties of garlic seem to be due to its sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin and sulfides. Best used fresh or lightly cooked. Garlic, ginger, lemon & honey tea

26 Botanical Medicine Andrographis paniculata Acute upper respiratory tract infections, speeds recovery Fever: yarrow or elderflower Thyme: tea for congestion & antimicrobial Oregano is strongly antiseptic and increases WBC’s. Expectorant. Used as a tea, tincture, or oil. This can be taken at first onset of symptoms or as a preventative.

27 Lifestyle Wash your hands, for 15 seconds with soap and get under your nails. Always before you eat, after you use the toilet, when coming home, and after visiting a public place. Disinfect your high use areas: doorknobs, fridge handles, light switches, phones, KEYBOARDS. Diluted bleach, isopropyl alcohol, vinegar, oils, H2O2 Get plenty of exercise, preferably in fresh air. Find ways to reduce stress, as high cortisol inhibits your immunity. Ensure that you wind down in the evening and get 7-8 hours of restful sleep Bundle up to keep warm. In Chinese medicine colds and flus are seen as external invasion of cold. Cover your ‘ wind gates ’, which are between the bottom of your neck and your shoulder blades. Use those scarves!

28 Thank you! Questions?

29 For more information, please contact me: Dr. Jese Anne Wiens BSc., ND Kimberley Health Centre Penticton 778-476-6016 Summerland Family Chiropractic Summerland 250-494-3321 Email: Welcoming Dr. Lisa Keen ND in October

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