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Immunity booster?
Old 01-29-2009, 12:55 PM   #1
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Immunity booster?

I'm on my 4th or 5th straight cold, shared by my lovely 3YO DD who gets them at daycare. This is more colds than I've had in the past 5 years!

Short of getting enought sleep (yeah right), is there anything scientifically proven to boost immunity?

I take vitamin Cs daily. What about the probiotics that seem to be popular?

Not too interested in fringe type stuff, I tend to stick to what's been studied scientifically.

TIA,
Bill
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Old 01-29-2009, 01:05 PM   #2
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I tend to think in terms of preventing exposure. I do that by limiting manual contact with germ bearing surfaces. Do not touch door handles directly, use your sleeve or a kleenex.
Wash hands frequently if hands are exposed to publicly shared surfaces.
Sounds screwy, but it works. Since I FIREd, I have fewer colds than I ever did before. And I am often near people with colds.
Your daughter unfortunately will be the "carrier" from the kids at daycare. Not much you can do about that. Kids need hugs and kisses.
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Old 01-29-2009, 01:12 PM   #3
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Old 01-29-2009, 01:26 PM   #4
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Hmm, I'm practically a compulsive hand washer as it is.
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Old 01-29-2009, 01:26 PM   #5
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When I was in college the athletic trainer would give us a bottle of All B with Vitamin C at the first sign of a cold. Told us to take one in the morning and at night. If you are healthy they turn you urine very yellow. When you have a cold it is very pale yellow or now color. As I got older 50+ I would take them three times a day with a cold. Never took them if I did not have one. It has worked for me all these years. I still get colds but if I remember to do this they don't seem as bad.

Keeping hands very clean is what I'll bet Rich proscribes!
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Old 01-29-2009, 01:58 PM   #6
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Old 01-29-2009, 02:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmerbill View Post
I'm on my 4th or 5th straight cold, shared by my lovely 3YO DD who gets them at daycare. This is more colds than I've had in the past 5 years!

Short of getting enought sleep (yeah right), is there anything scientifically proven to boost immunity?

I take vitamin Cs daily. What about the probiotics that seem to be popular?

Not too interested in fringe type stuff, I tend to stick to what's been studied scientifically.

TIA,
Bill
Not really.

Good diet, good sleep, less stress, frequent hand cleaning is about all there is.

With a 3YO, there's not really much you can do to avoid them, though the above might lead to a less nasty dose.
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Old 01-29-2009, 02:20 PM   #8
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Actually, turning yourself and your surroundings into a cleanroom is a good way to *reduce* your immunity.

Yes, it greatly reduces your exposure to germs, but the immune system is like the muscles of your body; when they aren't exercised, they atrophy and become less effective.

On one hand, you don't want to go out of your way to get exposure to a lot of germs just to "exercise" your immune system, but on the other I think it's dangerous to compromise your immune system by being so germophobic that the first time a minor bug slips past your defenses, you're quite sick for a while.

So in terms of sterilizing your environment, I believe there's a happy medium in there -- one that tends toward sanitized and clean, but not so far in that direction that your immune system gets out of practice and forgets how to do its job well.
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Old 01-29-2009, 02:53 PM   #9
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Just think of the immunity you're building up for the future by being exposed to these bugs now!

How's your little one doing, Bimmer?
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Old 01-29-2009, 04:00 PM   #10
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Actually, turning yourself and your surroundings into a cleanroom is a good way to *reduce* your immunity.

Yes, it greatly reduces your exposure to germs, but the immune system is like the muscles of your body; when they aren't exercised, they atrophy and become less effective.
I've often wondered about that, and it seems to be coming the "prevailing wisdom". Growing up, things were generally clean but far from sterile - we had many pets such as dogs, cats, gerbils, hamsters, birds, and even a rooster once.

I hardly ever get sick.

(Now that I've said that I'll probably die tomorrow.)
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Old 01-29-2009, 04:36 PM   #11
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I've often wondered about that, and it seems to be coming the "prevailing wisdom". Growing up, things were generally clean but far from sterile - we had many pets such as dogs, cats, gerbils, hamsters, birds, and even a rooster once.

I hardly ever get sick.

(Now that I've said that I'll probably die tomorrow.)
I grew up on various farms; have probably been exposed to everything.
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Old 01-29-2009, 06:27 PM   #12
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She is doing fine right now. Steadily improving as the week goes on. I am sure it will be rough for the first couple of years as she build immunity.
I got an appointment with the doc tomorrow. Chest hurts, so want to make sure I don't have bronchitis or pnumonia. Had a back to back chest cold and a throat cold all at once. Then had the stomach flu and conjunctivitis thrown on top of it!
I don't sleep well when she is sick. Her coughing keeps me up since I worry so much. Plus, she is still delayed in speech, so never says anything about her physical condition (never said I'm hungry/thirsty, tummy hurts, head hurts, etc) so I always worry she is in pain and I can't tell.
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Old 01-30-2009, 11:27 AM   #13
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I also used to have trouble with frequent colds and often they would turn into sinus infections. Do some research on melatonin and vitamin D, they seem to be pretty important in immune system repair.

Also, having lights in your bedroom while sleeping has been linked to reduced melatonin production. You might want to cover things like your alarm clock and get blackout drapes.
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Old 01-30-2009, 12:34 PM   #14
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Thanks. I'm a crappy sleeper, and already cover ever light, run a white noise machine, and wear ear plugs... I have those light blocking shades too.

Was thinking of trying melatonin for sleeping issues, but haven't gotten around to it yet.
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Old 01-30-2009, 02:26 PM   #15
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I take a couple of capsules of Echinacea/Golden Seal supplement each day. I still get colds but they don't hang around very long. Also Source Naturals has a supplement called Wellness Formula that I have used in the past with good results. Whole Foods Market has a clone of this under their own label for about half the price.
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Old 01-30-2009, 02:42 PM   #16
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best immunity booster?

Exposure.

Growing up we never even had an inside toilet or running hot water, and hand washing was very patchy plus we had dogs, hamsters etc. - bath time once a week whether we needed it or not. Mother sent us to chicken pox and measles parties since "we were going to get it anyway so may as well get it over with before the annual vacation". DW had the same experiences (except her family did have an inside bathroom plus running hot water)

I know I'm going to regret saying this, but neither of us can remember the last time we were sick.

If you take my advice and consequently die a horrible death, then I apologize in advance
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Old 01-30-2009, 03:12 PM   #17
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Bimmerbill - I used to get a lot of colds several years ago. Had younger kids in the house, and it seemed like everything they brought home, I got. Started doing some research into immunity-boosting supplements (and foods), and eventually settled on a few supplements that I take almost every day, with dinner. They are:

Vitamin C - 1000 mg
Vitamin D - 2000 IU
Fish Oil/EPA/DHA (not sure if this is an immune booster, but good for overall health)
Garlic capsule (or eat fresh garlic with dinner.....better yet)

I also drink a big mug of green tea every morning with my breakfast, and eat some kind of fruit with breakfast daily (I think berries are best....blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, whatever you have).

Get 8 hours of good sleep every night.

Since I started doing all this, I think I have had one cold (in 3-4 years), and I got over that one quickly. So, I don't know if what I am doing is the reason for the improvement or not, but I plan to continue with it.
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Old 01-30-2009, 10:46 PM   #18
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best immunity booster?

Exposure.
My experience is similar. Multiple indoor / outdoor dogs. Raw beef several times per week. Just because I forget to cover and refrigerate leftovers does not mean I won't eat them 6 hours later. Almost never wash my hands except when leaving the bathroom or really greasy / etc. Just 1 mild cold in the last few years (and no digestive problems).
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Old 01-31-2009, 05:57 AM   #19
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Bimmer, try Zicam gel in the nose, and lozenges for the throat...within the first few hours of symtoms. It is a zinc preparation that helps keep the virus at bay. Colds seem to be shorter and less intense when we use it. Other types of zinc lozenge may also help, but I think the nasal gel really helps. I know this is not an immune booster, but it sure helps after you've caught it. ...fwiw

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Old 02-02-2009, 04:42 PM   #20
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Ditto the zinc, as Rambler suggested.

Also, exercise boosts the immune system, as does Vitamin D. So maybe take a brisk walk outside in the sun? It'll help you sleep better, too.
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