Natural Immune Boosters and Adrenal Fatigue Recovery
Lots of people load up on Vitamin C as an immune booster during cold and flu season, or when they start feeling like they might be coming down with something. New research shows that by using these natural immune boosters, they may be on the right track.
Natural Immune Boosters
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and one of the easy natural immune boosters that protects against damage caused by free radicals. It is vital in the creation of collagen and other vital components of skin, teeth, bones, and capillaries.
A group of researchers in Japan studies the long-term effects of Vitamin C on the thymus organ in mice. They gave one group of mice 20mg/kg and a second group 200mg/kg each day for a year. At the end of the study, they measured the thymus in each of the mice and the number of immune cells found in the blood, spleen, and thymus. They discovered those mice that were given the higher dose of Vitamin C had larger and more efficient thymus organs than the mice that received the lower dose.
The thymus is part of the immune system and is the organ in which T-cells develop and mature, until they are needed to battle foreign invaders to keep the body healthy. The results of this study suggest that high doses of Vitamin C taken long-term can help keep the thymus functioning efficiently and keep the immune system strong. Vitamin C is among the top natural immune boosters being researched.
Dr. Lam’s adrenal fatigue perspective:
Without a doubt, the use of vitamin C and glutathione has helped many recover from adrenal fatigue. Vitamin C is a key nutrient in boosting adrenal function because it, along with cholesterol and pantethine, are the key building blocks of cortisol, our anti-stress hormone. Without proper levels of vitamin C, which we cannot make, our body’s ability to handle stress is compromised. The optimum dosage is between 3,000-5,000 mg per day, but many cannot tolerate this amount. For some, adrenal crashes can be triggered.
Vitamin C also has a strong antioxidant effect that can help mitigate effects that stress has on the body’s neuroendometabolic (NEM) stress response system. The NEM is made up of multiple functional circuits, that work synergistically to prevent the effects of stress from deteriorating the body’s functions. The more stress builds up, however, the harder these stress response circuits have to work until they reach a point they can work no harder. If pushed to this point for extended periods of time, the constituent organs and systems that make up the response circuits will begin to wear out, break down and even malfunction.
The immune system is key to the inflammatory and detoxification circuits of the NEM, and once the immune system begins to wear out, the symptoms that begin to arise include heightened allergies and sensitivities, frequent infections, and increasing inflammation. Many of these symptoms are exacerbated by oxidative damage in the body caused by free radicals. The increased symptoms in turn cause further stress to the body, pushing the NEM stress response further into dysfunction and forming a worsening cycle of feedback.
The antioxidant effect of Vitamin C, in addition to helping to boost adrenal function, defends against free radicals and prevents oxidative damage, helping to relieve the body of some of its stressful burden. In combination with other therapeutic modalities, it is a powerful tool in the recovery process.
There are many forms of vitamin C, and one has to be careful with which to use at what time. Ascorbic acid, for example, dissolves quickly and is quite “spiky”. Long term use can trigger adrenal crashes easily and make the body more sensitive to other supplements. Those with liver congestion will not do well with high dose vitamin C. In some cases, only a few milligrams may be tolerated (an orange has about 75 mg for comparison), and an over the counter vitamin C pill usually has 250 mg. If you are sensitive and cannot tolerate vitamin C except in the smallest amount, this usually signifies a body congested in the liver as well as the extracellular matrix. Do not simply take vitamin C without supervision unless you are in the mildest stage of Adrenal Fatigue. Because of its effectiveness, many people tend to take a higher and higher amount with time as the body develops tolerance. At the end, when the body cannot endure anymore, it crashes. Some are bedridden and housebound. As much as I like vitamin C, I caution everyone with Adrenal Fatigue to use the proper form and dose carefully. Avoid ascorbic acid. Ascorbyl palmitate is much more gentle.
Source: British Journal of Nutrition 2015