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Why do I keep getting sick? Part 2

By: Dr. Justin Marchegiani

With an unseasonably warm winter, especially in the North East, it’s so easy to forget we are still in the middle of flu season.   My goal is to mention a few supplements that you can use to increase your overall immune function.  With a strong immune system you are less likely to come down with a cold, even if you’re around others who are sick.

Before you use any of the suggested supplements, I recommend you go back and read my first post on “Why do I keep getting sick Part 1” for the foundational lifestyle and dietary advice you need to combine with the right supplements.  When combined they have synergistic effects and cost you less sick days at the same time improve the quality of your life.

Supplements:

1. Vitamin D:  The single best thing you do is make sure your vitamin-D levels are between 60-100 ng/ml.  Your body can produce its natural anti-biotic (cathelicidin) which can help your body gobble up intruders.  It can also help balance the immune seesaw above which can help your immune system function better (i.e. Increase t-regulator cells).

A 25 OH-D test can be very helpful to assess your levels.   I recommended anywhere between10, 000-20,000 IU per day for my patients in the winter months, (which is what your body can make in the sun normally).  You need to get test to find out what your levels are so you can dose according to your body’s needs.  Supplement with liquid vitamin D3, I prefer the liquids versions best.

2.  Think twice when you’re about to use anti-biotics:  Sometimes anti-biotics may be necessary if you have a bacterial infection that is out of control.  The problem is that antibiotics don’t work on viruses and they don’t have any effect on strengthening your immune system.  I see many people going on antibiotics year after year when in most situations it was a virus causing the infections to begin with.   The action items in this post actually strengthen your immune system and make your body more resistant to even coming down with these infections to begin with.

3. Avoid the flu vaccine:  The Cochrane database did a comprehensive meta-analysis on the flu vaccine and found that

“Influenza vaccines have a modest effect in reducing influenza symptoms and working days lost. There is no evidence that they affect complications, such as pneumonia, or transmission. (1)”

According to research we know that only 10 out of the 200 flu strains are even potentially protective by a flu vaccine.  Said another way, you still have a 90% chance of getting a flu like illness even with a flu vaccine.  The downside is that the majority of flu vaccines do contain 25mcg of mercury which is the 2nd most toxic compound on this planet right behind uranium (1).  With so many healthy and safe natural options out there a flu vaccine would be the last option on my list to use.

4.  Colloidal Silver can be a powerful antibiotics and antiviral for preventing illness and can also be used even after you get sick.   Remember anti- biotics can’t touch viruses so it nice to have a compound you can use preventively.  You can also use colloidal silver therapeutically too.  Let’s say you were around a bunch of sick people this holiday season, and you wanted to prevent any bugs from potentially being passed to you, this can definitely do the trick.  It can be excellent for sore throats where you can use a spray form, and spray the silver directly on the infected area.     Dosage: 50mcg of 10ppm colloidal silver.  I prefer: Silver Sol or Silvercillin.

5.  Herbs like Echinacea, Golden Seal and Astragalus can be excellent to increase your overall resistance to flu and bacteria that are out to make us sick.  Many studies have done testing on these herbs.  These herbs are most effective when they are used at the early onset of a cold.  The most active properties of these herbs are present in the “Roots” yet many supplements only contain the flower or the stems.  So make sure you read the ingredients.  I recommend 200-400mg of golden seal, 600mg to 1 gram of Echinacea, and 400-800mg of Astragalus per day at the onset of the cold.

6.  If you are sick a great way to help your immune system is fasting.  I recommending getting fasting tea from the Yogi tea line at Whole Foods and take 1-2 days off from food (preferably a lazy weekend) and just sip the fasting tea throughout the day while you give your digestive system a break.  A lot of times by fasting you’re avoiding sugar and many potential food allergens which can also give your immune system a boost.

7.  Coconut oil is great anti-viral and anti-bacterial compound.  Coconut oil contains lauric acid which is a natural substance that is actually found in breast milk too.  Research has shown that it can kill various forms of strep and staph bacteria.  A few table spoons of coconut oil per day is good, even if you aren’t sick.

Combined with the diet and lifestyle principles from my first post I hope these recommendation help improve your chances of not getting sick this winter season.

References:

1. Jefferson T, Di Pietrantonj C, Rivetti A, Bawazeer GA, Al-Ansary LA, Ferroni E. Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2010, Issue 7. Art. No.: CD001269. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001269.pub4

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Paleo Shepherds Pie

March 21, 2012 1 comment



Paleo Shepherds Pie

By: Dr. Justin Marchegiani

This is a great hearty meal with the extra carbs from the sweet potatoes, which can be easily subbed for extra veggies if you are carb sensitive.   This meal is grain free, legume free and dairy free (if you use coconut oil instead of butter).

First things first: 

1.  2-3 sweet potatoes (peeled) steamed and then mash with coconut oil or Kerry gold butter.  A little bit of cinnamon can be added to the sweet potatoes for extra flavor.

2.  Saute 1-2 pounds of grass fed organic meat in a separate pan then the veggies (this makes it faster), depending on how many people.  1 pound is usually good for 2 people.

3.  Veggies:  Cut up 1 onion and saute in a pan with either coconut oil or butter.  Then cut up the peppers and add them to the pan after about 5 minutes.  Add cumin , oregano and turmeric to taste.

4.  Add the meat to the same pan as the sauteed onions and peppers and let the veggies and the meat mix-in before adding a half of a head of kale to the batch.  Once the Kale cooks down, the veggie-meat mix can then be served on top of the the sweet potato mix.

5.  Add additional sea salt as well as an avocado on the side.

6.  Viola!  Enjoy…

Thanks to Sarah Fragoso for the inspiration from her cookbook “Everyday Paleo”