Women’s Health Expert, Amy Myers, M.D. On Warding Off Sickness
Cold and flu season is coming. Is there anything I can take to stay healthy? — CS
Anything you can do to reduce your body’s toxic load and support it in getting rid of toxins can help to support a healthy immune system.
A few tips:
Diet is huge. Eating a really healthy, organic diet helps—with lean, grass-fed animal protein, vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats.
Beginning and following a supplement regimen is about staying at your optimal health. Many of the recommended daily intake of nutrients haven’t been updated since the 1920’s, and were based on the amounts you needed to not get a disease (for instance, scurvy, in respect to vitamin C levels). In addition, today our food supply is not as nutrient-rich as it once was. This is in part because the average diet is more processed. But even if we are eating a good, organic diet, we may not be getting all the nutrients we need, or as many as previous generations got from their food because the soil quality today is much poorer, less nutrient-rich.
So, a good multivitamin is very important. Look for one with critical nutrients like zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin D. These are all included in the goop vitamin and supplement packet I consulted on, Balls in the Air, and can be taken as separate supplements as well.
I recommend supporting your body’s production of glutathione—the number one detoxifying molecule, or master antioxidant, in our body. Our body naturally generates this protein molecule, which helps us metabolize and get rid of toxins like alcohol and heavy metals. Glutathione serves many other functions in the body, and even helps to maintain balanced hormones. It’s also thought to be able to help support the immune system in its role to ward off colds and viruses.
Glutathione itself as a supplement is typically not well absorbed orally, because it is broken down in the gut, unless you take the acetylated form of glutathione. (In the latter, an acetyl group is added onto the glutathione molecule to prevent it from getting broken down.)
You can also take the building blocks of glutathione: Vitamin C, broccoli extract, and N-Acetyl cysteine (NAC) are some of my favorites because they’re readily and efficiently used by the body, so you’ll find them in the Balls in the Air regimen.
The most direct way to take glutathione is via IV—Some people do this for extra support for their immune system. You can also effectively take it nebulized—where you breathe it in—and there are ways to do glutathione suppositories rectally.
A high quality probiotic is beneficial—60 to 80 percent of your immune system is in your gut, so you want to make sure it’s working well.
I typically add collagen to my smoothies on a daily basis, or L-glutamine, as a preventative measure to help keep my gut healthy. Some of my patients also take an Immune Booster Powder, made of bovine colostrol whey peptides, that contains 40 percent IgG immunoglobulins to support immune function.
Amy Myers, M.D. specializes in women’s health issues, autoimmunity, thyroid dysfunction, and gut health. She is the New York Times bestselling author of The Autoimmune Solution and The Thyroid Connection. She sees patients from around the world in her functional medicine clinic Austin UltraHealth, based in Austin, Texas. Dr. Myers developed the goop vitamin/supplement protocol, Balls in the Air, designed to keep us on our A game. You can get Dr. Myers’ complimentary 35 Gut Recovery Recipes eBook here.
The views expressed in this article intend to highlight alternative studies and induce conversation. They are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of goop, and are for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that this article features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.