Supplements That Can Strengthen Immune System Responses

There are a number of things that one can do to strengthen immune system responses and improve immune system reactions. Good nutrition is of the utmost importance. With the knowledge that most people do not eat the right variety of foods in the right combination to achieve optimal health and function of the entire body, it may be necessary to add dietary supplements to strengthen immune system responses, particularly as the cold and flu season approaches.
While there are dissenters who say that people take more dietary supplements than they need, most doctors and health care professionals agree that those people who take daily vitamins and other dietary supplements are healthier in general than people who do not. It may be that people who are interested enough in their health to bother with dietary supplements practice good health habits, make efforts to eat right, get plenty of rest and regular exercise and improve immune system reactions in that way. Or, it could be that most people realize that they do not always eat right and do all of the things that are important to strengthen the immune system and for general good health, so they think of dietary supplements as added insurance.

A recent study in Canada concluded that, of the people who used dietary supplements on a regular basis, products designed to improve immune system performance were used most often. Echinacea was mentioned in this survey as being commonly used to strengthen immune system responses. Echinacea was used traditionally by Native Americans to treat infections of all types, but some evidence suggests that prolonged use (over 8 weeks) may be toxic to the liver. Since its traditional use was as a treatment, not particularly as preventative, Echinacea may not be the best choice for use as a regular dietary supplement to improve immune system responses, particularly when used in combination with prescription medications that are toxic to the liver.
Andrographis paniculata (AP), which is sometimes referred to as Indian Echinacea, even though it is unrelated to the Echinacea plant, has been shown to strengthen immune system function, by counteracting interference with the cell cycle. Viruses must interfere with the normal cycle of the cell in order to reproduce. Laboratory studies using cell lines indicate that AP can improve immune system function by stimulating production of white blood cells, interferon release and activity in the lymph system. White blood cells find and kill bacteria. Interferon kills viruses and stops their reproduction. The lymph system is basically responsible for carrying everything around. In addition to the affects of AP which strengthen immune system responses, science and traditional use have shown that it has pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects. It is commonly used in Scandinavian countries to improve immune system action, prevent and treat the common cold and other viruses, including influenza. Tests on laboratory animals have shown that AP has very low toxicity, but traditional medicine notes that it may have contraceptive effects. Because of this, herbalists recommend that it should not be used to strengthen immune system responses by women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant.
The study of diseases and infections of all kinds ultimately lead to the immune system. It is believed that an effort to improve immune system performance can prevent cancer, as well as serious viral and bacterial infections. It is easy to see why those who are interested in good health would choose to use a dietary supplement that can strengthen immune system performance and possibly prevent illnesses of all kinds.
For more information about supplements that can strengthen immune system responses and improve immune system function, visit
Patsy Hamilton has more than twenty years experience in health care and currently writes informational articles for the Immune System Booster Guide. To learn more about natural products that can boost immune system function or to learn about colds, viruses and diseases that affect the immune system, visit

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