The Immune Response

Guest Post by Vicki Zerbee

Doctors and nutritionists believe that the average American’s immune response is only functioning at about 70%. That means their immune system is about 70% effective. Is that good enough? For some, maybe. But if you’re getting sick too much, probably not. Your immune function may be well under that national average.

Chilly weather is here, and this is the favorite time of year for the flu and many other seasonal health challenges. There is fear that we are going to be a sick nation this year with the addition of the Swine Flu (H1N1 Virus). I prefer to focus on prevention. The same as we do at home, I sent my daughters to college loaded with natural supplements that will help build their immune system - college campuses are known for fast spread of illnesses. Still it is challenging. However, when your immune system is strong, your body is more prepared than it might otherwise be, and even if you do get some part of the ‘bug’, it is likely that the symptoms will be less and the recovery time will be quicker. That is what my goal is for myself and my family.. we have to be pro-active if we want to get good results.

Whether you do or don’t get the flu shots because of supply and demand, or your own personal choice, and even if you do get the shots, there are preventive measures to take as well. Everyone talks about washing your hands, but don’t let that lessen your observance of it. Wash your hands. Often.

We know that nutrition can help us be well, and yet most of us don’t eat the best diets every day. And we eat fast foods. And we eat processed foods. And we are stressed. And many of us don’t exercise enough or sleep well. These things and more can put us in the less than national average immune system statistics. And it can make us sick more than we want to be.

I don’t know about you but I hate to be sick, even with the common cold. I am faithful to an array of supplements every single day of the year, and it pays off for me. When I am exposed to something, or maybe feeling tired (one of the first signs of getting sick), I take a special echinacea blend for a week to ten days. Almost always, I can beat it.

I may get the flu, one of them, this winter. Of course I hope that I don’t. All I know is that I am doing everything I can to prevent it, and that is all I can do. Besides supplementing with the nutrition that I know I don’t get enough of in the foods that I eat, I try to do other things that are associated with a healthy immune system: sleep enough hours every night, exercise, balance stress, and think positively. These may sound like things you’ve heard before, and brushed off, but bottom line is: they work.

Science tells us these things. They are proven. They are not even that hard.. it just takes desire. I answered a question on LinkedIn yesterday. Someone was asking why people don’t succeed at something when they have proven answers or ways to be successful. My answer is that it is all about desire.

We have to want things for ourselves. There has to be a ’strong why.’ It is what will drive us each day. It will keep us going. It will make sure we do what we need to do. And it will bring us results.

I started this article writing about the Immune Response, and went a little off-track (especially if you were looking for an all-technical article). What I wrote about is still associated with our immune response because the immunity results we get can be very closely related to the choices we make. We have to want wellness for ourselves.

Immune System News from the Science Department..

Hello Shaklee Family,

Back to school shopping, anxiety over who your child’s teacher will be this year, sending your oldest (or youngest) child off to college—all very exciting activities, but not without a bit of stress for all involved. And to add to all of these very typical types of activities and concerns, we have some new and additional threats to staying healthy. So it has never been more important to focus on doing all you can to protect your family’s health—beginning with arming yourself with the latest information.

Your ability to stay well and not fall prey to circulating pathogens rests upon the vibrant functioning of your immune system, and an optimally healthy immune system occurs when you are doing a few simple things:

1) Eat a healthy diet, full of antioxidants and immune supporting nutrients. This means avoiding the fast food restaurants (generally empty calories) and committing to eating at least FIVE servings of fresh fruits and vegetables every day—salads, stir-fry vegetables with chicken breast or salmon or hearty stews or soups made with plenty of colorful vegetables!

2) Be sure you are taking supplementation to support immune health. Your favorite version of Vitalizer along with Nutriferon provides a solid nutritional foundation for immune function. Sustained Release Vita C (or Chewable Vita C), Optiflora Probiotic, and Defend and Resist Complex can be added for additional support on an as needed basis. For children ages 12 and younger, choose Incredivites with immune supporting lactoferrin and more vitamin D, and for infants and toddlers age six months to four years, our terrific ShakleeBaby Multivitamin & Multimineral Powder with clinically tested prebiotics and more Vitamin D to help support immune function.*

3) Get plenty of rest. Your immune system can be very negatively impacted by inadequate sleep. Your school age children require at least nine hours of sleep each night so be sure that becomes a routine as the school year gets started. And Moms and Dads, you need seven and a half to eight hours yourself!

4) Talk to your doctor about immunization. We encourage everyone to speak with your doctor to determine if vaccination is right for you, especially if any member of your family falls into one of these target groups at higher risk identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): pregnant women, people who live with or care for children younger than six months of age, health care and emergency medical services personnel with direct patient contact, children six months through four years of age, and children five through 18 years of age who have chronic medical conditions. Click this link to learn more:

5) Wash your hands frequently. You don’t need antibacterial soaps; in fact, many experts are concerned that the widespread use of antibacterial products may contribute to the increasing prevalence of resistant bacteria that antibiotics do not work against! So, use plain ordinary soap, warm water, and wash your arms and wrists and lather up for 30 to 60 seconds before rinsing off. When hand washing is not possible, hand sanitizers are sometimes recommended.

6) Wash down your countertops, bathroom wash areas, and other hard, non-porous surfaces that your hands contact with an effective germicidal product such as Shaklee Basic-G. Basic-G has been tested and shown to be effective in neutralizing influenza type A viruses as well as a host of other microorganisms and the EPA has issued a statement that it believes, based on available scientific information, that the currently registered influenza A virus products will be effective against the 2009 - H1N1 flu strain and other influenza A virus strains on hard, non-porous surfaces.


Kids Fish Oil Part of Overall Kids Health

(Guest Post by Vicki Zerbee)

The health of our kids has changed dramatically in recent years. We have solutions that target good, even great, health. And yet we have higher rates of overweight, obesity, asthma, and other health challenges than ever before. Scientists have discovered that kids fish oil can make a difference. It can play a beneficial role in brain and eye development, learning, moods and behavior, and in specific areas like with asthma, and issues associated with heart disease and high cholesterol from being overweight or obese.

Did you know that today 30% of our kids are either overweight, obese, or at risk of becoming overweight? There are issues that go along with these, and kids fish oil can play a role in helping young children. That’s important because overweight teens have an 80% risk of being overweight as an adult as well. Children who are overweight or obese suffer greatly from low self esteem, and those feelings can impact them throughout their lives. The risk for having heart disease, cancer, hypertension, and arthritis in adulthood is greater when overweight and obesity are part of childhood.

Research tells us that good health is not only essential for physical growth and development but to a child’s ability to learn as well. As parents, we have choices that we can make to have a positive impact on our child’s daily diet and overall health and well being. Parents are responsible for introducing their kids to healthy foods, and having good eating habits demonstrated in the family. It starts during infancy and early childhood, when vitamins and minerals are key to growth.

These choices we have can help our children in many areas: brain development, learning skills, and even behavior. Studies are showing that kids fish oil improves learning and concentration, and calms behavior in children who need it. Since children do not like fishy tastes, and most do not get fish in their diet on a regular basis, science tells us that kids fish oil supplements can fill the gap and insure that fish oil is consistently present in the child’s body.

Food has been linked to behavior for a long time, mostly focused on being able to recognize foods to avoid if they cause an unfavorable reaction. Kids fish oil can be a nutrient that we want to add to our children’s daily diets in order to give them the healthy benefits associated with it.

Does your child get sick often or struggle in school? Nutrient deficiencies affect growth and the ability to learn, and increase risk of frequent illnesses. They also set the stage for developing more serious illnesses later in life.

Health challenges like high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels, and immune challenges are being diagnosed in young children today. This is very sad when you think how it can be a life-long health struggle for many, and it is frustrating because these illnesses in young children are almost completely avoidable.

With the high numbers of children with asthma, I was excited to learn that researchers discovered children who used kids fish oil from the time they were weaned from breastfeeding, until age three, were 10 percent less likely to have chronic coughs—a good predictor of asthma—than those who didn’t. The reason can be that fish oil contains anti-inflammatory fatty acids, reducing inflammation in children’s airways. It’s always good to hear these things confirmed, even though we have had many children benefit from kids fish oil and they know it works without having to read about a clinical study because they can ‘feel’ it working.

As I dig deeper for information about kids fish oil, I find some very interesting stats. In a study with ADHD kids from Australia, there was a 40-50 percent improvement in behavior for two groups of children using kids fish oil for 30-weeks, and a 30-40 percent improvement for ADHD kids using fish oil for 15-weeks. If you compare that with results of studies of Ritalin and Concerta, drugs that are prescribed for ADHD, fish oils were more effective.

When measured in blood tests, the levels of omega-3s in children who have ADHD are lower than in kids who don’t have it. Some pediatricians have been recommending kids fish oil supplements for these children for quite a while because they get such great results. You have to wonder why a natural supplement, that has no side effects AND can produce measurable results, is not more widely known about and suggested.

To learn more, visit our Kids Fish Oil page.