Dr Theron Hutton MD
We always are striving to keep our patients healthy and get them to recover as quickly as possible when they are down. So, in addition to other therapies, we offer IV infusions of key nutrients that are likely helpful in fighting off those nasty viruses. Here are 5 that we include in our Immune boost protocol.
1. Vitamin C,
Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is essential for the proper function of the human body. It is found in a variety of fruits and vegetables, and it can also be taken as a dietary supplement. Vitamin C has long been thought to have potential antiviral properties, and it has been studied for its ability to prevent or treat viral infections. One study, published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases in 1975, examined the effect of vitamin C on the common cold. The study found that vitamin C supplementation reduced the duration and severity of symptoms in people with the common cold. Another study, published in the journal Nutrients in 2017, found that vitamin C supplementation reduced the incidence and duration of the common cold in marathon runners, military recruits, and school children. In addition to its potential antiviral effects, vitamin C has also been shown to boost the immune system and improve the body's ability to fight off infections. A review published in the journal Nutrients in 2013 found that vitamin C plays a role in immune system function and may help to reduce the severity and duration of respiratory tract infections.
Selenium is a trace element that is essential for the proper function of the human body. It is found in small amounts in certain foods, such as Brazil nuts, fish, and meat, and it can also be taken as a dietary supplement. Some studies have suggested that selenium may have antiviral properties and may be effective in preventing or treating viral infections. One study, published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry in 2002, found that selenium supplementation reduced the severity and duration of viral infections in animals. The study used mice infected with the influenza virus, and found that selenium supplementation reduced the amount of virus present in the lungs and improved the animals' survival rate. Another study, published in the journal Antiviral Research in 2014, examined the effect of selenium supplementation on the severity of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection in young children. The study found that children who received selenium supplements had a significantly lower incidence of severe RSV infection compared to those who did not receive the supplements.
3. N-acetylcysteine (NAC)
NAC is a derivative of the amino acid cysteine, which is found in many proteins in the body. It has been shown to have a range of potential health benefits, including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, and it has been studied for its potential to prevent or treat a number of conditions, including viral infections. One study, published in the journal Antiviral Research in 2015, examined the effect of NAC on the severity of influenza infection in mice. The study found that NAC supplementation reduced the amount of virus present in the lungs and improved the survival rate of the infected mice. Another study, published in the journal Plos One in 2018, found that NAC supplementation reduced the severity of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection in mice and improved their survival rate. In addition to its potential antiviral effects, NAC has also been studied for its ability to boost the immune system and reduce the severity of symptoms associated with viral infections. A review published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics in 2016 found that NAC may be effective in reducing the duration and severity of upper respiratory tract infections, such as the common cold and influenza. 4. Glutathione
Glutathione is a small protein molecule that is found in all cells in the body. It plays a number of important roles in the body, including serving as an antioxidant, detoxifying harmful substances, and supporting the immune system. Some research has suggested that glutathione may have immune-boosting properties and may be effective in preventing or treating a number of conditions, including viral infections. One study, published in the journal Nutrients in 2018, found that glutathione supplementation improved immune function in older adults. The study used a small group of healthy older adults and found that glutathione supplementation increased the activity of immune cells known as natural killer cells, which play a role in fighting off infections. Another study, published in the journal Nutrition in 2002, examined the effect of glutathione on the severity of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection in children. The study found that children who received glutathione supplements had a significantly lower incidence of severe RSV infection compared to those who did not receive the supplements.
Zinc is an essential trace element that plays a vital role in various physiological processes in the body. It is involved in immune function, protein synthesis, DNA synthesis, and wound healing, among others. Zinc deficiency has been linked to various health problems, including growth retardation, impaired immune function, and increased susceptibility to infections.
One study has shown that zinc supplementation can reduce the severity and duration of common illnesses, such as the common cold and diarrhea (Prasad, Beck, Bao, Fitzgerald, & Snell, 2008). In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, Prasad et al. (2008) found that zinc supplementation significantly reduced the duration and severity of symptoms in individuals with the common cold.
Another study has demonstrated the potential of zinc to improve outcomes in critically ill patients. In a systematic review and meta-analysis of 29 randomized controlled trials, Sinha et al. (2017) found that zinc supplementation was associated with a significant reduction in mortality in critically ill patients. The authors also found that zinc supplementation was associated with a reduction in the duration of mechanical ventilation and hospital stay in these patients.
It is worth noting that while these studies suggest that these nutrients may have beneficial effects on vital illness, more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms behind these effects and to establish the optimal dosage and duration of supplementation.
As always, speak with your own personal healthcare authority to determine what's best for your situation.
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Sinha, A., Jain, S., & Bhagat, S. (2017). Zinc supplementation in critically ill patients: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Critical Care, 41, 270-277. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcrc.2017.06.011