Preparing Your Body to Fight the Winter Bugs

October 2018

Christine Cheng, R.Ph and Frederick Cheng, R.Ph.

With fall and winter just around the corner, now is a good time to get your body prepared to fight the cold and flu bugs that we will inevitably encounter. In addition to making sure you stay well-hydrated (preferably by drinking water) and eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruits, there are certain supplements that can be considered to help boost and balance our immune systems.

ESTER-C®  (by Sisu) is a well-studied, non-acidic form of vitamin C  that is easy on the stomach because it is made by buffering vitamin C with calcium. It supports the immune system by increasing the activity of immune cells, increasing the levels of antibodies produced by the immune system and by protecting normal tissues via its antioxidant properties. Unlike conventional forms of vitamin C (i.e., ascorbic acid), Ester-C ® needs only be taken once a day because it can last in the body for up to 24 hours and can be taken on a regular basis.

IMMUNOSMART ™ (by Lorna Vanderhaeghe) is a combination product that can help support the immune system on a regular basis. Beta glucans, derived from the cell walls of a bacteria called Saccharomyces cerevisiae can help balance the immune system (i.e., they neither boost an underactive immune system, nor do they suppress an overactive immune system) and seem to have antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties. Zinc is included in this formula because it is an important catalyst in many biochemical reactions in the body and plays a major role in immune function. Immunosmart ™ also includes a buffered form of vitamin C.

Probiotics are important to support the immune system, a huge component of which resides in the gut. Many probiotic preparations are available that contain specific strains of probiotics that have proven efficacy in both decreasing the number and duration of upper respiratory illnesses.

Getting the flu shot is very helpful in reducing your chances of getting the flu and decreasing the severity of symptoms if you do catch the flu. For those who cannot receive the flu shot, choose not to receive it, or want to complement the conventional vaccine, a homeopathic program consisting of Thymuline 9ch and Influenzinum 9ch can be used. It is important to note that the homeopathic program does not replace the flu vaccination.

If you feel like you have may have the beginnings of a cold, an Echinacea based preparation such as ESBERITOX ® (by Enzymatic Therapy) can be very helpful. The polysaccharides and glycoproteins found in this combination of Echinacea purpurea, baptisia, and thuja have anti-viral and immune-stimulating properties that are helpful in reducing the severity and duration of a cold.

Black elderberry extracts such SAMBUCUS COLD & FLU CARE (by Nature’s Way) can be very useful in reducing the severity and duration of both cold and flu. This pleasant-tasting syrup is especially useful in children.

Taking precautions such as frequent hand-washing is a must in preventing winter illnesses. Of course, the best way to make sure your body is up to the fight against Old Man Winter is to be well-prepared, well-rested, well-hydrated and well-fed.

Christine and Fred Cheng are a passionate, charismatic sister-brother pharmacist team at their unique, family-owned and operated Pharmasave stores in Cloverdale and Steveston, B.C. They specialize in natural remedies and compounding for both human and veterinarian use. Everything mentioned in their article is available InStore. 

***All information posted and shared by Cloverdale Pharmasave is offered to provide information and choices regarding nutritional support for various health concerns, none of which is intended to be a treatment protocol for any disease state. The information does not replace seeking professional advice from your physician. Consult your health care practitioner before taking dietary supplements.

Articles, Q&A, blog posts and all materials submitted for publishing is the intellectual property of Cloverdale Pharmacy Ltd - reproduction in part or whole without written consent and permission is prohibited.

Back to Featured Articles