- Q&A Columns
- Contest Photos
- Contest Results
- Athlete Profiles
- Product Reviews
Boosting Immunity With Supplements
QUESTION: What supplements can I take to increase the strength of my immune system? As a bodybuilder looking to pack on mass, should I even really care about this?
ANSWER: Overtraining can compromise immune health by increasing cortisol production, which KO’s production of T cells (immune system soldiers). Strong 6-tablet-a-day multivitamins support immune function, but adding optimal potencies of vitamin D3 and N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) helps even more. In a six-year 18,883 person study, upper respiratory infections were reduced 36 percent with optimal vitamin D. This beats the heck out of any data on vitamin C, although 3 to 6,000 mg per day of vitamin C reduces cortisol and supports immune strength, too. Vitamin D3 turns up your body’s production of 200 or so anti-microbial peptides, your body’s germ killers. I strongly suggest taking an “OH vitamin D” blood test two months after you start taking whatever dose of vitamin D you choose to make sure your blood levels are high enough. It takes two months for blood levels to stabilize. Ideal OH vitamin D blood levels are between 40 and 60 ng/mL. Most people measure about 25. I take 5,000 IU’s of extra vitamin D3, and my OH vitamin D measures 49 ng/mL. NAC at 1,200 mg per day (600 mg twice a day) reduced flu misery 54 percent better than placebo in a one-year study. I like the Jarrow brand slow release NAC to keep it working longer. Zinc and selenium boost immune health, too, so that the strong multivitamin you’re taking should have at least 30 mg of zinc and 200 mcg of selenium. Actually, I take 400 mcg per day of extra yeast-based selenium, like SelenoExcell, in addition to the 250 mcg in my multi.
If you want Michael Mooney to answer one of your questions, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.medibolics.com. Check out his book "Built To Survive" which is the leading resource on the use of diet, exercise, supplements, steroids and other drugs to improve the health quality of those infected with HIV or those with compromised immunity. There are vast bodybuilding applications to these teachings.