Bottom Line/HEALTH: There’s near panic going on with ebola, enterovirus, and who knows whatever other creepy viruses are running around this year—or always running around. So is there anything that people should be taking to boost their immune system that can actually protect them a little better while the CDC seems not to be able to give us a protective version?
Andrew Rubman, ND: The vaccines need to be manufactured. Viruses are particularly tricky to get over on. So what you really need to do is to improve your host resistance. You’re right with that idea. Frame it around good lifestyle and diet and nutrition, obviously.
Bottom Line It always starts there.
Dr. Rubman: Of course. And then add on to that an antioxidant piggyback. What am I talking about? C, beta-carotene, vitamin E and zinc. Now, the caveat is, in addition to that, do you want to take some additional vitamin C? Can’t hurt. Do you want to take a dark berry and fruit extract of some sort to potentiate the vitamin C? Can’t hurt. What about specifics that are good antivirals that can be added in? Three come to mind—goldenseal, or hydrastis, echinacea—any of the species are good—and an extract of an extract called lomatium isolate, which is very good against the common cold and oftentimes against herpes viruses. So if you really want to go all out, those are the things you should include.
Bottom Line: Let me ask you, though—healthy fruits and vegetables, then vitamin C, zinc, vitamin E and beta-carotene.
Dr. Rubman: Correct.
Bottom Line: If I just take a multi, which generally has those in there, is that enough?
Dr. Rubman: The multi is a good underlayment. I’m thinking about something that is specifically focused on providing antioxidant benefit. There’s a product that I helped to design—that I don’t get any money from—called Opti Biotic, which is made by Eclectic Institute, that I like. It has a little bit of hydrastis that I mentioned in it, and a little bit of red pepper to help it cut through the fog.
Bottom Line: So taking those on an ongoing basis to just keep the tissues healthy and to keep your immune system boosted. Now, in terms of the goldenseal, the lomatium the echinacea, are those done prophylactically, or just once when symptoms occur?
Dr. Rubman They’re best used as symptoms occur, particularly with the echnicea and the lomatium. There are some people who choose to use the goldenseal seasonally. They know that they’re vulnerable when fall goes into winter and winter comes back to spring because of the effects of the change in season, and therefore they’ll use the goldenseal.
Bottom Line: All right. A little immune-boosting. Thank you, Dr. Rubman.