A pioneer and leading authority in integrative medicine and personalized health care, Dr. Richard Firshein is here to save us all from flu season. Below are his top tips to boost your immune system (supplements!) and keep your health intact (blood tests!) this time of year…
Q: You provide blood testing for immunity—what are you usually looking for?
A: I generally like to do a blood test for nutrient levels and look at C, D and B12 levels. When it comes to immunity anything that makes people more vulnerable can play a role. Another example would be low iron anemia and low natural-killer cell levels
Q: What supplements for flu season do you recommend for immunity and/or to avoid the flu altogether?
A: Since vitamin D and melatonin have been implicated in lowered immune response, these are the two that I start with. Supplementing with immune boosters like cordyceps are also great. I also recommend zinc and vitamin C.
Q: You encourage patients to use a humidifier at home. Tell us more on that.
A: The flu virus does not seem to like humidity, or it may be that mucous membranes are more stable in humidity. Either way, humidify your home. Shop Here
Q: What are your top recommendations for us if we’ve already come down with the flu?
A: The same supplements listed above are important to maintain a proper immune response. Making sure you are well hydrated and eating well is important. I usually recommend people discontinue intermittent fasting, for instance. Sleep is crucial and not rushing back to work or school too quickly since the real risks occur after the flu with respiratory infections and the like.