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Author Topic: Is taking an immune booster a good idea?  (Read 3163 times)

Offline Eric A. Taylor

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Is taking an immune booster a good idea?
« on: 08/12/2010 08:08:32 »
There are several products that are advertised to have the ability to boost your immune system. With so many autoimmune disorders where the immune system attacks the body, or in allergic reaction, which is a too powerful reaction of the immune system. And now with the findings mentioned in the NS program of flu killing by an overreaction of the IS. Is boosting it a good idea, assuming you don't suffer from an illness that makes it weak like AIDS.


 

SteveFish

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Is taking an immune booster a good idea?
« Reply #1 on: 08/12/2010 17:44:18 »
If you are talking about non prescription natural products, it is just a bunch of hokum.
 

Offline Eric A. Taylor

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Is taking an immune booster a good idea?
« Reply #2 on: 09/12/2010 09:40:32 »
If you are talking about non prescription natural products, it is just a bunch of hokum.
Is hokum the English version of Bull S***
 

Offline CliffordK

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Is taking an immune booster a good idea?
« Reply #3 on: 09/12/2010 11:20:10 »
Yes...  you could probably equate "hokum" and "BS".

There are many "active ingredients" in natural products.  And, many of our early drugs such as Aspirin are based on natural compounds.  Not to mention Coffee, Tea, Alcohol, etc.

The Traditional Chinese approach is to maintain balance within the body.  Their view may be very foreign in its application to how Western Practitioners may view disease.  There is probably some element of the Placebo effect, and some element of being very effective with simple remedies.

The Western approach to Chinese medicine, however, is to take the basic concepts completely out of context.  And, market narrow aspects of it as the new "wonder drug".  And, they often make outrageous claims without basic research to back it up (then in fine print say it isn't really a drug, thus not controlled by the FDA).

My approach is to never take anything that I am not 100% sure that I really need.

Will you get super immune boosting?  Probably not?

And...  yes, a large part of the symptoms experienced with any acute disease is your own immune system response.  Nonetheless, I doubt these wonder drugs will make your temperature spike higher, or your lungs secrete significantly more mucus.  And...  if it doesn't amplify the negative aspects of your immune response while under attack, then perhaps it isn't doing what it is marketed to do...  or it is doing exactly what the Chinese Physician would prescribe it for (not the Western Marketing Agency)  :-\

Keep in mind, without the basic research, you don't know what all the side-effects are.

Also... be careful.  There is another chain about a person taking artificial Erythropoietin.  It is synthesized to "boost the blood"...  and it does it.  It is also banned by most major sports organizations as a blood doping agent.  I.E.  if you take something, know what you are taking, and why you are taking it.
 

SteveFish

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Is taking an immune booster a good idea?
« Reply #4 on: 09/12/2010 16:12:13 »
I should expand. The way we can boost the immune system safely is by vaccination. This is a very limited and precise mechanism that closely mimics a natural process. Most people don't have any idea of how incredibly complex our immune system is. It is a delicately balanced system with many checks and balances built in, and the very thought of messing with this with any product or procedure that hasn't undergone a lot of research and multiple trials with research animals is scary. Fortunately products sold as any kind of alternative medicine, including Chinese, that claim to affect the immune system are just hokum.
 

Offline Variola

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Is taking an immune booster a good idea?
« Reply #5 on: 09/12/2010 21:20:13 »
Autoimmune diseases are not caused by an over boosted immune system, just one that is not quite as well trained as it should be.

The immune system needs various trace elements and co-factors to work at it's very optimum, but these can be obtained from a good healthy diet. Most immune boosting products are based on that idea, but some claim various extracts of plants or whatever can be beneficial, personally I would avoid those.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Is taking an immune booster a good idea?
« Reply #6 on: 10/12/2010 02:58:33 »
In a classic autoimmune disease such as Type 1 Diabetes, the body's immune system targets normal cells in the body such as the pancreatic beta cells.

Correct, it is more than an overstimulated immune system, but rather an error which we don't completely understand the causes of.  Perhaps it is a response to a disease that has too little specificity.

Vaccines are given to prevent diseases, or morbidity/mortality associated with the diseases. 

Rubella is given to boys, even though the disease is no worse than chicken pox in boys...  the risk only occurs when the disease is acquired by pregnant women.  But, the decision was that the best way to prevent the pregnancy risk was vaccination of everyone, and essentially eliminating the disease from the population.

The HPV virus likewise has minimal morbidity in boys...  but causes a risk of cancer in women... but with that one, the decision was just to vaccinate the girls and not the boys. 

Anyway, I guess I'm rambling.
Personally I haven't chosen to get the Flu vaccine as I'm not in a high risk of infection group at the moment, and it doesn't save me from morbidity.  Perhaps I'll change my mind in 30 years.

You certainly don't need to go out and get every vaccine known to man regardless of your exposure risk.  Your actions should be consistent with your actual or potential risk.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Is taking an immune booster a good idea?
« Reply #6 on: 10/12/2010 02:58:33 »

 

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