I've typically had a pretty weak immune system all my life. During the winter I'll get sick on average at least once a month, and have at least one major illness that will last a week or two. This winter is when I started eating primal and it has been the worst that I can remember. Since the beginning of the winter I've gotten sick at least once every two weeks, and have had a very bad, lingering cough ever since the first one that has been non-stop for close to two months. I'm not saying I believe eating primal is causing things to get worse, because this has been a particularly bad winter, but I'm surprised it hasn't improved things at all for me. I get plenty of sleep, exercise almost every day, eat a strict primal diet, take all the recommended supplements and have a relatively stress free life. On top of that I am very aggressive about avoiding people who are sick.
What else can I be doing to improve my immune system and prevent getting sick so often?
Find out if you are sufficient in Vitamin D by getting tested. You may take all the recommended supplements and still be deficient--and may need to up your dosage. It can also take 3-6 months (sometimes more) to get your levels up if you recently started taking D.
I was deficient in my last blood test and have upped my dose to 1000 IU/day for the last 3 months. Should I go higher? Anything else I should look into?
Originally Posted by Dragonfly
I hope you meant 10,000 IUs?!
How deficient were you? The amount you need to supplement depends on several factors including age, weight, and amount of deficiency. I have pretty much stopped getting colds since getting my levels up to normal - I used to catch ever cold that went around. I needed a LOT of D before I was able to normalize my levels.
Astragalus, beta glucans, curcumin, ashwagandha, theanine, and a good undenatured whey protein are all potential immune boosting supplements.
Vitamin D3 component 24-hydroxy D Total: 23
Optimum levels are 25-80
The comment on my lab work was to take a 1,000 units of vitamin D daily, so I take a D-1000 IU pill every day.
Is that not correct?
Seems a bit low based on the levels I read people advising for people that don't have test data. I'm doing 10,000 IU.
Originally Posted by elektro
Based on your first post, you seem to be on top of things. Any possible environmental problems from being inside, like mold?
Ouch! 23 is pretty low. Read the Vitamin D Council link I posted.
Originally Posted by elektro
The Vitamin D Council recommendation is 1,000 IUs per 25 lbs of body weight (obtained by sun exposure, tanning and/or supplements.)
That 1,000 IUs is doing very little to increase your level. You want to aim for 55-65 ng/ml. I'd suggest 10,000 IUs for 3 months to get your level up and test again.
Take an oil-based D3 gel cap. Carlson's Solar D Gems are great. Good prices on iherb.com.
For example: I tested at 91 ng/ml after 1 year taking 8,000 IUs. I am 125 lbs and now I take 6,000 IUs daily (not enough sun this time of year at this latitude to get enough from being outside.) I take a bit more as I aim to keep my level around 80 ng/ml, since I have a history of inflammation-related illness. I'll be testing again in June.
Don't worry about taking other supplements (except perhaps magnesium), until you get your D levels up. I haven't been sick at all since I started supplementing D. Neither has my husband. Whereas, most of my friends (who don't supplement) have been sick a lot this winter.
Last edited by Dragonfly; 03-31-2011 at 10:57 PM.
Make sure you are taking D3. My levels tested out similar to yours and prescribed weekly megadoses of 50,000iu of D2 did not budge it over 3 months. I switched to 5000 iu daily of Sundown D3 gel caps and in about a month my levels were perfect.