Nutritional Supplements May Help Keep Those Sniffling, Sneezing Symptoms at Bay
Cold and flu season has arrived, which means the potential could be high for lots of sniffling co-workers and children who need to stay home from school.
Vaccinations help many people stave off the flu, but a number of Americans also try an alternative approach, using nutritional supplements in their efforts to stay healthy.
“Certain herbs, mushroom extracts and other natural compounds contain powerful antiviral properties,” says Naum Burman, the founder and researcher for BioLab Rx (www.biolabrx.com), a dietary supplement company.
“Combine them together and you can get a natural boost to your immune system.”
Such over-the-counter products as BioLab Rx’s Immune Super Plus do that by increasing the body’s natural defense cells, which are crucial to the body’s defense against bacterial and viral infection.
“The body’s own immune system is probably our best defense,” Burman says. “But illness, stress, medical therapies, diet and lack of sleep can all compromise our immune system. That’s why it can help to give the immune system a boost.”
He notes that it’s always important to check the ingredients, instructions and warnings for any over-the-counter supplement. Immune Super Plus, for example, is only for adults 18 and older and shouldn’t be taken by pregnant or nursing women.
The flu season routinely takes a toll on Americans. According to the Centers for Disease Control:
• The timing of flu is unpredictable and can vary in different parts of the country and from season to season. Most seasonal flu activity typically occurs between October and May. Flu activity most commonly peaks in the United States between December and February.
• It’s estimated that each year an average of 5 percent to 20 percent of the U.S. population gets the flu and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from seasonal flu-related complications.
• Estimating the number of flu-related deaths can be difficult because death certificates don’t always specify flu as the cause. But there’s little doubt that flu seasons can be severe. The CDC, for example, reported that over a period of 30 years, between 1976 and 2006, estimates of flu-associated deaths in the United States ranged from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people. Some people, such as older people, young children, pregnant women, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications.
In addition to vaccines, the CDC suggests several preventive measures, such as washing your hands frequently, keeping a distance from those who are ill and staying home yourself if possible when you are sick.
Burman says that supplements also provide an extra measure of prevention, and plenty of people apparently agree. The Nutrition Business Journal has reported that Americans spend well over $1 billion a year on supplements to help boost immunity and ward off cold and flu.
Burman, originally from Europe, essentially was born into his interest in maintaining health through nature. He grew up in a family where herbs and natural cures were common and knowledge of herbs and their use was the norm. As an adult, Burman continued his research, traveling through Asian, European and Middle Eastern countries so he could gather herbal knowledge from cultures around the world.
Armed with that knowledge, he founded BioLab Rx, which also produces natural products for hair loss, joint pain, migraine headaches and other conditions or ailments. “I thought this would be a good way to combine the wisdom of the ages with today’s newest technology,” he says.