An immune system compromised by Lyme disease needs all the help it can get to help fight Borrelia and the party of pathogens it invites into the body. One way to keep the immune kicking is through the aid of oral supplements designed to enhance the effects of different groups of immune cells.
First, Lyme tends to dimish the presence of a subset of immune cells called CD-57 cells. These are NK, or killer cells, that are known for their amazing ability to recognize and quickly destroy virus, cancer and other harmful cells upon contact. Decreased levels of NK cells are associated with chronic infections and other immune problems. One way to powerfully increase these cells is by transferring immunity from a healthy animal host via colostrum, (first mother’s milk after birth), which is loaded with nutrients. The colostrum is appropriately called Transfer Factor. NK Support is one good product to try.
Cordyceps mushroom, in addition to being known as a wonderful energy-enhancer, is likewise known to boost NK production.
As a sidenote, it’s important for the body to have the nutrients it needs to build NK cells. You can’t stimulate them if there is no substance for them to be built from in the first place. Ensuring an adequate intake of amino acids, particularly L-arginine and L-lysine, is important. The latter two can be found in a variety of foods.
Another subset of immune cells involved in gobbling up microbes are called macrophages, whose name literally means “big eater.” These dudes swallow germs and foreign proteins whole, and one engulfed, they destroy or neutralize them. They are the vacuum cleaners of the immune system and scarf down anything that isn’t healthy body tissue. To stimulate this class of immune cells, Beta-1, 3-glucan, which is a simple sugar derived from the cell wall of a type of yeast, can be taken. Fortunately, products containing this sugar are thought not to provoke allergic reactions in those that have trouble with yeast.
Next, immune function can be enhanced by supporting the thymus, that little gland that sits behind the sternum in the chest, and whose principal task is to release proteins that stimulate white blood cells. It is like a thermostat, regulating the optimal release of immune cells for the body’s use. Taking thymus gland from a healthy cow is thought to support optimal function of this gland. ProBoost is one great product to try (though not easy on the wallet).
Finally, one superstar amino acid complex vital for immune function is L-glutathione. In addition to being a free-radical scavenger, it supports the activity of a group of white blood cells
called lymphocytes (the key players in the body’s immune response and which are comprised of several subtypes, including antibodies). Without glutathione, lymphocytes cannot do their job properly.
The tricky thing about glutathione is getting enough of it. Since it’s produced in the liver and many Lymies have liver trouble, the body may not have an adequate amount to offer the immune system. While glutathione can be taken intravenously, intramuscularly, and even orally, it is a costly way to get enough of the stuff. Another option is to take products containing glutathione precursors, including glutamic acid, cysteine and glycine. Immunocal, www.immunocal.com, is one product that contains all three aminos.