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Immune Modulators? Or boosters? Confused yet?

We all know that Lyme disease sufferers have “messed up” immune systems. So, most of us have explored the idea of taking supplements which “boost” or “modulate” the immune system. To “modulate” the immune system really just means, to boost some parts of the immune system while reducing other parts of immune function.

If you are a bit scared about modulation, I don’t blame you, since modulation really does lower some aspects of immunity, even while it boosts other parts of immune function.

For example, let’s take cannabis. While cannabis has been shown to decrease Lyme symptoms and provide brain benefits, some studies also demonstrate that it suppresses the immune system and can be bad for infectious diseases!

Medicinal mushrooms, which I am also a big fan of (check the archives of this blog for several posts on this topic), are also immune modulators. These mushrooms upregulate some parts of the immune system and downregulate other parts. In fact, there are several high-level PhD scientists who believe that the cancer-fighting benefits of medicinal mushrooms may not be related to their immune impact at all, but to some other, yet-undiscovered effect. Pretty interesting.

So, what’s a Lyme sufferer to do? Of course, please consult your doctor before doing anything! But, here is where my thinking is on this topic. The answer depends on which scenario you fall into. Most Lyme sufferers will fall into one of two scenarios.

SCENARIO #1: Your infections are mostly gone or under control, but your body is still very messed up and has a lot of residual inflammation and damage. You may be suffering from various autoimmune diseases, inflammatory symptoms, and other issues, but you are pretty sure the infections aren’t to blame anymore — maybe you don’t even herx on anti-bacterial treatments anymore. If you fall into this category, you may be a better candidate for immune “modulators”, such as cannabis, medicinal mushrooms, low dose naltrexone, etc.

SCENARIO #2: You are actively battling big flareups of infections like Borrelia, Bartonella, and Babesia. You are sure your active symptoms are caused by infections. Sure, you may have other issues like heavy metals and autoimmune disease, but you can clearly tell you are fighting infections.

Just recently, I’ve managed to put together a supplement protocol for people in Scenario #2. I’m very pleased with this protocol, and it has helped me a ton since my big flareup last year which involved the introduction of a new tetanus infection. I’m excited to share these supplements with you for people in Scenario #2. I call them the “Big 4 Immune Boosters.” These supplements do have some immune modulation properties, but mostly they are immune system BOOSTERS, meaning they upregulate the immune system more than they down regulate it. These are some powerful tools, not to be thought of as natural trinkets inferior to conventional antibiotics.

The Big 4 Immune Boosters

  1. AHCC (active hexose correlated compound) This is a heavy-hitter for immune boosting. Check out all the studies. There is also a research foundation dedicated to AHCC. This is one of my favorite products of all time. Purchase here.
  2. Beta Glucan. This is one of the few supplements that doesn’t downregulate any part of the immune system, and is even recommended by the Mayo Clinic to boost Natural Killer Cells. I absolutely love this product. According to one source I have who was a patient at the Mayo Clinic, this is the brand recommended by the Mayo Clinic.
  3. Colostrum: Most of us have heard of Colostrum, and it is a powerful immune system activator. I use the plain and simple Now Brand Colostrum, which I’ve had very good results with.
  4. Lactoferrin: This is an interesting product and specifically works to try to keep iron away from microorganisms which use iron to survive. I’ve had very good results with this product.

When taken together, these 4 products pack a big punch and can really rev up the immune system against foreign invaders. Of course, everyone is different, so be sure to ask your doctor first. I also recommend starting on them one at a time, so that you can pinpoint if any of them have undesirable effects or side effects. Personally, I take all of them on an empty stomach once or twice a day, and have had incredible results.

There are even studies which show that if someone has a suppressed immune system, and you boost the immune system, that not only do you succeed in fighting infections, but there can also be an elevated mood, better sleep, more energy, and a more positive life outlook! That’s because the immune system and brain function are closely related.

In the end, finding out whether you are in SCENARIO 1 or SCENARIO 2 can be tricky, and you may alternate back and forth for the course of your sickness. It may take some detective work with a doctor to decide which supplements will help the most. Trial and error may be required. And remember, some items that suppress the immune system (like cortisone steroids) may actually make you FEEL better in the short term, but may damage the immune system in the long term! So be careful and make sure you have expert assistance from a doctor.

I would also like to point out that there are some supplements which are very specifically targeted toward helping Lyme disease, one such supplement is Curcumin. While curcumin is an immune modulator, not strictly an immune system booster, it has been studied by many Lyme experts including Dr. Horowitz, and been found to be of benefit in Lyme disease. So, don’t get overly hung up with the distinction between boosting and modulating – remember to also take into account the clinical experience of professionals LLMD’s. My favorite curcumin is a patented version called “C3” curcumin, which uses three separate parts of the plant to give maximum benefit. I highly recommend it.

There are many other immune modulators and boosters which we will be looking at in the coming months. A very important and useful topic!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Cash Johnny

    Glad to see you mentioned my buddy Dr. H….on the Turmric..found some didn’t get much from the pill even with the black pepper….but did when just put Turmeric in warm water and drank it warm….??? On the Lactoferrin….umm makes me think of the Interphase plus…if I spelled that right….but that for me worked in pulse with ABX or Cat’s Claw and the such……more of a biofilm hitter…. Colostrum….is a must…I like to add a Zinc lounge if a perhaps cold is coming on. A question here for me is…..the Beta Glucan…I’ll ignore the fact that the Mayo Clinic is NOT LYME SMART…at all…..however on the Cancer end they maybe….and that’s really where the Beta G comes from…..but appears to serve many different purposes, my only question is….can you use this product if you are severely effected by Candida?(very popular with Lyme Victims regardless if they do or don’t take ABX) You mentioned the LDN in here…..thought that was interesting…..It’s also been said about LDN that it’s a good tester…..for what level you are at with Lyme…I’ve heard many say that they had to hold off with the LDN due to the herx’s being too awful, even with the low low low dose…..so they had to hold off the LDN till they got more of the Lyme under control……..OUT! more likely……. as always find your thoughts and what you share totally awesome and helpful…..Out of much you mention…only one topic we’ve hit several times is the Vit D issue….and I don’t take the Marshall protocal at any value going against the Vit D….I’m still in disagreement there…..Long time ago, I did a deep study in the Vit D….as I believe you should get as much sun as you can to get it that way(not on Doxy of course) but it holds a value and is important for many to have and get. I will have to see some side by side …strong pro’s and con’s on that topic, cuz I’m still on the fence there… 😉 Best regards to all

  • Bryan Rosner

    Great points and questions. I have done fine with Beta Glucan despite yeast issues. On LDN, that’s interesting, usually it is the opposite – most Lyme sufferers say LDN actually HELPS them treat more aggressively because it reduces herxes! I guess this highlights just how individual we are.

  • Cash Johnny

    Yes, I agree we for sure with this disease can be individual, not just in treatments….but I’ve got a friend older than me…never has treated his Lyme….doing better than me and most…what!? Give me some of your blood! 😉 Thank you on the Beta Glucan, I am going to give that a try, I’ve got alot of my Candida under control. I could be all wet, but it seems to me that my yeast issues pick up the more aggressively treat for Lyme and Bart, kinda a fine line for me. On the LDN topic…yeah…you know what I wish, that we could take every poor soul that has Lyme(too short a word) to one site, where over all of us Half a Million infected Victims “rate” one thing(treatment) at a time…like the LDN and see what the % is in pro’s and con’s….we also have to take into account that there is some margin to error…it could be that other things caused a certain reaction and we think it’s the newest thing, After all have you heard of a Lyme Victim only taking one thing(treatment, herb abx etc)? Eating only Salad? Drinking only Braggs ACV? 😉 Some of us are active, some of us are not…..or can’t……. What’s stir ‘in in my mind right now is I just read a post by Greg Lee, it appealed to me cuz Eva Sapi came up with it years ago…. STEVIA… many claim herx’s…many claim it works??????????????????? Byran have you done any of your own person study’s or thoughts on this?

  • Bryan Rosner

    Stevia is a fantastic tool for Lyme, especially concentrated Stevia like the Nutramedix brand. Not a silver bullet, though.