Is an immune defense supplement good for someone with advanced emphysema?

1 answer | Last updated: Oct 23, 2016
Awais asked...

Is GNC Immune defense good for a 67 year old suffering from advanced emphysema? He is immuno-compromised with 43 Kg weight and over growing normal lung flora like pseudomonas and aspergillus infections. The GNC immune defense contains Zinc, Vitamin C, arabinoglactan, cranberry, elderberry and black tea leaves extract.


Expert Answers

Beth Reardon, M.S., R.D., L.D.N., is Caring.com senior food and nutrition editor and the director of integrative nutrition at Duke Integrative Medicine. As a practitioner of integrative nutrition, Reardon takes a holistic approach to wellness, recognizing that the foundation for optimal health and healing begins with a health-promoting diet. As a practitioner of integrative nutrition, Reardon takes a holistic approach to wellness, recognizing that the foundation for optimal health and healing begins with a health-promoting diet.

Emphysema sufferers have greater nutritional demands, particularly in the advanced stages of the disease when lung function becomes compromised and breathing is difficult. Without the ability to clear the lungs the risk of infection is increased. For this reason, proper functioning of the immune system is critical. The supplement that you are inquiring about, GNC Immune Defense, appears to be generally supportive of immune function, however it cannot substitute for the immune boosting benefits provided by a healthy diet. Eating can be an exhausting exercise, so it is important also to choose foods that are both easy to eat and provide the greatest benefit. Here are some suggestions "“ best of luck!

  1. Eat fruits and vegetables *These provide vitamins A & C which help the body respond with an increased production of white blood cells. Garlic, mushrooms, red peppers, papaya, butternut squash, collards, spinach all have positive effects on immunity as well.

  2. Focus on healthy fats *Too much fat of the wrong type of fat in the diet will impair immunity. Choose omega 3s fats from cold water fish and flaxseed in addition and monounsaturated fats from extra virgin olive oil, avocado, nuts (Brazil nuts), seeds and nut butters.

  3. Choose lean protein sources *Amino acids found in these foods are the building blocks of the body's cells "“ including cells that power up the immune system.

  4. Select a good multi vitamin Also consider a good B 50 or B100 vitamin complex if not provided in your multivitamin. Check for sufficient amounts Vitamins A, C, E, Selenium, Zn (at least 15- 18 mg) folic acid (not more that 400 mg) and vitamin D3.

  5. Consume friendly bacteria Yogurt with live active cultures or kefir drinks are good sources of healthy bacteria or "probiotics". Probiotics are bacteria that stimulate the immune system and help to detoxify harmful substances. Look for "live active cultures" on the label. Inulin: A form of prebiotic (which serves as a food source for probiotics) "“ These are indigestible fibers found in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and some yogurts. They also give a boost to lymphocytes and antibodies.