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Home > The Four Pillars of Great Health - Your Key to a Healthy Immune System

Dave Foreman

The Four Pillars of Great Health - Your Key to a Healthy Immune System

by Dave Foreman

Volume 7, Issue 4
- Repair And Recovery
- Homeopathy May Be The Relief You Are Looking For
- Antioxidants For Serious Health Concerns
- Acne (And Other Acne Related Skin Issues)
- Arrhythmias
- Using Tonics To Improve Your Health
- Ask The Herbal Pharmacist
- Herbal Pharmacist Health Update
- Smart Weight Loss Options
- Allergy Relief Alternatives
- Focus: Women's Health
- Menopause Symptom Relief
- Focus: Men's Healths
- Ask The Herbal Pharmacist
- Antioxidants for Blood Sugar Control
- Bone Health 101
- The Basics for Healthy Eyes
- Uterine Fibroids (revisited)
- Wait Before You Cut!

- Holiday Travel Tips
- Time for a Tune Up
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Energy: Who needs more?
- PCOS-Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
- Heavy Legs
- Stay Hydrated this Summer
- Lower Back Problems-Sciatica
- Antioxidants for Cardiovascular Health
- Prostate Health: not just an old manís concern
- Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Fats? Good for you?
- Prostatitis
- Superfoods
- Timing your Training Supplements
- Juice Up Your Life with Superjuices
- Infant Corner-Homeopathy
- Foundational Health
- Top Toxins
- Fall Cleansing
- Heart Health
- Protein Recovery and Repair
- High Blood Pressure
- Tart Cherries
- Infant Corner: DHA
- Healthy Digestion: Is it possible?
- Holiday Gift Ideas
- Herbal Tea
- Tired, moody, canít sleep? It might be STRESS.
- Infant Corner: Healthy Digestion
- Healthy Aging
- Breast Cancer
- Get a Jump on the Winter Cold and Flu Season
- Children's Essentials: No-Guilt Popsicles
- Infant Corner: Breastfeeding - Energize Yourself
- Is Beauty Only Skin Deep?
- Hot Health Tip: Swimmer's Ear
- Infant Corner: Teething
- Understanding Homeopathy
- Green Foods Supplements
- Amino Acids
- Dry Eyes
- Infant Corner: Diaper Rash
- Blood Sugar Control
- The Herbal Pharmacist Consultation:Blood Sugar Concerns & More
- Sciatic Issues?
- Separating Myths From The Facts About Probiotics
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Infant Corner: Cradle Cap
- Swine Flu and Flu Season Worries:
- The Herbal Pharmacist Consultation:Weight Loss
- Quick Tips For Hypertension
- New Year's Resolutions
- A Natural Approach to Ear Infections
- Unraveling The Vitamin D Story
- Infant Corner: Prenatal Care
- Protein-Hype Or Hope
- Drug-Nutrient Interactions
- PMS-Something New
- Guide To Designing Your Supplement Regimen
- Why Can't I Sleep?
- Infant Corner: Developmental Support
- Hints for a Clearer Complexion
- Dental Tips
- Infant Corner
- Breast Cancer
- Healthy Aging
- Infant health corner
- Immune Support
- Secrets of Healthy Fats Revealed
- 4 Steps to Building a Healthy You–Step 4
- Chia seeds part II
- Healthy fats revisited
- Prostate health
- Infant health corner
- Fish oil & coq10
- 4 Steps to Building a Healthy You–Step 3
- Quick Tips for Women
- Bone Health
- Skin Health
- Quick Tips for Men
- Quick Fix For Allergy Sufferers
- 4 Steps to Building a Healthy You–Step 2
- Beauty Sleep
- Eye Health
- Weight Loss
- 4 Steps to Building a Healthy You
- Holiday Digestion
- Winter Dry Skin Tips
- Alzheimer's Disease
- TMJ Syndrome
- Breast Cancer Facts
- Bone Health
- Healthy Aging
- Children's Supplements
- Chia Seed the new superfood
- Understanding Chromium
- Water perhaps the most critical nutrient
- Stress! Tips to relax
- Allergy Tips
- There's A New CoQ10 In Town
- Tired? Quick tips for getting your energy level up
- Fats: Good For You?
- Flu Season
- Go Away Aches & Pains
- Oh!!My Aching Back
- Ear Infections
- How Sporty Are You
- No Bones About It
- Nattokinase
- Diabetic Retinopathy
- Fiber
- Skin Cancer
- Sleep Problems
- Specific Herbs For Men
- Cleansing
- Nails
- Probiotics
- Specific Herbs for Women
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Your Breath Stinks
- Blood Pressure
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome(CFS)
- Colorectal Cancer
- Uterine Fibroid
- The Eyes Have It
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
-Putting Out the Fire
- Solving America's Energy Crisis
- Natural Gum Care
- Jazz Up Your Life with Juice
- Natural Relief for SAD
- Immunity Know-How
- Stop Smoking!!
- Let's Talk About Irregularity
- Free Radicals
- Asthma
- Memory Problems
- L-Carnitine
- Men's Health
- Women's Health
- The Four Pillars of Great Health
- Blood Sugar Control
- Probiotics
- Supplement Interactions
- Are You Consumer Smart?
- Digestive Blues
- Taking Control of Stress
- Heart Health
- Pycnogenol®
- Seasonal Affective Disorder
- Greens
- Is Beauty Only Skin Deep?
- Happy (and Healthy) Trails to You!

Dave Foreman, RPh, ND is a pharmacist, Naturopathic Doctor, author, television commentator, radio host and practitioner of natural living and holistic approaches to better health. His weekly radio program is broadcast throughout North America. Dave is currently a contributing columnist for Pharmacy Today magazine and several other natural health publications.

The beginning of the winter season also marks the beginning of cold and flu season. What's a person to do? Fortunately, there are some easy steps we can all take to help maintain optimal health during the season.

The “Four Pillars of Great Health,” as I like to call them, play a huge role in your immune health, regardless of the season or exposure. These “pillars” include:

  • Supplementation (vitamins, herbs, etc.)
  • Diet (what you eat)
  • Exercise (activity)
  • Mental Health (spirituality/stress management)

These are truly the four keys to staying healthy throughout the holiday season – and all year long.


Take a walk into any local full service health food store and you’ll find a huge area of natural products for immune support. Where should you begin? You need to first understand what these supplements will be doing for your immune system. There are supplements for the immediate relief of immune system compromise; and others that can be used for prevention over the long term.

Herbal Relief

Echinacea has gained worldwide acknowledgement for its immune-stimulating properties. Echinacea is also effective in reducing the duration and severity of symptoms of the common cold, and may be beneficial for upper respiratory infections in the elderly (Phytomedicine. 1999 Mar; 6(1):1-6; J Fam Pract. 1999 Aug; 48(8):628-35). I must add that taking Echinacea to “prevent” the common cold has not been proven and therefore is only recommended for the first onset of cold and flu symptoms. Vitamin C(ascorbic acid) may help to improve immune function and relieve cold and flu symptoms. Researchers found that high doses of vitamin C decreased cold symptoms, compared to those who only took pain relievers and decongestants. (J Clin Epidemiol. 1996 Oct; 49(10):1079-84). Zinc Gluconateis another outstanding supplement for acute cold symptoms. Clinical research has shown that using Zinc Gluconate lozenges produces a reduction in the duration of cold symptoms. (Ann Intern Med. 1996 Jul 15; 125(2):81-8). People generally experience fewer days of coughing, headache, hoarseness, nasal congestion, nasal drainage, and sore throat. Esberitox® is an herbal blend containing two types of Echinacea, Thuja and Wild Indigo, which synergistically stimulate the immune system. This product has over 30 clinical studies supporting its health benefits and safety. Lastly, Black Elderberryhas shown to have antiviral properties against several different strains of the influenza virus in canine kidney cells. (J Altern Complement Med. 1995 Winter; 1(4):361-9). Black Elderberry has shown to reduce the duration of influenza-like symptoms on average of four days earlier than placebo. (J Int Med Res. 2004 Mar-Apr; 32(2):132-40).

Support for the Long Haul

There are many different supplements that can help you maintain a healthy immune system. Some work directly with the immune system, adding support; while others work indirectly, helping the body adapt (adaptogenic herbs) to the daily stresses it’s placed under. Beta Glucanexists in nature in the cell wall of Brewer’s yeast (WGP®) or from medicinal mushrooms (Maitake D-fraction). Beta glucans have powerful immune boosting properties. WGP® Beta Glucan is in the purified form and has shown to positively impact the immune system over long periods of time without harm. Beta-glucans in general have been useful in modulating (not stimulating) the body’s natural immune defenses . Lastly, Probiotics have demonstrated immune-stimulating effects. Probiotics are known as the “friendly” bacteria or “flora” found in your digestive system (primarily the small and large intestine). Lactobacillus acidophilus is perhaps the probiotic that most people are familiar with, yet there are many other types of probiotics now on the market.

A Note of Caution

A word of precaution for those with autoimmune diseases: many of the supplements used for immune support are not recommended for those with autoimmune conditions. Your immune system is already hyperactive. Adding an immune stimulating supplement to your daily regimen would be adding fuel to the fire. Please consult with a qualified health care provider before using any natural health supplement.


Consider your diet, or eating habits. A lcohol consumption has been shown to compromise the proper function of the immune system (Alcohol and Alcoholism Vol. 34, No. 6, pp. 830-841, 1999). Start with some simple behavior modification to stay healthier. Instead of consuming sweets and drinks at parties and gatherings, try just sampling the good things. If you feel like you are “coming down with something,” then avoid alcohol completely.


Around the holidays, we often have less time for proper rest and exercise. Hectic schedules and traveling can take you out of your routine as far as an exercise regimen. The new year can bring resolutions and new commitments to exercise. But colder weather often results in a lower level of activity, too, since we don’t get outside as much. Try to take advantage of the benefits of moderate exercise on immune function -but be careful about prolonged or intense exercise, which can temporarily increase your risk of infection. Just maintaining an increased activity level for 30 minutes a day can help.


The holidays often bring increased stress, as we are forced to deal more with things like family visits, travel and financial concerns. These stress factors place even more pressure on your already weakened immune system, even after the holidays are over. While it may be impossible to factor stress out of your life, do try to take time for yourself. Meditate, pray, talk with friends, walk in the woods or do whatever serves to support your well-being. In the long run, it will serve your immune system, too.

Remember, you can take that stroll down the vitamin store aisle and find many other effective immune supporting and stimulating products. This article only covers the tip of the iceberg when it comes to these supplements. Dosages have intentionally been omitted from this and many of my articles due to the abundance of brands/strengths on the market. It is best to refer to the manufacturer’s labeling for recommended doses and strengths.

The answer to long term immune health and wellness revolves around the four pillars of great health. Without any one of the four pillars, you potentially open yourself up to a season of sniffles, coughs and misery.

The information in this newsletter is for information purposes only and is not intended to replace nutritional advice. Approaches and suggestions offered in this newsletter are not intended as cures, prescriptions, or diagnoses. The author and publisher assume no responsibility for the correct or incorrect use of this information. No attempt to use this information should be made as a form of treatment without the approval and guidance of your physician or health care provider.

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