Nutritional boost for your own immune cells


Researchers into immunotherapy recently revealed that they had taken human immune T-cells and genetically engineered them to identify and attack cancer tumour cells. Some people were in complete remission after 18 months. T-cells are a class of white blood cell that belong to your acquired or adaptive immune system and they search out and destroy ‘invaders’.

These genetically modified T-cells are a potential breakthrough, but it is some considerable time away for general application – and when it comes it will no doubt be a patented therapy.

But there is action you can take right now, with nutrition and natural compounds to ensure your T-cells and whole immune system are working at a peak defensive level.

Your own immune system defences

Immune SystemYour own innate immune system is your frontline defence against both external pathogens like viruses and bacteria and internal ‘rogue’ pre-cancerous cells. The main components are neutrophils, Natural Killer cells and macrophages. The first two basically attack and kill potentially rogue cells and harmful invaders, and macrophages (which means ‘big eater’) digest and eliminate them.

Here is a twin strategy to ensure your immune system is working hard to protect you.


1) Ensure adequate amounts of Vitamin D, Selenium, Beta carotene, Zinc, Omega 3

Your immune system needs a range of nutrients to work really well. Of course, it’s not isolated from your general health, so the better your nutritional status the better your overall health and the better your immune system. But there are some nutrients that are especially important in an optimally performing immune system.

Vitamin D

A key nutrient is vitamin D. The science journal Nature recently published a study showing that T-cells need vitamin D to ensure their receptors are properly activated, and that T-cell responsiveness could be increased by as much as 7 times through an optimal amount of vitamin D. Since our vitamin D is mainly created via sunshine or from oily fish, egg yolks and beef liver, it’s not surprising that many northern hemisphere people are deficient.


Selenium is known to have a cancer-protective role and studies show it also increases the effectiveness of T-cells. Studies indicate that you need at least 150 micrograms a day – versus the recommended daily amount (RDA) of 75 mcg in the UK and 55 mcg in the US. Most people fall well below even the RDA.

Zinc and Vitamin A

???????Zinc is another important nutrient, as is vitamin A, which the body can convert in safe amounts from beta carotene. The average daily intake of beta carotene is no more than 3mg versus a calculated optimum of 7mg.

Omega 3

sardinOmega 3 fish oil is known to help reduce internal inflammation which is a key driver of degenerative diseases that include heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some cancers. But work by researchers in 2013 at Michigan State University indicates that Omega 3 also enhances the effectiveness of white blood immune cells called B-cells, which are part of the adaptive immune system.


 2) Supplement with 1-3, 1-6 beta glucans

You might think that the best idea would be to avoid all bacteria and sterilise your environment. And indeed there is a plethora of products that promise to kill 99% of all known germs. (Potentially leaving, incidentally, the 1% to become highly resistant, but that’s another story.)

Rotten bread from yesterdayThe reality is more complicated. In the past, before food was prepared in sterile production lines and before we ‘over-hygienised’ our homes, we were exposed to microscopic yeast particles all around. Our innate immune system reacted to this ongoing challenge by permanently upgrading its response to these specific particles.

There is a class of natural yeast-derived compounds called 1-3, 1-6 beta glucans, extracted from the cells walls of a specific strain of baker’s yeast. They need to be milled to an extremely small particle size to ‘lock on’ to the neutrophils in the innate immune system.

The primed neutrophils become “killer cells”, multiplying to become more numerous and more active. They move rapidly to an incoming pathogen or a potentially rogue cell – and they kill it.

When the Canadian Department of Defense researched over 100 potential immune system enhancers, a 1-3. 1-6 beta glucan now called Wellmune was rated as number 1 for effectiveness.

Wellmune 1-3, 1-6 beta glucans are available in a supplement called ImmunoShield and you can see the research at

Finally, a supplement that ensures that you are getting optimum levels of all the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients known to be important for sustained health is NutriShield. See more detail elsewhere on this site or click on the button below.


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Dr Paul Clayton designed NutriShield as a comprehensive healthbutton-2 supplement with OPTIMUM levels of essential nutrients, including ALL those mentioned above. See more detail elsewhere on this site or click on the button.

Health Defence bookDr Paul Clayton’s best-selling book Health Defence is available from most good bookstores. See the website for excerpts and links to buy direct from the publisher.