Supporting Immunity

November 19, 2023
“At the height of the polio epidemic in 1949, when all young parents lived in the fear that their babies and young children would be the next victims, Frederick R. Klenner, M.D., published that he had successfully cured 60 out of 60 polio patients who had presented to his office or to the emergency room”.

Thomas E. Levy, MD, JD

from his book

Curing the Incurable. Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases, and Toxins

We naturally fight infection with what is called an acute inflammatory response.  Under ideal conditions, this takes care of the situation in short order. However, if we are not getting enough sunlight or rest, have an imbalanced diet, intestinal inflammation, are fighting pathogens or dealing with too many toxins, our immune response becomes weak or dysregulated. Medications such as antacids, corticosteroids or antihistamines can also supress normal immune function.

When it is the cold/flu "season", it is important to ensure that you are doing the following:

Getting enough sleep (healing and repair occurs while you rest or sleep)

Eating properly (consuming nutrient-dense foods that do not cause  inflammation)

Eliminating consumption of processed sugar (sugar is an immune depressant)

Reducing or eliminating consumption of alcohol (alcohol is an immune depressant)

Washing your hands when needed (soap and hot water gets rid of unwanted microorganisms)

Avoiding exposure to toxins and pathogens (as much as that is possible). This includes people that make you feel bad.

Of course, if you smoke (or vape) you are putting an additional load on the immune system and the respiratory system. This is exactly what you don´t want to be doing when there are concerns about infections of any kind. The lungs and sinus cavity are typically the first areas affected by pathogens.  

Also, if you are exercising aggressively, this puts an additional burden on the immune system and should be avoided during times when your energy is better used to bolster your immunity. To clarify, try to avoid those foods, activities, or medications that make you more susceptible to infection -- especially when there is increased risk.


There are many natural interventions that are able to support your fight against pathogens, molds and toxins. These include a range of therapies that go from high doses of vitamins and/or herbal products, to protocols that supply additional oxygen to the body. What is important to know is that these interventions are supported by scientific research. They can also work quickly and are well-understood by (some brilliant and courageous people in) modern medicine.

In Dr. Levy’s’ book “Curing the Incurable. Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases, and Toxins”, there are over 1,200 scientific references that support what he explains. Dr. Klenner, one of the innovators of high dose ascorbic acid therapy has had his protocol and its extraordinary results replicated around the world for over 70 years. Dr. Linus Pauling, Ph.D., two-time Nobel prize winning scientist, proved that large dose ascorbic acid with the amino acid L-lysine has tremendous health benefits, including for boosting immunity.

In 1988, Ed McCabe became a best-selling author with his book “O2ygen Therapies: A New Way of Approaching Disease”.  At the time, he made it clear that there were over 4,000 articles in the available medical literature referring to the action of oxygen products on pathogens.  

Some people may believe that herbal supplements are not as powerful as prescription drugs or vaccines.

However, Mark Blumenthal, the executive director of the American Botanical Council, makes it very clear that, “When prepared and dosed properly, there are numerous herbal medicines that are highly effective against pathogens”.

The research behind his statement can be accessed on the American Botanical Council website under the tab Herbal Library – HerbClip. Blumenthal is an authority on herbal medicine. For six years, he was an Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Texas at Austin, College of Pharmacy.


Supplements are best taken for 5 or 6 days a week. Ensure you adapt the protocol if you experience significant side-effects such as diarrhea or bloating.

Natural vitamin C (e.g., acerola cherry or camu camu) contains not only L-ascorbic acid but also all the other co-factors that make it easy for it to be transported, deployed and utilized by the body. This means that lower doses can be consumed and still get excellent results. Normally, when you are healthy, 1 gram a day is a good daily dose (remember you don’t make vitamin C so you need to have it in your diet).

However, 5 grams a day is much better during times of increased risk. This is considered a therapeutic dose. Taking between 1.5 and 2 grams 3 times a day is better than taking it all at once. Take with or after your meal. Please ensure that your source of natural vitamin C is organic, or you will run into other issues at high doses.

Large dose ascorbic acid therapy is especially effective as an acute intervention for infection. Dr. Klenner presented the results of his high dose ascorbic acid therapy to the annual session of the American Medical Association on June 10th, 1949, in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

At this event, he clarified how poliomyelitis (polio virus infection) was treated and cured in a period of 72 hours with massive doses (6 to 20 grams) of ascorbic acid per day. A month later his research was published in the journal Southern Medicine & Surgery.

In the journal article, it was made clear that body temperature was utilized as a practical guide for treatment. Doses were between 1 gram (children and babies under the age of 4 via intramuscular injection) and 4 grams (larger adult males orally or via IV). If there was no drop in elevated body temperature after the dose, then the next dose occurred in 2 hours. If there was a clear drop in temperature, then the next dose was in 4 hours. After a person improved and temperature returned to normal for the better part of a day, dosing occurred every 6 hours.

After all symptoms were cleared up (within 72 hours) Dr. Klenner continued to administer large dose therapy for an additional 48 hours with dosing every 8 to 12 hours. In 1956 Klenner published how he treated an extreme case of polio. He administered a 118-pound female patient with 22 grams of ascorbic acid by slow IV injection with a 100-cc syringe.

She then took 1.5 grams of vitamin C with juice every few hours. 12 hours later she was free of her headache and had only a slight fever of 101.4 F. Klenner then gave her another 22-gram injection. She had some nausea and vomiting for about 30 minutes. 24 hours later her temperature was 100.8 F. She was then given an 18-gram injection every 12 hours (total of 7), and then 10 grams every other day for 5 days. An additional week of oral vitamin C (1.5 grams every 3 or 4 hours) completed the protocol and she was completely free of the polio virus.

If you are taking natural vitamin C or ascorbic acid orally, try to take around 2 or 3 grams at most at a time. Eventually, you may experience diarrhea. This is a side-affect that is reduced if you take less grams but do it more often. Increase your consumption of water during this protocol. The best ascorbic acid is L-ascorbic acid. This is the natural form and works much better than ascorbic or d-ascorbic acid. Pure Organic Ingredients has a 2 lb. L-Ascorbic Acid for around $22 USD.

L-lysine is an essential amino acid (protein building block) that also helps to fight infections. L-lysine is very important in the creation of carnitine, which converts fatty acids into energy and also lowers cholesterol. It also reduces anxiety and other psychological symptoms and supports the repair of the intestinal tract. If you are consuming too much l-lysine it can also cause diarrhea.

The Dr. Linus Pauling protocol combines large dose ascorbic acid with l-lysine. A good daily dose of l-lysine is 1 or 2 grams (3 at the most).  The brand Now Supplements has a pure L-Lysine powder which you can encapsulate yourself.

Vitamin D3 can also be used in very large doses for a short period of time and help to significantly improve immune capacity. A normal daily dose can range from 2000 to 5,000 IU. When you are feeling “under the weather” you can easily increase this to 25,000 for several days in a row. This is especially effective at the start of an infection.

If you are fighting something in earnest or you were exposed to a pathogen and want to eradicate it as quickly as possible, you can take 150,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day for 3 days. This is a powerful short-term dose. DO NOT EXCEED 3 DAYS AT THIS DOSE. If you have kidney disease DO NOT TAKE HIGH DOSES OF D3. A safe and effective D3 supplement is made by a company called Thorne Research.

Vitamin A helps activate and recruit white blood cells. It is a powerful antioxidant that is especially effective to support our barriers against pathogens (skin, sinus, intestinal tract, bowel, etc.). A liposomal or emulsified Vitamin A used in high dose is both effective and safe. Ensure you only use a liposomal or emulsified Vitamin A for high doses. 40,000 IU for 3 days, followed by 30,000 IU for 5 days, and then 20,000 IU for 2 weeks. Biotics Research Bio-Ae Mulsion, Emulsified Vitamin A Liquid, 1 fl oz (30 ml) is the only vitamin A we know that should be used for these kinds of doses. A normal dose of vitamin A (recommended for ongoing use) is 3,000 IU. This will help with the management of your immune response.

Zinc plays a major role in the production of immune cells in the thymus gland. If you have a zinc deficiency, this will cause a reduction in immune cell production. A zinc deficiency during an infection can also cause a catastrophic malfunctioning of the immune system, which can result in an amplified and prolonged inflammatory response.

Zinc helps control infections by gently “tapping the brakes” on the immune response in a way that prevents out-of-control inflammation – which can be damaging or even deadly in some cases. A good amount of zinc on a daily basis is 15 to 30 mg. If you are fighting something it can be 50 mg or even 100 mg for a week or two. Peak Performance has an excellent Raw Whole Food Zinc, 30 mg. If you are taking a multivitamin, check how much zinc it contains.

N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is the supplement form of the conditionally essential amino acid cysteine. Amino acids are found in protein foods and are the building blocks of tissue. Cysteine is conditionally essential because you are able to make it yourself (non-essential), UNLESS you are stressed or are nutrient deficient in B vitamins (conditionally essential).

NAC is required as part of the natural production of glutathione, your master anti-oxidant. Anti-oxidants are required to ensure that oxygen does not damage your tissue. If you are low on anti-oxidants you will not only sustain more tissue damage but also increase your levels of toxins and pathogens.

NAC is also a mucolytic (mucous-thinner). This means that is helps to reduce the mucous that builds-up when you are fighting a cold or flu. This is especially important to help combat sinus congestion or respiratory issues. NAC has also been shown to stop and/or reduce infections. NAC also helps to elevate mood and improve insulin sensitivity.

A appropriate daily dose is 600 mg. There is good evidence that 1800 mg a day is safe.. If you are looking for it in capsule form then Fresh Nutrition NAC is recommended. If you encapsulate for yourself then the company PURE has an excellent NAC N-Acetyl L-Cysteine Powder.


Anything that promotes higher than typical concentrations of oxygen in the blood will result in tissue cleansing and repair, a balancing of the immune system, and detoxification. Oxygen is a first line of defense against bacteria, viruses, yeast, molds and parasites. Pathogens are not able to protect themselves from oxidation.

To be clear, bio-oxidative therapies are a range of interventions that raise blood oxygen levels and increase your capacity to fight pathogens.

Many of the substances used in oxygen therapy have a weakly-bound additional oxygen atom that is released and used by the immune system when absorbed into the body.

Bio-oxidative therapies include hyperbaric oxygen, ozone (injections, insufflation, steam, IV, or mixed with blood and injected), ultraviolet blood irradiation (UVBI) with ozone, and hydrogen peroxide (soaking, IV). Oral bio-oxidative therapies include acidified sodium chlorite, chlorine dioxide solution, MMS, calcium sulfate, and even deep breathing. High dose vitamin C therapy is technically also a bio-oxidative therapy because it releases H2O2. Exercise with oxygen therapy (EWOT) can also dramatically increase blood oxygen levels.

Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a naturally occurring molecule and when introduced into the body is picked-up by the immune system and transported throughout the entire body. H2O2 oxidizes biological waste products and industrial toxins, rendering them more easily eliminated by the body. It also doubles enzymatic metabolism rate, enabling the body to cleanse itself of toxins more efficiently. It also kills or inhibits growth of bacteria, viruses, and funguses.

Hydrogen peroxide is easily absorbed through the skin. You can soak your feet in 2% solution for 30 to 60 minutes once or twice a day and dramatically increase the amount of oxygen used by the immune system. This is a great adjunct to high dose vitamin therapy.


Herbs can be highly effective and should be treated with respect. As with all supplements, take a break one or two days in a week. Some herbs should be used for a short period of time.

Elderberry is one of the top antiviral herbs on earth. It can naturally improve sinus issues, nerve pain, inflammation, chronic fatigue, allergies, constipation and more.

As with most medicinal herbs it is best taken occasionally as a preventive or in larger doses at the onset of symptoms. It is a powerful immune booster and acts as a natural diuretic, as well as helping with regularity.

If you are using elderberry to fight a cold or flu, use it for about a week, then stop. If you have been diagnosed with autoimmunity, be careful with elderberry as it can stimulate the immune system. Elderberry is a powerful medicine and it can interact with anti-diabetic medications, diuretics, chemotherapy, immuno-suppressants, and laxatives. There are a number of good brands to choose from. Nature's Answer Sambucus Black Elderberry is a good choice.

Oregano Oil is a powerful anti-pathogen essential oil, when taken in appropriate doses. Numerous studies have shown its strong anti-bacterial and anti-fungal action. The active ingredient in oregano oil is called carvacrol and it is effective against parasites, inflammation, and viruses. It can also help treat digestive issues such as SIBO.  

Oregano oil can be used topically (always mix with a carrier oil), diffused or taken internally (only 100% therapeutic grade oil). Oregano oil is best used as an acute intervention for a short period of time. A good dose to start on day 1 of your protocol is one capsule after a meal. Quickly build-up to 2 capsules, three times a day (after meals). Stay at this dose for a maximum of two weeks. The company Mortar and Pestle Herbs has an excellent Oil of Oregano supplement in capsules.

Grapefruit seed extract (GSE) is a powerful antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal. In recent research is was found to be more effective than antifungal drugs or oregano oil for candida. It is also highly effective for bacterial UTIs and digestive issues such as gas, bloating, etc. If you are taking blood thinners you may want to refrain from taking GSE or reduce your medication dose.

There are many uses and ways of using GSE. To fight infection, start with one capsule after a meal and build up slowly. A large dose for a significant issue is 2 capsules, 3 times per day (after meals). It could take you a number of days to get to this dose. You may have a healing crisis or what is called a Herxheimer reaction. We recommend Allergy Research Group Paramicrocidin Grapefruit Seed Extract. Stay at the maximum dose for no longer than two weeks.

Medicinal Mushrooms: Wild harvested or sustainably grown organic chaga, cordyceps and reishi mushrooms are all powerful immune support supplements. If you have issues with kidney or gallstones, or have a blood clot disorder (and are on blood thinners) be careful of mushroom supplements as they can be high in oxalates (which can worsen stone issues) and can interfere with proper blood clotting. In fact, some people use mushroom supplements instead of blood thinning medications.

Chaga is a very powerful anti-oxidant and helps to stimulate interleukin 6 and lymphocytes. It is especially effective against viruses. If you have autoimmunity, do not use chaga to boost your immune system as this can lead to increased symptoms of autoimmunity.

Reishi is considered an adaptogenic herb. This means that it can help the body deal with chronic stress, inflammation, low energy, damaged blood vessels and various hormone imbalances. It also helps to fight allergies and asthma and protects against infections and viruses. There are very few side effects, and it is well tolerated by most people.

Cordyceps is a potent anti-aging medicine that promotes heart health, decreases inflammation (Crohn’s, arthritis, leaky gut) and fights free radical damage (oxidation). Cordyceps is considered a natural “immuno potentiating drug” used to enhance immunity and optimize health. If you have autoimmunity, be careful with your dosages, as cordyceps can increase as well as manage immunity. In that case, Reishi may be a better bet.

The company Micro Ingredients has 100:1 concentrate mushroom powder that you can veggie cap yourself. Start out with one or two 500 to 600 mg double O veggie caps and build up to 2 per meal.


If you suffer from autoimmunity, are sensitive to infections (usually from trauma or elevated antigen load), or have a zinc deficiency, you may have an exaggerated response to an infection. If this infection propagates in the blood and you have an exaggerated response it is known as sepsis.

These kinds of hyper reactions occur mainly in adults over 60 years of age, children under one year old, and people with chronic lung, liver or heart disease, or with diabetes, HIV, and those whose spleen has been removed. The infections that cause an exaggerated reaction are most frequently those that affect the urinary and respiratory system, those produced in the skin, meningitis, and appendicitis – among others.

Be careful boosting your immunity when you have an autoimmune disease. Autoimmunity is where your immune system attacks your own tissue, thinking it is a foreign object. Accidentally boosting this mechanism can obviously make things worse. It is important to address the root cause of autoimmunity so that you can keep your immunity in check. Then, after you have recovered from an acute issue, you can boost your immunity to defend yourself from “something going around”.

A key immune response pathway regulated by zinc has been discovered by scientists. This mechanism stops an exaggerated immune response. When the body detects an infection, zinc is recruited to help produce immune response proteins, and later it's used to stop their production.

However, a zinc deficiency can cause a catastrophic malfunctioning of the system, resulting in an amplified and prolonged inflammatory response. Zinc helps control infections by gently “tapping the brakes” on the immune response in a way that prevents out-of-control inflammation that can be damaging or even deadly.

There are a number of signs that you have a zinc deficiency, including lack of mental clarity and focus, adrenal fatigue, ongoing loose bowels, low thyroid function, dysregulated immune response, white spots on your nails, and more. A sepsis-like response to a recent infection (which is a significant reaction) can include a temperature that is higher or lower than normal, confusion, excessive sleepiness, pain, shivering, pale or clammy skin, shortness of breath and thoughts of “I think I am dying”.

The key to preventing and even halting an exaggerated immune response is ensuring you have enough vitamin C, vitamin A, and zinc in your diet. This is because they all are needed to manage the immune response properly. Vitamin C is critical because macrophages are powered by vitamin C electrons. High dose vitamin C also releases hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), an important element that is needed to keep pathogens in check.

If you have significant sepsis-like symptoms seek medical attention. The use of hydrocortisone (an immune suppressant) and thiamine, in addition to vitamin C, vitamin A, and zinc may also be required to bring things under control.