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Supplements: Antioxidant vs Immune Boost. These have opposite effects. Apply Goldilocks Principle.



I have written now for a few years using the description of the Goldilocks principle for things like receiving the correct amount of chelation, chelators, steroids, etc. The reality is that this approach really represents the central core of the philosophy of Aristotle: everything in moderation.


To go right to the core: anti-oxidation is important for individuals suffering from the huge family of immunity mediated inflammatory disease (IMID) conditions, which includes among many many others: rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's, ulcerative colitis, lupus... and GDD. So this large category of individuals, maybe atleast 1/4 of the US adult population will benefit from some anti-oxidants, since the principal final step of injury is oxidative stress.... BUT.... and the but is very important, oxidative stress is the mechanism of dealing with/ killing infective organisms and cancer. So too much anti-oxidation and you are a set-up for fatal infections or cancer.


In a similar fashion individuals with deficient immune status: cachexia, cancer, chemotherapy treatment for malignancy, bone marrow fibrosis, require immune boosting to maintain their ability to generate immune cells to control infection, other cancer, etc. So immune boosting with various approaches is essential for them to stay alive. This involves maybe 5% of the population.


A number of individuals take both supplements that are anti-oxidants and are immune boosting. These effects actually counter eachother. There is no guarantee with either of them, that the anti-oxidation will focus on what you need anti-oxidized and immune boosted for things you need immune boosted: killing infective organisms and cancer cells. One good news for those that are taking both of these types of supplements is that neither have greater than a 5% effectiveness, so there is not so much countering and internal battling going on.


A healthy body on its own, left to its own devices (and a healthy diet) have maybe 100 metabolic steps to result in that balance between enough anti-oxidation and enough immune boosting, the sweet spot of the Goldilocks principle.


So what to do?


My recommendation to align with the sweet spot of balance is to rely on your body to achieve the correct balance by providing a healthy nutrient and respiratory balance, and avoiding as much as possible the litany of toxic chemical out there.... while at the same time being mindful not to drive yourself crazy by trying to be in the Goldilocks spot..... be calm and rational about it > everything in moderation.

  1. The first step with GDD and other IMID states is to eat a healthy diet with foods rich in anti-oxidants... Allow the 5 or more biochemical steps from intestinal flora to host cells to work on their own. Let your body decides what it needs and in what amount, by providing it with a healthy nutrient delivery. .. As it has developed in over 1 million years of evolution.

  2. If you have been in the unfortunate situation of destroying much of your native intestinal flora through excess antibiotics and similar, then attempt to restore it with high quality probiotics, such as high quality probiotic yogurts and comparable, healthy vegetables have also been shown to provide healthy bacteria to your intestinal flora. In some individuals, gentle upper gastrointestinal tract binding agents, I prefer the simplest and healthiest, pectin-containing fruits. This could be fortified by other binding agents, such as metamucil, which may be one of the easiest to use, activated charcoal, etc.

  3. Simple anti-oxidant supplements: quercetin/curcumin combo capsule, chlorella, spirulina.

  4. If you are in some form of generic immune deficiency then immune boosting supplements are helpful

  5. Have the wisdom and the assistance with professionals with wisdom to decide when more aggressive action is necessary - because more aggressive action is necessary for a number of situations, but by no means all. Such as effective chelation to manage GDD, lead and other heavy metals.


Ideal ofcourse to anti-oxidize the items we want to anti-oxidize, such as the Tcell dysregulation of Crohn's and GDD; and immune boost the rest of the immune system, including Tcells not attacking the body in Crohns, GDD, etc. But we are not there yet. The whole concept of the Goldilocks principle, which is findings the middle sweet spot, may not be achieved with agents self-described as extremely effective anti-oxidants, as emeride purports to be for example. Too much anti-oxidation then you are in a world of hurt: at risk for serious infection and cancer. It requires wise effective scientists/ researchers to figure out when things exceed the sweet spot in either direction: too much anti-oxidation, too much immune boosting.


Always consider the Goldilocks principle. This is the starting point for successful treatment of GDD, successful treatment of all diseases, and by extension everything else in life. Part of the principle is to stay calm and keep your stress low, so you are not in a constant state of cytokine release and high adrenal, caused by stress, which are dangerous on their own.


So follow the Goldilocks principle. Keep everything in balance as much as you can.


Richard Semelka, MD.



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