Fight the flu with this secret from the sea
It's the "secret sauce" in your flu-fighting strategy... a powerful series of compounds that can arm your immune system so that it's locked, loaded, and ready for battle.
And yet this key benefit gets almost NO attention!
When people talk about fish oil, you'll hear them sing its praises over how much it can help your heart, brain, and circulation.
Those are all terrific benefits, of course -- but the same omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil can do so much more, especially now, in winter.
They can help give your immune system just what it needs to fend off infections, including the cold, flu, and "winter yuck" spreading faster than a rumor right now.
New research shows how one omega-3 in particular, DHA, can help activate an essential component of your immune system.
Boosting your DHA intake flips the "ON" switch on your B cells, which are a type of white blood cell needed to fight off infection.
Once triggered by that DHA, those B cells then stimulate antibody production by your immune system, according to the new study.
In some ways, that's exactly how a vaccine is supposed to work... yet you can get this same response from a safe and natural omega-3 fatty acid... and not from a needle filled with mercury and other toxins.
But that's not all it can do.
The same study finds that DHA can also enhance your immune system in at least two other critical ways.
First, it can stimulate the secretion of another essential immune system component, called TNF-alpha, which your body calls on to fight off everything from viruses to cancer cells.
And second, DHA can also get your immune system to crank out an inflammation-fighting compound called interleukin-10.
To cap it all off, the study finds that the benefits go to the very people who need help the most: those who are overweight and obese, who often get sick more easily from the toll of the extra weight.
But it's that B-cell boost that might be the most important part of this study, as that's the very same defense mechanism your immune system relies on to protect you from everyday infection threats.
And B cells are especially critical when it comes to flu. As a 2011 study in the Journal of Immunology points out:
"Each particular aspect of influenza infection is countered by a complex set of B cell responses that can prevent infection from occurring; when infections do occur, they can suppress early viral replication, help clear the infection, aid in tissue repair, and generate potent memory responses."
In other words, one key to an infection-free winter is in arming your B cells.
And as the new study shows, there's nothing out there better for those Bs than the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil.