The Simms/Mann - UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology is part of UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and UCLA Oncology. To find out more about research opportunities and medical oncology care, please visit these sites.


Phone: (310) 794-6644 Fax: (310) 794-9615
Mon - Fri: 8:00AM - 5:00PM Sat - Sun: Closed

Immune Support for Colds and Flu

Viral infections result in activation of an immune response.  Some foods and supplements may be helpful in supporting this response.  Others may be helpful in handling common symptoms.

Prevention when risk is elevated:

  • Wipe down all surfaces including door knobs, cell phones with antiviral wipes
  • Wash hands before touching food.
  • Avoid picking up magazines or other paper items (especially airline magazines or magazines in doctors’ waiting rooms).
  • Have one serving (1/2 cup cooked or one cup of fresh, raw, organic) berries daily or Include 1 teaspoon of black raspberry extract daily.
  • Dissolve one envelope of Immun’Age fermented papaya extract under the tongue between meals to support oxidative balance (pro- and anti-oxidants).
  • Take one capsule of ImmPower at bedtime to support Natural Killer cell production and activity.

What to do if you feel early symptoms such as sore throat, fatigue or achiness:

  • Drink hot water with fresh squeezed lemon juice and Manuka (or other unfiltered, natural honey). Sip on this as often as is comfortable.
  • Fresh squeeze orange (or lemon) juice for additional vitamin C and bioflavonoids.
  • Use black raspberry lozenge for topical oral relief.
  • Take 2 ImmPower (AHCC fraction of standardized medicinal mushroom extract) to support NK cell activity.
  • Include N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) supplement to support liver health. One capsule daily or increase to two if you take an antiviral/cold remedy with paracetamol (Tylenol®)
  • Hot broth type soups, e.g. chicken noodle or bone broth are soothing and support bone marrow production of white cells.
  • Boswellia (Frankincense) is a soothing remedy for joint pain associated with immune activity fighting viruses. Take orally as BosPro – one capsule twice daily.
  • Whey protein provides N-acetyl cysteine which is important precursor of glutathione, an important protein for immune health. Have a smoothie with FitFood whey or other high quality whey protein isolate powder. Iconic and Orgain are two examples of ready-to-drink (RTD) products. Avoid RTD products with carrageenan which may irritate the gastrointestinal lining.

What to do to support recovery and reduce fatigue:

  • Drink green tea to provide caffeine which may be helpful. Add Manuka honey.
  • Dark chocolate may be helpful.
  • Continue with whey protein smoothies to ensure sufficient protein is provided for new white cell production. Most people benefit from 25 grams whey protein daily.
  • Add black raspberry extract as powder or lozenge for daily immune support.
  • Continue with Immun’Age fermented papaya powder. Have one envelope twice daily for 10 days after you feel better.

These are just a few ideas. You may find comfort in repeating home remedies from your childhood. Epsom salts with lavender for a hot tub soak for example.

For personalized recommendations please contact 310.794.6644 and make an appointment with our integrative oncology specialist, Carolyn Katzin, MS, CNS.

Supplements available from Reflections Boutique at 200 UCLA Medical Plaza, Suite 163, Los Angeles, CA 90024. Phone Number: 310.794.9090

Contact us for more information or book an appointment