Phil Cowley, @philsmypharmacist, Cache Valley Pharmacy



Shoes are always sold in pairs, the exact same size the exact same height. This is a ridiculous premise; 60% of the population has one leg that is longer than the other. Feet are almost never the same size, less often the legs are.

The chance that both feet and both legs are the same size is less than 20%, but still shoes are sold in pairs, and we wear them just because we have been told, “that’s the way it is.”

Unfortunately, that’s how healthcare goes too sometimes, but it’s not the best way. Gaining education about your own health is the best way.

Kids get sick, and it’s that time of year. Of course, they get sick, it’s a huge part of what helps us survive. When we get sick the T cells can recognize the invader as an enemy, then

T cells and B cells remember, so the next time that enemy comes calling they know what to do. But this doesn’t mean you just have to wait to be sick. You can build up your kid’s defenses, so they miss less school and aren’t nearly as miserable.

Sleep is so important, and kids need lots of it … 8 to 13 hours worth, in fact. Most of the processes our bodies use to reduce inflammation and build up our immune system happen at night. The change of schedule that comes with a new school year makes bedtime a chore. Melatonin supplement will help bridge the change. Naturally our brain produces melatonin when the light starts to dim, but with the sun still up and screens still on, a little supplement can go a long way.

Ideally, we would get all of our minerals and vitamins from our diets, but the food my kids eat is rarely packed full of vitamin A or Omega fatty acids. Boosting the immune system is easy when you know what to look for.

Vitamin C reduces risk of contraction infections, it reduces the invader’s ability to adhere to the cell wall. As an antioxidant it does a wonderful job, antioxidants destabilize the structure of the invader. Antioxidants help reduces inflammation and allow the body to process everything better.

Vitamin E reduces inflammation and is an antioxidant. Another huge plus is that it helps repair the skin. If the invaders can’t get in, they can’t make you sick.

Vitamin D is from the sun for free, but the long winter nights and cold air shove us inside and leave the need for vitamin D. Vitamin D plays an essential role in the way the body produces the cells and antibodies needed for our immune system to work. Vitamin D pumps up the monocytes, these are the guys that come like huge PacMans and eat all the enemies they can see. Respiratory infections dropped almost in half when we have healthy Vitamin D levels.

Vitamin A reduces the process that restrict our T cells from doing their jobs to protect us, vitamin A also has a huge anti-inflammatory effect.

Zinc protects tissue barriers. It helps make all the cells that work in our immune system and makes sure all of the immune system keeps running smoothly. Zinc deficiencies effect 2 billon people in the world. A good stomach lining is essential for absorbing zinc.

Probiotics are critical. We share immune information with the bacteria that live in our GI system. You can support these allies with probiotics. The stronger the bacterial in the GI system, the more information about the surrounding work and invaders they can give us.