How to boost your white cell count
June 24, 2018
I find this topic fascinating.
I could make it the rest of my life’s work if I were more focused. Or were I not to find so many other things about life and health so fascinating.
- My oncologist said that repairing my white cell count, following 5 months of chemotherapy, was not possible. When pressed he said repair would possibly come with time (‘watch & wait’ is an expression oft used in medical circles that really challenges me: I am not inclined to be ill a moment longer than I need be.) I was told that if ‘watching and waiting’ did not have the necessary effect the doctors might choose to flood my body with another pharmaceutical drug. This drug, G-SCF, is like a heart starter for your bone marrow. I am told by those who have been through it that you should steer clear of it: it comes with its own basket of side effects – like feeling shit for a year! This was another reason for me to ignore medical advice and take my health and my body into my own hands – as indeed we all should.
- It is one of the most popular questions that people ask me in my ‘Conversations with an Audience’ talks. So many people tell me that they have been informed of the same impossibilities as I was. Grrrr!
- Like so much in health, the answers are out there, if we are brave enough to look in places other than in conventional medicine. And once the theory is discovered we need to take the resultant action to put it to the test. Whether all solutions work for all people is unlikely, but you have to try to know. And we have to try especially if the solution is natural and kind to the body. But so many people don’t even give it a chance. They go for the nuclear option because the doctor says so. Makes no sense to me.
Repairing your white cell count. Do this…
…well, this should be the first thing you try. And it has worked for everyone I have suggested it to.
When I told Sarah Lumley, my nutritionist, (www.sarah-lumley.co.uk) she informed me about how beta-glucans are the secret sauce. And that the best source (poor pun, sorry) of beta-glucans are certain types of mushrooms. And that the best mushrooms sauce is cooked up by Hifas Da Terra (www.hifasdaterra.co.uk).
Experimenting with medicinal mushrooms
I did not conduct a particularly robust scientific trial on myself. In addition to my standard protocol of a whole food plant-based diet, meditation, exercise, acupuncture, and more, I added mushrooms. I guess others might term them medicinal mushrooms, reflecting their intended purpose, but didn’t some clever bloke suggest all food should be medicine (‘Let food be thy medicine. And medicine thy food’. Hippocrates).
As part of the experiment I
- Measured my white cell counts monthly through a blood draw
- Stopped and started my intake of mushrooms to see if my cells counts responded in unison
- Trialled cheaper solutions (Mycocyclin, from thenaturaldispensary.co.uk, being very much cheaper than Hifas da Terra).
Although not shown on the graph above I did also trial at another time
- Fresh button mushrooms at normal dietary levels
- Dried reishi & turkeytail mushroom powder (www. hybridherbs.co.uk) in my morning lemon & turmeric tea.
Repairing white cell counts – my conclusions
My white cell response to when I was, and was not, consuming mushrooms, is shown on the graph. This suggests to me that I can repair my WBC counts through consuming medicinal mushrooms. Mushroom are indeed magic, (even if they are not ‘magic mushrooms’!)
I also conclude that Hifas da Terra is the best product that I found. Their ingredient list, and recipe, is of course secret. It is also the most expensive. The Mycocyclin product also worked but is less effective.
Both the above products are in liquid form. Fresh button mushrooms and dried mushroom powder (this I had tried at another time) did not seem to have a detectable effect. This would suggest to me that
- liquid form is the best, presumably meaning that this is the way to concentrate the active ingredients. Hence the cost.
- I cannot conclude anything from the effectiveness of fresh mushrooms or powdered mushrooms. It could be that
- I was not eating them in sufficient quantities
- I was not eating the right types of mushroom
- The beta glucans only work in a more isolated form.
Please consult your nutritionist for the right mushrooms, doses and suppliers to use.
Other sources of beta-glucans
Amongst other foods, these are
- Nutritional yeast
- Brewers yeast.
This blog article is not intended to be a scientific review. However, if other references are needed, here are some:
(Pubmed is the world’s largest digital repository of scholarly articles from biomedical & life sciences journals. Access is free.)
A final note of caution
A friend of mine is challenged by chronic Lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), a nasty blood cancer. Recently he had been eating mushrooms as part of a balanced diet recommended by his nutritionist. As a general recommendation for a balanced diet this is understandable: mushrooms are a miracle food – jam packed full of amazing nutrients.
But in CLL, the problem is that the bone marrow goes into overdrive and makes too many white blood cells. Eating white cell boosting mushrooms should not be part of the diet of someone suffering CLL.
My friend’s white cell count has risen to further levels above what is considered a safe maximum. Having discovered the adverse role of the mushrooms he has stopped the mushrooms. I suggested that he might like also to be mindful of other foods containing beta glucans. I don’t know this for sure but it would seem prudent.
So, didn’t someone else say ‘one man’s food is another mans poison’. Please be informed when you are making your dietary decisions, particularly if you are managing a chronic disease.
Thank you to Jenny Abbott for being the most recent person to ask the question about boosting white cell count and thereby providing the reason for me to share my thoughts.
Best of luck Jenny.
- The above, and all information on this website, is my opinion only. My endeavour is that this should always reflect my personal experimentation.
- I passionately believe that the most lasting, deepest and complete health comes from making constant health improvements in every aspect of our lives. This would include, but not be limited to: nutrition, spirituality, exercise, mind health, stress management and time management. There is no silver bullet. So, although I might write an article on one topic, this is in the need for brevity. For the single topic to have lasting and deepest effect for us, we need to make improvements in these other health areas too.
- The human body is a wonderful & complex system. Everything works (or does not work) in unison. Treat one thing and you will affect another. This is the law of nature. Therefore, the only lasting solution to a body, or a mind, demonstrating it being in a state of dis-ease (word: dis…. new word: ease) is to practice constant, self-help, lifestyle medicine. Such a path is not easy. Life is not easy. But the journey is full of joy & reward.
- Health is both an art and a science. I believe that if I followed everything that the doctors told me to do then I would not be alive today or have the excellent quality of live that I do. Equally, if I did not do some of the things that they tell me to do then I would possibly be dead, or in very poor state. The point is that I have to take responsibility for my health and make the decisions, using opinions and information that I think are right. So, beware of hidden bias and poor science behind ‘evidence’.
- I am not a doctor or qualified practitioner in any health area. I am therefore not qualified to give individual health advice. You are encouraged to do your own research and come to your own conclusions. And to experiment, responsibly, too. Everyone is bio-individual. Furthermore, our needs change with time. The simple matter of needing to drink more when we exercise, compared to when we don’t, should remind us of this constant state of flux.