Ensuring you get enough vitamins and minerals is key to maintaining a strong immune system. This includes eating a well-balanced diet, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and being up-to-date with recommended vaccinations.
Vitamin C and zinc supplements are among the most popular ways to strengthen immunity, due to being rich in antioxidants that can protect against free radical damage while improving overall health.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant with numerous health benefits, including immune support. You can find this nutrient naturally in fruits and vegetables; alternatively, nutritional supplements can provide your body with extra Vitamin C for maximum benefit.
Vitamin C’s primary benefit lies in strengthening your immune system, making you better equipped to fight diseases and infections. Acting as an antioxidant, this vitamin neutralizes free radicals within your cells to protect them from damage – one reason many take vitamin C daily for its immune-enhancing qualities.
Studies have also shown that vitamin C helps reduce oxidative stress, which has been linked to chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease. Furthermore, increased vitamin C consumption can increase your blood antioxidant levels to help combat inflammation within the body.
Studies have also indicated that high doses of vitamin C could help suppress cancerous cell growth, making it possible to help those living with tumors or precancerous conditions manage them effectively with other cancer treatments. But for optimal results this must be combined with other forms of therapy for this illness.
If you are seeking to boost your immune system and take vitamin C supplements, it is wise to speak to a healthcare provider prior to beginning. Vitamin C could potentially interfere with various medications like estrogen, protease inhibitors, certain anticoagulants and niacin; additionally it could alter how well phosphate binders and aluminum-containing medications are absorbed by your body.
Consuming whole food sources of vitamin C is the ideal way to enhance immunity. These sources offer essential vitamins and nutrients that will support body wellness.
Though vitamin C supplements may help you meet your daily requirements, it’s often preferable to source this nutrient through food sources rather than pills or capsules, to reduce potential side effects like kidney stones in men or cataracts from taking these forms of the vitamin.
As higher doses may cause side effects, it’s wise to limit how much vitamin C you take if you suffer from kidney disease or hereditary hemochromatosis, an iron absorption disorder.
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient your body requires to develop strong bones, as well as support your immune system. While vitamin D is usually produced through sunlight absorption through your skin’s ability to absorb ultraviolet rays, you can also acquire it through certain foods if direct sunlight is not enough, or from supplements.
Vitamin D may be best known for strengthening bones, but its true value lies in helping strengthen the immune system. Vitamin D helps improve your response to illnesses like colds and influenza as well as reduce risk for autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis (RA), lupus, and multiple sclerosis.
However, the optimal amount of vitamin D you require for optimal immune support depends on a range of factors including age, location and medications being taken. According to the Department of Health guidelines for adults over four years of age: 10 micrograms (400 International Units or IUs) per day during winter months and 100 micrograms (4000 IUs) throughout the rest of the year should provide optimal immunity support.
Prior to taking any vitamin D supplement, it is a good idea to consult with your physician first. They may suggest an alternate dosage or suggest switching over to one made of D3 rather than D2, etc.
One of the best ways to boost your immune system is ensuring you’re consuming sufficient levels of vitamin D from diet and sunlight exposure. Vitamin D naturally occurs in sunlight exposure; additionally, certain food such as salmon and tuna as well as mushrooms often fortified with this vitamin are great sources.
Vitamin D supplements may provide immune support, but taking too much can be dangerous, leading to calcium accumulation that could result in weak bones, kidney damage and cardiovascular issues. Therefore it is always wise to consult a qualified naturopath or nutritionist prior to taking any vitamin supplements.
Zinc is an essential mineral to good health, playing an integral role in immune function, protein and DNA synthesis, wound healing and cell signaling and division. Low zinc levels may result in symptoms like brittle hair, nails and skin.
If you have diabetes or are pregnant, your physician may suggest taking zinc supplements to control blood sugar levels and enhance immune system response. Zinc has also been found to decrease levels of oxidative stress and inflammation proteins within your body.
Studies have also demonstrated the efficacy of zinc supplements as an aid for treating acne, an illness in which oil glands produce excess sebum (oil) that leads to breakouts. Zinc’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties help combat bacteria while simultaneously decreasing inflammation and scarring from acne breakouts.
One study showed that taking a low dose supplement of 45 mg zinc per day reduced inflammatory markers while increasing fibroblast growth factor – an important indicator of immune system function – as well as decreasing NF-kB activation, an indicator of chronic inflammation.
Researchers have investigated zinc supplements’ ability to lower mortality rates from pneumonia in children living in developing nations. Numerous clinical trials have been carried out and most research shows that taking zinc in supplement form does not increase either mortality rates or recovery times for severe pneumonia cases in children.
Zinc supplements can be taken in tablet or capsule form; however, lozenges and nasal sprays that temporarily “stick” to your mouth and throat for better absorption should also be considered as options. Iron and calcium supplements should not be combined with zinc supplements as this may interfere with its absorption.
The Recommended Daily Allowance of zinc for adults, pregnant women, and lactating mothers is 11 mg daily; pregnant women require 8 mg and lactating mothers may require 12 mg. In certain conditions, higher dosages or concentrated supplements may be needed.
Those suffering from Wilson’s disease, a disorder in which too much copper builds up in their bodies, may benefit from taking zinc dietary supplements to lower their copper levels. High levels of copper interfere with protein binding within cells, leading to serious health and immunity issues.
Selenium is one of the body’s essential trace minerals, playing an essential role in many immune system functions and serving as an antioxidant to combat oxidative stress that leads to inflammation and free radical damage.
Selenium supplements may also reduce cancer risks and strengthen immunity in HIV patients; however, studies have revealed that selenium levels decrease with HIV progression; therefore if taking any medication already, consult your physician first before beginning supplementation.
Strengthen immunity and safeguard heart – Selenium acts as an antioxidant to the body to combat off oxidative stress that causes inflammation, free radical damage and other detrimental side effects on health. Furthermore, selenium can lower your risk of atherosclerosis (plaque in your arteries) which could eventually lead to heart disease and other conditions.
Improve fertility – Adequate selenium levels can assist men and women in producing healthy sperm cells, making conception easier. Furthermore, sufficient selenium intake may reduce miscarriage risks during pregnancies that have already begun if you’re already trying to conceive.
Maintain a Healthy Circadian Rhythm – If you’re seeking dietary aid to restore an unstable sleep cycle, take selenium-containing amino acid methyl selenocysteine as it has been shown to reset gene activity that controls your internal clock and help alleviate disorders such as insomnia.
Support Thyroid Function – Selenium is essential to the production of thyroid hormone. Without enough selenium in your system, your thyroid will produce less of this essential hormone than needed and this could hinder thyroid functioning significantly.
Apart from its benefits for thyroid function, selenium also plays an essential role in immune system health. By increasing white blood cell counts and making them more capable of fighting off infections or toxins more efficiently.
Selenium acts as an antioxidant and can therefore assist with preventing skin cancer and squamous cell carcinoma in the mouth, eyes and other parts of the body. Furthermore, selenium helps lower CRP levels which tend to rise with inflammation-based diseases like arthritis.