Saturday, June 15, 2024
HomeEditor PicksDoes Vitamin C Make Your Immune System Stronger

Does Vitamin C Make Your Immune System Stronger

How To Get Enough Vitamin C

Strengthen Your Immune System With The Right Foods

“Typically, I recommend eating a variety of fruits and vegetables for those seeking to boost their vitamin C content,” dietician Jenn Randazzo tells CNET. Vitamin C is found in many foods including:

  • Citrus fruits and their juices
  • Red and green peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Some foods and beverages that are fortified with vitamin C

“Because vitamin C content may be reduced by prolonged storage and cooking techniques, try to consume vitamin C foods either raw or steamed for a short period of time,” Randazzo adds. Another way to ensure you get enough vitamin C is to add a supplement. This can be helpful during times when you want to prevent illness, boost your immune system or get extra vitamin C support if you’re sick.

“If you’re worried about getting enough vitamin C into your daily diet, it is available as dietary supplements as well ,” Randazzo says. “However, some supplements have other forms, like sodium ascorbate, calcium ascorbate, and other mineral ascorbates too. Research has not shown that any form of vitamin C is better than the others, so it’s important that you use the form easiest to incorporate into your personal wellness routine.”

Foods High In Antioxidants/ Polyphenols:

I like to think of antioxidants and polyphenols in terms of color. Produce with rich vibrant colors, tend to have the highest antioxidants. This is a generality mind you, but just keep this tucked away as you shop the produce aisle. Look for red, purple, orange, deep greens, and golden yellows! Berries are particularly high in polyphenols as well as green tea- and I try to always have some on hand. Eat the rainbow.

Green Tea! This Matcha Green Tea & Pineapple Smoothie with Kale is not only an instant mood lifter and energizer, but it is also full of healthy antioxidants!

Foods high in Vitamin C like this Citrus Avocado Salad are also immune-boosting foods!

This ORANGE BEET and FENNEL SALAD is also packed full of antioxidants and Vitamin C!

How Much Vitamin C Should You Take

When it comes to vitamin C, many people think more is better. The recommended daily amount is about 65-90mg per day, and the upper limit is 2,000mg per day. Most supplements on the market provide much more than 90mg, and if you’re eating foods with vitamin C and supplementing, you’re meeting your 90mg requirement and then some.

If you’re taking more vitamin C than is recommended, it’s unlikely to hurt you since the vitamin is not stored in the body. “For some, consuming too much vitamin C can cause stomach upset, like diarrhea, nausea or cramps,” Randazzo says. In fact, if you are sick, your body needs much more vitamin C and your needs can increase due to inflammation and other factors. This is why it’s important to talk to a health professional like a doctor or nutritionist to help you determine how much vitamin C you need to prevent or treat illness.

Read Also: Can You Use Fsa For Vitamins

Stress And Immune Function

Modern medicine has come to appreciate the closely linked relationship of mind and body. A wide variety of maladies, including stomach upset, hives, and even heart disease, are linked to the effects of emotional stress. Despite the challenges, scientists are actively studying the relationship between stress and immune function.

For one thing, stress is difficult to define. What may appear to be a stressful situation for one person is not for another. When people are exposed to situations they regard as stressful, it is difficult for them to measure how much stress they feel, and difficult for the scientist to know if a person’s subjective impression of the amount of stress is accurate. The scientist can only measure things that may reflect stress, such as the number of times the heart beats each minute, but such measures also may reflect other factors.

Most scientists studying the relationship of stress and immune function, however, do not study a sudden, short-lived stressor rather, they try to study more constant and frequent stressors known as chronic stress, such as that caused by relationships with family, friends, and co-workers, or sustained challenges to perform well at one’s work. Some scientists are investigating whether ongoing stress takes a toll on the immune system.

Despite these inevitable difficulties in measuring the relationship of stress to immunity, scientists are making progress.

How Can Vitamin C Help Boost Your Immune System

Super Immune Boost Pro (30 Capsules) By ProHealth ...

While Dr. Adalja says that theres more data for vitamin D, there is some research to support taking vitamin C supplements, too. In case youre not familiar with it, vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin thats naturally present in some foods, like oranges, strawberries, broccoli, and tomatoes, per the NIH. Also known as L-ascorbic acid, its an antioxidant that plays an important role in immune function, the NIH says.

One review and meta-analysis conducted by researchers at Cochrane found that people who took vitamin C supplements when they had a cold had the infection reduced by 8% in adults and 14% in children. People who took vitamin D supplements also had less severe colds than those who didnt.

Vitamin C supplements may also help if you tend to exercise a lot. One Cochrane review looked at data on 642 marathon runners, skiers, and soldiers who took vitamin C supplements and found that taking anywhere from 250 milligrams to 1 gram a day of the vitamin reduced the risk of developing a cold by 50%.

Recommended Reading: Where Can You Buy Hum Vitamins

Effects Of Ia Of Vitamin C On Inflammation Markers

Figure 1 Schematic mechanism in which an IA of vitamin C could modulate specific functions of neutrophils , inhibiting pathways involved in the Neutrophil Extracellular Trap formation and reducing the uncontrollable inflammatory cytokine production in the alveolar space. Potential effects on reducing cytokine production have also been speculated in lymphocytes and macrophages. ROS, reactive oxygen species NFkB, nuclear transcription factor kappa B , inhibition stimulus dashed arrow, reduced effect or production.

What Can Go Wrong With Your Immune System

Although we often talk about boosting immunity, in reality its more about immune support and supporting your immune system to do its job well, keeping it healthy and balanced.

When it comes to living a healthy and active lifestyle, the immune system is extremely important. Its network of cells and tissues are always looking out for invaders like bacteria, parasites and viruses.

A number of health issues are associated with a poor immune system, including cold sores. This condition is viral and a symptom of the herpes simplex virus.

They usually form around the edge of your lips and are extremely contagious during the shedding phase.

Handpicked content: Cold sores: causes, treatment and prevention

They can be passed to other people via kissing and sharing anything from lip balm to using the same cutlery.

Once the first infection has ended, the virus is dormant for the rest of your life and can reappear whenever your body is weak.

However, supporting your immune system can help stop cold sores and other illnesses from coming back so frequently.

Other conditions can involve a problem with your immune system including:

Read Also: How Much Vitamin C Is In A Bell Pepper

Effects Of Ia Of Vitamin C On Mortality

Of the critical outcomes considered the potential effect of vitamin C on mortality rates appears to be the most controversial one, with RCTs studies that underline promising results which are not supported by recent meta-analysis. A significant reduction of 28-day mortality during ICU hospitalization was observed in a small group of patients with sepsis treated with IA of vitamin C compared to the control group . More recently, findings from the CITRIS-ALI study showed a reduced mortality at day 28 in the vitamin C group compared to the placebo group . Conversely, according to the meta-analysis of Zhang and Jativa, although vitamin C IA seems to be linked to positive vasopressor effects, temporally reducing the need for mechanical ventilation, no positive effect in favor of overall mortality emerged , leading the authors to conclude that it does seem improbable that vitamin C, considered as a single agent, could be so dramatically decisive on the physiopathology of a critical illness as to influence the incidence of mortality . Similar conclusions were drawn by Wei et al. , who, by including recently published retrospective studies in their meta-analysis, suggest the lack of benefit on 28-day mortality, both in ICU and in-hospital patients with sepsis.

How Can I Boost My Immune System Quickly

Boost Your Immune System To Protect Against COVID
  • Eat a diverse range of ORGANIC fruits & veggies, high in antioxidants and polyphenols.
  • Eat fermented foods: Foods alive with healthy bacteria- homemade kraut, pickles, kimchi, yogurt, etc.
  • EAT Slowly-Digestible Starches organic beans, legumes, sweet potatoes, organic whole grains
  • TAKE Supplements: 1000-3000 mg VITAMIN C, 50 mg ZINC, 50 mg VITAMIN D, Magnesium, Quercitine, 500 micrograms of melatonin for sleep
  • Reduce anxiety. Turn off the news!
  • Limit Sugar, seed oils, processed foods, alcohol, non-organic foods
  • Other factors to consider: Too much stress and too little rest/sleep are probably the most taxing on the immune system. Turn the news off, and find your peace. You know how to do this.

    You May Like: Where Can You Buy Puritan’s Pride Vitamins

    Is Taking A Huge Dose Of Vitamin C Bad For Me

    Vitamin C is an important nutrient, but as the old saying goes too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.

    After taking too much vitamin C, you may experience symptoms such as:

    • Diarrhea

    So how much vitamin C is too much?

    For adults, the daily upper limit of vitamin C is 2,000 mg. For teens, it’s 1,800 mg. For children, the upper limit depends on age, and it ranges from 400 to 1,200 mg per day.

    In addition, vitamin C is water-soluble, making it hard for your body to store it with excess being secreted in your urine. So even if you’re adult and can handle the 1,000 mg in each vitamin C packet or pill, just know that your body can’t absorb more than about 400 mg. This means that most of the vitamin C in that supplement you’re taking just goes down your toilet .

    All this to say, however, that getting the recommended amount of vitamin C is still a critical step in staying healthy, as this vitamin plays many important roles in your body. But, you don’t need to take a supplement to make that happen.

    Can Drinking Orange Juice Protect Against Covid

    Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have prioritized keeping their immune systems strong. While it isn’t a guarantee you won’t get the virus, having a strong immune system will help if you do get sick.

    The researchers of this recent review reported that some preliminary data suggested that drinking orange juice could potentially offer some protection against COVID-19. However, strong clinical trials in humans would be needed to really determine whether that’s true.

    The results of some modeling studies suggested that hesperidinan antioxidant found in citruscould interfere with the viruss entry into host cells, possibly making infection difficult to achieve.

    Similarly, laboratory studies have found that hesperidin and naringenintwo key compounds found in orange juicecan impede replication of the virus.

    While none of these results are conclusive, this early research suggests that at the very least, there is no harm in including the drink in your diet if you’re trying to bolster your immune system to fight any infection.

    Read Also: What Is The Best Vitamin C Pill To Take

    What About Probiotics

    Most people associate probiotics with regulating the gut. But since the gut contains helpful bacteria, adding a quality probiotic isnt a bad idea. However, research into whether taking a probiotic can prevent a respiratory infection is mixed. Still, a probiotic can help to shorten a cold. People considering adding the supplement should focus on options that include Lactobacillus rhamnosus or Bifidobacterium animalis lactis since both strains have been proven to reduce symptoms and to block the bodys inflammatory response.

    Immune System And Age

    Daily Multivitamin for Women 50 &  Over  Memory Support ...

    As we age, our immune response capability becomes reduced, which in turn contributes to more infections and more cancer. As life expectancy in developed countries has increased, so too has the incidence of age-related conditions.

    While some people age healthily, the conclusion of many studies is that, compared with younger people, the elderly are more likely to contract infectious diseases and, even more importantly, more likely to die from them. Respiratory infections, including, influenza, the COVID-19 virus and particularly pneumonia are a leading cause of death in people over 65 worldwide. No one knows for sure why this happens, but some scientists observe that this increased risk correlates with a decrease in T cells, possibly from the thymus atrophying with age and producing fewer T cells to fight off infection. Whether this decrease in thymus function explains the drop in T cells or whether other changes play a role is not fully understood. Others are interested in whether the bone marrow becomes less efficient at producing the stem cells that give rise to the cells of the immune system.

    Also Check: What Are The Benefits Of Taking Magnesium Vitamins

    The Best Vitamins And Minerals For Your Immune System

    Between October and April the sun isnt strong enough for us to synthesise our own vitamin D, so we need to take around 10 micrograms a day, says Rollason.

    Nuts and seeds tend to be the main plant-based source of minerals but B12 is difficult to get, so if youre fully vegan you can take a supplement, or get it from things like nutritional yeast and supplemented plant-based milk. Choose one with added iodine, too.

    There are a few key vitamins and minerals that are known to help support your immune system.20

    If you eat a healthy, varied diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, you should be able to get all the nutrients you need.

    A 2018 study in Nutrients reported that deficiencies in certain key nutrients can dampen immunity, particularly:

    How To Support The Immune System With Supplements

    For the immune system to hit peak performance, it needs good, regular nourishment.

    So, its understandable that eating a diet lacking in essential nutrients is connected with a higher risk of getting some health conditions.

    If your diet isnt providing you with the micronutrients you need, supplements, such as multivitamins, offer additional support to your immune system.

    Handpicked content:How to choose the best multivitamin for you

    This also applies to probiotics and prebiotics. Is your gut getting sufficient supplies of these nutrients from your diet?

    If not, adding a probiotic or prebiotic supplement can help to bolster your gut microbiome. This offers extra benefits to your immunity too.

    Recommended Reading: How Much Vitamin D You Need

    What Im Doing Personally:

    • Cutting out inflammatory seed oils .
    • Eating Organic as much as possible to reduce exposure to glyphosate.
    • Getting lots of rest and reducing anxiety by turning off the news.
    • Supporting my gut bacteria by eating fresh, raw colorful produce , consuming gut-supporting bacteria in the form of fermented foods. Eating SLOWLY-digestible starches called postbiotics, that nourish the good bacteria in the little intestine.
    • Taking vitamin C, D, Zinc, Melatonin, Quercetin, Magnesium.
    • Exercising/walking outside most days- and breathing!

    As always, be gentle with your bodies, you want to support and bolster your immune system- with daily moderate changes- and not overly stress it or challenge it by doing anything extreme. Be gentle.

    Gently daily care, friends.

    Sucking Your Babys Pacifier Can Make Them Less Likely To Develop Allergies

    Healthy Living: Boosting Your Immune System for Covid-19

    Fact. Do you cringe when you see a parent pick up a babyâs pacifier and suck it before returning it to the babyâs mouth? Don’t. A recent study found that parents who suck their infantâs pacifier may lower the babyâs risk of having allergies. The thought is that germs transferred to the infant from the parentâs saliva will kick-start the baby’s immune system.

    Read Also: How To Use Powder Vitamin C

    Vitamin D And Immunologic Function

    Vitamin D has numerous effects on cells within the immune system. It inhibits B cell proliferation and blocks B cell differentiation and immunoglobulin secretion. Vitamin D additionally suppresses T cell proliferation and results in a shift from a Th1 to a Th2 phenotype. Furthermore, it affects T cell maturation with a skewing away from the inflammatory Th17 phenotype and facilitates the induction of T regulatory cells. These effects result in decreased production of inflammatory cytokines with increased production of anti-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-10 . Vitamin D also has effects on monocytes and dendritic cells . It inhibits monocyte production of inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1, IL-6, IL-8, IL-12 and TNF. It additionally inhibits DC differentiation and maturation with preservation of an immature phenotype as evidenced by a decreased expression of MHC class II molecules, co-stimulatory molecules and IL12 .

    Vitamin C May Bolster Cancer Treatment

    The Mayo Clinic notes that eating a diet filled with vitamin Crich fruits and veggies appears to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, but research isnt clear about whether thats directly related to the vitamin C content or the result of following a healthy diet more generally. Overall, the research regarding vitamin Cs role in cancer prevention is inconclusive. A meta-analysis published in November 2015 in the Korean Journal of Family Medicine, for instance, determined theres no link between vitamin C supplements and cancer prevention.

    But it seems vitamin C may make radiation and chemotherapy more effective when taken intravenously in extra-high doses, according to the Mayo Clinic. A February 2019 study published in Anticancer Research found high doses of vitamin C helped fight breast cancer cells when combined with anti-cancer drugs. One big caveat: The study participants were receiving extremely high doses of vitamin C that people shouldnt expect to get through diet and supplements at home. I recommend speaking with an oncologist about their experience with patient outcomes, Samuels advises for those interested in the possible benefits. Typically, outcomes depend on the individual’s type of cancer, severity of cancer, and overall health status.

    RELATED: FoodRx: A Cancer Expert Shares What He Eats in a Day

    Also Check: How To Supplement Vitamin D


    Most Popular