The Top Supplements For Immune Health
The best defence against colds, flu and viruses is prevention. Protecting your immune system during the cold and flu season can often make the difference in not catching the cold or virus and lessening their severity when you do get them.
Vitamin C and Vitamin D are well researched and documented supplements to support the immune system. They can play an active role in reducing the severity and likelihood of colds and viruses. Vitamin C can support the lung’s sensitive capillaries, protecting them from bacterial diseases and reducing fluid accumulation. Vitamin C works by neutralizing viral toxins and stops the formation of new viral units. A Vitamin C deficiency has also been shown to increase the risk and severity of influenza infections.
Lower levels of Vitamin D have been linked to decreased immune function, more frequent infections and increased risk for respiratory disorders. Vitamin D treatment has been found to reduce viral respiratory tract infections, especially in people with vitamin D deficiency.
Natural Factors Bio C Gel is an excellent choice for Vitamin C because it contains a high-absorption, pH-neutral calcium ascorbate that is easy on the stomach and is enhanced with citrus bioflavonoids. Vitamin C also comes in chewable forms and powder forms to accommodate all forms of supplementation.
How Vitamin C Supports A Healthy Immune System
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin well known for its role in supporting a healthy immune system. Because your body cannot make vitamin C, it must come from the foods you eat every day.
Research shows vitamin C is essential for the growth and repair of tissue all over the body. Vitamin C helps heal wounds and repair and maintain healthy bones, teeth, skin and cartilage a type of firm tissue that covers the bones. As an antioxidant, vitamin C fights free radicals in the body which may help prevent or delay certain cancers and heart disease and promote healthy aging. Vitamin C from foods also seems to reduce the risk of cartilage loss in those with osteoarthritis.
Though it may not keep you from catching a cold, there is some evidence that high doses of vitamin C may decrease the length of cold symptoms by as much as one to one-and-a-half days for some people. However, other studies did not result in the same findings, and the risk of side effects is greater with high doses of vitamin C supplements, so check with your doctor or registered dietitian nutritionist before taking.
On The Bright Side Vitamin D May Help
Vitamin D plays an important role in immune function several of our immune cells actually have receptors for vitamin D and this interaction can help transform these cells into more specialized defenses against viruses and bacteria.
Its been shown that having low levels of vitamin D is linked to a higher risk of acute respiratory infections, says Dr. Marino. Although there is no current scientific data proving that vitamin D specifically protects against COVID-19, a recent study found a possible association between low vitamin D levels, number of COVID-19 cases and deaths from COVID-19 in multiple European countries. In addition, researchers in the Phillipines found that COVID-19 patients with higher blood vitamin D levels had better clinical outcomes. Of all the supplements, Dr. Marino recommends vitamin D, since deficiency is quite common, even in healthy adults. In fact its estimated that 1 billion people worldwide have low levels of vitamin D in their blood. Taking Vitamin D daily or weekly has been found to be protective against respiratory infections as opposed to taking the supplement less frequently and researchers recommend taking 2000 IU of Vitamin D per day to support optimal immune function. This recommendation corresponds to Endocrine Society guidelines and is within the daily tolerable upper limit for adults.
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Effects On Adaptive Immune
Vitamin A metabolites can also affect some aspects of the adaptive immune response . Retinoic acid enhances cytotoxicity and T-cell proliferation, the latter probably mediated, at least in part, by enhancing IL-2 secretion and signalling in T cells. Consistent with an in vivo role for vitamin A in T-cell function, vitamin A-deficient mice have defects in TH-cell activity. A possible mechanism for this observation is that in the setting of vitamin A deficiency, retinoic acid does not compete with 1,252VD3 for their common nuclear binding partner RXR and, therefore, the inhibitory effects of 1,252VD3 on T-cell function are not offset by retinoic acid.
Effects of vitamin A metabolites on gut mucosal immunity
Retinoic acid can inhibit B-cell proliferation,, although it has also been found to enhance B-cell activation under some conditions,. In addition, retinoic acid inhibits B-cell apoptosis. These effects are mediated through binding of vitamin A metabolites to RAR receptors.
What Can You Do To Boost Your Immune System
The idea of boosting your immunity is enticing, but the ability to do so has proved elusive for several reasons. The immune system is precisely that a system, not a single entity. To function well, it requires balance and harmony. There is still much that researchers don’t know about the intricacies and interconnectedness of the immune response. For now, there are no scientifically proven direct links between lifestyle and enhanced immune function.
But that doesn’t mean the effects of lifestyle on the immune system aren’t intriguing and shouldn’t be studied. Researchers are exploring the effects of diet, exercise, age, psychological stress, and other factors on the immune response, both in animals and in humans. In the meantime, general healthy-living strategies make sense since they likely help immune function and they come with other proven health benefits.
Immunity in action. A healthy immune system can defeat invading pathogens as shown above, where two bacteria that cause gonorrhea are no match for the large phagocyte, called a neutrophil, that engulfs and kills them .
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Folic Acid Is Essential For A Healthy Baby
Vitamin B9, also called folic acid or folate, is a nutrient that’s necessary for the body’s growth and development. The National Institutes of Health recommends that adults get 400 micrograms daily, while breast-feeding mothers need 500 mcg a day, and pregnant teens and women should get 600 mcg a day. Naturally occurring folate is found in many sources, including dark-green leafy vegetables, asparagus, brussels sprouts, oranges, nuts, beans, and peas. In addition, folic acid is added to many fortified foods such as cereals and breads.
Teens and women who are pregnant or planning to get pregnant may find it difficult to get enough folate, but this B vitamin is vital to a baby’s health and development. Getting enough folate prevents neural tube birth defects in babies and promotes healthy growth.
The Office of Dietary Supplements of the National Institutes of Health recommends talking with your healthcare providers about any dietary supplements you take.
Improve Immunity With Herbs And Supplements
Walk into a store, and you will find bottles of pills and herbal preparations that claim to “support immunity” or otherwise boost the health of your immune system. Although some preparations have been found to alter some components of immune function, thus far there is no evidence that they actually bolster immunity to the point where you are better protected against infection and disease. Demonstrating whether an herb or any substance, for that matter can enhance immunity is, as yet, a highly complicated matter. Scientists don’t know, for example, whether an herb that seems to raise the levels of antibodies in the blood is actually doing anything beneficial for overall immunity.
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How To Keep Safe During The Covid
If you want to keep yourself away from being infected, you need to maintain specific protocols:
Riboflavin Boosts The Immune System
A diet rich in vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, is needed to avoid riboflavin deficiency. Recommended daily allowances of B2 are 1.3 mg a day for men and 1.1 mg a day for women. Pregnant women need 1.4 mg daily, and breast-feeding mothers should have 1.6 mg each day. You can get this B vitamin from natural sources such as nuts, green vegetables, meat, and dairy products.
Riboflavin helps your body break down and use the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in your diet and helps metabolize food into energy. This type of B vitamin also functions to keep your skin, the lining of your gut, and your blood cells healthy. Getting enough riboflavin may be preventive for migraine headaches and cataracts, according to the National Institutes of Health. Riboflavin may also increase energy levels, boost the immune system, and treat acne, muscle cramps, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
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Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
Research has shown a direct correlation between quality sleep and the immune system. In one study, adults who got less than six hours of sleep per night were much more likely to catch the common cold than those who got seven hours or more.
To maximize your sleep hygiene, turn off all electronics at least an hour before bedtime and sleep in a completely dark room. Try to go to bed around the same time each night and get up at the same time each morningeven on weekends.
Vitamin B6 May Help Reduce Heart Disease Risk
The recommended daily amount of vitamin B6, also called pyridoxine, is 1.3 mg for adults up to the age of 50, according to the National Institutes of Health. Pregnant or breast-feeding teens and women need even more vitamin B6 daily about 2 mg. You can find vitamin B6 in the following foods:
- Wheat germ
- Whole-grain flour
Vitamin B6 is important because it’s involved in more than 100 enzyme reactions in the body’s cells, helping us metabolize amino acids from our food and build new red blood cells. There is intriguing research that B6 may help reduce the risk of heart disease, but this benefit has not yet been definitely established. The health benefits of vitamin B6 uncovered by clinical research include reduction in heart disease risk. Although deficiency in this vitamin is rare in the United States, it can lead to muscle weakness, depression, irritability, short term memory loss, nervousness, and difficulty concentrating.
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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 .
Supplements And Immunity: Facts Vs Fiction
Most people have been told at least once to take vitamin C to speed up recovery after catching a cold or the flu. But do supplements help boost immunity? And if so, which supplements should people prioritize? This article takes a look at a few of the most popular recommendations for immunity-boosting supplements and highlights the truth behind the claims.
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Morning Immunity Boosting Routine
Instead of your morning coffee, start your day with 1 glass of hot water with 5 drops of One Wellness Tulsi Concentrate Herbal Drops.
They contain nano-emulsified tulsi extract that provides all the benefits of Tulsi in the most bio-available form to maximize absorption. In just one drop a day, you can now get all the benefits of Tulsi.
Follow that up by brewing a hot cup of Ausum Tea NoStress to lower stress levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
This revitalizing brew contains a unique and special extraction of Tulsi leaves that provides an optimal concentration of active compounds to alleviate anxiety and lower blood pressure while also enhancing calm and confidence.
This caffeine-free, herbal tea also includes Hibiscus and Spearmint and is clinically proven to increase immunity. Ausum teas come in 100% biodegradable cornstarch pyramid tea bags and do not contain sugar, sweeteners or preservatives.
Complete this morning routine with a dose of Gynoveda Womens Immunity, a natural health supplement that is akin to a wake-up pill to give you strength all day. Formulated for womens strength and vitality, it is a rich source of vitamin C and folic acid.
This supplement enhances immunity to viruses, flu, and other infections and prevents frequent coughs and colds. It also helps reduce fatigue, boost energy and ensure healthy periods.
What About Supplements
Supplements for the immune system have been flying off store shelves recently. But experts warn against using them in most cases. You run the risk of getting too much of a nutrient. Too much zinc, for example, can block copper absorption, and high levels of folate can mask a vitamin B12 deficiency. Herbal and other remedies, like elderberry tincture and colloidal silver , which have been advertised on social media as a way to destroy the coronavirus, are unproven and potentially harmful. IP-6 , touted as an antioxidant, can lead to calcium, iron, and zinc deficiencies, and polyphenols from green tea extracts may reduce the absorption of iron, folate, and vitamin C.
Its best to get the nutrients you need from food so that you dont lose out on other beneficial ingredients, like phytonutrients. The exception is vitamin D. Because more than 80 percent of older Americans dont get enough from diet alone, Kathleen Tucker of the University of Massachusetts Lowell recommends taking a supplement. The daily need for people ages 51 to 70 is 600 IU over 70, its 800 IU.
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Immune System And Age
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.
What Determines Your Nutrient Needs
Although each of these vitamins and minerals are essential in the support of a healthy immune system, the amount you need for healthy functioning is determined by your nutritional needs. The nutritional needs of all people can differ based on a variety of factors, such as gender, age, genetics, weight, physical activity level, and the nutrients that are able to be absorbed by the body through regular food intake.
In particular, age is one of the most informant factors about the type and amount of nutrients necessary to support healthy infectious & immune health. For example, recall that vitamin B12 becomes more difficult to absorb naturally from food as people age this is true of other micronutrients, particularly zinc.
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Barrier Integrity And Wound Healing
The skin has numerous essential functions, the primary of which is to act as a barrier against external insults, including pathogens. The epidermal layer is highly cellular, comprising primarily keratinocytes, whilst the dermal layer comprises fibroblasts which secrete collagen fibers, the major component of the dermis . Skin contains millimolar concentrations of vitamin C, with higher levels found in the epidermis than the dermis . Vitamin C is actively accumulated into the epidermal and dermal cells via the two sodium-dependent vitamin C transporter isoforms 1 and 2 , suggesting that the vitamin has crucial functions within the skin. Clues to the role of vitamin C in the skin come from the symptoms of the vitamin C deficiency disease scurvy, which is characterized by bleeding gums, bruising, and impaired wound healing . These symptoms are thought to be a result of the role of vitamin C as a co-factor for the prolyl and lysyl hydroxylase enzymes that stabilize the tertiary structure of collagen . Further research has shown that vitamin C can also increase collagen gene expression in fibroblasts .
Supplements To Boost Immune System:
Fortify your immune system’s defences by making sure you’re getting an adequate amount of the following supplements:
Selenium deficiency is associated with impaired immune function, says Marogy. ‘People with inadequate levels of selenium have been shown to have lesser amounts of T-cells and a reduced ability to respond to viral infections,’ she says. ‘Selenium also plays a role in the production of cytokines molecules that play an important role in coordinating the immune system.’
When people are low in zinc, the immune response is the first to suffer and there is a greater risk of oxidative stress and inflammation.
‘Zinc is particularly important when it comes to warding off infections as we age, owing to the role it plays in the health of the thymus gland which produces infection-killing T-cells,’ says Marogy.
Food sources include seafood, pork and beans.
3. Omega-3 fatty acids
The most important omega-3 fatty acids for a healthy immune system are DHA and EPA . They assist in reducing inflammation and promoting healing after any bacteria and viruses have been neutralised.
Natural dietary sources are limited to oily fish and seafood, so supplements containing fish oil or algae are important alternatives if you dont eat fish regularly.
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