The Best Vitamin D Supplements
If youre new to the vitamin D journey, welcome! With so many options out there, it can be hard to decide which is the best vitamin D supplement for you. Well quickly discuss the role of vitamin D in the body, help you understand what to look for when comparing vitamin D supplements, and provide recommendations on our top picks!
The Science Behind Zinc And Immunity
Zinc supports the functioning of immune cells like neutrophils and macrophages. As a result, a zinc deficiency can lead to a higher risk of infections. You’ve probably seen zinc lozenges at your pharmacy. Though the research is conflicting, the nutrient is thought to potentially drive down the duration and severity of symptoms associated with the common cold by preventing the entry of the virus into cells and stopping it from multiplying in the body.
Zinc’s antiviral properties may help the body fight viral species similar to those that cause COVID-19, per emerging research. However, studies on zinc and viruses like the coronavirus are still in their infancy, and a great deal of further research in humans is still needed before we can making any sweeping conclusions about the relationship between the two.
Exercise: Good Or Bad For Immunity
Regular exercise is one of the pillars of healthy living. It improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight, and protects against a variety of diseases. But does it help to boost your immune system naturally and keep it healthy? Just like a healthy diet, exercise can contribute to general good health and therefore to a healthy immune system.
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How To Prepare And Store Cucumbers
Most people wash, slice, and toss their cucumbers into a salad. Before you do, you may want to soak them in salt water first. That will lower the amount of water in them and keep the cucumbers from making your salad dressing watery.
You can eat the peel of a cucumber. In fact, it will add fiber and vitamin A to your diet. Just be sure to wash the cucumber first.
When you shop for cucumbers, skip ones that are yellow, puffy, or have sunk-in areas, bulges, or wrinkled ends. Those overripe cucumbers won’t taste great. Instead, look for bright, firm, medium to dark-green, slender cucumbers. Any bruises or dark spots are signs of decay.
Store cucumbers unpeeled in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer. If they have a wax coating that gives them a shiny look, use them within a week. If they don’t have a wax coating, use them sooner. Don’t keep them out at room temperature long, or they will become soft and limp.
Withania Supplements May Help Reduce Weight Loss As A Result Of Cancer Treatment
What is withania?
Withania is a perennial with small, yellow and green flowers, and an orange berry. The root is used medicinally but the berries, leaves and bark are sometimes used too. It contains steroidal lactones, flavonoids, alkaloids, phytosterols and iron.
What does withania do?
Withania is thought to be capable of modulating the bodys response to stress-in the brain, it appears to stimulate the GABAergic system, the system involved in calming and quieting brain activity. By acting on the adrenal glands, it may also reduce blood levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which is raised in chronic stress and can cause adverse effects.
Experts think withania may help support people with cancer. For instance, it may reduce the weight loss that commonly occurs with this condition. More importantly, it may help reduce the toxic effects of chemotherapy on the bone marrow, which is where red and white blood cells are made.
How to take withania
- Dried root: take 3 to 6 grams a day in capsule form or as a tea.
- Fluid extract : take 5 to 13 millilitres a day.
- Your health-care practitioner can prescribe a specific dose, possibly coupled with other appropriate herbs, to suit your specific needs.
- If you are having chemotherapy or radiotherapy or taking immune-suppressing drugs, consult your specialist before taking withania.
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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 Much Zinc Should You Take
The recommended dietary allowance includes the zinc you get from both the food you eat and any supplements you take.
Longe, J., ed. The Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine, second edition, 2004.Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University: “Micronutrient Information Center: Zinc.”Natural Standard monograph: “Zinc.”Office of Dietary Supplements: “Facts about Dietary Supplements: Zinc.”Archives of Ophthalmology: “A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Clinical Trial of High-Dose Supplementation With Vitamins C and E, Beta Carotene, and Zinc for Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Vision Loss.”
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database: “Zinc.”
Institutes of Medicine: “Dietary Reference Intakes: Elements.”
Natural Standard: “Zinc.”
The Journal of Family Practice. “Zinc for the common coldânot if, but when.”
Cochrane Database Syst Rev:”Zinc for the common cold” and “Zinc supplementation for the prevention of pneumonia in children aged 2 months to 59 months.”
Canadian Medical Association Journal: “Prevention and treatment of the common cold: making sense of the evidence.”
Clin Respir J. “Efficacy of zinc given as an adjunct to the treatment of severe pneumonia: A meta-analysis of randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled trials.”
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The Science Behind Vitamin A And Immunity
Vitamin A strengthens both the innate and adaptive immune systems of the body. The innate immune response protects the skin, eyes, respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract and reproductive organs. The adaptive immune system produces antibodies that attack foreign invaders . Carotenoids are also powerful antioxidants that help the body fight inflammation. Like most nutrients for immune health, the best way to get your vitamin A is from food, rather than supplements.
Vitamin A supplementation is especially prone to causing toxicity, and over-supplementation can actually weaken the immune system. The good news? Food sources of vitamin A are safe and effective for meeting your daily needs. Plus, they’re colorful and delicious!
Effects Of Antioxidant Vitamins On Immunity
It has been known for more than 30 years that some vitamins with antioxidant properties, including vitamin A, vitamin B6 , vitamin C and particularly vitamin E, have protective effects on animal models of atherosclerosis and ischaemia-reperfusion injury . Vitamin E collectively refers to eight related compounds , of which -tocopherol has the greatest bioavailability and is the best characterized. Vitamin E decreases the release of reactive oxygen species by monocytes and the expression of CD11b and very late antigen 4 , thereby decreasing monocyte adhesion to the endothelium. Vitamin E also blocks the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, including IL-1, IL-6, TNF and the chemokine IL-8, by monocytes and macrophages,. Moreover, vitamin E prevents the upregulation of the adhesion molecules vascular cell-adhesion molecule 1 and intercellular adhesion molecule 1 on the endothelium induced by oxidized low-density lipo protein and IL-1, as well as the upregulation of E-selectin and some chemokines. Reactive oxygen species activate the nuclear factor-B pathway, which initiates many pro-inflammatory events. Therefore, the therapeutic antioxidant effect of these vitamins could be explained, at least in part, by their capacity to decrease NF-B activation.
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Increase Immunity The Healthy Way
Many products on store shelves claim to boost or support immunity. But the concept of boosting immunity actually makes little sense scientifically. In fact, boosting the number of cells in your body immune cells or others is not necessarily a good thing. For example, athletes who engage in “blood doping” pumping blood into their systems to boost their number of blood cells and enhance their performance run the risk of strokes.
Attempting to boost the cells of your immune system is especially complicated because there are so many different kinds of cells in the immune system that respond to so many different microbes in so many ways. Which cells should you boost, and to what number? So far, scientists do not know the answer. What is known is that the body is continually generating immune cells. Certainly, it produces many more lymphocytes than it can possibly use. The extra cells remove themselves through a natural process of cell death called apoptosis some before they see any action, some after the battle is won. No one knows how many cells or what the best mix of cells the immune system needs to function at its optimum level.
Why Do People Take Zinc
Zinc has become a popular treatment for the common cold. Some studies have found that zinc lozenges may reduce the duration of cold, perhaps by a day or so, and may reduce the number of upper respiratory infections in children.
Zinc helps fight infection and heal wounds. However, if you already have enough zinc from your diet, it is not clear that getting even more — from supplements — has a benefit.
Topical zinc is used to treat diaper rash and skin irritations. Zinc has also been shown to help with ulcers, ADHD, acne, sickle cell anemia, and other conditions.
In addition, zinc has also been studied as a treatment for herpes, high cholesterol, rheumatoid arthritis, HIV, and more. However, the evidence of zinc’s benefit for these conditions is inconclusive.
Zinc may be part of an effective treatment for age-related macular degeneration, but more proof is needed.
Health care providers may recommend zinc supplements for people who have zinc deficiencies. Strict vegetarians, alcohol abusers, and people who have a poor diet are at higher risk for zinc deficiency. So are those with certain digestive problems, such as Crohn’s disease.
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Eat Foods With Certain Nutrients
Being malnourished is one way to hurt your immune system. It needs lots of nutrients and vitamins to be as strong as possible. Make sure your diet includes moderate amounts of the following vitamins:
- Vitamin E
Tip to remember: In a broader scope, having a well-rounded diet filled with fruits and vegetables is always a good route to take to strengthen your immune system.
Immunomodulatory Role Of Vitamin D
The influence of VD3 metabolites in the immune system, particularly of 1,252 VD3, has been known for more than 20 years,. In vitro, 1,252VD3 exerts a marked inhibitory effect on adaptive immune cells . It inhibits T-cell proliferation,, the expression of interleukin-2 and interferon- mrNA and protein in T cells,, and CD8 T-cell-mediated cytotoxicity. The decrease in the production of IL-2 and IFN by 1,252VD3 is partially mediated by binding of the VDRRXR complex to the VDRE in the promoters of genes encoding IL-2 and IFN . The anti-proliferative effect could be explained, at least in part, by the decrease in IL-2 production, as proliferation is partially rescued by adding exogenous IL-2 . These inhibitory effects of 1,252VD3 are most pronounced in the memory T-cell compartment, which is concomitant with the higher expression of VDR in effector and memory T cells compared with naive T cells. Moreover, 1,252VD3 enhances nonspecific T-cell suppressor activity, as measured by the ability of 1,252VD3-treated T cells to suppress primary mixed-lymphocyte reactions and cytotoxic T-cell responses.
Mechanisms of vitamin D immunomodulation
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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.
Start Taking A Supplement
Zinc, selenium and vitamin D are known for boosting the immune system. Specifically, a 2013 review of 17 studies found that taking zinc supplements within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms reduces the duration of common cold symptoms.
Tip to remember: Supplements are beneficial in moderation. Never take too many multivitamins or other supplements. Follow the directions for use on the bottle.
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Foods That Support Immune Health
Dark Leafy Greens
Dark leafy veggies like spinach and kale have vitamin C which helps support the immune system.
Eat fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel to increase your vitamin D intake.
Oysters, Red Meat and Poultry
Foods like oysters, red meat and poultry are all good sources of zinc.
Oranges and other citrus fruits contain vitamin C for immune support.
Fresh fruits like strawberries and cantaloupe are a great source of vitamin C.
Fortified grains, juices, or dairy
Breakfast cereals, orange juice, and milk products are often fortified with vitamin D and other good-for-you ingredients to help support your immune system.
Healthy Lifestyle Tips For Immune Support
Living a healthy lifestyle is one of best things you can do to support your immune system. Eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet is important, of course, but there are other important habits as well. Getting adequate sleep, exercising regularly, and practicing proper handwashing hygiene are a few habits to incorporate into your day-to-day routine to help ward off illness and infection. We cant always avoid getting sick, but we can take certain measures to maintain our health as much as possible. Learn more about lifestyle habits that can help support your immune system.
Enjoy your rest
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Can Vitamin Supplements Boost Immunity Against Coronavirus Which Vitamins Can I Take To Avoid Or Fight Covid
We all know that vitamins and minerals are vital for our immune systems. But which vitamins should you take to boost your immunity against the novel coronavirus? Is there any evidence that these supplements work? And even if they don’t, what’s the harm?
We spoke to ZOE co-founder Professor Tim Spector, author of the book ‘The Diet Myth,’ to find out. â
Zinc For Reducing Cold Durations
Zinc is another popular option that many people recommend when trying to shorten the duration of a cold. While the mineral cant prevent colds, evidence supports the claim that zinc shortens colds. According to one study, colds were shortened by 30-40% in people who took zinc lozenges. However, people thinking about adding zinc to their cold recovery plan should look for supplements or lozenges that contain at least 80-100mg of zinc. And for best results, try to take zinc within the first 24 hours of experiencing cold symptoms.
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Time For Booster Supplements
This all becomes problematic when knowing how common nutritional deficiency is. In a review of nutrition spanning seven western countries, people over 60 were found to be consistently deficient in selenium, zinc, iodine and copper.
And, while this issue disproportionately affects the elderly, it is not limited to older age groups. The 2019 UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey showed a sustained worsening of the dietary intakes and chronic shortages of several of the nutrients involved in supporting the normal immune functions across age groups. The micronutrients people lacked included vitamins A, B12, C and D and the trace minerals zinc, selenium and copper.
Such micronutrient deficiencies may limit the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines. Given this, we propose that all those at risk of nutritional insufficiency should take a supplement containing the recommended daily allowance of nutrients important to immune function for a period of weeks before and after they receive the vaccine. People who could benefit from this include the underweight elderly, those on restricted diets, and certain BAME communities who may be at risk of vitamin D deficiency.
Want A Defense Against Covid
Your immune system is an intricate, codependent structure of white blood cells, antibodies, complex proteins, networks, and organs. Some parts of the system act as literal barriers, preventing viruses and bacteria from reaching organs like your brain, while others hunt and remove invaders from your body.
Though your immune system is effective against many disease-causing germs and viruses, it requires time to familiarize itself with the enemy. In many scenarios, it must be able to recognize an illness-causing pathogen as a danger before it can be removed from your body. This is typically only possible once youve developed specific antibodies after having been sick or receiving a vaccine. Here are some important words to know when understanding how your immune system works.
- Pathogens: Microbes that can infect the body and cause illness.
- Antigens: Proteins found on the surface of pathogens.
- Antibodies: Healthy proteins that can recognize and bind with specific antigens.
When an antibody recognizes the antigen of an invading pathogen, it binds itself to it tightly. Once attached it acts as a beacon, signaling other elements of the immune system to attack the invader.
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