More Isn’t Always Better
Here’s the catch: When it comes to water-soluble vitamins, like vitamins B and C, the body can only absorb so much. If you take too much, youre essentially wasting your money because youll just pee it out,” says Marty. But, luckily, other than being a money-waster, taking a bunch of vitamin C wont hurt you.
Thats not the case for several other vitamins that can be found in immune-boosting supplements. Fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, can cause issues when they’re taken in large doses. These are absorbed in the small intestines and then stored in the liver and fat tissues. Its much easier to reach dangerous levels with fat-soluble vitamins because they build up over time. Vitamin A overdose, for example, can cause vision changes, bone pain, and liver damage. According to the National Institutes of Health, supplements are the the primary reason people experience vitamin A toxicity.
Unfortunately, though, experts aren’t sure exactly how much is too much. So, for now, most health professionals and nutritionists advise not taking any more than 100 percent of your recommended daily allowance of any given vitamin or mineral through supplementation alone, Marty says.
Food And Your Immune System
Have you ever taken Emergen-C or a similar supplement to boost your immune system? Many of these immunity-boosting supplements claim to enhance the immune system and ward off illness. However, scientific experts warn against the idea of boosting the immune system.
Instead, according to experts, it is best for the immune system to be perfectly balanced. Too much of an immune reaction could result in allergies or autoimmune disorders. Too little of an immune reaction could result in illness or infection. Lets change the vocabulary a bit here and focus on what we can do to support our immune system and work toward balance.
How To Choose A Supplement
The FDA licenses various supplements. However, some of them are not held to the same safety standards as pharmaceuticals. Therefore, if you wish to take a vitamin C supplement, you should ensure that its a high-quality one bought from reliable sources. You should also have a clear idea about the dosage and choose supplements that have been tested by reputable companies. It is best to consult your doctor before you opt for a vitamin C or a multivitamin supplement.
Vitamin C is an important nutrient that keeps the immune system functioning properly. Most adults need 90 mg of vitamin C per day. To get enough of it in your diet, ensure you eat a variety of vegetables and fruits. Fruits rich in vitamin C include cantaloupe, orange, grapefruit, and other citrus fruits, kiwis, mangos, papayas, pineapples, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflowers, certain peppers. spinach, tomatoes, and potatoes are some vegetables rich in vitamin C.
If you are suffering from vitamin C deficiency or need advice on increasing your immunity, visit the 8-2-8 Urgent Care walk-in clinic in Oceanside, CA. Our medical team will provide an effective solution to ensure an adequate vitamin C intake and strengthen your immunity.
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Ways To Boost Your Immune System
There are plenty of supplements and products that claim to help improve immunity. But boosting your immune system is a bit harder to accomplish than you may think and for good reason.
Your immune system is incredibly complex. From a cold to the flu to COVID-19, it has to be strong enough and sophisticated enough to fight off a variety of illnesses and infections, but not so strong that it overreacts unnecessarily causing autoimmune disorders to develop. To operate in such a delicate balance, it’s tightly controlled by a variety of inputs.
Despite this complexity, there are things you can do to help give your immune system what it needs to ward off infection or illness.
Here are five science-backed ways to build and maintain a strong, healthy immune system, as well as why you shouldn’t rely on supplements instead.
There’s A Better Way To Boost Your Immune System
The best thing anyone can do is maintain good health every day by eating well and exercising, says Marty.
It’s true. When it comes to vitamins and minerals, it’s always best to operate with a food-first mentality. If you’re looking for vitamin C, try yellow bell peppers, guava, kale, papaya, and strawberries, which all have more vitamin C than an orange. For zinc, add foods like shellfish and yogurt to your diet. Basically, as long as you’re eating a whole-foods diet that’s rich in a vegetables, produce, meats, and dairy, you should get all of the nutrients you need for a strong immune system. And if your doctor does find that you have any nutrient deficiencies, supplement that nutrient specifically, and follow your doctor’s instructions on dosage, she says.
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Vitamins For The Immune System
A healthy immune system requires a variety of vitamins and nutrients in order to do its job properly. Vitamins that play a role in immune function include vitamins C, D, and A,v in addition to others. The food you eat can help you get these vital contributors for immune system health. However, if you are unable to get all the vitamins you need from your everyday diet, you might want to consider taking a daily multivitamin. Centrum multivitamins contain vitamins and nutrients to help support the immune systemand your health as a whole.
Choose The Right Supplements For You
You should always consult your doctor before starting any new diet plan or deciding which supplements you need. Everyone is different and we all have different dietary needs. What works for someone else might not work for you.
Here is a shortlist of things you should consider when selecting your supplements:
- Consider Your Age Vitamins and supplements vary depending on who they are made for. For example, a senior might need a diet and supplements with more calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B-12, potassium and fiber. Whereas all a child might need is a balanced diet and a gummy vitamin.
- Consider Your Gender Like age, gender can also help you determine what vitamins might be right for you. Pregnant women, for example, take prenatal vitamins which are full of the minerals required for the development of their baby. These same vitamins wont be as useful for men.
- Consider Your Diet Do you keep track of what your eating on a day to day basis? Often times we dont eat enough fruit, vegetables and other healthy foods that contain the vitamins we need for proper nutrition. You can start tracking your food and drink intake on an average day to get an idea of what youre likely not getting enough of.
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Meanwhile, research shows that exercise can actually boost the cells that aid our immune system and lower inflammation. For example, a 2015 University of Houston study found that a single bout of moderate-intensity exercise, like jogging or lifting moderate weights, activates the immune system to fight off infection.
So maybe consider swapping out your supplements for a rainbow-filled platewith a side of exercise.
Supplements Are An Important Part Of Your Covid
While maintaining a healthy regimen of supplements for COVID-19 is a proven way to boost your immune system, address body inflammation, and access powerful antioxidants, supplements should be taken in conjunction with other efforts. For example, although supplements are a simple means of filling in the gaps in your diet, make an effort to improve the way you eat as well. Adding a wider variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, fish, poultry, and meats will give you the best chance possible at optimal immune health.
Also, make an effort to keep your body as healthy as possible by implementing proper health and fitness routines. Try to engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate activity per day, geared toward strengthening your muscles and exercising your cardiovascular system. Dont overlook your mental healthspend time each day focusing on your mental well-being as well as your physical health. Finally, utilizing proper handwashing procedures, practicing social distancing, and wearing a face mask while in public can help prevent COVID-19 in the first place.
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The Role Of Nutrition In Immune Health
Research shows when the body has optimal nutrition, it initiates an effective response against pathogens and is more successful in combating any underlying chronic inflammationChilds C, Calder P, Miles E. Diet and Immune Function. Nutrients. 2019 11:1933. .
The gut is home to one of the largest reservoirs of our immune system, and poor nutrition quite simply increases the risk of infection and transforms that once-protective gut barrier into the equivalent of Walmart on Black Friday, says Dr. Fenster.
This internal chaos created from eating less-than-nutritious foods can also become a bit of a vicious cycle. When the immune system is activated in the face of potential threats , theres a greater demand for energy, and a proper supply of nutrients is required to fight an active infection. Without those nutrients, your body doesnt have the stores from which to pull that could help you get well sooner.
Adequate and appropriate nutrition is required for the cells of the body to function optimally, and this includes cellular immune health, says David Friedman, a naturopathic doctor, clinical nutritionist and board-certified alternative medical practitioner based in North Carolina. When the body is exposed to disease-causing germs, the best defense is a healthful diet and nutrition.
Long story short, if you want to stay healthy this holiday season, pay attention to what makes it to your plate.
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?
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Maintain A Healthy Diet
As with most things in your body, a healthy diet is key to a strong immune system. This means making sure you eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats.
In addition to providing your immune system the energy it needs, a healthy diet can help ensure you’re getting sufficient amounts of the micronutrients that play a role in maintaining your immune system, including:
- Vitamin B6, found in chicken, salmon, tuna, bananas, green vegetables and potatoes
- Vitamin C, found in citrus fruit, including oranges and strawberries, as well as tomatoes, broccoli and spinach
- Vitamin E, found in almonds, sunflower and safflower oil, sunflower seeds, peanut butter and spinach
Since experts believe that your body absorbs vitamins more efficiently from dietary sources, rather than supplements, the best way to support your immune system is to eat a well-balanced diet.
Three Vitamins Minerals To Boost Your Immune System And Fight Covid
Associate Professor of dietetics and nutrition shares which supplements and food groups can help keep you healthy
As we continue to keep an eye on COVID-19 and its new strains, now is a great time to strengthen our immune systems to combat the virus.
According to Associate Professor of dietetics and nutrition Cristina Palacios, supplements and foods rich in certain vitamins and minerals are crucial.
Those of us that have a better nutritional status can fight the disease better than others, says Palacios, a faculty member at the Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work. We constantly have pathogens, such as virus and bacteria, coming into our bodies. If our immune system is working really well, we dont get infected.
She adds, In general, nutrition affects our entire body. All body processes require enzymes, and many vitamins and minerals help enzymes work better. Theres the saying, We are what we eat. Its true. If you want to be healthy, you have to consume certain nutrients.
So, how do we keep our immune systems healthy during this time?
To shed light on the matter, Palacios recently hosted a free virtual webinar for the community. The webinar was part of an ongoing series organized by Palacios and a team of graduate students to share information with folks who are trying to keep their families healthy.
Here are the top three supplements adults should consider taking.
Nutrients through food
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 .
Ideas For Healthy Snacking
Struggling with having too many tasty snack options while working from home? Here are some tips to help keep calorie consumption down.
- Have more fruits and vegetables on hand at home. Pair fruits and vegetables with filling dips such as hummus, yogurt or guacamole.
- Dont skip meals. Start the day off with a hearty filling breakfast to get you going for the day. Take a break from work to sit down and enjoy a lunch filled with vegetables, protein and whole grains.
- Keep less healthy snacks out of reach and out of sight. Freeze your baked goods to make them less accessible. Put the candy in the garage or basement to reduce reaching for them mindlessly.
- When craving savory snacks find an alternative to chips. Consider nuts and seeds, whole grains or even beans like the recipe for roasted, seasoned chickpeas:
- 1 can of chickpeas tossed in olive oil, curry powder, and paprika.
- Bake at 375 for 25 minutes or until crispy.
While you may not be able to completely avoid getting sick, a strong and healthy immune system can be your first line of defense. Focusing on your immune health can also help take the edge off your symptoms if you do get sick.
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Can Supplements Boost Your Immunity This Winter
Nov. 17, 2020 — With COVID-19 cases on the rise and cold and flu season well underway, people are seeking ways to boost their disease defenses. Sales of immune health supplements are projected to grow from $16 billion in 2019 to $29 billion by 2027, spurred in part by the pandemic, according to research from Fortune Business Insights.
But could a supplement give you an extra edge against illness?
âThereâs no magic bullet to bolster the immune system,â says Barry Fox, MD, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.
But some supplements may have some infection-fighting benefits. âIf people are taking vitamin C or D or another supplement and not having any side effects, it may be of help,â Fox says.
Keep in mind that supplements are an unregulated industry. That means that even if a vitamin or botanical has shown promise, the bottle you buy might contain too little or too much of the desired substance. For most supplements, research is limited at best. Plus, research suggests itâs better to get your vitamins from foods rather than supplements.
That said, hereâs what to know about popular vitamins and botanicals often advertised as immune boosters:
How Can Vitamin D Help Boost Your Immune System
Backing up a second here: Vitamin D, aka calciferol, is a fat-soluble vitamin thats naturally present in a few foods, like fatty fish, beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks, per the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements . Its produced in your body when UV rays from the sun hit your skin and trigger whats known as vitamin D synthesis.
Vitamin D can do a slew of different things in your body, including strengthen your bones, reduce inflammation, and help with immune function, the NIH says.
Heres the big reason why vitamin D can be helpful as a supplement, per Dr. Adalja: Some people are deficient in it, meaning they dont get enough of it on a regular basis.
As for the link with immune function, one systematic review and meta-analysis of data from 11,321 people published in the BMJ found that people took weekly or daily supplements of vitamin D were less likely to develop respiratory tract infections than those who didnt. People who were the most deficient in vitamin D had the biggest benefit.
Another systematic review and meta-analysis of 5,660 people published in PLOS One found that vitamin D supplementation had a protective effect against respiratory tract infections, with a daily dose being the most effective.
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