If everyone had access to a balanced, nutrition-dense diet, this two-part blog wouldn’t be necessary to write. Ideally, everyone would consume enough fruits, vegetables, protein, fiber, and healthy fats to build up a naturally strong immune system. However, for many, that’s not the case. In this blog, we’ll deal with over-the-counter supplements you can buy to strengthen your immune system. Part 2 dealt with foods that do the same.
It should be noted that a lot of people have situations such as high-stress lifestyles or inflammatory health issues that may require more protection than food alone can offer. The solution of supplements is really geared towards people in that situation or for those unable or unwilling to sufficiently change their dietary habits.
As a general rule, medical professionals say that you cannot “supplement yourself out of” bad health or food intake practices. Look at supplements as more of a way to fill in the gaps of your diet to give yourself a leg up.
With all of that out of the way, these are some products that can help:
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory which strengthens our immune system cells. It gets used up rapidly during infection and when we are under tremendous stress. It also speeds wound-healing and is great for your skin. Studies have shown that Vitamin C lowers the severity and duration of the common cold.
Because humans cannot naturally manufacture Vitamin C, it needs to be constantly replenished. Recommended dose: 500MG, twice daily.
Zinc. The World Health Organization reports that between 17-30% of the world’s population has a zinc deficiency. Why is this important? Zinc is a trace mineral with a huge impact on our innate and adaptive immune systems. Zinc aids in fighting viruses and the common cold, as well as protecting us from free radical damage to our cells.
Recommended dose: 15-30MG daily.
Circumin. A supplement unfamiliar to most, studies have shown circumin’s effectiveness in preventing diseases ranging from auto-immunity to Alzheimer’s Disease. Additionally, circumin decreases inflammation at multiple levels in the body, providing symptom relief from pain and arthritis. Finally – you see a lot of TV ads these days promoting “gut health.” Circumin really is a wonderful treatment for gut bacteria.
Recommended dose is 1,000MG/day. Please take it with food.
Vitamin D is particularly difficult to find in everyday foods. Really, only cod liver, fatty fish and certain fortified foods make a difference – and none are common aspects of most people’s diets. Thus it is key that if you’re taking a multivitamin, it has plenty of Vitamin D. If not – and you’re not consuming the unique foods listed above – make sure your supplement gets you up to 2000MG per day.
The benefits of Vitamin D are many. It reduces the likelihood of getting an upper body infection and is generally efficient in killing many types of bacteria and viruses. Low Vitamin D intake can also make people more susceptible to multiple sclerosis.
1 Cochrane Library, “Vitamin C for Preventing & Treating the Common Cold” – https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD000980.pub4/full#:~:text=In%20adults%20the%20duration%20of,vitamin%20C%20(3249%20episodes).
2 The National Library of Medicine, “Therapeutic Roles of Curcumin: Lessons Learned from Clinical Trials” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3535097/#:~:text=Our%20own%20group%20found%20that,wide%20range%20of%20human%20diseases.