The 4 vitamins and supplements this doctor takes every day “for a strong immune system”

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In a perfect world, we would all have access to a balanced, nutrient-dense diet rich in healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, adequate protein and fiber – and theoretically we shouldn’t have to take extra vitamin supplements to boost our immune system

However, not only do most of us fall short of these daily nutrient goals, but we may also have situations – like physical stress or inflammatory health conditions – where we need more of certain nutrients than we need. we get food.

Inasmuch as immunologist and functional medicine physicianI always say you can’t supplement bad health or replace bad diet with vitamins, but you can fill in the gaps to give you that head start.

Below are the four supplements I take daily and often recommend to my patients. Trust me: your body will thank you.

1. Vitamin C

Since humans cannot make vitamin C and it is not stored in the body, it must be constantly replenished.

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and strengthens the cells of our immune system. It quickly depletes during infection and when we are under tremendous stress. This too gears heals and is great for your skin.

A vitamin C supplement has been found in studies to reduce the severity and duration of a cold, and at the onset studies may lessen the severity of symptoms in hospitalized Covid patients.

A good starting dose is 500 milligrams twice a day for maximum absorption.

2. Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency is a worldwide question, which is a problem because this superstar vitamin modulates so many aspects of our immune a function. It makes our innate immune system more effective at killing bacteria and viruses and may reduce the frequency of upper respiratory tract infections.

Low vitamin D levels have also been correlated with a higher incidence of autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Since vitamin D is not readily found in many foods (with the exception of fatty fish, cod liver, and fortified foods), most people benefit from vitamin supplementation, especially during winter months or if they don’t spend a lot of time outdoors on a regular basis. .

I suggest starting with 1,000 to 2,000 international units per day, taken with a meal.

3. Zinc

The World Health Organization reports that between 17% and 30% of the world’s population has a zinc deficiency, potentially affecting health outcomes.

Zinc is a trace element with crucial effects on the effectiveness of the cells and cytokines of our innate and adaptive immune systems. Zinc helps fight viruses, protects us from free radical damage to our cells and has been shown to shorten the duration of a cold when given as a supplement.

Zinc is found in high levels in oysters, beef, and crab, and in lower amounts in legumes, tofu, pumpkin seeds, cashews, and other nuts and seeds. I recommend adding 15 to 30 milligrams of zinc daily, especially during the fall and winter months and at the first signs of a cold or flu.

4. Curcumin

This substance is the main active ingredient in turmeric root and has been shown to confer multiple health benefits.

In fact, there are more than 120 humans clinical tests showing the effectiveness of curcumin in the treatment of diseases ranging from autoimmunity to Alzheimer’s disease.

The magic of curcumin is in how it decreases inflammation on many levels in the body, not only helping to relieve symptoms of pain and arthritis, but also blocking inflammation. cytokines drive autoimmune diseases, heart disease and diabetes.

It also improves the health of our intestinal bacteria, which adds to our overall immune health. Because curcumin is not well absorbed and one would need to eat large amounts of turmeric root to experience significant benefits, I recommend supplementing with 1,000 milligrams daily with food.

Dr. Heather Moday is a board-certified allergist, immunologist and functional medicine physician. She is also the author of “The Immunotype Breakthrough: Your Personalized Plan to Balance Your Immune System, Optimize Your Health, and Build Your Lifelong Resilience.” Follow her on Instagram @theimmunityMD and Facebook.

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