Our Top 3 Supplements To Help Boost Immunity
90% of people don't get the recommended amount of important nutrients from food alone. Most of us fail to meet dietary recommendations due to eating processed food, the low nutrient level in soil, strict dieting, poor appetite, stress, or changing nutritional needs.
Supplementation is intended to bridge this nutritional gap so that we maintain the optimal levels of nutrients in our body to allow our immune system and other functions to work at their best.
Our top three supplements to help with supporting your immune system over the winter months are:
1. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is essential for humans as it plays a vital role in both the innate and adaptive immune system.
Your skin and mucous membranes are your body’s first line of defence. A cut or puncture in your skin can become a doorway for infection-causing bacteria.
Vitamin C helps your body to produce collagen – a key protein in skin, and one you need for proper wound healing.
Vitamin C also helps to stimulate both the production and function of many types of white blood cells essential for fighting infection. It also helps your body to produce important antibodies.
Vitamin C’s powerful antioxidant properties help to protect certain white blood cells from the toxic compounds they produce in their fight against pathogens.
Foods high in Vitamin C: Kiwifruit, capsicum, strawberries, pineapple, oranges, broccoli, tomato, snow peas, kale
Naturopathsown Daily C Powder (3000mg per teaspoon)
Premium Quality Effervescent Vitamin C Powder is a pure, potent and great tasting daily use Vitamin C powder with the highest biological activity for NZ and Australian practitioners. Use ½-1 teaspoon 1-2x day.
Thompsons Chewable Vitamin C Tablets (500mg per tablet)
Pleasant tasting chewable tablet contains natural orange flavour. Readily absorbed vitamin C complex, containing added bioflavonoids. Take 1-2 tablets per day.
2. Vitamin D
Vitamin D (which is actually a hormone) modulates both the innate and adaptive systems, thus having a wide effect on the immune system.
Studies show that deficiency in Vitamin D increases the chances of infection.
A study has shown that individuals with low Vitamin D levels are more likely to develop upper respiratory tract infections than those with sufficient levels.
Several studies have reported an association of lower Vitamin D levels and increased rates of infection, including influenza.
90% of the Vitamin D we get is made by our bodies. The body makes Vitamin D from direct sunlight in the skin and the synthesis process continues in the liver and kidneys, until producing the final active form of the hormone.
Getting regular sensible sun exposure, as little as 15 minutes in the sun (without sunscreen), 3 times a week enables your body to make enough vitamin D. This is very difficult in winter which is why supplementing becomes more important.
Vitamin D is also known to play a role in autoimmunity. A prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency is observed in patients with autoimmune disease.
Foods that contain small amounts of Vitamin D (it is difficult to get sufficient Vit D from food alone): oily fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel), egg yolks, liver, mushrooms, some products have Vit D added such as fortified tofu, fortified milk and fortified yogurt.
Metagenics Vitamin D Drops (1000IU or 25 micrograms)
Stable D3 liquid that has a dropper to administer 0.25ml daily. Very good value, one bottle lasts 360 days.
Metagenics Vitamin D capsule (1000IU or 25 micrograms)
Some find it more convenient to have a capsule than a liquid, take one capsule daily.
Zinc also helps your immune system, metabolism function, is important to wound healing and your sense of taste and smell. Studies show that zinc has been shown to decrease duration of the common cold. It also improves wound healing, cognitive function and reduces symptoms of diarrhea in malnourished individuals.
Zinc is vital for DNA synthesis and cell proliferation - immune cells are highly proliferating and thus are dependent on adequate zinc supply.
Foods high in Zinc: oysters, beef, chicken, firm tofu, hemp seeds, lentils, oatmeal, shiitake mushrooms
Vera’s Formulation Zinc Picolinate Tablets (25mg Zinc)
Zinc Picolinate is a highly bioavailable form of zinc which utilises the body’s own natural absorption mechanism. Take one tablet daily.
Metagenics MetaZinc with Vitamin C Powder (25mg Zinc)
A great tasting powder that is also safe for children and contains 500mg of Vit C and 500IU of Vitamin D. Take ½ teaspoon twice daily when acute, once daily for maintenance.
Please chat to your Chiropractor about any of the supplements in this article, we make it easy for you by stocking them at Chiropractic Balance and our practice members get a 10% discount.
We advise seeking medical advice if you are already taking medications as supplements may have interactions or reduce the effectiveness of them.
Although supplements are often helpful to enhance your immunity, it is just as important to also maintain a diet high in nutrients. We always encourage you to seek nutrients naturally through your diet and then supplements can help aid in boosting essential nutrients.
We also have a free webinar on Wednesday 29th September at 7.30pm with Melanie Roskam, a Holistic Nutritional Practitioner who will be helping you understand all aspects of boosting your immunity through Nutrition. Secure your spot by registering now.