It is no surprise that many of us are now thinking about our immune system and its effectiveness more than perhaps ever before. While the COVID-19 pandemic still looms large in the US and vaccines are not yet fully available for mass distribution, we are largely united by the knowledge that we need to continue to protect ourselves as best we can. As a result, you may be wondering if there is anything else you can do to boost your immunity, in addition to following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and living a mindful lifestyle made up of a healthy diet, adequate exercise, and stress control. Read on, because emerging research does suggest that taking specific supplements could make it easier on your immune system to guard your body against infection and help you get your health back faster following the occurrence of illness.
Your immune system comprises the complex cells and functions that work in tandem to help your body fight off harmful invaders, including bacteria, pathogens, and viruses. Being deficient in even one micronutrient alters your immunity. Insufficiency is thought to be a common factor in people who contract various viruses, including colds and other respiratory illnesses similar to those associated with COVID-19.
One of the easiest ways to maximize your immunity is to maintain sufficient vitamin levels, so adding the following supplements to your daily routine is an easy but effective way to fortify your immunity and help your body ward off illness.
When it comes to vitamin D, a fat-soluble nutrient, research indicates that sufficient levels help reduce the risk of contracting respiratory tract infections, flu, asthma, and other respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19. Specifically, Vitamin D3 can increase Treg levels, which are the body’s defense against viruses and inflammation. In contrast, low levels are thought to cause higher inflammatory markers, D-dimer and ferritin, and increased inflammatory cytokines, the signaling molecule produced by the immune cells.
In America, an estimated 35-40% of adults in America have insufficient levels. It is nearly impossible to provide your body with sufficient vitamin D through diet alone, so incorporating a pharmaceutical-grade vitamin D supplement strengthens immune function while also providing the following added benefits.
- Bone strength
- Dental health
- Healthy cell differentiation
- Neurologic and cognitive health
- Musculoskeletal comfort
- Cardiovascular health
- Healthy blood sugar metabolism
In a recent study conducted by the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 82.2% of 216 patients with COVID-19 in Spain were vitamin D deficient. These results corroborate those of a previous study that found patients who had vitamin D deficiencies were more likely to test positive for COVID-19. The early results of these findings suggest that sufficient Vitamin D and D3 can minimize the contraction risk and severity of symptoms and mitigate associated illnesses such as pneumonia and other respiratory diseases.
Another immune-boosting vitamin that positively impacts your body’s ability to avoid illness and reduce the duration of cold-like symptoms is vitamin C or ascorbic acid. This vitamin helps immune system functions, acts as an antioxidant to protect your body from the oxidation of volatile free radicals, and helps kill off old immune cells so newer ones can take their place.
A study shared in the journal Nutrition found that vitamin C could be possible prophylaxis to prevent COVID-19 or alleviate associated inflammation for those with the virus. Adding an effective vitamin C supplement to your daily routine can support your immune system to ensure you continually maintain the most beneficial levels.
The mineral zinc is necessary for immune cell production and communication. It is thought to minimize the symptoms of colds and respiratory illnesses – including those of coronaviruses like COVID-19 – and possibly shorten their duration. Many adults are also considered deficient in zinc, so a potent zinc supplement is the easiest way to safeguard your levels.
Docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, is an omega-3 fatty acid that helps the body avoid inflammation. You can get this acid from a diet that includes fish, or you can boost your levels by incorporating a fish oil supplement into your routine. These supplements also have added benefits of helping reduce high cholesterol and heart disease while increasing brain function.
Immune function is positively affected by reduced stress and getting plenty of rest, so melatonin, known as the “sleep hormone,” plays a definite role in the efficacy of your overall immunity. Further, melatonin helps minimize lung inflammation and the risk of contracting fibrosis, two factors associated with the COVID-19 virus. An effective melatonin supplement can help you get the sleep you need to keep you healthy.
Dr. Randolph’s Is Your Health Ally
While there as yet no known cure for the COVID-19 pandemic, there are steps you can take to arm your immunity and your body with sufficient metabolic levels so it can better fight against various illnesses, COVID-19 included. Dr. Randolph’s Ageless and Wellness Center is your trusted team for targeted testing and expert medical insights. Contact us today to learn which supplements can help you empower your immune system to help you stay as healthy as possible, no matter what illness comes your way.