Nutrition

The vitamins and minerals that really boost your immunity

Whether you’re battling an infection or a cold, adding a few vitamins to your daily diet can be incredibly beneficial. In fact, certain vitamins, minerals, and supplements have been shown to fine-tune immune function, improve antibody production, and reduce inflammation to keep you feeling your best.

Here are some of the best immune supplements and how they can benefit your health, along with some simple suggestions on how to use them.

Vitamins that fuel the immune system

Many vitamins have been shown to help boost your body’s ability to fight infections. Here are some of the main vitamins that strengthen the immune system.

1. Vitamin C

Vitamin C plays a central role in immune function and is often used to help strengthen the body’s defenses against infections. Impressively, a 2006 trial published in the Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism even found that getting enough vitamin C in the diet can help reduce the symptoms and duration of respiratory infections.

Dosage recommendation: 75-90 milligrams for women and men, respectively

2. Vitamin D3

Vitamin D is an important micronutrient that is involved in many aspects of health and is also one of the main immune-boosting vitamins. Not only is vitamin D3 integral to the functioning of the body’s immune cells, but a deficiency in this important micronutrient can actually increase the risk of infection.

Be sure to opt for vitamin D3 over other forms. It is indeed the most effective in improving the status of vitamin D in the body.

Dosage recommendation: 400-800 IU

3. Vitamin A

This fat-soluble vitamin is essential for maintaining healthy vision, supporting healthy skin, and promoting proper growth and development. Additionally, vitamin A is also crucial for the development of certain immune cells needed to fight inflammation and infection. This is why it is considered one of the best supplements to strengthen the immune system.

Dosage recommendation: 700-900 EAR for women and men, respectively

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4. Vitamin E

Vitamin E is both a fat-soluble vitamin and a powerful antioxidant, helping to fight free radicals and prevent oxidative damage to cells. This vitamin is one of the main vitamins strengthening the immune system. Studies show that vitamin E supplementation may boost immune function, boost white blood cell production, and increase resistance to infection.

Dosage recommendation: 15 milligrams

5. Vitamin B6

Promising research suggests that vitamin B6 may help boost immune function to fight off foreign invaders in the body. According to a study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, giving critically ill patients vitamin B6 significantly improved their immune response over a two-week period.

Meanwhile, other studies show that a deficiency in this key vitamin can reduce the production of important antibodies involved in immunity.

Dosage recommendation: 1.2-1.7 milligrams

Minerals essential to the immune system

Several minerals have been studied for their impact on immune function and their ability to strengthen the body’s natural defense system. Here are some of the best minerals for immune system health.

1. Zinc

Often considered one of the most effective immune supplements, zinc is essential for the maintenance of overall good health. Research shows that zinc helps regulate the immune response and is necessary for the survival, proliferation and maturation of immune cells.

Clinical trials have also shown that getting enough zinc in the daily diet can reduce the incidence and improve the outcome of serious diseases like pneumonia and malaria.

Recommended dosage: 8 to 11 milligrams for women and men, respectively

2. Iron

Although best known for its role in the production of red blood cells and the transport of oxygen, iron is also considered one of the best supplements for boosting the immune system.

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Studies show that iron deficiency anemia can weaken the body’s immune response. This could increase the risk of disease and infection. Women, infants, children, and people on vegan or vegan diets may be at increased risk of deficiency.

Recommended dosage: 8-18 milligrams for men and women, respectively

3. Selenium

Selenium is a powerful micronutrient that acts as an antioxidant to neutralize harmful free radicals and decrease cell damage. In addition to triggering immunity, studies show that selenium may also be involved in regulating excessive immune responses to prevent widespread inflammation.

A review in Lancet also noted that low selenium intake may be associated with several adverse health effects, including poor immune function, cognitive decline, and increased risk of mortality.

Dosage recommendation: 400 micrograms

Other Supplements That Can Help Your Immunity

In addition to the immune-boosting vitamins and minerals listed above, several other supplements may also benefit immune function. Here are some of the top immune supplements to add to your routine.

1. Elderberry syrup

Derived from the berries of the Sambucus, elderberry syrup is often hailed as one of the best natural supplements for boosting the immune system. Rich in health-promoting polyphenols, elderberry syrup is frequently used as a natural remedy to treat flu symptoms and speed recovery.

Taking elderberry syrup four times a day for five days significantly reduces the duration of the flu compared to a placebo. Another review in 2019 concluded that elderberry may also help treat upper respiratory tract symptoms.

Dosage recommendation: 1 tablespoon up to four times daily

2. Probiotics

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria found in the digestive tract. Probiotic supplements have been linked to a long list of health benefits. Including better digestion, lower cholesterol levels, and most notably, improved immune function.

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In fact, studies show that probiotics regulate the function of certain immune cells and may even benefit immune-related conditions, ranging from viral infections to allergies and eczema.

Dosage recommendation: 10-100 billion

3. Turmeric

Besides giving a beautiful hue to curries, soups and sauces, turmeric has also been widely studied for its powerful medicinal properties.

In particular, curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, has been shown to reduce inflammation, enhance antibody responses, and modulate immune function. Which can offer protection against diseases like heart disease, allergies, arthritis and diabetes.

Dosage recommendation: 500-2,000 milligrams of turmeric extract

4. Basil

Basil is commonly used as an adaptogen to help improve how your body reacts and adapts to stress. This impressive plant also has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and immunomodulatory effects. It can be therapeutic for viral infections, cognitive functions and certain metabolic disorders.

Dosage recommendation: 300-2,000 milligrams

5. Oregano Essential Oil

Thanks to its powerful healing properties, oregano essential oil is often considered one of the best immune system boosting supplements on the market. Especially when it comes to fighting infections.

A study conducted by the University of Arizona measured the antiviral efficacy of oregano oil and its main active component, carvacrol, against non-enveloped murine norovirus (MNV). It has been found to help control human norovirus. Another in vitro study demonstrated that oregano essential oil was also effective in inactivating certain strains of pathogenic bacteria.

Dosage recommendation: Dilute one drop in a tablespoon of liquid

[HighProtein-Foods.com]

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