In Greek, oligo means “little”. Trace elements are minerals present only in trace amounts in our body. However, they have an essential function: “They act as catalysts, a bit like the spark that starts the engine of a car”, explains Isabelle Hininger-Favier, biochemist.
The trace elements in fact ensure the reactions of the body necessary for defend yourself well against virusescoping with stress or fatigue… And if we find them in our diet, a boost is sometimes necessary.
“Among the elderly in particular, observations show that they do not always reach the recommended nutritional intakes for iron, zinc, selenium or magnesium. A very low dose supplementation can therefore be useful to boost their metabolism,” says Dr. Odile Picard-Paix, general practitioner oligotherapist.
This is especially true in winter, when the body is put to the test by the cold and viruses.
Trace elements stimulate our immune defenses
“Taking trace elements is useful if you have repeated infections during the winter,” suggests Dr. Picard-Paix. In general, “studies prove that trace elements strengthen the defences: the markers of immunity are, for example, improved with zinc and selenium supplements”, acknowledges Isabelle Hininger-Favier.
This zinc-selenium duo is particularly useful after the age of 65, as studies have shown that supplementation reduces the risk of bronchopulmonary infections.
Before age 65, it is rather the copper-gold-silver trio which is used to counter viruses (colds, flu, gastro…) and bacteria. Copper is both antiviral and antibacterial, gold stimulates the action of white blood cells and silver is rather bactericidal.
- In the event of chronic ENT infections (angina, rhinos, sinusitis, etc.), this trio is associated with sulfurwhich participates in the regeneration of the mucous membranes of the nose and throat.
All these trace elements can be used as preventive basic treatment, from autumn and for at least three months. Each trace element (or copper-gold-silver type synergy) is taken two to three times a week, alternating if several are combined.
- In the event of a cold or other winter infection, the dose can also be increased (twice a day) for a few days, to support the defences.
Trace elements fight against fatigue
“Unlike vitamin C, trace elements will not provide an immediate boost. On the other hand, they will help to modify the terrain to regain energy in a sustainable way”, specifies Florence Raynaud.
- In parallel with the copper-gold-silver trio, which boosts immunity but also helps to recover, often prescribed during periods of convalescence, we will add selenium if we feel physically weak, because a deficit is often synonymous with muscle fatigue.
- In case of nervous exhaustion: we feel on edge, we fall for nothing… the copper-gold-silver trio will be associated with magnesium, because stress depletes our stock and our nerve cells need it to function well.
All these treatments are to be taken alternately, two to three times a week, for at least a month.
Trace elements help us to keep a good morale
When winter fatigue is accompanied by a little depression, linked in particular to the lack of light, the lithium is prescribed to rebalance morale at infinitesimal doses, much lower than those used in psychiatry to treat depression. It can be added to anti-fatigue trace elements.
In case of chronic anxiety, “with sleep problems in particular, prefer the manganese-cobalt duo, alone or in addition”, specifies Dr. Picard-Paix.
The precautions to take
“The quantities provided by the oligotherapy specialties being of the order of a milligram or a microgram, the risk of overdose is almost zero, it can even be given to children, from 3-4 years old”, specifies Florence Raynaud.
- A cumulative risk. However, be careful not to combine them with food supplements that also contain them!
- Remote sockets. Certain trace elements must be taken at a distance so as not to risk canceling their effects: selenium and copper or manganese and selenium, for example.
- Contraindications. Magnesium in case of kidney failure may be poorly eliminated and stored in excess, zinc in cancer could promote cell proliferation.
It is better to seek advice from a doctor, a naturopath or a pharmacist to determine the protocol adapted to his condition, especially since “the main risk, by taking them badly, is above all not to be effective”, adds Dr Odile Picard. -Peace.