My Immunity Boosting Go-To's
For improving your immunity, a well equipped balance of Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Zinc is important. These three remedies have fantastic individual benefits, but together, can be looked at as a cocktail for overall good immunity.
Vitamin C is one of the best ways to boost your immunity. It has been shown that Vitamin C stimulates both the production and function of white blood cells. White blood cells circulate throughout our bodies attacking and destroying invaders like viruses. As humans we cannot produce our own Vitamin C internally but need to consume it in our diet or in supplement form as it is essential for life (unlike our cats and dogs who produce their own supply).
Ensuring optimal levels of Zinc in your body will dramatically enhance your immune function. Zinc is a mineral essential, with supplements between 15-30mg being the recommended daily intake to ensure best results. The elderly are often low in zinc – come into Health Oasis and take an instant test to find out your levels.
An analysis carried out at Queen Mary University London, found that Vitamin D helps to reduce the risk of respiratory infections, including colds and flu – especially amongst people who don’t get enough vitamin D from sunlight, or from their diets. Studies have also found that the vitamin is crucial for our immunity to fight off coughs, colds and flu, once we are already infected.
Vitamin D deficiency is most prevalent during the peak of cold and flu season and there is evidence to support the use of supplementation which can help to reduce both the incidence and severity of cold and flu symptoms. Evidence, which spans at least a decade, found that for those with the most significant vitamin D deficiencies (blood levels below 10 nmol/L), taking a supplement cut their risk of respiratory infection in half.
So if you don’t get much unprotected sun on your skin or eat much oily fish or liver, you may want to think about a Vit D supplement.
Herbs to reduce your risk of contracting viral infections
Herbal medicine has been experiencing a revival in recent years as antibiotics are no longer considered the best first line treatment for many coughs and colds. Herbs however have amazing properties to help us with cold and flu viruses by boosting immunity – such as Astragalus and Echinacea, which increase white blood cells like Natural Killer cells that destroy viruses. Other Herbs have demonstrated good anti-viral properties, which block viral entry into the cells, thereby interfering with viral replication and progression of disease, such as Lomatium, Pelargonium and Elderberry.
List of suggested Herbs:
Carr AC, Maggini S. Vitamin C and Immune Function. Nutrients. 2017; 9(11):1211.
Maggini, S., Beveridge, S., & Suter, M. (2012). A Combination of High-Dose Vitamin C plus Zinc for the Common Cold. Journal of International Medical Research, 28–42. https://doi.org/10.1177/147323001204000104
Kim Y, Kim H, Bae S, Choi J, Lim SY, Lee N, Kong JM, Hwang YI, Kang JS, Lee WJ. Vitamin C Is an Essential Factor on the Anti-viral Immune Responses through the Production of Interferon-α/β at the Initial Stage of Influenza A Virus (H3N2) Infection. Immune Netw. 2013 Apr;13(2):70-74. https://doi.org/10.4110/in.2013.13.2.70
M. Michaelis, H. Doerr, J. Cinatl, Investigation of the influence of EPs® 7630, a herbal drug preparation from Pelargonium sidoides, on replication of a broad panel of respiratory viruses, Phytomedicine, Volume 18, Issue 5, 2011, Pages 384- 386, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phymed.2010.09.008.
Lomatium dissectum Inhibits Secretion of CXCL10, a Chemokine Associated with Poor Prognosis in Highly Pathogenic Influenza A Infection. ORIGINAL RESEARCH https://doi.org/10.14200/jrm.2014.3.0107
E. Tiralongo, S. Wee, R. Lea. Elderberry Supplementation Reduces Cold Duration and Symptoms in Air-Travellers: A Randomized,
Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial
Bogden JD. Influence of zinc on immunity in the elderly. The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging. 2004 ;8(1):48-54.