As the weather gets colder in WNY, are you wondering how you can boost your immune system? Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Katie Schaeffer, answers some commonly asked questions during cold and flu season in this week's Immune Supplements blog post.
Vitamin C supplementation has been shown to help reduce the duration and severity of cold symptoms in people under stress. The benefits of vitamin C supplements are highest in people who have a vitamin C deficiency, which is rare in the United States. Vitamin C is easily derived from diet and is found in many fruits and veggies. However, during times of stress it may be beneficial to include some extra vitamin C to help bridge the gap and support your immune system. Because vitamin C is water soluble, it is easily passed from the body and there is little concern for toxicity if high doses are taken.
Zinc is a mineral that has antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties, and may help maintain the integrity of tissue barriers. While deficiencies are rare in the United States, zinc deficiencies are associated with poor immune function and increased susceptibility to infections. Unlike vitamin C, high doses of zinc may cause toxicity and may result in nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and headaches. Adults should not ingest more than 40mg of zinc per day from supplements and food without the supervision of a doctor.
Inspired Health Group offers a variety of immune boosting supplements, including NutraMetrix Isotonix Immune. The Isotonix Immune is a powder that you mix with water and drink, so it is a great choice for people who don’t like to swallow pills. The supplement includes vitamin C, zinc, and a special form of beta-glucan that has been shown to help maintain a healthy immune balance.
Another supplement option for immune support available at IHG is Metagenics ImmuCore. ImmuCore is a tablet that contains high dose vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, niacin, selenium, and a blend of medicinal mushrooms that are used for immune health. It is a great choice for folks who don’t mind swallowing vitamins.
If you’re unsure which immune supplements might be right for you, or you have specific questions about these products, talk to your doctor or dietitian. Remember, the best way to prevent flu and covid-19 infection is through vaccination and masking, but it doesn’t hurt to include nutritional support as well.
- Katie Schaeffer, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Care & Education Specialist
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