With the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to note that no supplements or diet will cure the disease. The most effective way is practicing social distancing, and maintaining proper hygiene by washing your hands with soap and running water, or using alcohol-based hand rubs.
However, there is a very complex relationship between nutrition and immunity. For individuals with poor immunity, they are at a higher risk of different bacterial and viral infections. It is vital for us to pay great attention to our diet and nutrition during this COVID-19 pandemic.
It is unfortunate that most people don’t consume enough vegetables, fruits, and other foods that keep the immune system healthy. A healthy immune system requires a balance of a variety of different minerals and vitamins. It is hard to get all the vitamins and minerals in your diet alone, and that is where supplements come in handy.
Currently, there is no sufficient evidence to accurately prove that supplementing can protect you from COVID-19. Nevertheless, research shows that taking various vitamins and minerals supplements boost your immunity and reduce the severity of diseases and viral infections.
The regular intake of these supplements will not cure you of COVID-19, but if you haven’t contracted it yet they will boost and keep your immune system safe. Always consult a medical practitioner before starting the intake of any supplements. Here is a deeper look into how vitamin D, vitamin C, and zinc help with boosting your immune health.
1. Vitamin D
Efficient intake of vitamin D helps with immunity functionality. Vitamin D plays a vital role in promoting immune response. It enhances the ability of monocytes and macrophages which are important in immune system defense to fight against pathogens.
Vitamin D also lessens inflammation and the risk of respiratory infections. Recent studies have shown that supplementing with vitamin D will assist in reducing the risk of getting infected with respiratory tract infections.
The deficiency of vitamin D can cause a lot of health problems and adversely affect the immune system. Lack of enough levels of Vitamin D can increase the risk of upper respiratory tract infections like influenza. Vitamin D can be found in different foods like fatty fish but it is not enough to get it from food alone. Approximately 1000-4000 IU or more is the recommended daily intake, by experts of vitamin D.
2. Vitamin C
This is possibly one of the most well-known supplements. The intake of vitamin C plays a vital role in immune health by reducing the risk of infections. Vitamin C has a lot of benefits to the body and can be found in different fruits and vegetables. Vitamin C is responsible for cellular death and removes old cells while replacing them with new ones. It assists different cells in increasing their strength in fighting against infections and also assists them in their functionality.
The accumulation of molecules called free radicals brings about oxidative stress. The oxidative stress causes a lot of damage, hence vitamin C helps in protecting against the damages it causes.
According to different studies, regularly taking an average dose of between 1-2 grams of vitamin C supplements per day, reduces how long a cold lasts by 14% in adults and 8% in children. Vitamin C not only reduces the duration of a cold but, also the regular intake of vitamin C supplements reduces the risk of catching a cold by 50%.
Viral infections lead to very severe infections such as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Taking doses of vitamin C regularly reduces the symptoms of such infections. The recommended supplemental daily dosage is around 250-1000mg and the upper limit is 2,000mg.
Zinc plays a vital role in the functionality of the immune system. Zinc is a mineral added to a lot of supplements and is considered to be an essential nutrient because it is not produced in the body. Constant consumption of zinc is important to the body. Zinc plays an important role in the inflammatory response, plus cell functionality and development. Regular intake of recommended doses of zinc is vital as it assists in the immune system functionality.
Deficiency of zinc in your body will affect the immune system and make you vulnerable to various infections and illnesses such as pneumonia.
Zinc supplements hold a lot of benefits including, keeping you safe from respiratory tract infections, colds and reducing oxidative stress. Zinc does not only prevent illnesses but also increases the recovery rate and reduces the duration of flu-like symptoms. The upper limit of zinc is 40mg and anything below that is healthy for a daily dose. Excessive consumption of zinc is not recommended as it might affect the amount of copper absorbed. Interference of copper absorption is dangerous as it will increase your risk of infections.
With all the benefits that all the supplements offer the immune system, you should also practice proper living and maintain a healthy diet. There is a wide variety of supplements that help with improving your immune health. Zinc, Vitamin D, and Vitamin C are among the ones that have been studied and proven to benefit the immune system.
Regular exercise plays an important role in a healthy lifestyle. The immune system can be kept healthy by a proper diet and reducing the consumption of drugs. Practice healthy living alongside the intake of supplements. You will be safe from respiratory tract infections, reduce the period common colds last, and also reduce the duration of flu-like symptoms.
With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a lot has to be done in order to be safe from the virus. Do not at any point assume that taking supplements alone will protect you from the Coronavirus. The supplements possess antiviral properties but, haven’t yet been proven to prevent the risk of contracting the Coronavirus. You should practice proper hygiene, wear face masks, and practice social distancing as it is recommended.
Remember to consult a physician before taking any supplements as they may be harmful to some people.