Friendly note: No supplement can cure or prevent covid-19. As of this writing, no research backs the consumption of any supplement to shield people against coronavirus. Social distancing and proper hygiene are still the best practices that can protect your family from covid-19.
Our immune system is composed of chemicals, a collection of cells, and processes that will defend our body against toxins, viruses, invasive pathogens, and bacteria.
And the key to preventing diseases and infection is by keeping the immune system healthy all the time. Healthy lifestyle practices such as getting adequate sleep, exercising, and eating nutritious foods are critical in boosting immunity.
Additionally, research shows that consuming supplements like minerals, vitamins, herbs, and others (milk protein, fruit, vegetable concentrates, etc.) can significantly uplift immune response and create protection.
But it’s important to note that you might not take some supplements with over-the-counter or prescriptions medications. Some of them are also not suitable for people with health conditions. The best way to know if you can have supplements is by talking to your physician.
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that our body needs to have a healthy functioning immune system. This nutrient improves the pathogen-fighting cells called macrophages and monocytes, the white blood cells that play a vital role in your immune defense, decreasing inflammation.
The sad truth is that many people lack Vitamin D, which is why many suffer from a dysfunctioning immune system. Low Vitamin D has been widely linked to respiratory tract infections and other conditions like allergic asthma and influenza.
Many studies have concluded that vitamin D supplements can help boost immune response and protect against respiratory tract infections. In addition, vitamin D supplements can also improve the body’s response to treatments for HIV, hepatitis C, and other infections.
You can commonly find zinc in many healthcare products and supplements, along with other essential nutrients. This is due to the critical role of zinc in the functions of the immune system.
Overall, zinc is crucial for the development and communication of the immune cell as it plays an integral part in the inflammatory response. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Zinc can also protect the tissue barriers in your body that prevents pathogens from getting in.
Zinc deficiency can affect the immune system’s ability to function correctly, putting you at risk of diseases and infections, including pneumonia.
Vitamin C is probably the most well-known supplement needed to fight infections and viruses. Its significant role in boosting immune health is what makes it extremely important.
Vitamin C provides support to different immune cells, enhancing their ability to protect the body against infections. It is also vital for cellular death as it keeps the immune system healthy by removing dead cells and creating new ones.
On another note, vitamin C is also an active antioxidant, reducing the damages caused by oxidative stress, which happens when the body accumulates reactive molecules. You need to fight oxidative stress as it can adversely affect the immune system and is related to many diseases.
Black elderberry has been used to treat various infections for a very long time. Many researchers believe that it’s beneficial for the immune system as well.
According to studies, elderberry can boost the immune response, reduce the severity of colds, and fight infections.
But despite the positive effects of elderberry, like relieving symptoms of infections and viruses, people need to take note of the risks too. Some studies suggest that elderberries can result in the excessive production of cytokines, which can cause damage to healthy cells.
Due to this, elderberry supplements are only recommended for use in the early phase of COVID-19.
Traditionally, mushrooms have been used to treat infections and prevent diseases. There are thousands of types of mushrooms used to study their positive effects on the immune system.
To this day, over 270 kinds of herbal mushrooms are believed to have properties that enhance the immune system. Some of these are reishi, turkey tail, shitake, and maitake. According to studies, mushroom supplements don’t just improve the immune system; they can also reduce the symptoms of lung infections and asthma.
Other Supplements with Immunity-boosting Properties
- Garlic. Garlic is known for its antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. This supplement can boost immunity by activating white blood cells that provide protection.
- B complex vitamins. Vitamins such as B6 and B12 are incredibly essential for a healthy immune system. Sadly, many adults lack these nutrients.
- Licorice. Licorice is rich in many helpful substances, like glycyrrhizin. It helps protect the body against infections. Studies show that glycyrrhizin plays a vital role in treating SARS-CoV.
- Astralagus. Astralagus is a popular herb commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine.
As you can see, many supplements in the market can help improve the immune system. Each of these supplements has specific roles to play to boost immunity and health. However, even though these supplements have many positive effects on the body, they cannot replace natural resources. A healthy lifestyle is still a must to ensure a healthy body.