Skip to content
Home ยป Do supplements really benefit the immune system?

Do supplements really benefit the immune system?

The immune system is a massive system of organs, cells, and proteins. It protects the body from harmful microorganisms and toxic substances.

If the immune system functions efficiently, it can do an excellent job in protecting the body. However, a weak immune system can increase the chance of delayed wound healing or infections such as colds, as well as other illnesses.

Various vitamins and minerals, often referred to”micronutrients,” or “micronutrients,” are necessary for a healthy immune system.

The principal micronutrients playing part in the immune response are:

vitamin A
vitamin C
Vitamin D
vitamin E
vitamin B6
vitamin B12
folate
zinc
iron
copper

Ideally, we’d achieve the highest levels of these micronutrients by eating a well-balanced diet — but this can be a challenge to achieve.

Many people across the globe suffer from nutritional deficiencies. Within the United States, nearly 95% of the population is not meeting the daily requirements of vitamin D, 84% do not get sufficient vitamin E. 46% does not get adequate vitamin C. In addition% of people do not receive enough vitamin A and 15% don’t receive enough zinc.

Research has shown that even a marginal deficiency in one of these minerals and vitamins can cause impairment in immune function.

Many causes, such as stress and infection, can also deplete the stores of nutrients in the body.

In addition, age increases the demands for micronutrients in the body. Over 50s tend to need more of certain nutrients, such as vitamin D, calcium vitamin B6, vitamin C, and vitamin B12.

To support an immune system that is healthy and satisfy nutritional requirements one should ensure that their diet is balanced and take a multivitamin that contains 100% of the daily allowance (RDA) of every nutrients.

But, many multivitamins might not contain enough vitamin C. The researchers believe this is the case.
200 milligrams (mg) a day is essential for a healthy immune system.

If a person has a problem in one of the nutrients, they will likely require more of the vitamin than what a multivitamin has.

While some studies suggest that supplementation with several immune-boosting micronutrients can be beneficial however, further research is needed.

Presently, the most convincing evidence suggests that these three micronutrients can provide immunity support, including Vitamin C and vitamin D, and zinc.

Below, we review what the research says about taking supplements with these nutrients.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C ascorbic acid is a water-soluble mineral known for its ability to support a strong immune system. As well as promoting a variety of cell functions that are essential to the body’s immune system, vitamin C assists the body regenerate and repair tissue to heal wounds, as well as absorb iron.

Vitamin C has also been identified as an antioxidant, meaning it combats free radicals, which may help prevent certain cancers and heart disease.

Studies show that a vitamin C deficiency can cause an weak immune system and an increased risk of contracting infections.

The human body is unable to make vitamin C. It must be obtained from food or nutritional supplements.

The RDA for vitamin C is 90 mg.

for men and 75 milligrams for female adults. Many scientists believe this is not enough and recommend 200 mg daily to reap the maximum health benefits.

Many studies have shown that taking vitamin C will not prevent colds that affect the general population, it may help reduce the severity and symptoms of a cold. A meta-analysis in 2018 showed that taking supplementation with vitamin C may help reduce the duration of common cold by as much as half every day, as as symptoms such as chest pain, a chills, and fever.

Vitamin C supplementation could be more beneficial to those who are engaged in physical exercise. Five trials with 598 total participants, who were subjected to short times of physical strain Vitamin C decreased the risk of common colds by about 50%..

Vitamin D

Vitamin D plays a critical part in keeping the immune system strong , so that the body can fight off bacterial and viral illnesses, such as the common cold. A few clinical studies suggest that supplementation with 400 units (IU) 10, or 10 , micrograms (mcg), of vitamin D per day may help prevent the common cold.

Other
studies have proven that vitamin D treatment can lower the risk of respiratory tract infections, particularly in patients with Vitamin D deficiencies.

A few researchers also believe there’s a connection between vitamin D deficiency and a higher risk of hospitalization due to COVID-19, though there is controversy about this claim. In some instances the use of vitamin D has been proven to reduce the effect of socioeconomic factors for vulnerable groups.

Many experts think they are of the opinion that the present vitamin D RDA, 600 IU (15 micrograms) for individuals up to age 70 and 800 IU (20 micrograms) for those over 70 is not enough to support healthy immune function.

However, the evidence remains unconclusive. Finding the dose that will best support immune function requires further research.

Zinc

A zinc deficiency could cause a weakening of the immune system through hindering the creation maturation, activation, and formation of lymphocytes. They are white blood cells which are an active component of the immune system.

Many studies show that low levels of zinc can raise the risk of viral infections. Certain studies also suggest that zinc lozenges may shorten the time of getting a common cold.

However, finding the right dosages for boosting immunity and treating colds requires more study.

Many have praised probiotics, or “good bacteria,” as a different natural approach to improve your immunity.

We have learned that they play an important role in helping maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut, and recent research confirms the idea that they have beneficial effects on immunity.

For example, one study of 2020 — which was conducted by a company that produces probiotics by a firm that produces probiotics that the use of probiotics could reduce the incidence and duration of upper respiratory infections.

The authors recommend more research to establish a relationship between probiotics and the immune system.

The only vaccines, along with strict hygiene practices have been shown to prevent COVID-19. For severe cases of COVID-19, doctors may use specific drugs.

Studies suggest that the supplementation of minerals and vitamins could be an affordable method to maintain optimal immune function.

In addition, supplementation with vitamins C and D over and above the RDAs of the present may be beneficial to the immune system, as the dosage remains under the suggested safety limits.

A variety of supplements may interact with medicines and other supplements. And combining different supplements can also lead to extremely high levels of certain nutrients in the body, which can cause potentially severe side results.

For example, excess vitamin C gets excreted through the urine. It usually has none of the serious negative side effects. But very high amounts can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea nausea, and abdominal pain.

Vitamin D that is too high- more than 4,000 IU or 100 mcg -is harmful and can could cause vomiting, nausea kidney stones, inability to eat, confusion and muscle weakness.

In fact, high levels of vitamin D could result in kidney damage, irregular heartbeat, and even death. Vitamin D is also linked to medicines, including the weight-loss pill orlistat (Alli, or Xenical) as well as steroids, as well as statins that reduce cholesterol.

If someone is afflicted with too much zinc, it can cause negative effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and headaches. In time, excessive zinc may result in low copper levels, decreased immunity, and lower levels of helpful cholesterol. Zinc may also interact with other medications.

Probiotics are safe for most people. However, they can aggravate ailments or trigger bacteria-related infections in those who have very weak immune systems or are extremely sick.

Living a healthy and balanced lifestyle can help the body’s natural defenses, and also improve overall well-being. This could include:

Not smoking
exercising
Avoiding excessive alcohol consumption for those who drink heavily.
washing the hands frequently
managing stress well
keeping up to date with recommended vaccines
eating a balanced and healthy diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables
having a moderate weight
getting at minimum 7 hours of rest every 24-hour period

There is no evidence that mega-doses of vitamins and nutrients can boost the immune system. The best method to ensure that the immune system functions efficiently is to maintain the right diet, have sufficient sleep, exercise and also take the vaccinations that are available.

Any person suffering from nutritional deficiencies and who can’t eat a healthy, balanced diet could benefit from take a multivitamin daily. But though some research shows that taking more than RDAs of vitamins C or D may help improve immune health, confirming this is a matter of further research.

If someone believes they are suffering from nutrient deficiencies, they should consider speaking with a physician about an analysis of their blood. This can help identify any deficiencies and identify the appropriate method of supplementation.

Before using any supplement, a person should have a conversation with an primary care physician who is knowledgeable of their medical history.