This is a lifestyle and behavior practices recommended for using the following supplements in moderation. This is to keep the immune system functioning at its best:
- Vitamin C: This helps prevent bacterial, viral, and other infections by shortening the extent of colds. Vitamin C acts as a natural anti-inflammatory and antihistamine.
- Vitamin D: This is one of the most important immune system-strengthening nutrients that can decrease the risk of colds and flu. This should be taken regularly.
- Vitamin A: This is used on a short-term basis that helps support the ability of the body to fight infections especially respiratory infections.
- Zinc: This can help decrease the number of infections and the extent of the common cold when taken within 24 hours of onset.
- Selenium: This is a key nutrient for immune function and is easily obtained from foods. Selenium is also an antioxidant that strengthens the body’s defenses against cancer cells, bacteria, and viruses.
- Raw honey: This is good at relieving minor pain and inflammation of mucous membranes. Raw honey has antioxidant properties and some microbial effects. It is helpful for coughs and sore throats. It can also be added to tea or hot water with lemon.
- Garlic: This may decrease the severity of upper viral respiratory infections and function in preventing viral infections of the common cold.
- Probiotics: This contains good bacteria that both support gut health and influence the function and regulation of the immune system. They could as well lessen the number of respiratory infections, especially in children.
Additional research has been directed and the following added supplements are now endorsed as options for strengthening immunity:
- Beta-glucans: Several human trials have shown that beta-glucans stimulate activity against viral attacks. It includes a reduction in cold and flu symptoms and upper respiratory tract infections compared to placebo.
- Mushrooms: This is a variety of mushroom species have been shown to help with immune function in a myriad of ways.
- Berberine: This could be found in the rhizomes, roots, and stem bark of several plants. Berberine is a natural compound that has been shown to have antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. It can be found in goldthread, goldenseal, and Oregon grape species.
- Sulforaphane: This has potent anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties that can be produced in the body in small amounts. It is by eating some cruciferous vegetables or in more therapeutic amounts in dietary supplements that have glucoraphanin and myrosinase enzyme.
- Elderberry: Studies have shown that elderberry has properties that appear to help fight viruses. Choose a low-sugar tablet as opposed to sugary syrup.
It is very important to understand that these supplements are recommendations and more research needs to be done. If you want to try these, be sure to communicate with your health care provider and take them in moderation. If you feel sick now, please don’t hesitate to contact your health care provider. Many offer telemedicine and can advise you on how to treat your symptoms right away or if you need to get more advanced care.