If you’d like to strengthen your immune response to viruses, bacteria and anything else lurking out there, it’s time to invest in some supplements. But, which ones?
Researchers from the Department of Internal Medicine in Michigan looked into the role of zinc.
They noted how zinc is “essential for multiple cellular functions including immunity”.
Looking into scientific reviews, zinc supplementation has been observed to help people suffering from pneumonia, acute respiratory tract infections and the common cold.
“Zinc supplementation was effective in decreasing incidences of infections in the elderly,” the researchers added.
They explained zinc was “effective in decreasing oxidative stress and generation of inflammatory cytokines”.
The Institute of Immunology, in Germany, noted how up to 30 percent of adults are deficient in this mineral.
This could possibly put someone at higher risk of catching a cold. Already got one? Zinc could still help.
The Department of Public Health in Helsinki, Finland, found that zinc supplementation can help reduce the duration of the common cold.
Another supplement to consider this winter is elderberry (Sambucus nigra).
The Institute for Medical Microbiology, in Germany, stated elderberries are “well known as supportive agents against the common cold and influenza”.
Their experiment found that elderberry extracts “possess antimicrobial activity” that enable them to fight against viruses.
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The Franklin Institute of Wellness, in America, conducted a meta-analysis to quantify the effects of elderberry supplementation.
They analysed data from 180 participants, whereby elderberry supplementation was found to “substantially reduce upper respiratory symptoms”.
The researchers noted: “These findings present a potentially safer alternative to prescription drugs for cases of the common cold and influenza.”
Elderberry supplements are available to purchase in capsule or liquid form.
In addition to zinc and elderberry, one other supplement to consider is vitamin D.
This fat-soluble nutrient is essential to the healthy functioning of the immune system.
The research team from the University Hospital Virgen del Rocio, in Spain, noted how vitamin D enhances the pathogen-fighting effects of white blood cells.
White blood cells are compulsory components of anybody’s immune system.
As with the other supplements, vitamin D is thought to decrease a person’s risk of respiratory infections, as well as shortening any you may have.
The NHS recommends everybody to take a vitamin D supplement during autumn and winter.
This is because the sun isn’t strong enough for the body to produce it naturally at this time of year.
In addition, the national health body stated “it’s difficult for people to get enough vitamin D from food alone”.
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