Natural Immunity Boosters

Natural immunity boosters like vitamin a, c, d, and zinc shown in assortment of vegetables.

So with much mis-information out there regarding the immune system and how we can safely optimize its function, I took a personal deep dive into emerging medical research and presented this information over the summer to the Holistic Nurse Association of Southern Nevada. This is educational information for you to take to your physician who understands your health history and current conditions. But let this consolidation of evidence buy you some peace of mind that there are steps that all of us can take to improve our immunity.

I have treated patients in this pandemic in Washington & Oregon and consulted many clients in Nevada. I have seen the best outcomes in people who took a preventative approach to their health. Much of the research out there points to lack of certain minerals and nutrients leaving people more susceptible to complications or severe symptoms. Here is the research that I have found most helpful. Please schedule an Immune Assessment if you would like personalized recommendations for you or your family.

Natural Immunity Booster #1 – Vitamin A

Quick Facts:

  • Vitamin A is involved in immune cell growth & function, vision, reproduction and cellular communication. 
  • It is specifically used in viral immune response, and it’s also used in immune maintenance of lungs and respiratory system. 
  • Vitamin A deficiency is a recognized risk factor for viral infections (such as measles) by The World Health Organization. 

Where do we find it?

  • The highest levels of this nutrient come from liver and fish oil. 
  • Vegetarian sources: sweet potato, spinach, pumpkin & carrots. 

Dosing strategies and precautions: 

  • Therapeutic doses can range from 12,500 IU to 50,000 IU per day. You must speak with a nutritionist, physician or naturopath about finding the right dose for you. 
  • Medical conditions such as liver and other organ issues as well as pregnancy need careful monitoring if therapeutic doses of Vitamin A are used.

Natural Immunity Booster #2 – Vitamin C

Quick Facts:

  • Humans, unlike most animals, are unable to synthesize Vitamin C on our own, so it is an essential nutrient.
  • Vitamin C matures and strengthens our T and B lymphocytes. These are the white blood cells that identify and kill viruses. They also give us lasting immunity once exposed to viruses & bacteria.
  • Vitamin C is an antioxidant required for collagen & neurotransmitter production – healthy skin and brain so you can look and feel good.

Where do we find it?

  • Again, humans cannot synthesize this essential nutrient on our own, so we MUST get it from diet or supplementation.
  • Food sources: raw fruits and vegetables such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli & strawberries.

Dosing strategies and precautions: 

  •  If you’re not getting at least 3-5 cups of raw fruits and vegetables a day, consider supplementation.
  • Buffered Vitamin C can be easier on the gastrointestinal tract if you experience loose stools or stomach ache with regular Vitamin C supplementation.

Natural Immunity Booster #3 – Vitamin D

Quick Facts:

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Where do we find it?

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Dosing strategies and precautions: 

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Last but not least – Zinc

Quick Facts:

  • You’ve heard of the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine being used in clinical trials for the pandemic. Part of its action is to flood infected cells with zinc, inhibiting viral replication. 
  • Studies have shown zinc inhibits the replication of SARS-coronavirus. Viral replication is how the disease takes hold in the body.

Where do we find it?

  • Your body doesn’t store zinc, so you need to eat enough every day to ensure you’re meeting your daily requirements
  • The top 3 sources of zinc from your diet are red meat, shellfish and legumes (beans). 

Dosing strategies and precautions: 

  • You want to make sure zinc is taken in balance with other minerals, such as copper. Excessive zinc intake can cause zinc toxicity.
  • Zinc supplements are hard on the stomach and can cause nausea. Take them with a meal.

My goal with my practice is to always empower and educate the people that walk in through the door. When we understand the “why,” we are far more likely to implement positive change in our lives. 

I do recommend working with a licensed naturopathic physician or nutritionist on starting any new supplement regimen, especially if you are on pharmaceuticals or are being treated for a medical condition. I also highly recommend sourcing reputable supplements. Since they are not regulated by the FDA, there are many poor quality products sitting on pharmacy shelves that will not make a dent in optimizing your immunity. Work with reputable brands and ask your natural healthcare provider for recommendations. 

Now, the best way to get these nutrients is from your diet, which is why I made plenty of recommendations of food sources above. I hope this inspires you all to eat mindfully for your immune system this winter!

Looking for further guidance? Book an Immune Assessment.

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