How you can boost your immune system against colds and viruses this winter with these 4 cheap, everyday supplements.
Immune system boosting is a hot topic at the moment mostly because of COVID-19 and Corona virus. As a result of this there has been an explosion in the selling of immune boosting supplements, many of these are not supported by research or have very loose evidence behind them. They are also extremely expensive and you can easily run into hundreds of pounds buying something that isn’t going to do anything for your immune system.
In this podcast I discuss what works and has been shown to work by scientific research so that you can make an informed choice and more importantly not break the bank doing it.
There are 4 essential daily supplements that you can take for strengthening your immune system and they are not expensive.
What’s even better is that they are research backed and have good evidence proving their effectiveness.
Taking these supplements daily will help to reduce the severity, duration and also reduce the incidence of colds and respiratory tract infections.
COVID-19 is a respiratory tract infection and these supplements should be incorporated as a first defence mechanism against infection but also to give your body the best chance of fighting off an infection.
Garlic – Not just for protection against vampires.
Garlic can be used as a preventative measure but will not help if you already have an infection.
Dose ranges from 600-1200mg per day, it’s not advisable to exceed this and also not necessary as more won’t improve immune system function.
Care must be taken when using blood thinning medications such as Warfarin, Aspirin or similar as Garlic may interfere with their function
It’s best to get the odourless garlic supplement if you don’t want people to avoid you or wear gas masks in your presence
Vitamin C – One of the cheapest and powerful immune strengthening vitamins.
Vitamin C has long been used for when people develop colds, however it’s not great as a cure. It’s real power comes from daily use as a preventative measure to reduce the severity of colds when you get them. It can also help reduce the time it takes for the body to fight off the infection and go some way to reducing the occurrences of colds and viruses.
Dosage should be between 1000-2000mg per day and taken in a time released formula for best effects
Vitamin D3 – A super vitamin from the sun which many of us don’t get enough of.
Many people supplement with Cod Liver Oil to get Vitamin D, however CLO doesn’t contain Vitamin D3 which is the most active form of the vitamin. You can get Vitamin D3 from oily fish but you’d need to eat a lot of it every day. You can also get it from sunlight however you have to be in direct sunlight for a certain amount of time at the right time of the day and many of us work indoors and don’t get the required amount. It’s a very cheap and widely available supplement. Dosage is recommended at 2000iu a day, however recently I’ve read more data from one of the experts in the industry Prof Graeme Close who recommends more towards 4000iu a day. It’s always a good idea to get yourself tested for your Vitamin D levels before supplementing, however data from the UK population shows that many of us are not at optimal levels. There is a difference between Acceptable and Optimal. Acceptable makes sure that you aren’t at risk from deficiency and optimal means you are in top shape which is important for athletes. I personally use 4000iu a day and have done for years. Use an oil based Vitamin D3 product if possible as it is more potent.
Zinc – An often overlooked mineral that has powerful immune bolstering properties
Zinc, especially zinc lozenges can be very helpful in early combatting of respiratory illnesses. Sucking a zinc lozenge 2-3 times a day can help with sore throats especially. Zinc lozenges can cause temporary loss of taste which is one of the symptoms of COVID-19 so it’s important to note this when using so you don’t misdiagnose yourself with having COVID-19 if you’re using zinc lozenges for a sore throat. Dosage is between 25-30mg a day, try not to use a zinc oxide product as they are less potent. I normally use a ZMA supplement as you also get the benefits of Magnesium.
Immune bolstering supplements must be taken every day
The major benefits from these supplements are as a preventative measure and not a reactive one. Taking every day will strengthen your immune system to optimal levels and as a result you will be more prepared to fight infections if they take hold. Therefore you must set yourself a schedule of dosing without a break. Normally I take my Garlic, Vitamin C and Vitamin D3 with my first meal of the day and my Zinc (in my ZMA supplement) in the evening before bed. I have found this schedule the easiest to stick to.
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