Disclaimer: information below is not intended to replace that of a medical professional. Please consult with your doctor before taking any supplements.
Colds are something we all try to avoid, but sooner or later, they usually win. Resistance is not completely futile, however. As long as we give our body the building blocks it needs, our immune system can prevent us from getting sick, or at least, make colds shorter and less uncomfortable. So what vitamins should we take? (Click each vitamin to see our favourite brand)
Vitamin B Complex
The B vitamins often are thought to work together as a “B complex.” When it comes to the immune system, B6 is particularly important. Deficiency of B6 is especially common in teenage girls and young women who are prone to dieting and consumption of sugars and refined foods. It can lead to decreased white blood cell response and shrinkage of the critical immune system organ, the thymus. B12 is also vital for immune processes because it controls cell division and growth. Without adequate B12, white blood cells can’t mature and multiply. Folic acid also plays a key role in immune system development and maintenance. When buying a B Complex, make sure it is in "bio-available" form. This will help lot of people who are inefficient at converting synthetic folic acid into a form the body can use.
Linus Pauling was the pioneer of using high doses of vitamin C to fight cancer. It is an immune system booster - white blood cells use it to fight infections. It's especially important to supplement with Vitamin C during infection or inflammation because this is when it becomes depleted the most. How much should you take? One to two (1000-2000 mg) grams per day.
Deficiency in Vitamin D is associated with increased autoimmunity as well as increased susceptibility to infection. And for those of us not living near the equator, it's likely we are all deficient unless we supplement. Vitamin D could rightly be described as a “miracle nutrient” for your immune system, as it enables your body to produce well over 200 antimicrobial peptides, which are indispensable in fighting off a wide range of infections. We recommend getting Vitamin D3/K2 supplement in oil. These two work together and they require fat to be absorbed by the body. Aim to take 4000-6000 IU each day, especially in winter.
Zinc is a trace element essential for cells of the immune system, and zinc deficiency affects the ability of T cells and other immune cells to function as they should. Caution: While it’s important to have sufficient zinc in your diet (15–25 mg per day), too much zinc can inhibit the function of the immune system.
You can easily buy all of these vitamins at a health store. It may sound like a lot of pills to gulp down each day, but it becomes an easy habit...and the benefits are worth it!