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  • Marlo Rapp

Boost Immunity with Vitamins C, D, and Zinc


One of the biggest questions we are hearing right now is how people can boost their immune

system. Although there is no known nutrient that will outright prevent the coronavirus, there are three nutrients that have long been hailed for their immune-boosting power. In general, having a strong immune system is the best way to support your body against viruses and other threats.


Vitamin C

Vitamin C plays a role in many parts of our immune system. It comes a no surprise then to learn that vitamin C has been found to decrease recovery time, as well as that people with pneumonia and other issues tend to have low vitamin C levels.


How exactly does vitamin C improve our immune system functioning?

  • Supports the production of white blood cells which protect the body from infection

  • Helps white blood cells function more effectively

  • Has been found to reduce duration and occurrence of the common cold

  • Has been found to decrease the severity and duration of upper respiratory infections

  • May shorten wound healing time

  • Protects skin

  • Supports function of immune cells

  • Enhances the body’s ability to protect against infection

  • Powerful antioxidant to fight free radicals and protect against damage from oxidative stress

  • Has been found to improve acute respiratory distress syndrome from viral infections

Some of the top food sources of vitamin C include:

  • Oranges

  • Kiwi fruit

  • Broccoli

  • Cauliflower

  • Cantaloupe

  • Mango

  • Papaya

  • Pineapple

  • Berries

  • Watermelon

  • Green and red peppers

  • Spinach and other leafy greens

  • White and sweet potatoes

  • Tomatoes

  • Winter Squash

Typical supplement doses range from 250-1000 mg per day, with the upper limit being 2000 mg.*

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is another immune system powerhouse. Like vitamin C, it plays a role in supporting white blood cells in the body, as well as:

  • Decreases inflammation which is important to promoting immune system function

  • Associated with decreased risk of upper respiratory tract infections, including allergic asthma and flu

  • May reduce risk of catching the seasonal flu

  • Supports respiratory and cardiovascular health

  • May improve immune response and protect against respiratory tract infections

  • Associated with lower levels of mortality and severity of the coronavirus (COVID-19)

Sunlight is one of the best sources of natural vitamin D, although you can still vitamin D from food and supplements, including:

  • Cod Liver Oil

  • Salmon

  • Sardines

  • Herring

  • Trout

  • Egg Yolks

  • Cow’s Milk

  • Beef Liver

  • Canned Tuna

Typical supplement doses of vitamin D range between 1000-4000 IU, although people who are deficient may require higher doses.*

Zinc

Zinc plays an essential role in the development of immune cells as well as inflammatory response. It is one of the go-to supplements to boost immune system functioning.


Other notable features of zinc include:

  • Deficiency is associated with increased risk of disease and infection

  • May protect against and reduce symptoms of respiratory tract infections

  • Necessary for wound healing

  • Essential for cells immune system function

  • May help reduce the duration of respiratory tract infections and common cold

  • Research found that zinc was helpful against protecting against SARS-CoV, another type of coronavirus, which may have positive implications for COVID-19, although research still needs to be done

Some of the top food sources of zinc include:

  • Oysters

  • Crab

  • Beef roast and patty

  • Lobster

  • Pumpkin seeds

  • Yogurt

  • Cheese

  • Oatmeal

It is important to note that excessive supplementation of zinc can cause toxicity. The typical recommended daily dose of elemental zinc is up to 40 mg per day.*

*Consult with your physician or nutritionist prior to starting any new supplements.

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