Strengthening the immune system is a necessary activity to prevent oneself from becoming an easy target for various diseases. A weak immune system makes you more susceptible to diseases and health issues, which can be a matter of great concern.
The best way to avoid this is to have a healthy immune-friendly diet and consume all the nutrients required by our body in adequate quantities. However, in some cases, this might not be enough, and one could still experience a frequent onset of mild or severe health conditions. If this happens, it is advisable that you resort to medical supplements to boost your immunity.
These supplements stimulate your immune system and help create antibodies to fight off diseases. To assist you, we have curated a list of the best supplements you can take to boost your immunity.
Vitamin D Supplements
Vitamin D is often associated with good bone health. However, one might not be aware of the positive impact it also has on the immune system. Vitamin D is essential to maintain adequate levels of calcium and phosphorus in the bloodstream and can be usually created within the body during periods of exposure to sunlight.
A lack of this vitamin in the body can result in autoimmunity, a system of immune responses of an organism against its own healthy cells and tissues. This increases the risk one faces against other diseases as well. Vitamin D supplements can be used both, in the prevention and treatment of diseases, as it helps establish protective immunity.
Vitamin D deficiency has become increasingly common in recent times, especially in older people. This is due to an increased amount of time being spent indoors rather than under the exposure of sunlight, during which vitamin D can be produced. Using vitamin D3 supplements might deem more beneficial than vitamin D2 ones, but you should consult a doctor before making the final decision.
One of the 8 types of vitamin B required by our body, vitamin B6 is vital for the smooth execution of various biochemical reactions of the immune system. Vitamin B is one of the two water-soluble vitamins and hence is excreted out of the body regularly. It is hence an essential vitamin and needs to be ingested frequently to prevent malfunctioning of internal bodily functions.
This can be done either by a proper inclusion of the vitamin in one’s diet or by the much easier option of taking supplements. This should however only be done if you are not able to incorporate the vitamin in your daily diet.
Vitamin C supplements
Another essential vitamin necessary for the proper functioning of the body, Vitamin C is known for its anti-inflammation and antioxidant properties, while having tremendous positive impacts on one’s immunity.
This vitamin helps build up barriers to keep harmful microbes and germs (like bacteria and viruses) from entering the body. In case they do enter, immune cells (supported by the vitamin) end up killing them. This makes vitamin C one of the most vital nutrients to boost one’s immunity.
Vitamin C can be easily consumed in one’s diet, in the form of citrus fruits like grapes, lemons, oranges, etc. But this is not enough in some cases, and you might have to resort to supplements for the same. These doses should be in small amounts to facilitate optimum absorption, and should ideally be monitored/recommended by a professional.
Showcasing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, Zinc is one of the most important minerals required by the body. It is essential for the regular production of immune cells and contributes towards the treatment and prevention of multiple diseases. It has shown a substantial reduction in the severity and duration of illnesses and is especially helpful in the fast treatment of viral colds.
Zinc deficiency can cause major immune dysfunction, even in the simplest of cases. Hence, one should be very particular about its consumption and should take supplements if necessary. Zinc supplements are available in the form of pills or lozenges, which can be prescribed by a medical practitioner in case of deficiency, or easily purchased in OTC packaging.
Zinc supplements are particularly helpful while dealing with rhinovirus colds and help relieve symptoms like nasal congestion, cough, and sore throat. However, excess of Zinc in the bloodstream can actually lead to contrary effects and can cause the immune system to weaken. Thus be vary about your dosages and consumption patterns.
Selenium is another mineral that finds use in the boost of one’s immunity system, amongst the various other benefits it provides. It is known to prevent cases of bird flu and swine flu in humans, due to its potent antioxidant properties.
However, selenium supplements are not recommended for use by those who have pre-existing autoimmune disorders. These people might experience opposite effects on their immune system, which would worsen their immunity instead of strengthening it.
Amino acids, the key constituents of proteins are the very backbone of our immune system. They are essential factors in the proper immune functioning of our intestinal cells, among other areas of the body. Getting lesser protein than that required leads to a gradual weakening of the immune system.
One’s protein requirements are dependent on multiple factors, and thus varies for different individuals. These include age, gender, height, weight, diet, and health conditions. Protein-rich foods are a must in your diet and are necessary for the proper growth and maintenance of the cells in your body.
However, some people, especially vegetarians, are not able to get the required proteins from their diet. This can be due to many reasons and can lead to severe immunodeficiency. They can consider protein supplements in such cases to reach their body’s protein requirements. Unless they have knowledge about what vegetables to pick and in what patterns to consume them.
Probiotics, as the etymology suggests, refers to those microbes which are supposedly good for our health. These bacteria are usually present in the gut and provide numerous health benefits, aiding in digestion and immunity development.
Probiotics are said to be effective in the treatment of seasonal allergies, and even viral infections. These advantages make them highly desirable in the human body. One can consume probiotics either through supplements on by mixing it with their food. You should take inputs from a healthcare professional about the medium that will suit you best.
However, one should note that the effects of each probiotic product will depend on the bacteria strains it has and will be different for each product. Hence, a particular product will not help combat a specific disease. But the overall immunity will definitely be boosted.
There are a variety of options available for people who want to boost their immunity and prevent infections. Strong immunity is a crucial characteristic of a healthy individual and should be maintained religiously. You can take supplements if need be, but don’t create a dependency on the same.