When you think about your personal health, immunity comes at the top of the list. It protects you from any infection or disease that could affect your body. But what exactly is immunity?
Immunity is a collection of complex chemicals, processes, and cells that defend your body against any kind of invasive pathogens such as bacteria, toxins, and viruses. In simple terms, immunity is your body’s defence mechanism against diseases or infections.
The immunity system detects infections early enough before they become harmful to your body. It kills germs and other pathogens in your body naturally. And if your immunity is strong, you rarely notice any of these infections. That’s because it’s dealt with before they become a serious sickness.
But when your immunity is weak, you become sick. At that point, you need medication to help fight the sicknesses.
However, you don’t have to wait until you’re sick. You can start by boosting your immunity. And you can do it daily by changing your lifestyle. Part of the lifestyle could include taking the right supplements that will protect your body from some of the sicknesses.
Top Supplements That Will Boost Your Immunity
- Vitamin D Supplement
Naturally, vitamin D is obtained from the sun. But sometimes it’s difficult to obtain enough vitamin D from the sun. This is especially during the winter season.
Vitamin D supplement is a fat-soluble nutrient that helps overall immunity functioning. It enhances the pathogen-fighting effects of macrophages and monocytes—the white blood cells. When the cells’ effectiveness is enhanced, it helps in decreasing inflammations and promoting immune responses.
People who have vitamin D deficiency have issues associated with upper respiratory tract infections such as allergic asthma and influenza.
A study conducted in 2019 sampled 11,321 people. They were given Vitamin D to study the effects it has on them. It was discovered that it decreased respiratory infection in people who had adequate vitamin D levels. But people who didn’t consistently take the vitamin they
Other studies show that vitamin D supplements improve antiviral treatments in people with HIV and hepatitis C.
- Zinc Supplement
Zinc is an effective component for immune cell development. It also plays an important role in enhancing communication in inflammatory responses. That’s why it’s needed by the body to prevent pathogens from entering the body. It acts as a barrier to the body. They protect any pathogen from entering the body.
Zinc deficiency is popular among older adults. Its deficiency is associated with infections such as respiratory issues like pneumonia. But when you take Zinc supplements, you will have enough levels of Zinc in your body.
However, the daily Zinc dose should be controlled. Older adults should be maintained at a limit of 40 mg. Taking excess zinc doses will interfere with the absorption of other elements.
- Vitamin C Supplement
Vitamin C is the most popular supplement when it comes to improving immunity. This is because it enhances immunity against various infections. It supports immune cell functions and it’s effective in cellular death. This helps the body by clearing older cells and ensuring new ones have been replaced in the body.
Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant that protects the body against oxidative stress damage—a condition that happens due to the accumulation of reactive free radicals in the body.
A study on the effects of Vitamin C on the body found that vitamin C lowered common cold occurrence in people under high physical stress such as marathoners.
When taking Vitamin C you can take up to 2000 mg. Daily supplement doses normally have between 250 and 1000 mg.
- Elderberry Supplement
Also known as Sambucus nigra, black elderberry has been used for thousands of years to treat infections. It’s known for its immunity boost.
A test tube study on elderberry extract showed that the supplement has antiviral and antibacterial potential against different pathogens. It was tested against the influenza virus and proved to be effective in preventing its growth.
Other studies have also shown that it is useful in enhancing immunity response. This helps in shortening the common cold duration and relieving its severity.
When taking raw elderberries cook them. This helps in preventing the risks of cyanide toxicity, vomiting, and nausea. However, before taking elderberry supplements first consult with your physician. This is because it has components that might interfere with other medications.
- Medicinal Mushrooms Supplements
Since ancient days in different cultures, the medicinal mushroom has been an integral part in medicine and healing. There are different types of medicinal mushrooms that are extracted to make health supplements.
The supplement is popular in fighting some infections and diseases such as tuberculosis and other serious bacterial diseases. It’s mostly used in dealing with lung or respiratory-related infections and inflammation.
Medicinal supplements can be taken in form of tinctures, supplements, and teas. You’ll have an option for whichever way you would love to take the supplement.
Is Taking Supplements Bad?
Dietary supplements are useful to the body. But this is only if they are used properly. Certified supplements have nutrients and vitamins that the body needs. If they are manufactured in the right way they give the body nutrients that are obtained from daily foods.
However, dietary supplements are not 100% safe. If they are taken against the prescription they might end up being harmful. That’s because supplements are normally concentrated nutrients or vitamins. And some of these nutrients could be harmful if they are consumed in large quantities.
When you’re under any medication you shouldn’t take supplements without a doctor’s advice. So, if you’re thinking of starting a dietary supplement program first consult your doctor. Depending on your medication or condition, your doctor will advise whether you should take the supplement or not.
Dietary Supplement Side Effects
Most people who report side effects from a dietary supplement either take high doses or depend on supplements instead of medicine. That’s why it’s always good to follow the prescription that comes with the supplement. NEVER take supplements if you haven’t consulted with the doctor. Especially when you are under medication.
Over-dependency on supplements can also be bad. If taken for a long time with medicine it can give side effects such as:
- Excess Vitamin C and E lowers the effectiveness of medications such as chemotherapy
- Vitamin K makes blood thinner which increases the risk of clotting
- Different supplements when taken together increase drug interactions and side effects
However, if you follow the right procedures for taking supplements, you won’t have any side effects to worry about. Everything else would be okay.
What To Consider When Buying Dietary Supplements?
In the market, you must be careful when it comes to buying supplements. This is because if you don’t do your due diligence you might end up with substandard supplements that could affect your health.
So, always look out for the following specific things.
- Licensing of the supplement manufacturer
- Supplement ingredients
- Reviews from previous users
- The research behind the supplement
Foods and drinks give us different nutrients. But when these nutrients are not adequately obtained by the body our immunity is affected. That’s why supplements help in boosting nutrient levels. These combine with other immunity processes and protect your body from common pathogens that cause diseases.