We hope you, your family and loved ones are staying healthy and well during this time of social distancing in the face of COVID-19.
There is a lot of information in the news these days on how to help you with your immunity. Dr. Richard Arrandt and I are here to support and guide you for your overall health & wellness and are available should you need additional support.
Here are 13 highly recommended supplements/herbs that can boost your immune system now.
1. Vitamin D: Vitamin D is a fat soluble nutrient essential to the health and functioning of your immune system. It enhances the pathogen fighting effects of (monocytes and macrophages) white blood cells that are important parts of your immune defense. It helps decrease inflammation, which helps promote immune response. Deficiency in this vitamin is very common, which may negatively affect the immune system. Recent research suggests that taking this vitamin may protect against respiratory tract infections.
2. Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a popular supplement taken to protect against infection due to its important role in immune health. It supports the function of various immune cells and enhances their ability to protect against infection. It’s also necessary for cellular death, which helps keep your immune system healthy by clearing out old cells and replacing them with new ones. It also functions as a powerful antioxidant, protecting against damage induced by oxidative stress, which occurs with the accumulation of reactive molecules known as free radicals.
3. Zinc: Zinc is a mineral that’s commonly added to supplements and lozenges that are meant to boost the immune system. It is essential for immune system function and is needed for immune cell development and communication and plays an important role in inflammatory response. Do not take too much as it may interfere with copper absorption.
4. B-Complex: B-complex vitamins are often used to reduce stress, fatigue, and boost mood. Some studies suggest that B-complex vitamins can lift your spirits and improve your cognitive performance. While B-complex vitamin supplements are not a cure for mental health issues, they may help improve symptoms of depression or anxiety.
5. Magnesium: Magnesium can be thought of as the relaxation mineral. This micronutrient helps to calm the nervous system, mildly lower blood pressure and relax smooth muscle. Magnesium glycinate is the best absorbed form. It can be taken nightly (200-400mg). You may consider a product called Calm which is available online or at Whole Foods. Formula 303 from Dee Cee Labs is a great product as well. We take 3 nightly an hour before bed. Magnesium can also be taken in the day to help reduce anxiety.
6. Selenium: Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that fights oxidative stress and helps defend your body from chronic conditions, such as heart disease and cancer. Selenium is an essential mineral, meaning it can be obtained through your diet and supplementation. It’s only needed in small amounts, but plays a major role in important processes in your body, including your metabolism and thyroid function. It is a powerful antioxidant, which helps to prevent cell damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are normal byproducts of processes like metabolism that are formed in your body daily. They often get a bad rap, but fee radicals are essential for your health. They perform important functions, including protecting your body from disease. However, things like smoking, alcohol use, and stress can cause an excess of free radicals. This leads to oxidative stress, which damages healthy cells. Oxidative stress has been linked to chronic conditions like heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and cancer, as well as premature aging and the risk of stroke. Antioxidants like selenium help reduce oxidative stress by keeping free radical numbers in check. Good sources include, oysters, brazil nuts, yellow fin tuna, halibut, eggs, sardines, sunflower seeds, chicken breast and shiitake mushrooms. Although selenium is necessary for good health, getting too much can be dangerous. In fact, consuming high doses of selenium can be toxic. While selenium toxicity is rare, it’s important to stay close to the recommended amount of 55 mcg per day and never exceed the tolerable upper limit of 400 mcg per day.
7. Elderberry: Black elderberry (Sambucus nigra), which has long been used to treat infections, has been researched for its effects on immune health. In test-tube studies, elderberry extract demonstrated potent antibacterial and antiviral potential against bacterial pathogens responsible for upper respiratory tract infections and strains of influenza virus.
8. Tumeric/Curcumin: Hidden in Tumeric’s bright yellow roots is a compound called Curcumin, which delivers anti-inflammatory benefits. It dramatically reduces inflammation, joint and muscle pain, brain-fog and strengthens the heart.
9. Garlic: Garlic contains allicin, an organic sulfur compound, which strengthens immunity, improves heart health, lessens inflammation, and even acts as an antibacterial agent to banish bacterial illness and food poisoning. Eating raw garlic will warrant the highest benefits, so add it to the food you eat such as a chopped veggie salad. You can make a nice garlic paste with olive oil and use it as a spread.
10. Echinacea: Echinacea is a flowering plant and is used as an over-the-counter herbal remedy for the common cold or flu. However, it is also used to treat pain, inflammation, migraines, improves immunity and lowers blood sugar levels, as well as other health issues. It is high in antioxidants, which are molecules that help defend your cells against oxidative stress, a state that has been linked to chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and many others. As echinacea appears to stimulate the immune system, people with autoimmune disorders or people taking immunosuppressive drugs should consult their doctors first or possibly avoid it. Echinacea appears to be safe and well tolerated in the short term, but its long-term effects are relatively unknown.
11. Oil of Oregano: Oregano oil comes from the leaves and shoots of the oregano plant. Botanically known as Origanum vulgare, oregano is a flowering plant from the same family as mint. It is often used as an herb to flavor food. Oregano oil is made by air-drying the leaves and then oil is extracted and concentrated by steam distillation. The oil contains compounds called phenols, terpenes and terpenoids, which have powerful antioxidant properties and are responsible for its fragrance. Three named compounds have varying effects. 1. Carvacrol is the most most abundant phenol in oregano oil. It has been shown to stop the growth of several different types of bacteria. 2. Thymol is a natural antifungal that can also support the immune system and protect against toxins. 3. Rosmarinic acid is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect against damage caused by free radicals. Potential benefits and uses of oregano oil include; natural antibiotic, lowers cholesterol, improves gut health health, yeast infections, relieve pain and reduces inflammation.
12. Colloidal Silver: Colloidal Silver acts as a secondary defense for your immune system by helping defend against the microbes and harmful organisms that attack. By being an extra shield, colloidal silver helps take the burden off of your immune system and promotes overall physical health. Colloidal silver is good to use at the first signs of a cold coming on. It can also be used in a nasaline or netipot to help the clean out the sinuses.
13. Coconut Oil: Recently there has been research on the anti-viral effects of Lauric acid which is found in non-refined Virgin and Extra Virgin Coconut Oil and the metabolite of lauric acid-monolaurin and/or monocaprin. There has been a trial of using 3T daily. There is no evidence with helping the Coronovirus, but it has shown increase in blood cell count of HIV patients and it has shown to help viruses in farm animals. Here is what was published on the Integrated Chemists of the Philippines website. There are many coconut oils tested by Consumer Labs and they have a report that could be of interest to look at.
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