What supplements can help my immune system and make me stronger to fight Covid19?
No supplement will cure or prevent disease.
With the 2019 coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, it’s especially important to understand that no supplement, diet, or other lifestyle modification other than physical distancing, also known as social distancing, and proper hygiene practices can protect you from COVID-19.
Currently, no research supports the use of any supplement to protect against COVID-19 specifically.
With COVID-19 pandemic dominating every part of life and my current infatuation with understanding what immunity is and how to get it maxed out. I looked into what the internet is saying about supplements and their effect on fighting COVID 19 or anything else.
First let’s make it clear and read the top statement, that there is no cure for COVID 19. There are no current medicines or supplements that show any direct evidence in stopping, preventing, or treating the virus. However if you have a turbocharged immune system chances are your body will do better if you catch the virus or anything else for that matter.
The big news points that came out pointing to certain specific supplements were the following. Vitamin D, Zinc, Vitamin C and Elderberry. These seem to be the big 4 so let’s take a look at them.
1. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient. It is one of the 24 micronutrients critical for human survival. The sun is the major natural source of the nutrient, but vitamin D is also found naturally in fish and eggs. It is also added to dairy products.
Supplemental vitamin D is associated with a wide range of benefits, including increased cognition, immune health, bone health, and well-being. Supplementation can also reduce the risks of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis.
Some studies show that supplementing with vitamin D may improve the immune response. Recent research suggests that taking this vitamin may protect against respiratory tract infections.
According to a recent study by Queen Mary University in London, they found that vitamin D supplements protect against acute respiratory infections including colds and flu.
When reading this though they say that vitamin D had the most effect on those who were deficient in Vitamin D. This makes perfect sense if you are deficient. Most Americans are not deficient, so it is unclear if the vitamin D supplement has an effect if you are not deficient.
Verdict – Probably not needed if you are eating a decent diet.
Zinc is essential for DNA synthesis and cell proliferation, and for this reason, highly proliferating cells, like immune cells, are dependent on an adequate supply of zinc. Growth or function of different types of immune cells, like macrophages, neutrophils, natural killer cells, T cells, and B cells is impaired by zinc deficiency.
In addition to its role in the immune system, zinc also reduces oxidative stress, plays a structural role by stabilizing proteins, regulates the expression of many genes, and drives hundreds of chemical reactions in the body. Zinc also is required for neurotransmitter release in the brain and insulin packaging and secretion.
Researchers have performed several studies testing whether zinc supplements can help treat or prevent the common cold. A comprehensive review of 18 of these trials found that intake of zinc was associated with a reduction in the duration of patients’ common cold symptoms, but not the severity. The chance of developing a cold, school absences and antibiotic prescription rates were also lower in the groups that took zinc, suggesting that it not only helps reduce the length of the cold but also prevents it.
Verdict – Could be helpful with viruses. Time to buy.
3. Vitamin C
Research shows vitamin C is essential for the growth and repair of tissue all over the body. Vitamin C helps heal wounds and repair and maintain healthy bones, teeth, skin, and cartilage — a type of firm tissue that covers the bones. As an antioxidant, vitamin C fights free radicals in the body which may help prevent or delay certain cancers and heart disease and promote healthy aging. Vitamin C from foods also seems to reduce the risk of cartilage loss in those with osteoarthritis. Though it may not keep you from catching a cold, there is some evidence that high doses of vitamin C may decrease the length of cold symptoms by as much as one to one-and-a-half days for some people.
Verdict – Probably worth taking. If You can help yourself even a little it’s worth it.
Black elderberry (Sambucus nigra), which has long been used to treat infections, is being researched for its effects on immune health.
In test-tube studies, elderberry extract demonstrates potent antibacterial and antiviral potential against bacterial pathogens responsible for upper respiratory tract infections and strains of influenza virus.
What’s more, it has been shown to enhance immune system response and may help shorten the duration and severity of colds, as well as reduce symptoms related to viral infections.
An Australian Study found elderberry to Conducted by Professor Fariba Deghani, Dr. Golnoosh Torabian, and Dr. Peter Valtchev as part of the ARC Training Centre for the Australian Food Processing Industry that was established in the Faculty of Engineering and IT, the study showed that compounds from elderberries can directly inhibit the virus’s entry and replication in human cells, and can help strengthen a person’s immune response to the virus.
“What our study has shown us is that the common elderberry has a potent direct antiviral effect against the flu virus,” said Dr. Golnoosh Torabian
“It inhibits the early stages of an infection by blocking key viral proteins responsible for both the viral attachment and entry into the host cells.”
Verdict – Time to buy.
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