Which Nutrients Support The Immune System
- Milk and cheese – source of vitamin A and B12
- Fish and oily fish – source of vitamins A, B6 and B12 and Selenium
- Green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach and broccoli – source of vitamins A and B6, folate and iron
- Nuts and seeds – source of vitamin E, copper and iron
- Meat – source of zinc, iron, selenium and vitamins B6 and B12
- Fruits – source of vitamin A and C
Vitamin D also plays a role in the immune system and low levels have been associated with an increased risk of infection and respiratory diseases. But, as Professor Tim Spector and Dr John Campbell discussed in this conversation, we still need more evidence to show whether vitamin D can protect against COVID-19.
Three Vitamins Minerals To Boost Your Immune System And Fight Covid
Associate Professor of dietetics and nutrition shares which supplements and food groups can help keep you healthy
As we continue to keep an eye on COVID-19 and its new strains, now is a great time to strengthen our immune systems to combat the virus.
According to Associate Professor of dietetics and nutrition Cristina Palacios, supplements and foods rich in certain vitamins and minerals are crucial.
Those of us that have a better nutritional status can fight the disease better than others, says Palacios, a faculty member at the Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work. We constantly have pathogens, such as virus and bacteria, coming into our bodies. If our immune system is working really well, we dont get infected.
She adds, In general, nutrition affects our entire body. All body processes require enzymes, and many vitamins and minerals help enzymes work better. Theres the saying, We are what we eat. Its true. If you want to be healthy, you have to consume certain nutrients.
So, how do we keep our immune systems healthy during this time?
To shed light on the matter, Palacios recently hosted a free virtual webinar for the community. The webinar was part of an ongoing series organized by Palacios and a team of graduate students to share information with folks who are trying to keep their families healthy.
Here are the top three supplements adults should consider taking.
Nutrients through food
Vitamin A Treatment Trial For Covid Loss Of Smell
Health editor, BBC News online
Vitamin A nasal drops might be able to treat the loss or altered sense of smell in some people who have had Covid, UK researchers say.
The University of East Anglia is conducting a 12-week trial.
Only some of the volunteer patients will receive the treatment but all will be asked to sniff powerful odours such as rotten eggs and roses.
And brain scans will check if the vitamin has repaired injured olfactory pathways or “smell nerves”.
Loss or altered sense of smell is a common symptom of Covid, although many other viruses, such as flu, can also cause it.
And while most people naturally regain it within a couple of weeks, many have been left with continuing smell disorders.
Lina Alnadi, 29, from London, developed parosmia after Covid, which means the odour of many common things has changed for her.
Tap water, for example, smells horrendous, the odour you or I might get from a swamp or sewer.
The herb coriander has the whiff of deodorant.
And eggs – one of Lina’s favourite foods – smell like burnt rubber.
“You take your sense of smell for granted,” she says.
“Losing it was devastating. It affected my diet dramatically.
“There were lots of foods I just couldn’t face eating. It was really upsetting.”
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Do Vitamins Play A Role In Immunity
The novel coronavirus is sweeping the world, and as a result, everyone is searching for ways to protect themselves and their loved ones. Many people have been buying supplements and vitamins, particularly so-called âimmune-boostingâ supplements, to try and stay healthy.â
Vitamins play a central role in helping our immune systems protect against infection and fight disease. Vitamins A, C, E, and B6 all support healthy, normal immune responses to pathogens like viruses, as do minerals like folic acid, zinc, selenium, iron, and copper.
Deficiencies of these nutrients can leave us more susceptible to infections or less able to shake off illness.
So, should we all be taking supplements to make sure weâre getting enough of these vital vitamins to keep our immune systems working properly? â
Itâs important to note that people with medically diagnosed vitamin deficiencies can benefit from appropriate supplements prescribed by a registered professional such as a GP or dietitian. â
As for most of the rest of the population? Unfortunately, vitamin supplements arenât the easy immunity solution that they might seem. â
The Pharmacists Guide To Vitamins And Supplements During Covid
This article was last updated February 16, 2021. Please note that research around this topic is constantly evolving, so the information contained within this article is subject to change.
Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Zinc, Quercetin so much news is coming out everyday about supplements and vitamins that might help with COVID-19, but which ones actually work? And are they safe?
While supplements and vitamins do not require prescriptions, these are still important questions to consider before you take one. We know it can be really confusing to tease apart all of the conflicting advice and research out there, so our pharmacists created a guide with everything you need to know about the vitamins and supplements that might matter for COVID-19. This guide includes sections on:
- Vitamin D
For each option, our pharmacists break down the theories and science behind why they might help fight COVID-19 in addition to suggested doses, possible downsides, drug interactions, and other pharmacist tips.
DISCLAIMER: None of the below is intended as medical advice to replace that which you are given by your medical provider or pharmacist. All of the recommendations below are based on theoretical evidence, and it is not comprehensive. Exceptions and other health consequences of the below supplements other than the ones mentioned may exist. As always, you should never start or stop taking a supplement without first consulting your doctor and/or pharmacist.
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Vitamins For Covid Prevention: Is There A Perfect Cocktail
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage, people are looking for anything over the counter to prevent them from getting sick. While vaccination has proven to be the best strategy to prevent serious illness from the COVID-19 virus, there are additional ways to boost your immunity against the virus. Youve probably taken vitamins to help fuel your immune system but which combinations at which doses are the best? Even still, which vitamins specifically have been shown to have antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2? Because theres so much information circling on the internet regarding what to take- and how much- it is easy to get caught in the weeds. We have seen multiple cases of patients who have accidentally over done themselves with preventative measures and have developed fairly significant side effects from unintentionally taking their vitamins at too high of a dose. Lets distill this information down to make things as straightforward as possible.
Are you consuming the right dose of vitamins for your body, or are you at risk for causing more harm than good? Here are some facts that will help you decide:
Role Of Vitamin C In Covid
Vitamin C is well known for its antiviral properties, such as increasing the interferon-alpha production, modulating cytokines, reducing inflammation, improving endothelial dysfunction, and restoring mitochondrial function . In the early 30s and 70s, Linus Pauling stated the beneficial effect of vitamin C in the common cold . There is also some evidence that showed the viricidal property of vitamin C . Vitamin C supports the immune system to fight against bacterial and viral infections. It helps to eliminate the dead cells and replace them with new cells . The antioxidant property of vitamin C protects the damage induced by oxidative stress.
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Vitamins Supplements Don’t Guard Against Severe Covid
TUESDAY, Feb. 22, 2022 — Remember when everyone was downing zinc supplements at the beginning of the pandemic, in hopes of guarding against a severe case of COVID-19?
New research suggests that folks may have wasted their time and effort: Taking zinc, vitamin C or vitamin D supplements doesn’t lower one’s risk of dying from COVID-19.
“A lot of people have this misconception that if you load up on zinc, vitamin D or vitamin C, it can help the clinical outcome of COVID-19,” but that “hasnt been shown to be true,” said lead study author Dr. Azizullah Beran, an internal medicine resident at the University of Toledo’s College of Medicine and Life Sciences in Ohio.
Beran and his colleagues analyzed 26 peer-reviewed studies that were conducted worldwide and included more than 5,600 hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
Those treated with vitamin D, vitamin C or zinc did not have a lower risk of death than those who didn’t receive the supplements.
And while vitamin D was associated with lower rates of being put on a ventilator and shorter hospital stays, more rigorous research is needed to confirm that finding, according to the study authors.
They also analyzed a small subset of patients who had been taking vitamin D before infection with the coronavirus, and found no lower risk of death in that group.
The findings were published recently in the journal Clinical Nutrition ESPEN.
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Even Without Convincing Evidence Why Not Take Them Anyway
Despite questions about the overall benefit of these supplements, many doctors began prescribing them routinely in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. The logic may have been that with so little known about how to best treat this new infection and a long track record of safety for these supplements, why not?
But there are significant hazards to consider. These include side effects, allergic reactions, interactions with other drugs, the cost of unnecessary supplements, and the dangers of taking too much. For example:
- High doses of vitamin C may cause diarrhea or stomach upset. There have also been concerns that high-dose vitamin C supplementation may interfere with blood thinners or cholesterol-lowering medications.
- High doses of vitamin D can cause severe symptoms, such as stomach upsets, kidney injury, and pancreatitis, and may even be life-threatening.
That said, people with nutritional deficiencies should receive supplements. Zinc or vitamin D deficiencies are not rare, and may contribute to poor immune function. Therefore, even without specific evidence linking supplement use with improvement among people with COVID-19, these supplements may be appropriate for people in whom deficiency is suspected or confirmed. For example, a person with little sun exposure and a diet low in dairy products may be likely to have vitamin D deficiency. A simple blood test can confirm or rule out vitamin D or zinc deficiency.
Can Vitamin Supplements Boost Immunity Against Coronavirus Which Vitamins Can I Take To Avoid Or Fight Covid
We all know that vitamins and minerals are vital for our immune systems. But which vitamins should you take to boost your immunity against the novel coronavirus? Is there any evidence that these supplements work? And even if they don’t, what’s the harm?
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Vitamin D And The Immune System
Vitamin D has been classically linked to calcium absorption and bone health. However, over the last decade, the key role of vitamin D in inflammation and immunoregulation has been increasingly recognised. Despite this critical role, the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency remains widespread, with 25-hydroxyvitamin D D) levels below 50 nmol/L affecting approximately 25% of US and Australian populations, as well as nearly 40% of Canadian and European populations . These deficiency rates are largely attributed to the rising prevalence of obesity and sedentary indoor lifestyles, as well as sunscreen use and sun avoidance from fears of skin cancer.
Study: Vitamin D Deficiency Linked To Severe Covid
The study is based on data from Israelâs first two coronavirus waves before vaccines were widely available. The scientists stressed that vitamin supplements arenât a substitute for vaccines but that they can help immunity levels.
âWe found it remarkable, and striking, to see the difference in the chances of becoming a severe patient when you are lacking in vitamin D compared to when youâre not,â Amiel Dror, MD, the lead study author and a doctor at Galilee Medical Center, told The Times of Israel.
Although the study was conducted before the Omicron variant, he said, the coronavirus hasnât changed enough to negate the effectiveness of vitamin D.
âWhat weâre seeing when vitamin D helps people with COVID infections is a result of its effectiveness in bolstering the immune systems to deal with viral pathogens that attack the respiratory system,â he said. âThis is equally relevant for Omicron as it was for previous variants.â
Patients with a vitamin D deficiency, were 14 times more likely to have a severe or critical case of COVID-19. Whatâs more, the mortality rate for those with insufficient vitamin D levels was 25.6%, compared with 2.3% among those with adequate levels.
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Vitamin D In Innate Immunity
One aspect of innate immunity influenced by calcitriol is the enhancement of phagocytotic activity of macrophages. Macrophages and monocytes use Toll-like receptors to sense pathogen-associated molecular patterns on infectious agents, and in turn, phagocytose these agents in what is known as the first line of defence. Calcitriol has been shown to enhance the antimicrobial capabilities of these innate immune cells.
Immune signalling such as those of IFN, STAT-1, lipopolysaccharide and TLRs increases expression of 1 hydroxylase in monocytes. 1 hydroxylase catalyses the formation of 1,252D3, which has been shown to stimulate monocyte differentiation, with cells looking phenotypically like macrophages following 1,252D3 exposure . In macrophages, stimulation with 1,252D3 has an anti-inflammatory effect by increasing IL-10 production and decreasing pro-inflammatory markers such as TNF, IL-1, IL-6, and cyclooxygenase-2 , by means of the mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatase pathway .
In addition, while TLR activation results in increased expression of the VDR, 1,252D3 is able to downregulate the expression of miRNA155, which when expressed, reduces anti-inflammatory gene expression . Studies have also shown that the ligand-bound VDR is able to modulate the epigenome of immune cells, monocytes in particular .
Intravenous Vitamin C Alone In Patients Without Covid
A small, three-arm pilot study compared two regimens of IV vitamin C to placebo in 24 critically ill patients with sepsis. Over the 4-day study period, patients who received vitamin C 200 mg/kg per day and those who received vitamin C 50 mg/kg per day had lower SOFA scores and lower levels of proinflammatory markers than patients who received placebo.5
In a randomized controlled trial in critically ill patients with sepsis-induced ARDS , patients who received IV vitamin C 200 mg/kg per day for 4 days had SOFA scores and levels of inflammatory markers that were similar to those observed in patients who received placebo. However, 28-day mortality was lower in the treatment group , coinciding with more days alive and free of the hospital and the intensive care unit.6 A post hoc analysis of the study data reported a difference in median SOFA scores between the treatment group and placebo group at 96 hours however, this difference was not present at baseline or 48 hours.7
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So How Do You Keep Your Immune System Strong Against Covid
So does this mean you should stock up on supplements to avoid getting COVID-19?Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, says there’s good evidence for some supplementation, and not for others. “There is good evidence that if you have a low vitamin D level, that you have more of a propensity to get infected when there are infections around,” he said last fall. “Those data are pretty good data.” Fauci has said he takes vitamin D and vitamin C supplements.
However: “If you really want to keep your immune system working optimally, there are things that you do that are normal things: get a reasonable amount of sleep, get a good diet, try to avoid or alleviate severe stress, which we know can sometimes impact the immune system,” said Fauci. “That is much more healthy living than giving yourself supplements of anything.”
And do everything you can to prevent gettingand spreadingCOVID-19 in the first place:Wear a face mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds , practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.