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Top 5 Supplements to Fight Flu

Top Supplements to Fight Flu

The rainfall of this year has been uncharacteristically high, with many hurricanes and typhoons dumping humongous amounts of water all over the United States, and the world at large. What this means is that many people who love basking in the euphoria of summer by cooking and spending most of their time outdoors can’t enjoy this seasonal luxury. The inability to spend time outdoors prevents many people from loading up on much-needed vitamin D, an essential immune boosting micronutrient that we get from exposure to sunlight.

As we edge closer to the winter months, people with compromised immune systems will be at the mercy of the flu and other infections that thrive in the cold season. Our immune system has a tough time coping with the many bacteria and other pathogens in the environment during cold weather, increasing the risk of coming down with the flu. Fortunately, many supplements have been proven to help the immune system function.

Supplements work in different ways. Their primary function is to correct deficiencies in specific nutrients. Some also impact the function of the immune system by making it more effective at fighting off diseases and infections. You will need the extra protection when the flu season is in full swing. Here are some of the best science-backed supplements to help shore up your defenses for the coming winter.

Vitamin D

Research suggests that vitamin D deficiency may increase the risk of colds and flu during the winter months. Plus, people can’t get enough vitamin D directly from the sun during this period because the sunlight is not abundant and the weather is not favorable for spending time outdoors. We now know that people who have low levels of vitamin D called in sick more due to respiratory illnesses and are at a higher risk of having respiratory infections. Vitamin D supplementation can lower the risk of coming down with the flu as it plays a vital role in the immune system response. It is recommended that adults with low levels of vitamin D should supplement 2,000 IU per day during the fall/winter period. But you can take more as prescribed by your doctor depending on what your current level of vitamin D is.

Elderberry Extract

The elderberry is rich in antioxidants with potent antiviral functions and immuno-boosting abilities. Research shows that taking the plant extract can hasten the recovery period from cold and other respiratory illnesses as well as make symptoms more bearable.  It is recommended to start taking the extract immediately after you notice signs of a cold. Daily dosage is about 1-2 teaspoons twice daily for an adult. Be sure to buy only pure elderberry extracts as there are many brands selling blends.

Zinc

Zinc is also an essential mineral for the immune system. Zinc is known to help with throat infections and can lower the severity and duration of cold symptoms, especially when used in lozenge form within 24 hours of noticing the symptoms. Recommended daily dose should not exceed 70g has excessive zinc supplementation can depress the immune system as well as cause nausea.

Aged Garlic Extract

Garlic is a well-known immune booster and widely used for a myriad of health conditions. Aged garlic extract has multiples of the immune-strengthening ability of fresh garlic and has been proven to lower the duration of cold and flu infections. Researchers think that the extract may also help healthy inflammation response which protection during the fall and winter. 

Supplements can help you weather the storm this coming winter. Remember the coming cold season is fraught with Halloween sweets, Thanksgiving gravy, and plenty of cakes during Christmas season and you won’t be spending much time outdoors. What you miss in your diet, you can get in supplements.

Chiropractic Adjustments

One of the best things you can do to boost your immune system is to remember to get your maintenance/wellness adjustments.  Getting adjusted on a regular basis gives your body a boost to its nervous system and in turn stimulates your immune system.  According to a study, CD4 cells are receptors that activate our immune cells, and are used to assess our immune system.  Over a 6-month period of chiropractic treatment, the group that got adjusted experienced a 48% increase in CD4 cell counts, while over the same period the control group experienced a 7.9% decrease in CD4 cell counts. This represents a 55.96% difference in CD4 cell counts.  Meaning that people who were adjusted regularly over a 6 month period had a boost to their immune system by over 50% more than those who were not under chiropractic care.

If you haven’t been in for an adjustment for a while now is the time.  With the first snow of the season it’s only a matter of time.  Be proactive in your health rather than reactive.  Give us a call at (908) 221-0808 or respond to this email if you would like to schedule your immune boosting adjustment. 

Yours in health,

Dr. Brian Wallace

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