Posted on Mar 16, 2020, 7 p.m.
While there is good reason to be concerned about the recent outbreak, there are several different things that can be done to protect yourself and help slow the spread of contamination such as wearing personal protective equipment, practising good hygiene, social distancing, and doing what you can to ensure that your immune system is boosted to help it fight off infection.
Having a healthy immune system is important, supplements may help to make sure that you have no compromising vitamin deficiencies in your immune system function. Typically it is best to obtain these through a healthy diet, but that is not always an option, and for some it is easier just to take supplements and/or drops daily to boost the immune system, especially in times of high need.
Thymus gland T cells are important for the immune system to fight off infections and viruses, and they are responsible for many functions such as killing virus infected cells, cancer cells, identifying infected cells, and regulating white blood cell production. B cells are important because they fight of foreign invaders in the body, making them also very important to immune system defenses.
Echinacea is used to fight infections, viruses, the common, flu, and other respiratory infections. Taking an echinacea product when symptoms are first noticed may help to reduce symptoms. While some studies recommend its use, others don’t, the problem for any research is that studies have used different types of plants and methods of preparation; more standardized studies are required.
Organic elderberry is an antioxidant antiviral that stimulates a beneficial immune response. Some studies show that it may shorten the duration of flu by as much as 4 days and help stop the common cold.
Garlic is an antioxidant that has been used for thousands of years to boost and support the immune system and a variety of other health benefits. Taking aged garlic has been found to reduce the severity of cold and flu symptoms as well as shorten the duration of sickness by boosting immune cell function.
Oregano oil is reported to have healing properties such as being an antioxidant antiviral with antimicrobial and antifungal properties. This oil contains phenols, terpenes and terpenoids such as carvacrol which has been shown to stop the growth of several bacteria, thymol which has been shown to support the immune system and protect against toxins, and rosmarinic acid which helps to protect from damage caused by free radicals.
Olive leaf has been used for centuries dating back to Egypt and is even referenced by Hippocrates. It contains potent antioxidants that support a healthy immune system to promote overall health and well-being.
Probiotics and prebiotics contain beneficial strains of bacteria that promote health in the digestive tract where they are needed most to help support the immune system and increase immunity.
Vitamin C may be one of the most promising when it comes to supporting and boosting the immune system. The body does not make this important nutrient but it is needed for everything from immune function to bone structure and healthy skin. You can usually get enough vitamin C through the diet, but in times of need it may help to keep your immune system as strong as possible.
Vitamin D can help to modulate the innate and adaptive immune responses, and deficiency is associated with increased autoimmunity as well as increased susceptibility to infections. The immune system defends the body from foreign organisms, having an adequate level of vitamin D will help to promote protective immunity while maintaining tolerance to self.
Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant by helping to protect cells from the damage that is caused by free radicals as well as boosting the immune system so that it can better fight off invading bacteria and viruses.
Zinc is important to the body in many ways such as keeping the immune system strong, healing wounds, and supporting normal growth. Deficiency suppresses immune function, and even mild to moderate levels of deficiency can impair macrophage and neutrophil functions, natural killer cell activity, as well as complement activity. Those with low zinc levels have reduced lymphocyte proliferation response to mitogens and other adverse alterations in immunity. Low zinc status is associated with increased susceptibility to pneumonia and other infections in children and the elderly.
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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement