The recent COVID-19 outbreak has affected all of us at different levels. And it causes telltale symptoms that can range from fever and dry cough to difficulty in breathing and confusion. We all have been advised to stay indoors and maintain social distancing to prevent the spread of this virus. And if you feel any symptoms of the COVID-19, you must consult a doctor from a California medical clinic to get it checked. As of now, we do not have any vaccine or antiviral medications to prevent or treat the COVID-19. So, we have to follow the treatment strategies we have right now include managing symptoms associated with the virus. And the key to do this is boosting your immune system. You can strengthen your immune system with the help of supporting the effects of supplements.
Your immune system protects your body against invading pathogens, such as bacterias, toxins, and viruses. Choose healthy lifestyle choices, such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and getting enough hours of sleep to boost your immune system. Research also shows that you can boost your immune system by using supplements with certain vitamins, herbs, and minerals.
Although it is important to understand that vitamin or supplements can not cure the COVID-19. But these supplements and vitamins can surely help in boosting your immune system that can help in preventing infections and diseases. Also, some supplements may interact with over-the-counter medications you are already taking. So, before starting any supplements, be sure to notify your healthcare provider.
Having said that, here are the health supplements that you can use to boost your immune system against the COVID-19 outbreak.
1. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient that helps your body in maintaining optimal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. It is important for the health and functioning of your immune system. Vitamin D reduces inflammation while promoting immune response. It also promotes the pathogen fighting effects of monocytes and macrophages. These two white blood cells are integral parts of your immune defense.
Deficiency of Vitamin D can negatively affect the functioning of your immune system. This can be a cause of respiratory tract infections. But, studies show that Vitamin D supplementation can reduce the chance of upper respiratory tract infections, such as influenza and allergic asthma. The supplementation can also help in improving your body’s response to antiviral treatments with certain infections like hepatitis C and HIV.
Black elderberry is widely used for treating colds, flu, and bacterial sinus infections. Studies show that elderberry extract has antibacterial and antiviral potential to fight pathogens that are responsible for upper respiratory tract infections. Some studies also show that elderberry supplements can shorten the duration and severity of the flu while reducing symptoms associated with viral infections. This may imply that taking elderberry supplements can also help in boosting your immune system.
3. Medicinal Mushrooms
People have been using medicinal mushrooms since ancient times to prevent or treat infection and disease. There are many types of medicinal mushrooms that show properties of boosting the immune system. Over 270 medicinal mushrooms have been recognized that are known to have immune-enhancing properties. Some of them are cordyceps, maitake, reishi, shitake, lion’s mane, and turkey.
Some research shows that supplementing with these specific types of medicinal mushrooms can help in enhancing your immune health in several ways. And this can also be used to reduce symptoms of a few conditions, such as lung infections and asthma.
These mushrooms contain high amounts of selenium and Vitamin B like riboflavin and niacin. These are required to maintain the proper functioning of the immune system. Mushrooms also have polysaccharides (sugar-like molecules) that can also help in boosting immune function. You can find medicinal mushroom products in the form of supplements, teas, and tinctures.
Zinc is usually added to supplements and many other healthcare products that are used to boost the immune system. This mineral is essential for the functioning of the immune system. It is required for immune cell development as well as communication. Zinc is also important for inflammatory responses. The deficiency of zinc can lead to the risk of infection and disease, which includes pneumonia. Around 2 billion people worldwide get affected by zinc deficiency, and mostly this deficiency is seen in older adults.
Also, if you take an over-the-counter cold medication containing zinc it can help in reducing the duration of rhinovirus cold. Studies prove using zinc supplements can prevent respiratory tract infections such as the common cold. You can use zinc for various symptoms that include nasal congestion, sore throat, cough, nasal drainage. It can help in producing and activating T-cells (t-lymphocytes), and these cells trigger the response to infections.
Make sure you take the right dose of zinc or else it could cause zinc toxicity. Taking excessive doses can also impact your immune system negatively. It can also interfere with copper absorption, which increases the risk of infection.
Astragalus is an herb, and its root is commonly used in medicine. It is mainly used to improve immune-related responses and help in treating the common cold, swine flu, upper respiratory infections, and seasonal allergies. Astragalus also has the potential to fight bacteria and viruses.
Although more research is needed when it comes to its effectiveness against illness, it was found that astragalus root extract can be helpful in treating seasonal allergies. It can also manage the symptoms like running nose, sneezing, and itching.
Garlic has powerful antiviral and anti-inflammation properties that can help in reducing the severity of symptoms associated with the flu and cold. It can also stimulate protective white blood cells such as NK cells and macrophages. This helps in enhancing immune health.
A study was conducted that showed that taking garlic supplements during the cold season can help in reducing the chances of catching colds. It can also help in shortening the duration of a cold. You can take garlic in both raw and supplement form.
This plant contains andrographolide, a terpenoid compound that is known to have antiviral effects and can protect against viruses that can cause respiratory diseases. These diseases include influenza A and D68.
Andrographis is used in medicines for various ailments. It is frequently used as a painkiller and to manage fever. You can also take it to treat the flu and common cold. If you take the combination of Andrographis extract and Sibrian ginseng within 72 hours of falling sick, it can help in improving symptoms of the common cold.
8. Pelargonium sidoides
Pelargonium sidoides is also known as Umckaloabo. Some research supports that Pelargonium Sidoides’s extract can be used to alleviate symptoms of acute viral respiratory infections. It is usually taken against upper respiratory infections, such as sinusitis, tonsillitis, bronchitis, sore throat, and the common cold.
Studies show that if you take a specific extract of pelargonium sidoides, it can help in reducing symptoms and get rid of the common cold, not before 10 days of treatment.
Echinacea can be used to manage symptoms of cold, and some research shows that it can decrease the chances of catching a cold by 45 to 55 percent. But, more research is needed on its effectiveness.
Some species of Echinacea can help in improving immune health. People suffering from the flu that causes breathing problems, such as bronchitis or asthma, can take Echinacea to improve the response to the flu.
It is known to have antiviral effects on certain respiratory viruses, such as rhinoviruses and respiratory syncytial.
You can find many supplements on the market that may help in boosting your immune health. Elderberry, zinc, and vitamin D are some substances that are considered great to enhance immune health. But, these supplements will only work if you follow a healthy lifestyle, you can not use them as a replacement for a healthy lifestyle.
So, make sure you get enough sleep, have a balanced diet, and exercise regularly. These things will help you maintain a healthy immune system and prevent infection and disease. Also, before trying any supplement, be sure to first talk to your healthcare provider.