A large proportion of the population are struck down by the common cold and plagued by flu every year, especially during the winter months. A runny nose, sore throat and a congested head are usually present with both ailments, with flu also typically providing dizziness, aches and fever.
The immune system (known as the lymph system) is made up of a highly complex system of organs (lymph nodes) and cells (lymphocytes) that work together to seek and destroy anything 'foreign' that enters the body (such as bad bacteria or a virus). How your immune system functions determines whether or not you are able to destroy any foreign bodies and ultimately whether or not you will be susceptible to any infections. Certain vitamins and minerals can support the immune system, improving your chances of finishing the winter sniffle-free.
Taking a daily dose of Vitamin C can strengthen your immune system and that, in turn, can help you avoid colds and nasty viruses. This is mainly due to the fact that Vitamin C increases the number of NK cells, which protect against viruses so itis important to try and increase your Vitamin C intake either during infection or at times where you may be more susceptible to infection (during colder weather or times of stress where your immune health may be at risk).
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin found in certain foods and also functions within the body in response to the skin's exposure to sun (specifically ultraviolet-B rays). Recent research has shown Vitamin D to be a powerful immune stimulant and has been suggested to be a much more powerful tool in combating illnesses and viruses than Vitamin C. The lack of bright sunlight during winter months reduces the production of D3, which occurs in specialized cells in the skin. Therefore maintaining suitable stores of Vitamin D3 can insure you are protected against viruses and less likely to develop flus and colds during the winter months.
The micro-mineral, Zinc, influences many bodily systems and affects the function of more than 80 enzymes in the human body. Specifically Zinc supports the branch of the immune system responsible for dealing with infectious pathogens. In addition to hormonal balance, Zinc deficiency affects your immunity and may leave you susceptible to developing colds and flus. It is proposed that most British people do not consume enough Zinc in their diet and active individuals are most at risk of severe deficiency as sweating can increase losses of the mineral.
The essential fatty acid Omega 3 has many health and beauty benefits what is less commonly known is that Omega 3 can also greatly increase the activation and number of T-cells within the body, and therefore enhance the body's ability to fight disease.
Selenium helps to protect cells against the effects of free radicals and prevents the development of chronic diseases such as cancer. Selenium is also essential for normal functioning of the immune system therefore supplementation can first of all help to boost your immune system response, improving your body's ability to fight infections such as colds and flu.
Probiotics, such as lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, are 'friendly' bacteria in our intestines and increasingly recognised for their importance not only in maintaining a healthy digestive system, but for improving the body's natural defence mechanisms. Total Super Dophilus is a high quality capsule, providing a minimum of 2.9 billion bacteria from 8 different strains of probiotics which can improve the body's resistance to bacterial and viral infections.
formulas and blends
Taking a blend which contains a number of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants is a convenient and cost effective way to support a healthy immune system. Complete Immune contains some of the most significant immune boosting nutrients such as Vitamin D3, Beta Glucans and Zinc. The all-inclusive formula also contains powerful antioxidants such as Resveratrol, Grape Seed Extract and Vitamin C, all of which can help dampen the effects of harmful free radicals.
So look after your immune system this year by adding vital vitamins and minerals to your daily supplement regime and decrease the likelihood of being affected by coughs, colds and flu even when the cold weather strikes.