18 Jun Bio-hacks: How To Boost Your Immune System Using Natural Sources/Supplements
Beginning in March of this year, we have drastically adapted and started living in a new reality where face masks are part of our daily routine. This is perfectly understandable during this world crisis we all face today since following public health guidelines are and should be implemented regardless of the circumstances (for more info about the guidelines please read our last blog on COVID-19). However, face masks can only do so much when it comes to decreasing the chances of acquiring the virus since our primary defense network/mechanism relies on our immune system. For this blog, we want to share general, but useful information on how to help your body’s immune response by altering your diet and adding supplements to your daily food consumption and how it will improve overall health. There are two particularly important immune boosters that are important to discuss today considering all of the available sources: vitamin C and vitamin D. Before following up with the subject, other quick ways to improve the body’s immune response are: avoiding processed food and sugars, sleep (6-8 hours), consumption of vitamin E, Zinc, Selenium, and Iron (in recommended doses; AI).
The immune system is a multifaceted and sophisticated network of specialized organs, tissues, cells, proteins, and chemicals, which has evolved in order to protect the host from a range of pathogens, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites, as well as cancer cells. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient which cannot be synthesized by humans due to loss of a key enzyme in the biosynthetic pathway. The body requires vitamin C for normal physiological functions such as protecting the body from various deleterious effects of free radicals, pollutants and toxins, and other important physiological processes. In general, vitamins are classified on the basis of their solubility as water soluble (C and B complexes) and fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K). Due to the low storage capacity of the body for water-soluble vitamins, a regular and adequate intake is necessary to prevent hypovitaminosis C. The National Institute of Health provides a useful table of contents featuring guidelines on suggested and adequate intake:
Vitamin C (AKA ascorbic acid; AA) is found in: citrus fruits, orange peppers, red peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, brussels sprouts, turnip, pineapples, kiwi, kale, and other leafy vegetables. Adding these to your regular daily diet will help your immune system response and it will give the body an additional biophysiological barrier, alongside face masks and disinfectant products.
As mentioned, vitamin D is fat-soluble meaning that it is usually undervalued when it comes to immunity. There are multiple studies where it is shown an increase in immune response when vitamin D is added to our daily diets. A unique aspect of vitamin D as a nutrient is that it can be synthesized by the human body through the absorption of sunlight. These dual sources of vitamin D make it challenging to develop dietary reference intake values, but the National Institute of Health has a table of contents detailing a suggested amount, as follows:
Some foods that can be incorporated to gain the benefits of vitamin D are: salmon, sardines, cod liver oil, egg yolks, mushrooms, oysters, spinach, tofu, and others. Overall, it is important for us to keep our body in optimal shape at all times to be prepared for anything our immune system might encounter. There are multiple accessible ways out there for us to help our immunity stay intact, including chiropractic care (Hey there!) and of course nutritional supplementation. Stay safe, stay active, stay positive. Power on!
National Institute of Health (Vitamin C & D):
Vitamin C and Immune Function:
Overview of Vitamin D:
RECOMMENDED BOOK OF THE MONTH:
Eat to Beat Disease: The New Science of How Your Body Can Heal Itself by William W. Li, MD