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It’s pretty cold outside. But there’s also a cold inside–in fact, probably a lot of them. This time of year, many people are dealing with the sniffles, a cold, the flu, and worse. But there’s good news. There are things you can do to lower your risk of getting sick, and we can help. So here are five supplements to boost your immune system.
Why A Healthy Immune System is So Important
The immune system is your body’s line of defenses. In the air and all around us are pathogens. These are the bacteria, viruses, parasites, and toxins that can make you sick. Your immune system is a collection of cells and processes. These help defend your body against these pathogens, including those that cause upper respiratory tract infections.
But your body needs help. In order for your immune function to work properly, it needs to be healthy, too. So even if you are “healthy,” you still need to take care of your immune system.
Harvard University’s School of Public Health notes that a healthy immune system is particularly important for older people. “The elderly are a particularly high-risk group,” they state. “The immune response generally declines with increasing age as the number and quality of immune cells decreases. This causes a higher risk of poorer outcomes if the elderly develop chronic or acute diseases.”
Supplements Can Boost Your Immune System
There are several things you can do to help keep your immune function strong. This includes eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly.
In addition, some vitamins, minerals, and supplements can help boost your immunity. That means they can possibly lower your risk of getting respiratory tract infections or other sicknesses. Fort Worth Pharmacy stocks a wide range of supplements, but for today, we’ll look at just five of these.
Boost Your Immune System, from A to Zinc
“Zinc” starts with the last letter of the alphabet. But it should be one of your first choices to support your immune system. Zinc can help the body develop important pathogen-fighting cells and respond to inflammation.
The potential effectiveness of zinc is recognized by the National Institutes of Health. “Zinc can be considered as a gatekeeper of the immune system,” they write, “since the adequate function of virtually all immune cells is highly zinc-dependent.”
Conversely, a zinc deficiency can weaken your immune system. They can increase your risk of respiratory infections or disease, including pneumonia. Notably, zinc also may be beneficial for those who are already sick.
Quercetin: A Frontier in Research on Immune System Response
Quercetin is a supplement you may not be familiar with. But it is definitely worth knowing about. Quercetin is a flavonoid. A flavonoid is something that gives plants their color.
Researchers are studying the effectiveness of quercetin in treating a variety of conditions. These include allergies, asthma, hypertension, and high cholesterol. WebMD has addressed the potential of this supplement. They write, “Quercetin has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that might help reduce swelling, kill cancer cells, control blood sugar, and help prevent heart disease.” Quercetin also helps the body transport zinc to the cells.
If you are interested in boosting your immune response, be sure to ask us about Quercetin.
Vitamin D3 Supports Your Immune System Behind the Scenes
Have you ever heard of monocytes before? How about macrophages? These may be strange terms, but they are important to your immune system. They are the white blood cells that work behind the scenes to decrease inflammation and keep you healthy.
In fact, a low level of vitamin D is associated with the flu, allergic asthma, and other upper respiratory tract infections. Florida International University has acknowledged vitamin D’s potential. They write, “studies have shown that low levels of vitamin D have been associated with a greater risk of developing respiratory conditions in adults and children.
The good news is, the sun helps your skin manufacture vitamin D. But during the winter months, when people are indoors more, we’re not as exposed to the sun. Consequently, it’s not uncommon for people to have a vitamin D deficiency. A supplement can play a key role in addressing this problem.
Probiotics Have Properties that Can Enhance Your Immune System
We normally think of bacteria as something bad. But that’s not always the case. You actually have two kinds of bacteria in your body: “good” and “bad.” Probiotics are a combination of “good” bacteria and/or yeasts that naturally live in your body and keep it working well.
Bacteria is usually viewed as something that makes you sick. However, you have two kinds of bacteria in and on your body — good bacteria and bad bacteria. Probiotics are made up of good bacteria that help your body fight off bad bacteria when you have too much of it.
As The University of Maryland Medical System explains: “Probiotics contain ‘good bacteria’ that both support gut health and influence the function and regulation of the immune system. They also can decrease the number of respiratory infections, especially in children.”
Probiotics are found naturally in some foods. But depending upon your diet, you may not be getting enough. That’s where a supplement can come in. The Cleveland Clinic states that increasing your probiotic intake can help a variety of conditions. These include: constipation, Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome, yeast infections, Eczema, the common cold, and more.
An A-Plus for Vitamin C
Vitamin C supports the work of the immune function, enhancing the ability of your cells to protect against infection. It also helps clear out “old” cells, replacing them with new ones. Taking vitamin C supplements can reduce the duration and severity of upper respiratory tract infection, especially if you don’t get enough vitamin C in your regular diet.
The Mayo Clinic recognizes the benefits of Vitamin C. They state: “Vitamin C may shorten the duration of a cold once you’re already under the weather.” They also note that the vitamin’s anti-inflammatory properties may reduce swollen sinuses. The highly regarded Cleveland Clinic also has high praise for Vitamin C. “Vitamin C is one of the biggest immune system boosters of all,” they note. They add, “In fact, a lack of vitamin C can even make you more prone to getting sick.”
Of course, Fort Worth Pharmacy stocks vitamin C supplements. Pharmacist Creighton Maynard recommends Vitamin C with bioflavonoids.
Helping You Boost Your Immune System–And So Much More
Fort Worth Pharmacy stocks a large supply of vitamin C and other supplements that can support your immune health during the cold season. Be aware that some supplements can negatively interact with other medications you may be taking. They also may not be right for people with certain health conditions.
We can help you find the supplements that are best for you. But helping boost your immune system and fight off respiratory infections is just the start. We are experts in making customized, prescription medications. This means we can combine medications, change dosage forms, and leave out dyes and coloring. And we can help you with a variety of conditions and goals. This includes menopause, weight loss, Erectile Dysfunction (ED), dermatological issues, wound care, and even veterinary medications.
To learn more about how we can help you with your prescription and health concerns, call us at 817-361-9960 or come by the pharmacy, 7833 Oakmont Blvd., 76132.