Lately immune health is on everybody’s mind. We all want to try to stay healthy. As physicians our patients keep asking us “What vitamins can I take to avoid getting sick?”. It turns out that vitamins can help boost your immune system. However, taking vitamins for immunity is only a part of a strategy to stay healthy and avoid disease this year.
What else can be done to stay healthy? This is the part of the blog where we get all doctorly on you and tell you to stay up to date with your shots! That means annual flu shots, Diphtheria Tetanus and Pertussis (whooping cough) shots every 10 years and for some pneumonia shots (generally people over 65 of those who are high risk because of medical conditions like asthma, diabetes). And yes, it’s worth getting the flu shot even if it’s not “the right strain” because it still gives you some protection, leads to lower complications and a shorter course of illness.
Other steps one can take, include hand washing with real soap and water (skip the antibacterial gels if possible and do things the old fashioned way). Wearing masks in public places has become increasingly common due to recent outbreaks. A great source for information is the CDC.gov site which always has the latest and factually based recommendations.
In general, how can we keep a healthy immune system? The role of sleep can not be under emphasized. Sleep is restorative to our body and it helps build up our reserves. This not only helps us avoid illness in the first place, but also fend it off should illness strike. Exercise also plays a role in keeping a healthy immune system. Building up stamina via regular exercise helps your body stay strong and have the ability to fight infection if and when it strikes. However, you should also know that exercising when sick is not ideal and has been shown to prolong illness, especially if combined with cold temperatures.
So back to the original question. What vitamins can you take to not get sick? It turns out that there are some vitamins that help boost immunity. However, they are not necessarily the same for each person. Not surprisingly, we all have different vitamin needs based on your individual, diet, lifestyle and health history and concerns. To determine which vitamins you need address your individual deficiencies you can take a personalized vitamin quiz.
Some vitamins that help with boosting immune health can include iron, vitamin C, Vitamin D3 and certain B vitamins. Some may benefit more than others from supplementing these nutrients. For example, someone who does not eat red meat may need more iron than a voracious carnivore. Likewise many people are deficient in Vitamin D, but the degree varies based on a variety of things including ethnicity, where you live, medical conditions and more. Certain electrolytes such as magnesium can also be useful in keeping you healthy. Omega 3s can also play an important role in immune health. Check out our vegan Omega 3 Essential Add on. Taking a personalized all in one vitamin is the ideal way to get the exact nutrients that will benefit you in the right amounts for your individual needs. These are vitamins to help not get sick.
What vitamins should you take when you are sick? Well it turns out that in addition to a custom daily vitamin it can be useful to take some extra vitamins when you are coming down with something or even when you are under extra stress and feeling run down and likely to catch something. So what are these vitamins to take when you are sick? Ideally a combination of extra Vitamin C, Vitamin D3 and zinc can be helpful in supporting immune health and potentially shortening symptoms of a respiratory infection. We created our Immune Blast Situational Supplement exactly for this reason, with hopes that carrying this hand packet with you can be a convenient way to support your immune system when you need it most. A Situational Supplement is a great addition to a personalized daily vitamin.
Vitamins can play an important role in staying healthy, supporting your immune system and avoiding getting sick. Take our personalized vitamin quiz here to support your immune system year round and find our Immune Blast Situational Supplement here to give yourself a boost when you need it most. Check out our vegan Omega3 Essential Add On.
Romy Block specializes in Endocrinology and Metabolism and is mother to three active adolescent boys. Arielle Levitan is a Doctor of Internal Medicine with a special interest in Preventive Medicine and Women’s Health. She is a mother of three teenagers. As professional women with active family lives, they recognize that people often neglect their own health needs and are uncertain about what vitamins to take. Each person is different in her diet, exercise and health history, and will benefit from different nutrients. After years of advising their patients about the proper vitamins to take, Drs. Block and Levitan created Vous Vitamin® to provide people everywhere with quality vitamins that are suited to their individual needs. They are authors of the award winning The Vitamin Solution: Two Doctors Clear Confusion About Vitamins and Your Health (She Writes Press, 2015). Take your vitamin survey now to get exactly the right vitamins for your needs.
The statements made in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products offered by Vous Vitamin® are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Nothing contained herein is intended to be a diagnosis or constitute medical advice. The symptoms described in this Blog may be a result of a serious medical condition which requires medical treatment. You should consult with your doctor if you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned in this Blog and before beginning any vitamin or supplement regimen.