Vitamin C is probably the most widely know immune boosting vitamin. Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant and important cofactor in many cellular processes related to protecting the body from harmful microbes and the everyday stress of life. A deficiency in this vitamin is directly related to greater risk of infections and a weakened immune system. In addition, Vitamin C is highly utilized by the adrenal glands and supplementation may help reduce an over active stress response. This further protects the body's immune activity which can be suppressed by flight for fight reactions during periods of high stress. And I don't know about you, but this past year has certainly been a period of high stress.
Because it is a water soluble vitamin, it must be consumed on a daily basis. Fortunately, Vitamin C is found in many fruits and vegetables such as citrus, kiwi, strawberries, tomatoes, bell peppers, brussels sprouts, and broccoli. As a person with high stress circumstances and living with adrenal fatigue, I supplement twice a day in addition to eating healthy fruits and vegetables. I will also take a liposomal Vitamin C if I am under a great deal of stress or fighting an infection. We do carry throat lozenges with Vitamin C and silver here.
The second vitamin with major immune importance is Vitamin D. Vitamin D has important immune boosting functions and a deficiency can make you more susceptible to infections including respiratory infections. Vitamin D helps activate T cells which identify and kill foreign invaders like viruses. Some people require more Vitamin D than others so it may be a good idea to have your levels tested at your next physical and to ask your doctor how much they would recommend that you take. Personally, my body requires 250 mcg (10,000 IU) per day but many people require less.
Vitamin D is found in fatty fish, egg yokes, and beef liver but it is difficult to consume enough to maintain healthy levels. Our bodies can produce sufficient amounts of this vitamin with consistent sun exposure of 15 minutes a day. However, this can be affected by season of year, geographic location, and sunscreen usage so an inexpensive supplement may be the way to go.
Little changes can have big effects down the road. Wishing you all the best as we journey on through these uncertain times.
Carr, A. C., & Maggini, S. (2017, November 3). Vitamin C and Immune Function. PubMed. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29099763/
Moore, M. (2019, March 22). How vitamin C supports a healthy immune system. Eatright.org - Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. https://www.eatright.org/food/vitamins-and-supplements/types-of-vitamins-and-nutrients/how-vitamin-c-supports-a-healthy-immune-system
American Chemical Society. "Scientists Say Vitamin C May Alleviate The Body's Response To Stress." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 August 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/08/990823072615.htm>.
Livingston, M. (2020, December 31). Vitamin d might help protect you from the coronavirus. Retrieved February 16, 2021, from https://www.cnet.com/health/why-vitamin-d-is-crucial-for-immune-health/