Are you feeling under the weather and want to strengthen your immunity? Boosting your immune system can help to prevent or reduce the length of infection. Lake Health's Integrative Medicine team recommends the following supplements for a boost*:
Vitamin C: Vitamin C may help boost the immune system to fight bacteria and viruses. Food sources are good, but not always a high enough dose. DOSE: 500-1000 mg per day with meals; boost to 500-1000 mg two to four times per day at the first sign of illness. Reduce your dose if you have loose stools.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D3 is very helpful for the immune system and has been studied for the cold and flu. Many people are deficient and need supplementation. DOSE: 2000-4000 IU daily for two to four months or more if a known deficiency is present.
Zinc: Zinc can help increase short-term immunity. It has been studied to help reduce the length of the common cold. DOSE: As a preventive measure or at first sign of viral symptoms, 15-30 mg once or twice a day may help. Another option is to use zinc lozenges with elderberry.
Elderberry extract/syrup: Elderberry has been studied to help reduce the duration and severity of colds and may help prevent and treat the flu. If you have an autoimmune disease, please exercise caution when using elderberry. DOSE: follow bottle instructions; typically 1-2 teaspoons a day of liquid/syrup. Use elderberry for prevention only and discontinue use if you are already ill.
Probiotics: Probiotics help support a major part of our immune system which is in our gut. Healthy gut bacteria can increase overall immunity and may help improve immune system balance. DOSE: 10-20 billion units with multiple strains once a day. Follow product instructions; probiotics are measured in colony forming units (CFU) and the specific number of CFUs contained in a given dose can vary between brands.
While integrative medicine differs from traditional medicine, it can be used to effectively treat a variety of conditions and symptoms. For more information or to purchase supplements, contact Lake Health Integrative Medicine at 440-255-5508.
*This blog post is only intended to identify therapies that may boost your immune system. Please consult with your health care provider before starting any therapies. None of these modalities have been proven effective against COVID-19.