By Jennifer Smith, Natural Medicine Practitioner and Certified in Holistic Nutrition
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Understanding which immune system vitamins and minerals can help you to avoid getting sick and help you know what to do at the first sign of symptoms. Here are some important vitamins and minerals for these types of illnesses.
Vitamin C is at the top of my list of immune system vitamins because it is so versatile and provides a long list of benefits. Treating a cold and getting more vitamin C seem to go hand-in-hand. A lot of over-the-counter treatments boast about having vitamin C, because this is one of the best nutrients for your immune system. With a stronger immune system, you are able to prevent illnesses like colds and flu, but you can also treat a cold even after you already have it. Getting more vitamin C into your body can help reduce how long you have the cold, and keep it from worsening. Try to get natural sources of vitamin C first, such as from citrus fruit, veggies like broccoli and brussel sprouts, and juice without added sugar in it.
In addition to food sources, it is important to take a Vitamin C supplement because the levels of vitamin C in our food have been greatly diminished over the last 100 years. Food sources alone are just not enough for therapeutic benefits of vitamin C.
Here is Dr. Robert Cathcart's method for determining proper Vitamin C dosage for yourself. Basically, you need to take enough to cause slightly loose bowels as a loading dose, then reduce to just under that dose as a dose you continue to take multiple times through-out the day. The sicker you are, the more your body will require. The dose is also dependent on the type of illness you are fighting. So use bowel tolerance as a guide for how much your body needs at any given time.
I personally use 1,000 mg. in the form of sodium ascorbate powder 3 times a day when I'm not sick. Sodium ascorbate is a buffered vitamin C powder.
Another one of the important immune system vitamins to have when you get a chest or head cold is vitamin D. If you are outdoors often, you may already get enough vitamin D, as its most natural source is from the sun’s UV rays. In our society today most people spend their days indoor with little to no time in the sun.
Add to this, if you live further north than Georgia, the UV rays are too weak in the wintertime and your skin won't make vitamin D at all no matter how much time is spent in the sun. However, when you are sick, you spend a lot of time indoors. This is why a cold is more common in fall and winter seasons when you tend to have colder days without a lot of sunshine. While food sources like yogurt, cheese, milk, or fortified cereal are good, they are not enough to replenish what we are missing from being outside.
For these reasons, you should focus on taking a vitamin D supplement daily through-out the year to keep your vitamin D levels high enough to keep your body systems working optimally.
Dr. Somerville goes onto say that the RDA (recommned daily allowance) is far too low and he has coined the term ODA (optimal daily administration) to represent the optimal dose of Vitamin D3. He bases this level on his research, what he uses with all of his patients in his practice and the amount he personally uses himself. He recommends everyone take 30,000 IU per day. This sounds like a lot compared to the minuscule amount of 800 IU per day RDA. However 1 session in the sun in the middle of summer provides at least 20,000 IU's of Vitamin D3 to the body. 30,000 IU is equal to 750 mcg or only 0.75 mg (less than 1 mg D3!).
Dr. Somerville also recommends testing your Vitamin D3 levels a few times through-out the year. His conclusion has been that the "clinical optimal blood level" or COBL as he refers to it, is between 100-140 ng/ml. This level is far below the danger zone of excessive vitamin D, which is 350-400 ng/ml (pg. 69-71).
When you have the cold or flu, you need to be sure you get enough immune system vitamins and minerals. This isn’t always easy because you aren’t hungry and may even have nausea or vomiting. If that is the case, try to take an additional supplement to get the nutrients you need.
Zinc is great for many illnesses and general health, but especially if you have a cold. It can help keep your immune system get all the nutrients it needs, plus zinc works great in a lozenge when you have a sore throat from a cold or a flu. However, don't rely on zinc lozenges alone to provide your needed zinc for the day. Zinc lozenges and even multivitamins have usually less than 5mg of zinc. For disease prevention and balancing your immune system, you should aim to take between 30mg-60mg per day.
Many doctors are using zinc as a major component in their treatment protocols for COVID 19 infection. Zinc has long been recognized to inhibit viral replication and boost overall immune system to fight off a wide number of infections and to prevent infections from occurring.
Taking a zinc supplement everyday can help you to avoid getting sick in the first place. Zinc is one of the most effective daily supplements for avoiding colds and flu. In my experience, taking zinc with food helps to prevent any nausea which can occur when you take zinc on an empty stomach.
Silver is a trace mineral that is lacking in our soil today. This is why we need to be sure to take colloidal silver in liquid form to obtain the necessary amount our bodies need to effectively fight off illness. People used to use silver in a wide variety of ways for health. They would put a silver coin in the bottom of their milk bottle to prevent bad bacteria from forming. They also used silverware made of silver which conveyed the necessary trace amounts of silver one would need to remain healthy.
Colloidal silver can tend to be expensive if you are buying it already prepared. You may expect to pay $20 or more for a few ounces of prepared colloidal silver. There are many kits that you can purchase online to make your own colloidal silver, which costs just pennies per quart! I make my own colloidal silver at home, by the quart and it is simple to do. I take 2 oz. a day when I'm well. and double this when I'm sick.
As you can see, food sources of immune system vitamins and minerals are great additions to your routine, however they will never be enough alone. You must supplement these in order to obtain amounts required for therapeutic effects. Most people take far too little of these immune system vitamins and minerals and then wonder why they do not see any benefits.
Do you have a question about using vitamin C, or a comment about Coronavirus? Do you have a suggestion for others or a great story you'd like to share? Share it with others so we can all benefit!
Jennifer Smith, NMP, CHN, FBCC , BHC
Jennifer Smith is a Natural Medicine Practitioner, Certified in Holistic Nutrition, Faith-Based Clinical Counselor and Biblical Health Coach. She has completed advanced certificates in Functional Nutrition, Functional Medicine, Natural Health Consultant diploma, Biblical Natural Medicine and Biblical Eating and Clinical Nutrition.
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