If you are a supplement fan like I am, you might have asked yourself the question. Which supplements are actually worth taking to boost my immune system during COVID-19.
Since the outbreak, there has been a sharp increase in the demand for dietary supplements. Sales tripled for the supplement firm Healthspan in Britain in only one single week during March, according to Rob Hobson.
In the US the trend is showing shocking numbers. People are not only panic shopping toilet paper anymore but supplements too.
Here are the numbers of sales increases from March 8th to March 15th, according to IRI:
Vitamin C: Up 143.7 percent, up 395 percent from prior week
Elderberry: Up 368.4 percent, up 788.5 percent from prior week
Vitamin D: Up 26.9 percent, up 82.2 percent from prior week
Melatonin: Up 40 percent, up 56.5 percent from prior week
Zinc: Up 184.8 percent, up 437 percent from prior week
Echinacea: Up 127 percent, up 334.1 percent from prior week
Ginger: Up 118.1 percent, up 215.8 percent from prior week
Ashwagandha: Up 274 percent, up 312.2 percent from prior week
CBD: Up 38.7 percent, up 75.8 percent from prior week
Taurine: Up 693.9 percent, up 779. percent from prior week
Horsetail: Up 40.7 percent, up 1793 percent from prior week
“This very week,” said NBJ senior industry analyst Claire Morton Reynolds, “more than half of all consumers have increased their use of supplements. Even more so, they are planning on increasing their use three months from now. And of the consumers who never take supplements, 20% plan on increasing their use three months from now. That’s interesting.”
This would be a great time to own a supplement company for sure but how much of a difference do all these supplements actually make?
Disclaimer: We are not claiming that any supplement can cure COVID-19 and are not qualified to give medical advice to treat any disease or symptoms of diseases.
Diet, Sleep Supplementation and Exercise
Now that we have that out the way, let’s look at what some experts are saying.
Dr. Wafaie Fawzi, Dr. Walter Willett, and PhD student, Dr. Ibraheem Abioye from Harvard Public School of health all agree that nutrition is the most important tool to increase immunity. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic it is vital to get all necessary nutrients to sustain a strong immune system. Now is not the time for highly restricted crash diets.
Fasting for longer periods of time from 3-7 days would also not be recommendable as it increases the amount of cortisol in your body which weakens the immune system, says Dr. Peter Attia. He also says that the most important action that you can do for your immune system is sleep.
However, he does state that zinc is probably the most helpful supplement, 30-50 mg of bio-available zinc daily. Vitamin D deficiency can also be more common if we spend a lot of time inside and do not tank sunlight regularly. Therefore it would be wise to supplement with Vitamin D 2000-5000 IU.
In addition to getting enough sleep and supplementing with zinc and vitamin D, Dr. Peter Attia also talks about exercise. HIIT exercise is not recommended during this time as the high intensity of the training actually stresses your immune system shortly before it returns to normality. In this situation, it would be wiser to do daily doses of light to moderate exercise to avoid stressing the immune system necessarily.
Inadequate zinc levels limit the ability to mount an adequate immune response to infections. Oral zinc supplementation reduces the rate of acute respiratory infections by 35%, shortens duration of flu-like symptoms by approximately 2-3 days and improves the rate of recovery. The studies yielding these results were carried out in the US, India, South Africa and Peru.
Why Vitamin D?
Evidence from several clinical trials and studies confirm that vitamin D supplementation lowers the odds of developing acute respiratory tract infections related to viral infections by 12% to 75%. These studies included the seasonal and pandemic flue H1N1. Benefits were seen with patients of all ages as well as patients with pre-existing chronic illness. Doses of more than 1000 IU were seen to be beneficial.
Vitamin D is not only good for the immune system but also for staying sane during these times. In a study of almost 12600 people over a period of 4 years, it was found that higher levels of vitamin D in the blood were associated with significantly decreased risk of depression.
What about the Vitamin C Craze?
Well, it is fairly easy to meet an adequate intake of vitamin C with a normal diet. For example, 1 cup of Broccoli contains 112% of the daily recommended dose of Vitamin C. It may help shorten the duration of severe colds. High doses of vitamin C haven been used in China to help improve lung function in people with COVID-19. However, there is not enough evidence to support the effectiveness of oral vitamin C intake for COVID-19.
High doses of vitamin C can lead to complications such as diarrhea. Excess amounts of vitamin C are also not stored in the body but excreted through urination. So taking more does not mean you are absorbing everything.
Fear Is Your Worst Enemy
According to Wim Hof the legendary Ice Man , fear has an absolute biochemical influence on our DNA. It sets on the wrong genome expression that will lead to inflammation, fear leads to psychosomatic diseases. Read more on how to stay sane during COVID-19.
For an optimal immune system, fear needs to disappear. Feed your mind with good stuff, tune out negativity by consuming empowering information. This way you already have an advantage to build a very strong immune system. The world is on pause right now, this is a great opportunity to unite again, to appreciate the little things in life, to sit down and learn something and really understand it.
So it is up to you, what will you make out of this situation?
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