Why supplements are important to your immune system, Dr Joe Kosterich

Dr Joe Kosterich explains how best to supplement your diet to support the immune system to help ward of change-of-season colds and allergies.

Every year we tend to get around two to four colds,1 with symptoms and severity ranging from mild to severe. This year there have been more than twice the usual number of reported flu cases,2 and while we may be looking forward to the warmer months, a new season can bring about more sickness. Research shows that your chances of falling ill increases when the weather changes, as the two main viruses which typically cause the common cold – rhinoviruses and cornoavirsues – replicate in cool, but not too cold, weather.3

While there is no replacement for a healthy, balanced diet, our busy and stressful lifestyles mean that only half of us eat enough fruit each day, and just seven per cent eat the recommended servings of veg.4

A supplement, or specific supplements, may help if your diet is inadequate, your lifestyle is affecting your overall health, and/or your medical practitioner has conducted tests and uncovered a deficiency of vitamins and minerals in your body.

To help you ward off the symptoms of cold and flu it may be worth taking specific supplements. Vitamin C has been shown to reduce cold symptoms, and reduce the length of the illness.5 Many of us are deficient in Vitamin D36 so a daily supplement can help normalise your levels and lessen the likelihood of various illneses.7 Zinc has also been shown to reduce the duration of a cold.8

Your practitioner can assist in identifying which supplements you may need, based on your lifestyle and circumstances. 

References available on request

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