The Quick Guide to Immune-Boosting Supplements
Author: Dr David Brown DC - Clinic Director & Chiropractor , ProBack Clinics Surbiton
Here at ProBack we can run a full laser analysis of the nutrients your body is lacking called an Oligoscan, which gives us an accurate guide to what minerals and vitamins you are lacking.
However, with immunity such a hot topic right now, we just wanted to give you the inside track to which supplements our body most needs for immunity for those of you who wish to get a head start!
Our world has undergone rapid change in 2020. Through sudden tragedy, we’ve become all too aware that our health is precious; that what we take for granted can disappear within a fleeting heartbeat. Face-to-face with the potential for frailty, many of our patients have been asking deeper questions. Questions like which nutrients do we need for the immune system to function well?
Psychological strain is known to have negative impacts on immune function. That is one of the challenging parts of a world-wide pandemic; it triggers stress at the exact moment we can cope with it least. Ongoing stressors, like concerns around illness, worrying about family, and job and financial insecurities, have been shown modify both arms of the immune system: the innate and acquired responses.
The innate system responds to our first exposure to a foreign invader. The body doesn’t yet know how to aim its immune snipper, so it takes a shotgun approach; broad and generic. Then, when we have learnt how to fight an infection, we develop a stock of targeted “memory” cells. The next time we come in contact with the same threat, we trigger our acquired response. This is targeted because the body knows what it is dealing with. It knows how to respond. If we experience chronic stress or consume less vitamins and minerals than we need, the immune system simply can’t work efficiently to eliminate harmful threats.
Today we discuss a number of key vitamins and minerals that play a role in immunity, which as a clinic we often recommend: Vitamin B-Complex and Vitamin C as well as the mineral’s selenium and zinc + copper. Whilst finally, our 2020 award winner for most important immunity supplement goes to Vitamin D which got a blog all to itself – Vitamin D, The Sunshine Vitamin
The study Nutrition, immunity and COVID-19 agrees with us, noting that, “A number of vitamins (A, B6, B12, folate [B9], C, D and E) and trace elements (zinc, copper, selenium, iron) have been demonstrated to have key roles in supporting the human immune system and reducing risk of infections.”
As previously mentioned, all supplements aren’t made equal, hence the abundance of contradictory evidence. Minerals require ecological processing (plants) to turn them from ore-based salts into those that animals may utilise, however nothing is stopping unscrupulous companies packaging ore-based salts and even calling them “100% natural”.
Mineral salts are natural food only for plants, they are not a natural food for humans and so only a very small percentage (typically10-20% bioavailability) is absorbed.
After years of research Proback Surbiton have found a company that specialises in “food sourced/ food state” supplements, meaning every molecule has been converted naturally into its bioavailable alternate by a recognized food source before being extracted, increasing absorption to 80-90%. All Proback labelled supplements are therefore guaranteed to be of the highest standard we believe possible.
Check out our immunity boost supplement package in clinic which includes all the following big hitters:
B Vitamin Complex
You will often see vitamin B supplements recommended for “executive stress” because this family
of nutrients are essential for mental health. Whether work-related or not, B vitamins have an important role to play.
Research published in journal Nutrients showed that supplementing with B vitamins benefits stress.
This simple step can calm psychological strain and boost overall mental wellbeing. The likely impacts on immune function are important. B vitamins also have roles in blood cell production and
While we often think of vitamin C as great for shortening the duration of a cold as it is a strong antioxidant cleaning up our internal systems of stressors, high-dose Vitamin C supplements also appear
to reduce anxiety and stress. As we’ve just seen, this is crucial for a healthy immune system. The
research bears this out.
High-dose vitamin C appears to reduce anxiety and stress. It also enhances our immune response by
supporting the innate and adaptive immune system. It helps to kill microbes, to clear damage and
protect against infection in the first place. When we are deficient, we face a higher risk of infection.
One fun fact is that all mammals produce their own Vitamin C (in their livers) with the exception of
Primates (inc. Humans) and randomly Guinea Pigs (I’m not sure who they upset!?), who have evolutionarily lost the enzyme necessary to synthesize Vitamin C. Hence, you rarely see a dog or cat
with a cold!
While we tend to grasp at vitamins in times of health crisis, selenium is often overlooked, however
this essential mineral has numerous benefits. A potent antioxidant & detoxifier, selenium helps our
immune cells doing their job maiming and destroying nasties. It, too, is involved in both innate and
adaptive immune responses. In essence, selenium helps us fight unknown invaders and then eliminate future threats, including viral infections.
Zinc + Copper
Zinc is a wonderful mineral well-loved by natural health professionals for its role in supporting
healthy immune function. You might have seen it advertised on cold and flu tablets? It has dual
Zinc is known to calm mood and stress disorders like depression. It also supports the immune system. Revisiting the study Nutrition, immunity and COVID-19, the authors noted that zinc and selenium appear to be especially important in antiviral defence.
Copper is Zincs antagonist, and has important roles in heart function, collagen formation and nerve
communication. It is also fairly abundant in modern diets, therefore on its own its unlikely to need
supplementation, however as it works synergistically, having a low dose alongside a Zinc supplement helps maintain the ratio and could even improve its Zincs bio-availability.
For those wanting an in-depth analysis of their mineral & vitamin levels schedule an Oligoscan with your local ProBack Clinic.