Dynamic Duo: Vitamin D & Zinc

By Jackie Cartier
November 1, 2017

immunity.jpgThe holidays are fast approaching, which means schedules get hectic and healthy eating sometimes gets pushed aside. All the while, it’s cold and flu season. Even the strongest immune systems are put to the test during this time!

This is why at Nutritional Weight & Wellness we encourage our clients, especially this time of year, to make sure to strengthen their immune system with real food and consider adding crucial supplements like the dynamic duo of vitamin D and zinc.Here’s our take on why these two are so important.

Vitamin D

Many know that vitamin D is essential for avoiding the winter blues, but did you know it’s also important for your immune system? Every cell in your body has vitamin D receptors. Clinically, we’ve noticed that most people stay healthy when their vitamin D level is between 50 and 80. (A simple blood test at the doctor’s office will determine your vitamin D level.)

Here are some signs of a vitamin D deficiency:

  • Frequent colds and viruses
  • Low mood
  • Carbohydrate cravings
  • Low energy
  • Muscle pain
  • Bone pain
  • Always tired and needing more sleep
  • Osteoporosis

How much vitamin D to take: To maintain a healthy vitamin D level between 50 and 80, most people need to take a daily dose of 4,000 IU during the winter and 2,000 IU during the summer.

Zinc

Here’s another important vitamin to support the immune system. Research tells us zinc affects our immune system in multiple ways. First, it increases our T-cells, which are needed to fight off illnesses. Second, zinc boosts our immunity to help fight viral and bacterial infections. If you are deficient in zinc, you may be more susceptible to colds, the flu or any number of infections.

Wonder if you are low in zinc? We invite you to come in to one of our offices for a zinc challenge test. It’s a simple test where clients take a tablespoon of zinc water to hold in their mouth for 20 seconds. If it tastes bad they have enough zinc; if it doesn’t taste like anything, they are low in zinc.

Don’t have time to come in? Other signs of a zinc deficiency are if you always feel like you need a sweet after a meal, you get acne and of course, if you’re constantly getting sick. 

How much zinc to take: Our nutritionists recommend one zinc capsule a day, on a full stomach.

Right now is the perfect time to start ramping up on these important supplements. Stay on top of your immune system this season in order to enjoy it to the fullest.

For more ideas on staying healthy, here are a couple of popular Dishing Up Nutrition podcasts, Staying Well When Everyone Around You is Sick! and Staying Well During the Cold and Flu Season.

 

 References

  1.  Wacker, M., & Holick, M. National Institutes of Health, US National Library of Medicine. (2013). Vitamin d - effects on skeletal and extraskeletal health and the need for supplementation (PMCID: PMC3571641). Retrieved from Nutrients website: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23306192

 

About the author

Jackie Cartier is Content Strategy Manager for Nutritional Weight & Wellness. She was once a client, seeking natural solutions to her achy runner knees and hormonal imbalances. From then she was hooked and eventually ended up on their team, spreading the real food message on the blog and through social media. 

View all posts by Jackie Cartier

Comments

Ian
So what supplements are good for ‘ achy knees’ please? Thanks.
July 4, 2020 at 1:52 am

admin

These are some of the options you could try:

Omega-3: 3-6 capsules daily with food
Joint revive: 1 capsule 2x/day with food
Collagen powder: 1-2 scoops daily
Chondro- Relief Plus: 2-3 capsules 3x/day with food

Pat
You mention to take one zinc tablet daily.....but how many mg's of zinc?
October 2, 2020 at 9:27 am

admin

Our zinc is 54mg

Ray
Until recently, I always thought Vitamin D was only related with bones and teeth. Surprised to learn the major role it plays in protecting your respiratory system and serious mental/physical problems that can occur with low levels. Low Vitamin D levels seem to be almost epidemic. Regardless of Covid, adequate levels of Vit D seem to be very important. I mentioned it my doctor and he said the majority of people he has tested were indeed low.
November 25, 2020 at 8:09 pm

admin

Yes, vitamin D is important for so much in our bodies and in the northern states it's very hard to get adequate levels in these colder months!

Jerry
Vit. D levels at 65, just started taking 50 mg of zinc. Is that too much zinc?
February 14, 2021 at 7:15 pm

admin

A level at 65 is close to optimal Vitamin D3 range. Generally, we recommend most people can benefit from 2000 IU per day of Vitamin D3.  In the winter, needs increase and you might need  4000-5000 IU per day. 

The level of zinc recommended depends on if you are deficient in Zinc or not.  If you are deficient in Zinc, the 50 mg/day can help bring your levels up quickly.  After a few weeks at the higher dose, we often have clients reduce to taking the 50mg only 2 or 3 times per week. 

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