Dynamic Immune Support For Fall
By Elizabeth Leppart, MS, LN
September 6, 2022
We’ve arrived at back-to-school time, which means schedules get hectic and our families are spending more time indoors with other people. All the while, we get closer to cold and flu season and the holidays, when healthy eating sometimes gets pushed aside. Even the strongest immune systems are put to the test during this season of life!
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 nutrition and consider adding crucial supplements like the dynamic support system of vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc, and Wellness Formula. Here’s our take on why these are so important to have in your medicine chest:
Learn more about how real food can help support your immune system in our online class Immune-Building Foods and Nutrients for only $25.
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
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.
“I take one a day for about 5 years now. I get my level checked every year and keeps me in the normal range.” ~Lisa on NutriKey’s Vitamin D3 5000
“My husband and I already take the NutriKey Magnesium Glycinate and have been really pleased with the quality of this supplement. We were looking for a Vitamin D supplement with K-2 as a COVID preventative for us and our teenage children, so we were super excited to find the NutriKey product. The price, quality, and customer service are exceptional.” ~April on NutriKey’s Vitamin D3 5000 with K2
The highest levels of vitamin C in the body are found in our white blood cells, which are the cells of our immune system that help fight disease and infection. These cells use vitamin C to fight infection when our immunity is compromised, depleting the levels in our body. This is why it’s important to provide ourselves with a continuous supply. Supplementing with a modest amount (100-200mg) of vitamin C can prevent infection, but a higher dose is needed to lessen the severity and duration of an infection or fight off a virus (2).
It’s important to spread vitamin C supplements throughout the day versus all at once to provide continuous support to our immune systems. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning it is not stored in the body and any excess is excreted and not stored. But a continuous supply spread throughout the day alleviates this issue.
How much vitamin C to take: During normal times 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C daily might suffice to start, but because of the pandemic on top of normal colds and flus, taking a higher amount of 4,000 to 6,000 milligrams spread throughout the day may be helpful.
“Easy to take and digest. Other vit c capsules upset my stomach, but this does not. Tastes sweet too!” ~Diane on NutriKey’s Liposomal C
“This is a wonderful supplement that I find to be a great preventative. I used to have three to five colds per year that were either long term or I never got rid of them. Now...no colds for almost five years....” ~Deborah on NutriKey’s Complete C-1000
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.
Some potential signs of a zinc deficiency are feeling like you always need a sweet after a meal, acne, white spots on your nails, and of course, if you’re constantly getting sick.
How much zinc to take: Our nutritionists recommend one zinc capsule (54 mg) a day, on a full stomach. You can experience stomach upset if you take it on an empty stomach, so it is really important to take with food.
“These are inexpensive and easy to take one each night. I like knowing that my zinc levels are being maintained to strengthen my immune system.” ~Lexie on NutriKey’s Zinc
To protect us all from common viruses, a NWW staff favorite is the Wellness Formula to take during the fall and winter for that extra immune system support.
Not only does it include ingredients that support the immune system like vitamins A, C and D along with zinc, but also 25 different herbal extracts such as garlic, olive leaf, ginger root, goldenseal, echinacea root, elderberry extract and astragalus root. The combination of these herbs, vitamins and minerals is what makes this product effective in fighting a cold or the flu.
How much Wellness Formula to take: When you first start to feel a cold or flu come on, our nutritionists recommend taking six capsules up to four times a day for about a week. You can also use Wellness Formula as a preventive measure by taking four to six capsules every day through the flu season.
“I take 3-4 capsules during the fall and winter months, 2 during spring and summer for maintenance. If I feel something respiratory sneaking up on me, I increase the dosage to the recommended amount. My husband had a bad cold this winter, and I miraculously didn’t catch it.” ~Joan on Wellness Formula
Work with a dietitian or nutritionist to find the right combo and dosage of immune support supplements specifically for you in a 1:1 consultation.
Right now is the perfect time to start ramping up on these important supplements. Stay on top of your immune system this coming season so you can enjoy it to the fullest.
For more ideas on staying healthy, here are a few additional resources:
- Read: How Sugar Damages Your Immune System + How To Cut It Out
- Listen: Developing a Strong Immune
- Take: Immune-Building Foods & Nutrients online class
- Try: Chicken Wild Rice Soup recipe
- 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
- Carr AC, Maggini S. Vitamin C and Immune Function. Nutrients. 2017;9(11):1211. Published 2017 Nov 3. doi:10.3390/nu9111211
So what supplements are good for ‘ achy knees’ please? Thanks.
July 4, 2020 at 1:52 am
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
You mention to take one zinc tablet daily.....but how many mg's of zinc?
October 2, 2020 at 9:27 am
Our zinc is 54mg
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
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!
Vit. D levels at 65, just started taking 50 mg of zinc. Is that too much zinc?
February 14, 2021 at 7:15 pm
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.