Dynamic Duo: Vitamin D & Zinc
By Jackie Cartier
November 1, 2017
The 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.
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.
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.
- 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