Kim’s favourite supplements for Immune Boosting
For many of you who we haven’t been able to see during stage 4 restrictions, we miss you and look forward to catching up soon. Running a pain and emergency based practice has been an eye opener for us at Lotus and we realise why a preventative wellness based practice is definitely the best way to go, both for our people and also for our own enjoyment at work.
As we near the end of Winter and hopefully all get out and about more, we will come in contact with other people in our community for much needed exposure to antigens or ‘germs’. Bacteria, viruses and other microbes stimulate our immune systems and keep us healthy by testing our natural immune pathways and ensuring we are prepared if something more challenging comes our way. (Hygiene Hypothesis) As we've remained further apart than normal and avoided the regular colds and coughs of Autumn/Winter, we could all benefit from some immune boosting.
I’m going to discuss my 3 most highly recommended supplements that we stock at Lotus and why……..
My number one favourite supplement is magnesium. Answering yes to these questions may help you to decide if you are low on magnesium(1);
Do you get leg or foot cramps?
Are your shoulders frequently tight or tense at the end of the day?
Does your back ever go into spasm?
Do you ever experience muscle-twitching, especially around the eyes?
Do you suffer from wheezing or asthma, especially after exercise?
Do you experience shortness of breath when climbing stairs, for example?
Do you sigh frequently?
Do you ever have palpitations or notice an irregular heart beat?
Do you need to urinate frequently, especially at night?
Are you ever constipated?
Magnesium is a co-factor for 300 regulatory enzymes and almost all hormonal reactions in the body depend on this vital mineral. It is anti-inflammatory and low magnesium is linked to increased risk of heart disease and heart arrhythmia as well as high blood pressure. Levels are low in our soil so even a balanced diet may leave us deficient. Taking certain pharmaceuticals may lower our magnesium levels also, so it is a supplement most people could benefit from daily and may help your body to function and heal better under Chiropractic care (2).
Good food sources of magnesium
Halibut & shrimp
Whole-grain breads & oats
Beans & legumes
Seeds & nuts
The FDA suggests 400-420mg per day for men and 310-320mg per day for women. The best way to to start supplementing is to begin with a low dose and gradually build up until your bowel motions start to become slightly loose. I personally prefer the Bioceuticals P5P ultramuscleze as taking it before bed helps me to sleep (3).
Vitamin D / Essential Fatty Acids
Another one of my favourite supplements is vitamin D or essential fatty acids (EFAs). Vitamin D is stored in the liver so it is present in fish oil or cod liver oil. We are particularly low in Winter months and especially with being inside so much this year.
vitamin D is anti-inflammatory, it reduces tooth decay, prevents osteoporosis and helps to prevent IBS and Crohn’s disease. It reduces the severity of asthma attacks and helps immune function. The RDA for vitamin D is 600 IU for people up to age 70 and to 800 IU for those over 70 according to the Harvard Medical school (4).
A 2017 BMJ analysis of 25 randomised control trials comparing vitamin D supplements to placebos, found that vitamin D reduced the risk of acute respiratory infection with either daily or weekly vitamin D supplementation, particularly in individuals who were deficient in it.
There is strong correlation between vitamin D sufficiency and optimal muscle function. Increasing levels of vitamin D reduce inflammation, pain, and myopathy while increasing muscle protein synthesis, ATP concentration, strength, jump height, jump velocity, jump power, exercise capacity, and physical performance (5).
A research team from Northwestern University in the UK believe vitamin D levels could explain the wide differences in COVID-19 mortality rates around the world, and it may have more to do with the level of deaths than factors such as healthcare quality, age distributions or testing facilities. Vitamin D is an important regulator of the immune system, and it's an over-reaction to the virus—called a cytokine storm—that is killing people rather than the virus itself. The vitamin keeps the immune system in check and stops it from over-reacting to a threat. Hence, staying inside may not be a great idea (6).
Zinc and Vitamin C
Lack of zinc may lead to poor night vision and wound-healing, a decrease in sense of taste and smell, a reduced ability to fight infections, and poor development of reproductive organs (7).
Zinc deficiency is strikingly common, affecting up to a quarter of the population in developing countries, but also affecting distinct populations in the developed world as a result of lifestyle, age, and disease-mediated factors. Consequently, zinc status is a critical factor that can influence antiviral immunity, particularly as zinc-deficient populations are often most at risk of acquiring viral infections (8).
As zinc supplementation helps prevent viral replication in our cells during infection and together with Vitamin C makes it an effective immune support. I prefer the metagenics Meta Zinc with..Vitamin C. The Australian RDA for zinc is Men 14yrs +: 14mg Women 19+: 8mg. The main sources of zinc in the Australian diet are meat, cereals and dairy foods. Other foods, including legumes, seafood and certain types of nuts and seeds are also good sources.
We hope to see you all soon but in the meantime, stay strong, healthy and connected.
Kimberlie and the Lotus Team
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/magnesium-deficiency-symptoms. Accessed 28 Aug. 2020.