Today on CBS Arizona I am sharing supplements to support your immune health. Immunity it top of mind for so many of us this time of year and especially the past year and a half. The truth is that not all vitamins support immunity. I’m very much a food first dietitian – youcan meet your nutritional needs through diet but a few key nutrients many of us fall short on because they are hard to get from food alone and therefore supplementation could be of benefit.
Vitamin D: Plays key role in modulating the immune response. According to the NIH, almost 1 of 4 people have vitamin D blood levels that are too low or inadequate. Our skin produces its own vitamin D when in direct sunlight and its also found naturally in only a handful of foods fatty fish and fortified cereals and grains. Many can benefit from a supplement in the cold months spend less time outdoors.
Vitamin K2: That being said, vitamin D supplements are critically important in relation to vitamin K2. They depend on one another to support heart and bone health particularly by helping to regulate the transport and distribution of calcium in the body. With too much vitamin D and not enough K2, calcium can build up and deposit in the cardiovascular system where it can have harmful effects, instead of being integrated into the skeletal system. Most of us don’t get enough on the western diet since it is found in fermented foods like natto – a popular dish in Japan.
Vitamin C: Supports the immune system by stimulating the formation of antibodies. It is important for skin the body’s first line of defense and may shorten the duration of a cold. If you are meeting your 2 1/2-4 cups veggies per day, 1 1/2 -2 ½ cups of fruit then you are likely meeting your needs.
Probiotics: Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live in the digestive tract and support the over 70% of our immune system which resides in the gut. Look for probiotics comprised of the most clinically studied types of good bacteria with the highest survivability rate among probiotic strains like BB-12 and LA-5.