Every day you are exposed to something that can potentially make you sick. From bacteria to viruses to fungi, the world is full of things that cause disease and infection, but your immune system fights hard every second of the day to protect you from disease. It is therefore essential to take care of your body’s defense mechanism to stay healthy. Lifestyle choices like not smoking, getting 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night, maintaining a healthy weight, and eating a well-balanced diet that includes fruits and vegetables boost the immune system. But vitamins can also help, according to Raja Sannidhi PharmD with Capitol Drugs telling us, “Immune health is very important because it’s your first line of defense against infections. Vitamins are also natural. These are basic elements found in food. the required amounts from our diet.” Please consult your doctor for medical advice before taking any vitamins. Many may interact with other medications and pose health risks, so do your research and speak to your Keep reading – and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure signs you’ve already had COVID.
The National Library of Medicine explains: “The immune system has a vital role: it protects your body against harmful substances, germs and cellular changes that could make you sick. It is made up of various organs, cells and proteins. As long as your immune system is working well, you won’t notice it’s there. But if it stops working properly – because it’s weak or can’t fight off particularly aggressive germs – you get sick. Germs your body has never encountered before can also make you sick. germs will only make you sick the first time you come into contact with them. These include childhood illnesses like chickenpox.
Dr. Sannidhi says, “It is a powerful antioxidant that helps in the production of white blood cells. White blood cells are needed to fight infections.”
The Mayo Clinic states, “When taken in appropriate doses, oral vitamin C supplements are generally considered safe. Taking too much vitamin C can cause side effects, including:
- Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
- Stomach pains
- stomach cramps or bloating
- Fatigue and drowsiness, or sometimes insomnia
- Redness of the skin
In some people, oral vitamin C supplements can cause kidney stones, especially when taken in high doses. Long-term use of oral vitamin C supplements of more than 2,000 milligrams per day increases the risk of significant side effects.”
“Zinc helps repair wounds, damaged tissues and also helps in the production of white blood cells,” says Dr. Sannidhi.
The Mayo Clinic finds that zinc is relatively safe, but warns of some side effects. Oral zinc can cause:
When oral zinc is taken long-term and in high doses, it can cause copper deficiency. People with low copper levels may experience neurological problems, such as numbness and weakness in the arms and legs. The National Institutes of Health consider 40 mg of zinc per day to be the upper limit for adults and 4 mg of zinc per day for infants under 6 months of age.
Do not use intranasal zinc. This form of zinc has been associated with loss of sense of smell.”
Dr. Sannidhi tells us, “It helps in kidney and kidney detoxification. This is also used for respiratory health. In the body, it gets converted into glutathione, which also helps.”
Mount Sinai recommends, “Due to the potential for side effects and drug interactions, only take dietary supplements under the supervision of a qualified healthcare professional.
Toxic forms of cysteine that should be avoided include:
- 5-methyl cysteine
NAC can increase levels of homocysteine, an amino acid associated with heart disease. Make sure your doctor checks your homocysteine levels if you are taking NAC. Very large doses (more than 7 grams) of cysteine can be toxic to human cells and can even lead to death. Taking NAC by mouth can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Intravenous administration of
NAC to treat acetaminophen poisoning can cause serious allergic reactions, including:
- Swelling of the soft tissues just under the skin, including the face, lips, and around the eyes
- Anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction
People with cystinuria, a kidney disease in which too much cysteine is lost in the urine, should not take cysteine supplements. When inhaled into the lungs, NAC can cause chest tightness, numbness in the mouth, runny nose, and drowsiness. This can make asthma symptoms worse. People with asthma who take NAC should be closely monitored by their doctor.”
Dr. Sannidhi says: “It is an autoimmune modulator that has anti-inflammatory properties and helps against respiratory diseases.”
Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather is currently a freelancer for several publications. Read more