A Healthy Immune System Requires More Than Vitamin C
From your heart to your eyes, Vitamin C plays an important role in many of your body’s systems—including your immune system. It’s a nutrient we all need. But, Vitamin C isn’t necessarily a “cure” for the common cold. In fact, taking too much can negatively affect your health. After all, having too much of a good thing is possible.
Like with all vitamins and minerals, everyone has their own different needs. If your immune system is struggling and you are low in Vitamin C, then boosting your intake may help. But, there are other reasons you might find yourself vulnerable to colds and flu.
If you are worried about the resilience of your immune system, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider before starting supplements or making significant changes to your diet. Finding out why your immune system isn’t working at an optimal level is the first step. Then, you can decide how you are going to restore balance and give it a boost!
A Naturopathic Approach To Health And Wellness
The best way to naturally boost your immune system in preparation for cold and flu season is to strengthen the body and bring it into balance. Before you can make changes or begin taking supplements, you need to know what your body needs. By looking at the big picture, we can get the information needed to support your unique immune system.
As a Naturopathic doctor, I always begin by assessing your:
- whole health history
- diet and nutrition
- lifestyle choices (including consumption of caffeine, alcohol, etc…)
- stress levels
- quality of sleep
- level of physical activity
The way you live your daily life directly contributes to your health and wellness. Making small but significant changes to your diet and lifestyle can do a lot to support your immune system.
We may also decide to test your blood to check vitamin and hormone levels. But, we won’t test for Vitamin C. (A blood test is not the most effective way to check for a Vitamin C deficiency.) Instead, we might look at your iron and Vitamin D levels as well as your thyroid levels because when you are deficient in these areas, you are more likely to get sick.
Once we know what’s lacking, out of balance or inflamed, we can decide how to support your immune system with dietary changes, lifestyle changes, supplements or treatments.
Looking Beyond Vitamin C To Naturally Boost Your Immune System
Sometimes, adding Vitamin C to your diet will offer your immune system the boost it needs. But, there are other vitamins and herbal supplements your naturopathic doctor is likely to recommend. For example, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Zinc and Astragalus are all well known for their ability to support a strong and healthy immune system.
Research shows a strong connection between Vitamin D and healthy immune response. Adequate levels of Vitamin D:
- improves the body’s antimicrobial defence system and helps regulate immune cells.
- reduces inflammation
- helps manage autoimmune diseases and
- has even been shown to help prevent anxiety, depression and SAD.
B12 is an important vitamin that helps to support
- healthy energy levels
- a person’s metabolism and
- neurological health.
B12 is also required to produce healthy red blood cells which provide the body with essential oxygen.
Zinc supports the growth and normal functioning of immune cells. Notably, zinc plays an important role in the production and growth of cells lining our organs. This lining prevents pathogens (aka. bacteria and viruses) from getting in. Research has shown that people who are deficient in zinc are more at risk of infection.
Astragalus is a medicinal herb used to protect and support the immune system. It is well known for its
- ability to help prevent colds and upper respiratory infections
- antiviral properties and
- ability to stimulate a healthy immune response.
From Supplements to IV Therapy, You Can Get What You Need Right Here In Our Clinic And Dispensary
Once you have met with Dr. Richa Grover, ND and a plan is in place, our dispensary can provide the immune-boosting supplements, herbs and tinctures you need. We also have an online dispensary and can recommend local health stores as needed. (Note: All hormone prescriptions are sent to pharmacies to be filled.)
When more immediate delivery of the nutrients you need is in order, IV Therapy may be recommended. Our IV Immune bag includes vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that help to quickly and naturally boost your immune system. These include Vitamin C and zinc as well as a B complex, selenium, magnesium, calcium and glutathione. IV treatments are administered right here in the clinic and last approximately 30 – 60 minutes, depending on the dose of Vitamin C.
Nurture A Healthy Immune System By Bringing Your Levels Back Into Balance Under The Guidance Of An Experienced Naturopathic Doctor
Vitamin C can help support a healthy immune system. But, before you start taking supplements, talk with your doctor to make sure you are giving your body what it needs. The immune system is complex and needs much more than a glass of orange juice to keep it strong and functional. Factors ranging from diet to lifestyle choices can all have an impact on how well your immune system is working. Your naturopathic doctor can help assess your overall health and create a plan to support and maintain your immune system so you can avoid becoming sick.
If you are an existing patient, you can book an acute 30-minute appointment at the onset of a cold or illness. Dr. Richa Grover, ND will meet with you to discuss the best course of treatment to help you return to good health quickly.
If you are not currently a patient and are looking for a new and comprehensive approach to health, book a 15-minute discovery call to learn more about how a naturopathic doctor can help you and your family in Peterborough.