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Boosting immunity

(20 Posts)
MumOfAToddler26 Thu 03-Sep-20 14:22:42

Which vitamins are best for helping to boost your immunity?
Thanks 😊

OP’s posts: |
Justjoinedforthis Thu 03-Sep-20 14:28:53

I think unless you have a deficiency, nothing is actually proven to boost your immune's more like a lack of things can weaken it. The only true way to 'boost' it is exposure to germs.

BrokenBrit Thu 03-Sep-20 14:40:47

I largely agree with the above poster.
Maybe a good general multivitamin would help if your diet isn’t great?
That being said I do take Vitamin C and vitamin D in the winter, and early on in Covid it was reported to help and they are safe to take so I think why not.

Snog Fri 04-Sep-20 08:04:08

Vitamin D

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Fri 04-Sep-20 08:29:09

Nothing proven although I think there is probably more in support of zinc than vitamin C.

There is some suggestion that Vitamin D might play a role in reducing severity of Covid, but it's really quite early in terms of evidence, so there is nothing definitive yet.

AlexaShutUp Fri 04-Sep-20 08:32:05

I take Vitamin C, zinc, vitamin d and magnesium. No idea if they actually make any difference but at least they make me feel like I'm doing something proactive to boost my immunity!grin

ChateauMargaux Fri 04-Sep-20 08:35:21

Vitamin D3 and K2, Vitamin C. Most people are deficient in Vit D and vitamin C depletes rapidly so needs constant replenishment.

A range of healthy fats including fish oils, seed oils. Plenty of raw and cooked vegetables, bone broth with mineral salts to ensure trace mineral levels are maintained.

Avoid foods that contribute to inflammation, sugar, processed carbs, caffeine, alcohol.

BillieEilish Fri 04-Sep-20 08:36:33

I am eating super healthily. More veg and fruit, more variety and lots of fish.

No processed food at all.

Trying to cut down on booze hmm!

AlexaShutUp Fri 04-Sep-20 08:38:11

Chateau, I was under the impression that caffeine actually reduces inflammation. Is that not correct?

AnnaMariaDreams Fri 04-Sep-20 08:40:49

Vitamin D and maybe C would be wise this winter I think.

SqidgeBum Fri 04-Sep-20 08:41:22

Vitamins wont make the slightest difference to immunity. If you want to improve immunity, you have to think about health overall, so the main thing is being a healthy weight, then exercising regularly, and eating well (which will give you those vitamins anyway and give you their paired absorbing vitamin or mineral). There is no immunity in a bottle. Its a lifestyle thing.

CrunchyCarrot Fri 04-Sep-20 08:48:33

Vitamins wont make the slightest difference to immunity.

Completely disagree with this. Vitamins are often cofactors for very many enzyme-catalysed reactions in your body. If you don't have enough then all those reactions will suffer and this will have a knock-on effect on all body processes, the immune system included. It's important to have enough B vitamins in particular, as B2 (riboflavin) forms FAD (flavin adenine dinucleotide) which is an incredibly important cofactor in dozens of reactions. Since B vitamins are water soluble we can't store them in the way that we store the fat-soluble vitamins such as E, D, A and K, so we need to have a good intake of them every day. Multi-vitamin pills are usually very low dose and hardly worth spending the money on. A good balanced diet with plenty of fresh veg and dairy (if you can eat it), is essential.

SqidgeBum Fri 04-Sep-20 09:05:23

@CrunchyCarrot yes! I agree. In my comment I said a healthy diet will give you those vitamins along with the vitamins and minerals you need for absorption, which will help along with a general healthy lifestyle. When I said 'Vitamins wont make a difference', I meant vitamins you buy in tubs and take in the morning. I should have made that clearer.

ChateauMargaux Fri 04-Sep-20 09:15:49

@AlexaShutUp.. reflex to include caffeine in the foods to avoid list.. but for the wrong reason, it restricts blood flow, increaes cortisol and can impair the body's ability to excrete waste. And yes.. I know there are studies which show the benefits of caffeine.. .. choose as you wish..

katie2812 Fri 04-Sep-20 09:17:57

How weird I was just thinking about vitamins and then saw your post!

I find iron gives me such an energy boost and vitamin B. There is also so many types of B vitamins I wouldn't know which one helps immune system. I want to start taking zinc and vitamin C but I was unsure about vitamin D? How does that help someone?

This is what NHS website says about vitamin D:

You can get plenty of vitamin D march - September " However, during the autumn and winter, you need to get vitamin D from your diet because the sun is not strong enough for your body to make vitamin D.

Because it's difficult for people to get enough vitamin D from food alone, everyone (including pregnant and breastfeeding women) should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D during the autumn and winter."

It also says that you get enough vitamin C in your food so I'm thinking on just taking that every time I have to go to work or after work to fight anything I may have caught if that's possible? 😅 Because it cannot be stored in body

Generally, I am healthy, not overweight and gave started couch to 5K so trying to be proactive but I do want a vitamin boost.

How does everyone rate the Poundland vitamins? Surely vitamins are vitamins right no matter price as long as they have the correct amount?

JS87 Fri 04-Sep-20 09:35:51

I would take 10ug of vit D. Most people are deficient in this country, especially if you have darker skin. Zinc and vitamin C. There is a little evidence that 1g of vitamin C at the first sign of a cold can help but it's no good once you have full symptoms.
I disagree that vitamins in a bottle don't help. Most people don't have a healthy enough diet to get all their vitamins from their diet plus fruit and veg are often depleted as they are picked so long before we eat them, the vitamins are excreted into the water when we boil them.

JS87 Fri 04-Sep-20 09:36:18

You could also consider a course of probiotics to boost your gut microbiome which is very important for immunity.

BahHumbygge Fri 04-Sep-20 10:20:37

Vitamin D3

Get as much lunchtime sun in the next couple of weeks as you can, ideally in short shorts/vest top or bikini. 15 - 45 mins... stop well before you start to turn pink. After late September (UK) the sun doesn't reach high enough in the sky to let through UVB which produces vitamin D in your skin.

Eat wild salmon and oily fish several times a week.

Lose weight if overweight... the fat cells sequester and lock away vitamin D first, so there's very little actively available in the blood for immunological purposes. Try intermittent fasting and cutting out sugar, alcohol and processed carbs.

Take a supplement, a highish amount to start with eg 5000 iu, then after a few weeks drop down to around 3000 - 4000 iu... a bit more if you're in an at risk group... are darker skinned, are overweight/obese, live a mostly indoor lifestyle, or are in an older demographic, a bit less if you're fair skinned, slim, young and enjoy the outdoors. Ideally get your levels tested, you can get a publicly available postal test from NHS Sandwell for around £30. Optimum blood levels are around 100 - 150 nmol/l. Below 75, you're much more at risk from covid, and contracting a critical case of it. Talk to your doctor if you have a medical condition, especially something calcium related like kidney stones.

Download the DMinder app for phones, which can track your vitamin D intake from sun, food and supplements and estimate your current levels.

Pair D3 intake with K2, which you can get from animal foods like liver, gouda cheese, grassfed butter; a fermented Japanese soyabean food called natto, or supplements. K2 is crucial for regulating calcium metabolism in conjunction with D3, so it is correctly deposited in the bones and teeth and away from the arteries and soft tissue.


Take the standard recommended 15 mg per day. If you're concerned you've been exposed to cases, take 50 mg for a few days. Eat shellfish/liver/liver pate if you like it.


Help transport the zinc into the cells. Eat lots of red onions, red apples, berries, colourful fruit and veg. Take a quercetin supplement. Buy some elderberry syrup, or make your own - there's loads in the hedgerows now. Take elderberry if you've been exposed to cases, or you feel you're starting to come down with something.

Vitamin C

Lots of fresh fruit and veg. Take a supplement 500 mg - 1 g per day. Make your own sauerkraut and kimchi (or buy ready made from the chiller cabinet).

Other stuff... ventilate rooms as much as possible to dilute any viral particles in the air.

Article about the first randomised control trial in relation to vitamin D and covid... it's very positive!

Other info from watching scientific youtubers like John Campbell and Medcram.

CrunchyCarrot Fri 04-Sep-20 10:46:40

Surely vitamins are vitamins right no matter price as long as they have the correct amount?

You'd be forgiven for thinking so, but interestingly no, they're not. One thing that is important is the 'form' of the vitamin. For example, B2 or riboflavin is better absorbed as simply riboflavin, not riboflavin-5-phosphate.

B12 really won't be absorbed via the stomach route at all, it's a very difficult vitamin to get on board. That's a whole other topic!

The other thing is solubility. Some manufacturers make pills that dissolve in your stomach poorly. Some brands are more expensive for a reason - quality is important.

Getting enough Vit D (or D3 as it's more properly known) is problematic if one lives far from the Equator. The long winters deplete stored Vit D. Personally I take 4,000 IU daily but that is possibly more than others require. I find if I take less then my Vit D levels just keep falling. I do a test twice yearly to keep an eye on my levels.

@BahHumbygge has given a very comprehensive explanation above re Vit D3. smile

Thanksitsgotpockets Fri 04-Sep-20 11:15:10

It's very important to understand the cofactors with vitamin d. There's a circular relationship with magnesium in the vitamin d means we use magnesium efficiently which in turn can cause magnesium deficiency. Please look at supplementing magnesium if supplementing vitamin d.

In fact studies have shown that just supplementing magnesium can mean we can produce more adequate vitamin d levels from sun exposure.

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