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It's Winter and it's getting colder, you constantly have a cold and sore throat ? With winter's arrival, your body is weaker against infections. Find out which vitamins and minerals will strengthen your immune system, but also the reasons for immunity drop, which will make you more vulnerable to disease.
Here are the vitamins that will enable you to regain an efficient immune system and good health to get through the winter.
In addition to reducing fatigue, vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, strengthens the immune system and reduces the risk of falling ill. It is a vitamin that is highly recommended for the arrival of the cold season.
Vitamin C (1) :
- supports various cellular functions of the innate and adaptive immune system;
- strengthens the effectiveness of the epithelial barrier (skin and mucous membrane cells) against pathogens such as bacteria and viruses;
- has antioxidant activity and thus protects against the effect of free radicals, which are responsible for oxidative stress and cause diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.
(2) (3) We recommend 2 vitamin supplements rich in vitamin C:
To find out more about vitamin C and its recommended daily intake, consult the ANSE (Agence nationale de sécurité sanitaire de l'alimentation, de l'environnement et du travail) sheet.
Did you think that vitamin D was only good for bone health? Think again! Vitamin D is involved in the regulation of innate and adaptive immune responses. This is because immunological cells (B and T lymphocytes, APCs or antigen-presenting cells) have the receptor for this vitamin.
Thus, vitamin D :
- strengthens immunity and reduces the risk of autoimmune and allergic diseases, but also of infections, especially respiratory ones;
- also has an immunosuppressive effect to reduce the effects of prolonged inflammatory reactions; influences the production of important anti-microbial peptides.
We also invite you to read our article on vitamin D in relation to depression.
Antioxidants fight free radicals and the oxidative stress they cause. Thus, vitamin E, with its antioxidant properties, helps to improve immune and inflammatory responses and reduce the risk of infectious diseases. Vitamin E is especially recommended for older people, who have diminished immune responses. The decline in these immune responses can lead to a chronic inflammatory state.
Vitamin A helps to fight infections through its action in producing and activating white blood cells. It thus increases immune responses and helps the body to fight infections more effectively, particularly in the intestinal mucosa.
We couldn't talk about vitamins that strengthen the immune system without talking about minerals! To boost the immune system naturally, these minerals are essential:
- Zinc : increases the production of white blood cells and antibodies (11) and is considered a true guardian of immunity (12) ;
- iron: it is strongly involved in immune processes (13) (14);
- Magnesium: this anti-stress and anti-fatigue mineral may play a role in immune responses (15).
There are many ways to boost your immune system. Eating a balanced diet is essential for the immune system. Malnutrition is one of the main causes of secondary immunodepression. When the body is too deficient, food supplements rich in vitamins and minerals will quickly provide the vitamins and minerals that will strengthen the immune system, while waiting for a dietary rebalancing to take place. For this, consulting a specialist in micronutrition or a naturopath can be an indispensable help. Do you want to get through the winter without getting sick? Do your best to avoid flu or gastroenteritis epidemics by taking healthy eating measures and nutrient-rich supplements.
Our immune system is complex, and there are many reasons why it can become less effective. It continuously protects your body against various threats: bacteria, viruses, parasites, etc. The cells responsible for this immunity are produced by the lymphoid organs: thymus, bone marrow, spleen, lymph nodes, tonsils, but also by clusters of cells present on the mucous membranes. These mucous membranes are digestive, genital or respiratory.
It is also noted that older people are at greater risk of developing a weakened immune system.