How to Beat the Cold With Natural Supplements
Author: Sheridan Lee Date Posted:8 August 2019
No one likes the approach of winter and knowing that the cold and flu season is upon us! Here’s some easy info for you to get you through the wintery and cold months.
Firstly, let’s talk a little about our immune system. This system is made up of lymphoid tissues and organs, cells and proteins. Its role is to protect the body from the environment by:
- Neutralising pathogens such as bacteria, viruses and parasites that have entered the body
- Recognising harmful environmental substances
We have two lines of defence in our immune system:
First line defenders: These include skin, mucous membranes and bodily fluids. This last class includes mucous which is sticky, urine which flushes toxins from body, vomiting expels microbes and acidic vaginal secretions prevent growth of bacteria.
Second line defenders: Antimicrobial proteins which stop the growth of microbes, Natural killer cells (a type of lymphocyte), phagocytes (neutrophils and macrophages), inflammation.
There is so much that can be done to support our immune systems to respond appropriately this winter.
Vitamin C supports both first and second-line defences. Vitamin C is required for collagen synthesis for our skin barrier integrity. It also helps with stimulating white blood cells, which counteract the oxidative stress and keeps the oxidant and antioxidant levels in balance. Vitamin C has been shown to reduce the duration and severity of the common cold. Humans are unable to produce vitamin C, so we need to source this daily from fruits and vegetables. The daily recommended intake for adults is around 45mg daily. For the common cold, it is recommended that over 500mg is to be taken daily. We stock a great range of supplements containing vitamin C which can be found here
Zinc also works in the same way by assisting in the first and second line defences. It’s required for skin building and is required for the development and function of white blood cells. Low zinc levels have shown to decrease levels of macrophages- these are the white blood cells that detect, engulf and destroy pathogens. Zinc has been shown to reduce the duration and severity of the common cold. Zinc can be obtained from foods such as shellfish, red meat and poultry, whole grains and legumes. For the common cold, it is recommended to take around 20mg daily, and best started within 24 hours of the cold onset. Find our zinc supplements here
Andrographis paniculata is a plant, which grows in abundance in India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and parts of Asia. It has been used traditionally in these countries to treat influenza, bronchitis, high blood pressure and many more illnesses, and more research has been found to it to be anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and immune-stimulating. Andrographis has been shown to reduce the symptoms of colds and also can be used as a preventative. We have two over the counter products that contain andrographis - Fusion ActiViral and Fusion Cold and Flu, but have a much larger range in-store at our dispensary.
We stock a fantastic range of supplements in our Herbal Dispensary at Sunnybrook and provide over the counter advice from healthcare professionals.