immune boosting supplements: prevention and vaccine prep (2021)
Best practices for supporting our immune systems has been a large topic of discussion in 2020 and now 2021. I was just reflecting on the fact that a year ago (Jan 2020) I had zero awareness that I would be thinking about the best mask to use on the daily and which herbs and supplements to take for immune strength and vaccine prep! Yet, here I am, here we are.
This is a list of my favorite supplements (and dosages) for supporting the immune system both for prevention of viruses/illness as well as supporting the body for vaccination and optimal integration. As a personal point of view I tend to try and keep my supplement regimens simplified for a couple different reasons. Firstly, I get stressed out when I open a cabinet door and see a smorgasbord of bottles all lined up, most half-empty, some past their prime. Bonus stress for the supplements I can’t remember what I purchased them for in the first place! I do not like wasting my money ,or space on supplements and herbs that rarely get to flex their medical skills. Secondly, beyond personal preference to limit anxiety, I live in a tiny home and storage is of the essence. If I’m not going to use it, I don’t buy it. And that goes for supplements too. I often wait until I actually finish a product or herb before I replace it. I’m pretty hardcore when it comes to waste and space saving solutions. ;)
So here is what I do on a regular basis to support my body and immune system with supplements. In addition to dosage I will also tell you how often I take these supplements. I don’t take each one every day because sometimes it feels like a lot, other times I may not need themt. At the end of this article I will link my online dispensary through Full Slate where you can purchase these supplements at a discount! Ok let’s dive in!
1. Liposomal Vitamin C: Liposomal means it is a liquid (vitamin C suspended in a liposomal carrier (oil derived). Oral ingestion of vitamin C has been found to be more bioavailable (easier for the body to assimilate and integrate) than capsule forms of Vitamin C. Vitamin C reduces oxidative stress, promotes the full expression of the inflammatory response which helps the immune system attack and break down viral or bacterial invaders as well as protect our tissue when fighting off an infection. Dosage: I take 1,000mg (1 gram or 1 teaspoon) of liposomal Vit C as an everyday vitamin. This is especially true because our bodies do not make vitamin C and we have to acquire it through diet. Vitamin C is water soluble so anything our bodies do not use is excreted. When I am in active prevention mode I take 2,000-4,000mg per day. If I am fighting off an infection I try to double that or take as much as I can handle. What I mean by that...you will know when you have reached your threshold for vitamin C because there is a thing called “bowel tolerance.” Essentially, you will experience digestive upset. Typically that happens with doses closer to 10,000mg, however, start at a lower dose (like 2,000mg) and work upward to prevent unpleasant side effects.
2. Liquid Zinc Assay: Zinc maintains cell and structure integrity of our mucosal membranes, this is especially important for the upper respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. Zinc is also antioxidant (similar to vitamin C) and supports our adaptive immune system that recognizes outside invaders and mobilizes our immune system to then fight it off. Supplementation of 45mg per day as prevention has been found to reduce infection and aid the body in cytokine response if an infection does occur. As of late I have been taking vitamin C and zinc daily at any point in the day I remember to take them.
3. Vitamin B Complex: Helps support energy levels and are the building blocks to a good blood supply. While it is not touted as having an immediate role with immunity, a complete b vitamin complex helps support our whole system. I take a b-complex a few times a week and take it in the morning as b’s can have an energizing effect on the body.
4. Vitamin D: Vitamin D does a number of different things for the body, like preserving bone health and immune system support. While Vitamin D is synthesized through our skin when it reacts with sunlight I tend to take Vitamin D during the late fall, winter and spring as I don’t tend to be as exposed to sunlight during these seasons. Studies have shown vitamin D to be helpful in the expression of peptides in the immune system protecting our lungs and endothelial linings, especially important for colds, flus and upper respiratory tract infections. Liquid vitamin D at 5,000 iu per day is a healthy dose for prevention during flu season. On a regular basis a dose of 1,000 iu per day is sufficient to keep our vitamin D levels up to par. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin so we don’t want to over do it with this one. A solution to this is to get our vitamin D levels tested through a yearly blood test, however, this can be expensive. As an alternative I tend to take this supplement seasonally and about 4 out of the 7 days in a week.
Accessory supplements I keep on hand are a medical mushroom blend called MyCommunity by Host Defense and take this when I am exposed to large groups of people or come into/about to come into contact with germs. A second supplement I keep on hand is Monolaurin which I take for chronic viral loads from past herpes simplex infections and Epstein Barr/mononucleosis. Studies show monolaurin has been successful at breaking down the phospholipid layer that encapsulates these viruses. I tend to take this supplement on a more personal level because the research still has room to grow, however, I have anecdotal evidence of success and keep this close by.
Here is a link (or click the button below) to all of the supplements I mentioned via my online dispensary through Full Slate with a 10% discount.
If you have any questions about supplements to take for cold/flu prevention feel free to leave a comment or contact me here.