Enhance Your Health

Health Tip of the Week: The Importance of Supplementation

A study conducted at the University of Oregon found that senior citizens who took a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement that contained decent amounts of zinc and vitamin C on a regular basis, when becoming sick, were sick for shorter periods of time and had less severe symptoms then the group that was given a placebo.

This study is just one of hundreds that delivers hard evidence that vitamin supplements are an important part of boosting the immune system.

Despite all of these studies, it amazes me that there are doctors who still are not onboard with vitamin supplementation. 

I was excited to see an article online titled “How to boost your child’s immune system during a pandemic according to a doctor.”  Thinking I was going to hear about all of the well-researched vitamins that boost immunity, after reading the article I came away largely disappointed.

Dr. Shanna Kowalsky, a pediatric associate hospital epidemiologist and assistant clinical professor of Pediatrics and Infectious Disease at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City was interviewed for the article and while she gave some good advice concerning diet.

The doctor stressed the importance of eating a well balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables.  She also talked about the need for a good nights sleep and exercise as plenty of sleep and physical activity helps with the immune response.

From there the article went down hill, fast.  Kowalsky talked about the importance of not missing pediatric well visits and making sure your child was up-to-date on vaccinations and to also make sure that your children get a flu shot this season.

I kept reading, hoping that she would talk about actual things to do to boost immunity as far as supplementation was concerned.

Instead I got this beauty of a quote.  "There is no way to boost one's immune system with any supplement of any kind, Hard stop.” She then went on to further show her lack of knowledge on the subject to say that “supplements, so long as they don’t involve a megadose, are generally benign and may have some sort of placebo effect, they’re not necessary outside of the rare case of child vitamin deficiency. Otherwise, “there’s no evidence that any supplement is going to boost your immune system per se; it’s not really going to have a direct effect.”

Obviously she does not read research journals on functional nutritional medicine, nutrition and dietetics. She probably has never even had conversations with her medical colleagues that practice dis-eased based nutrition.

If she did, she would have learned all about the latest research on vitamin C, D, zinc, quercetin and elderberry extract and its impact on immune system function.

In addition, if vitamin supplementation is not a help with the immune system, why are hospitals around the world and in our own country giving doses of vitamin C, D and zinc to patients with the coronavirus?

The question of boosting a child’s immunity remains unanswered in this article. How do I boost my child’s immune system during a pandemic?

First off, processed sugar intake needs to be cut down considerably. Sugar literally eats away at the immune system.  A diet high in sugar is just asking for illness.  Not to mention the long term effects of a high sugar diet include higher risk of diabetes and obesity.  Both of which are contributing factors for severe cases of illness during pandemic viruses.

While we are on the dietary topic, processed carbohydrates such as too many low grain breads and pastas are also not helpful for immune system function and also contribute to obesity. The doctor above did get one thing correct.  She said a diet high in vegetables and fruits can boost immune system function.  Both of those foods are high in anti-oxidants which prevents and repairs cell damage and helps with immune system function.

As far as supplements go, my children take a multi-vitamin daily. In addition, I give them 1000mg of vitamin C.  One zinc a day as well.

In the fall and winter they take 4-5 thousand units of vitamin D3 with vitamin K.  Vitamin D dosage is based on bodyweight.  35 units of D per pound of bodyweight.  If they are outside a lot in the summer, you can skip the D.

Lastly, they are given one teaspoon of elderberry extract every day for prevention.  Elderberry has strong immune system properties and is very anti-viral.  Now if they happen to start to get a cold or sick, I give them vitamin C three times a day.  The same with elderberry.

I also add quercetin to the mix, as quercetin helps to push the zinc into the body’s cells and further boost the immune system.

My children also receive weekly chiropractic adjustments for the immune system benefit, if sick, they have their spine checked daily.

If you want to boost your children’s immune system and be proactive during the pandemic school year, the above is everything that I do to help my children be healthier.


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