In these Coronavirus days a lot of people are probably asking, can Vitamins Boost Immune System? Well the answer to that question is not a simple “yes or no”, since the immune system is composed with different processes and mechanisms. However, Vitamins do play a part in the immune systems responses, where some vitamins have a more specific effect on our immune systems responses while other vitamins role is to be more of an antioxidant within the immune system.
In order to answer the above question we first have to understand that the nutrients in our food is decreasing, read my post the food problem here, and therefor it is a risk that a lot of us might have a deficiency with some essential vitamins which helps us maintain a proper working immune system. If we have a deficiency in these vitamins, then yes we can boost our immune system by taking nutritional supplements. However, if you don’t have a deficiency in the necessary vitamins and your immune system is functioning properly, then the science community is divided on the topic if vitamins can strengthen your immune system, so then the answer to the above question is to put it simple unclear. (1)
So as I said earlier there is no simple “yes or no” answer to this question, it’s complicated to say the least.
Nevertheless, let’s take a look at the vitamins that some scientists say can strengthen your immune system and even help you fortify yourself against some diseases:
Vitamin A can effect certain parts of the so called adaptive immune response (1). Adaptive immune response is a subsystem of the overall immune system and it contains particular fundamental cells and processes that removes or prevents pathogens, or simply put as us common folks would say, germs.
A deficiency in Vitamin A will lead to an insufficient immune system (among other things) and will make it harder for the body to fight pathogens (germs). A deficiency in vitamin A is normally rare in our part of the western world, however with the decrease of nutrients in our food it might be a future problem. (2)
Vitamin B6’s role is to regulate the immune systems response to different kinds of diseases such as inflammation and some cancer forms. Deficiency in vitamin B6 can weaken your immune system response, however an intake of vitamin B6 supplements for a short period of time can rapidly bring your immune response back to a normal level (3).
Supplementation of vitamin B6 for critically ill patients has also shown that it can help them increase their immune response. (4)
Vitamin C is a very important nutrient for humans. It’s a very strong antioxidant. Vitamin C helps by supporting different functions of the immune system. Is it a very strong barrier against pathogens and oxidative stress. Supplements of vitamin C appears to prevent and also treat respiratory infections. If you have a deficiency in vitamin C it will weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to infections. (5)
Vitamin D keeps our immune system in balance and its has been used historically to treat for instance tuberculosis and to enhance our protection against infections. Vitamin D influences a number of cells in the immune system so it’s vital to have sufficient levels of vitamin D in your body in order for your immune system to function properly. Deficiency in Vitamin D will increase the risk of infections and autoimmune disease. (6)
Zinc influences numerous features of the immune system. Zinc is essential for common growth and function of cells in the innate immune system. Innate immune system is an older evolutionary immune response strategy and is the most common immune system response found in plants, insects, fungi and primitive organisms that consist of more than one cell. Zinc can also function as an antioxidant as it can prevent free radical caused injury during the inflammatory process.
Deficiency in Zink can lead to a dysfunctional immune system creating a number of illnesses and a weakened fortification against infections. (7)
According to science there are a number of vitamins that can help you maintain a functional immune system. It is even more essential if you have a deficiency in any of the above mentioned vitamins that you take the necessary supplements that can boost your immune system to a functional level. Don’t forget that the nutrients in our food is decreasing which means that maybe many of you might not get the sufficient vitamins you need to maintain a healthy and proper working immune system.
I hope you enjoyed this article and if you have any questions or comments please leave them below and I will reply back to you as quickly as possible. Stay safe and healthy.