Avera Medical Minute: Can immune boosters, vitamins prevent sickness?

Published: Oct. 12, 2023 at 6:07 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Dr. Demetre Skliris with Avera Family Medicine joined Dakota News Now to discuss some misconceptions about immunity boosters and preventing sickness.

Do immunity boosters or vitamins help prevent sickness?

  • Vitamin C is the most popular remedy for the common cold, but it’s not going to keep you from getting sick.
  • It’s not all bad news though, The NIH does have the research to show that taking vitamin C increases the level of antioxidants in your blood which can help fight off inflammation.
  • Immunity boosters are typically taken before an important event or trip, but it’s probably more placebo than actual preemptive medicine.

Is there a place for supplements and boosters?

  • Nutrients like B12 and Vitamin D are important for strong energy and can help with immunity levels, but they will only help those who are deficient in the first place.
  • Vitamin Supplements are just that, supplements. They shouldn’t be taken in large doses as too much could lead to digestion issues and deficiencies because your body will stop producing/absorbing vitamins naturally.

How do you naturally boost your immune system?

  • Eat a healthy diet: a well-rounded diet consisting of fresh fruits and vegetables will strengthen your immune system with all the vitamins it needs
  • Get moderate exercise: your body will naturally boost its immune system when you get up and move. It doesn’t have to be a lot either, 30 minutes of walking, biking, or lifting some weights consistently will pay dividends to your health.
  • Make bedtime a priority: even one night of restricted sleep (less than 4 hours) suppresses your immune system and can increase inflammation. Keeping that routine can also help avoid insomnia and other issues with falling asleep.

What else can prevent sickness?

  • Make sure you have a primary care provider. Having a PCP and regular checkups will help you keep track of your levels and identify any deficiencies.
  • Regular checkups will also ensure that you are up to date on any vaccinations that can help prevent the spread of sickness like the Flu.