Prevent Colds, Flu with Vitamins D3, C, Zinc and Probiotics
Vitamins C and D3, Zinc and Probiotics Help Prevent Colds and the Flu Before They Strike
MAY 30, 2012 – This year, rather than brace yourself for the inevitable cold or flu that seems to strike every winter without exception, why not arm yourself with an elite defense mechanism that has been clinically proven to reduce the probability that those who take advantage of this defense strategy will fall victim to influenza (including the traditional flu, swine flu, bird flu and probably other forms not yet known to the public) and/or the common cold.
Actually, for the sake of accuracy and full disclosure, what in the above paragraph was referenced as an elite defense mechanism is actually a combination of compounds which have been shown to boost the human immune system while reducing the rate of disease. I am of course referring to two vitamins, one mineral and a myriad of bacteria, some of which are commonly found in multivitamin/mineral supplemements, others in foods such as yogurt, and others still in fortified foods. That said, at least one of the vitamins does not always necessarily appear in its optimal form in the aforementioned sources – at least not as it pertains to its benefits toward human health.
So what are these two vitamins, the bacteria and the lone mineral?
Vitamin D3, Vitamin C, Zinc and Probiotics = Cold & Flu Prevention
Most of you have already guessed that Vitamin C is one of the two vitamins. Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is an antioxidant that has been shown to help strengthen the immune system in humans. It won’t cure a disease all by itself, but it may in fact help to prevent one (or several for that matter).
Vitamin D, and in particular a specific form of the vitamin/hormone (it is technically a hormone, although from this point on in this
article I’ll refer to it as a vitamin for the sake of simplicity). If you want to be really technical about it, one form is a vitamin (D2), while the other is a hormone (D3). The latter is the form that helps stave off illnesses like the various forms of influenza (the flu) as well as the common cold. Vitamin D3 is obtained naturally though exposure to sunlight, which during the cooler months can be restricted. It doesn’t work if the sunlight only hits your clothes. It has to be bare skin. While you don’t have to strut around in your birthday suit in order to be healthy, a swimsuit or as little other clothing as temperatures and law permit will enable your skin to soak up more of the sunshine vitamin, reducing your risk of coming down with a disease or illness.
For more information about the specific effects of vitamin D3 as it pertains to the flu, I recommend the following article: Vitamin D3 and Influenza.
The mineral mentioned in the paragraphs above is zinc. It matters little what form it comes in. Zinc picolinate is widely believed to be the superior form of the mineral in terms of its absorption rates by the human body relative to other forms, but unlike vitamin D2, most other forms of zinc supplements still offer some value to humans in terms of providing a boost to the immunodefense system. If any commercial forms of zinc are of no value to humans as a nutritional supplement, I am not aware of which forms they are.
Zinc also has some aphrodesiac properties. Ever wonder why raw oysters do what they do to one’s desire and passion? Here’s a hint: it’s the zinc. Raw oysters are very naturally high in zinc.
Finally, the bacteria which can be used to help stave off the flu (as well as the common cold) are many in name and type, but they’re all found in the human digestive tract and can be grouped together underneath the umbrella term of probiotics. Years ago, acidophilus was pretty much the only probiotic bacteria sold commercially as a dietary supplement. However, that has changed over the course of the past half-decade or so, and now there are literally dozens of different bacterial strains contained in supplements that all help advance the same ends.
Since a majority of human immune defenses are present within the digestive system, regularly ingesting these bacteria which keep healthy the intestinal tract is another very effective way to help prevent disease before it strikes.
Since I started taking all four of the nutrients mentioned within this article as part of my daily multivitamin, mineral and nutritional supplement regimen, I cannot recall a single instance in which I had to miss a day of work because I was in bed sick with a cold or the flu.