Best Supplements, Vitamins, & More for COVID-19, Medical Professional Weighs In
Dr. Peter is no stranger to vitamins, supplements, and trying to stay as healthy as possible for the safety of himself and his patients. He is a pediatric dentist and owner at VK Pediatric Dentistry in Arlington, VA, and has remained COVID-19 free and healthy through the entire pandemic. Although Dr. Peter and the entire staff take every precaution possible to remain safe in his office (including N95 masks, full personal protective gear, shields, barriers, etc.), he also uses a number of supplements, vitamins, and health practices aimed to maintain and promote health during the COVID-19 pandemic and onward.
Keeping a Healthy Immune System:
Although COVID-19 vaccines are right around the corner and starting to become more and more available to the public, our first line of defense against COVID-19 and other illnesses is our own immune system. Whether it's COVID-19, the seasonal flu, or any other illness out there, our first priority should be to maintain a healthy immune system and give our own body the best chance possible to fight off any illness. Here are some of the most important factors in a healthy immune system:
Sleep: High quality, adequate sleep is essential to maintain a healthy immune system. Numerous studies have pointed to the importance of sleep (usually 7-8 hours each night) and how sleep deprivation can have a considerable impact on the immune response. It's vital according this study published in Nature. It's interesting to note that chronic sleep loss may actually be more detrimental to immune function than sporadic short-term sleep loss. Although we may be burning the candle at both ends from time to time, chronic sleep deprivation can put you at risk for developing more severe symptoms.
Physical exercise: We understand it's difficult to get to the gym during a pandemic, especially with a lot of gyms and studios closed for COVID-19 concerns but exercise and physical activity is associated with better immune function and overall health. It can lower anxiety and stress and lead to better mood, more energy, and a healthier outcome if you do get sick. A study on the effects of exercise on your immune system.
Vitamins, Minerals, and Supplements:
First and foremost, it's important to understand the best advice is to visit your physician to tailor your needs specifically to what your body requires. None of the following statements have been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and none of the products named are intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Vitamin D: Before the COVID-19 outbreak and pandemic, Vitamin D was regarded as one of the best vitamins to supplement with as almost 50% of the US population is Vitamin D deficient at baseline. Vitamin D plays a very important, key role in immune function and a deficiency in Vitamin D can make you more susceptible to infection (study). In this Meta Analysis (the strongest type of study, comparing 25 randomized clinical trials with over 11,000 participants), it was shown that Vitamin D supplementation helped prevent acute respiratory tract infections. Multiple smaller studies have come out recently comparing outcomes in regards to Vitamin D and COVID-19 and patients with insufficient Vitamin D were more likely to die or have worse clinical outcomes. So we're in agreement it's important. Next question: How do we get more Vitamin D?
How to get enough Vitamin D: Vitamin D can be found in diet (fish, liver, eggs) but the biggest source of Vitamin D is sunlight. If you've heard of 'seasonal blues' it's often associated with a lack of sunlight during the winter months, and now more than ever, it's important to make sure your Vitamin D levels are at a normal level. Although there are many, many vitamin D supplements out there, some quality brands for Vitamin D3 supplementation include: Thorne Research, Life Extension, and Pure Encapsulations.
Zinc: Zinc is a nutrient that is involved in over 300 enzymes and 2,000 transcription factors in the human body. It plays a very crucial role in immune function, protein synthesis, wound healing and more. Although COVID-19 is a novel virus, coronaviruses have been around for decades and cause almost a quarter of all common colds. Zinc deficiency affects one third of the population worldwide, both in developed and developing countries. Clinical studies have shown that zinc supplementation can reduce (sometimes up to 50%) the severity of duration of various cold systems such as fever, cough, sore throat, and muscle pain which may occur after a SARS-CoV-2 Infection. It has also been linked to lower the prevalence of childhood pneumonia (a lower respiratory tract infection). Thorne Zinc.
Turmeric: Turmeric is a popular bright yellow spice that's been used for centuries in Asian cuisine (and dietary supplements). Turmeric contains compounds called curcuminoids, which are bioactive, and one of the most important of these is curcumin (which constitutes over 75% of the active curcuminoids in turmeric). Curcumin has a broad spectrum of actions, including antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory activities. Curcumin has an antiviral effect on a broad range of viruses including influenza, adenovirus, hepatitis, HPV, HIV, and Zika viruses through a variety of mechanisms ranging from inhibition of virus entry, inhibition of replication, and modulation of several pathways.
Although the best advice is maintain a health and supported immune system, sometimes we need a little extra help. Neutraceuticals may have an ability of immune-boosting, antiviral, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory effects. Some of these include Zn, vitamin D, vitamin C, curcumin, cinnamaldehyde, probiotics, selenium, lactoferrin, quercetin, etc. Some of these phytonutrients in the right combination in the form of a food supplement may help to boost the immune system, prevent virus spread, preclude the disease progression to severe stage, providing both prophylactic and therapeutic support against COVID-19.
VK Pediatric Dentistry
5001 Lee Hwy, Arlington VA 22207
Schedule An Appointment Today in Arlington, Virginia at VK Pediatric Dentistry
If you haven't taken your child to a pediatric dentist yet or would like to schedule an appointment, Dr. Peter and the highly skilled team at VK Pediatric Dentistry are just a phone call away. Schedule an appointment online or call us today at 703-962-7814. We look forward to providing your children a lifetime of healthy and happy smiles!