Invite Health Podcast, Episode hosted by Jerry Hickey. Ph
There’s mounting evidence that simply taking a well-formed multiple vitamin and mineral supplement throughout the winter can help you get through with
a lower likelihood of getting really sick with a virus. This is really, truly important during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the flu is coming up. We’re going to discuss some of the research on multiple vitamins and staying healthy over the winter.
Some data on vitamins and immunity
In a recent report from England, researchers from a number of academic research institutions mostly based in London wanted to see if certain vitamins help protect from respiratory tract infections like influenza or COVID-19. They looked at Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin D and Vitamin C specifically. The research team published their findings in BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health. They looked at data from a large segment of people living throughout the UK. They looked at their Vitamin C intake, their Vitamin D intake, their Vitamin A intake and their Vitamin E intake. They looked at how much they had in their food and if they took supplements. They found that they couldn’t look at Vitamin C because the people who wound up with respiratory tract infections were not taking Vitamin C supplements, so that’s off the board. For Vitamin A and Vitamin E, they found that both nutrients sourced from food and supplements are connected to
a lower prevalence of respiratory tract infections in the United Kingdom. They found that Vitamin D from food had no effect on protecting the lungs and the respiratory tract, but Vitamin D from supplements was associated with
fewer respiratory tract infections and fewer respiratory tract complaints. This is very interesting data.
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Researchers at Oregon State University performed a very small but extremely interesting study in adults aged 55 to 75. It was a three-month-long study. They found that, compared to people who did not take a multivitamin supplement, older adults who took the multivitamin mineral supplement daily were
sicker for a shorter period of time with less severe symptoms. The researchers from Oregon State University hypothesized that
the daily multivitamin and mineral contains micronutrients essential for your immune system, which I agree with wholeheartedly. They’re pointing specifically at Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Zinc. These nutrients could improve your immune cell function as you grow older. This is in the journal Nutrients.
For more research on how multivitamins and minerals can help your immune system, tune into the full podcast episode.
What to look for in a multivitamin supplement
If you get a good multivitamin, you’ll get beta carotene (the precursor to Vitamin A), but make sure that it’s natural beta carotene. You’ll get Vitamin E, but, once again, make sure it’s natural Vitamin E. The synthetic Vitamin E doesn’t work well and most vitamin companies use synthetic Vitamin E and synthetic beta carotene because they’re much less expensive. But you want to get these nutrients in their natural forms. You want at least 400 units of Vitamin D and make sure it’s Vitamin D3, which is more active than the other form, D2. My recommendation is to get a well-made multivitamin. Make sure they don’t use titanium dioxide. Sometimes when there’s liquid-filled capsules, which is sometimes the case with a multivitamin, they want to make it look nicer and protect the ingredients, they coat the capsule with titanium dioxide. That’s not good. Titanium dioxide is a heavy metal and when you ingest it, it’s been shown to irritate the lining of the intestines and you could develop leaky bowel syndrome, which is not a good thing. It also seems to get into the pancreas and damage the beta cells that release insulin and can increase your risk of developing diabetes. So make sure if you buy any supplement, it does not have titanium dioxide.
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Tune into the full podcast episode to hear more of Jerry’s recommendations.
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