* Boost Your Immunity in 2021

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As we look back on the health crisis of 2020 and forward to a positive, healthy 2021, many New Year’s resolutions are geared toward a healthier lifestyle.  

A healthy lifestyle includes exercise, good sleep habits, and a proper diet.  This not only keeps us healthy, but can help boost our immune system and prevent illnesses.  

The best way to get our daily dose of vitamins and minerals is through a healthy and well-balanced diet.  However, this is often difficult to achieve, which is why vitamin supplements are often recommended.  The Eastern Virginia Medical School is one of many healthcare organizations that has recommended vitamin regimens to help boost immunity, especially in the time of COVID.   

  1. Zinc,30-50 mg/day. This stops the virus from replicating by getting into DNA, and it also prevents the virus from entering the cells.
  2. Quercetin, 250 mg daily.  This allows the zinc to get into the cells to work more effectively.
  3. Vitamin D3, 2000-4000 units per day.  This boosts the immune system, and studies have also shown that the majority of COVID patients in the ICU are vitamin D deficient. 
  4. Vitamin C, 500 mg twice daily. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and important for our immune cells to function well.
  5. Melatonin (slow-release). Begin with 0.3 mg and increase as tolerated to 2 mg at night.  Melatonin can help reduce inflammation in the lungs and also promote sleep, which is restorative for general health.
  6. B-complex vitamins.  These boost the immune system.

Many studies have shown the importance of vitamin D during a COVID infection.  Patients with a low vitamin-D level appear to have a higher risk of severe inflammation from COVID.  It has also been noted that patients in the intensive-care unit are predominantly vitamin D-deficient.  

The vitamin D level can be checked using a simple blood test ordered by a physician.  Many people are more deficient in vitamin D during the winter months since they are not outside in the sun. 

A proper and comprehensive vitamin regimen can help keep you healthy by preventing many upper-respiratory illnesses.  Consult your physician before beginning any new vitamins or supplements. 

Dr. Avani Gupta DO

Dr. Gupta is a Board Certified Family Physician with a Masters in Pharmacology

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