8th June 2021 • Written by Dr Sam White

Vitamins for supporting your immune system

1. Co- enzyme Q10- required for healthy mitochondrial function (think of mitochondria as the battery of our cells all throughout the body). If you are taking statin medications then it is essentially important to take Co-enzyme Q10- this is depleted with statins and a significant contributor to feeling fatigued and experiencing sore muscles.

2. High dose Vitamin C- at dose level known as ‘bowel tolerance.’ (Please google for more info on this). For most adults this will be in the dose range of between 1000mg-3000mg. If you start to experience loose stools simply reduce the dose. Vital for immune defence and poorly absorbed in the diet.

3. Vitamin D3- unless you have a disorder of the parathyroid glands or cancer which has spread to the bones, a dose of 10,000 IU daily is perfectly safe. If you live in the UK, I see vitamin D3 as paramount since we are ‘lucky’ to see the sun. Vitamin D3 plays a vital role in helping calcium to be deposited in the bones and also in the functioning of a healthy immune system. You can always get your level of Vitamin D3 checked either by your doctor or via a simple online test.

4. Quercetin- the dose will vary depending on the brand you buy. Quercetin is what is known as a mast cell stabiliser. When people become poorly from an infection the mast cells release histamine in response (a different sub-type of histamine to that involved with hay fever). Many of the mast cells are located at the level of the blood brain barrier hence why we can feel extremely fatigued and experience ‘brain fog,’ when fighting an infection.

5. Liposomal Glutiathione- this is a powerful anti-oxidant and supports the function and rebuilding of the body’s natural killer cells- our first line of defence. Take on an empty stomach.

6. Zinc- usually at a dose range of between 30-50mg. Take just before sleep. Avoid the picolinate version since this can cause diarrhoea. Interestingly, zinc carnosine has been found in some patients to help recover their sense of taste and smell- as well as treating symptoms of heartburn/indigestion.

7. A probiotic- around 70% of our immune system is in the gut. Healthy GI function is key for optimal health. For instance, in Functional Medicine asking about and testing the health of a person’s gut is frequently where we start- especially in auto-immune and chronic disease..

These vitamins can be purchased at any health shop or online and should be relatively inexpensive.