getting the right nutrients
Now that we understand the main factors that can damage our immune health, it’s time to look at our immune heroes, which can help you to rebuild and support a healthy immune system. When we look at the relationship between our gut microbiome and our immune system, we can see that gut health heroes are an important part of this work. However, from an immune system perspective, we need to focus on removing and preventing long-term inflammation, reducing the risk of infection and boosting the immune system’s ability to heal and repair damage in your body.
Zinc is essential for the immune system. It has been shown to play an important role in regulating inflammatory chemicals and suppressing inflammation.1 Zinc acts as an antioxidant and can influence the immune system on multiple levels. It can even turn on or off the genes that are related to inflammation.2 Zinc has been shown to have anti-viral properties and can strengthen the membranes in the nose, throat and lungs against infections.3 It is also important for wound and tissue healing. 4 Taking a zinc supplement has been found to be beneficial for helping to treat multiple infections and immune issues, and is relatively safe, although those with type 1 diabetes should be cautious, due to possible issues with their blood sugar levels….5
- Olechnowicz J, Tinkov A, Skalny A, Suliburska J. Zinc status is associated with inflammation, oxidative stress, lipid, and glucose metabolism. J Physiol Sci. 2018 Jan;68(1):19-31. doi: 10.1007/s12576-017-0571-7. Epub 2017 Sep 30. PMID: 28965330; PMCID: PMC5754376.
- Wessels I, Maywald M, Rink L. Zinc as a Gatekeeper of Immune Function. Nutrients. 2017 Nov 25;9(12):1286. doi: 10.3390/nu9121286. PMID: 29186856; PMCID: PMC5748737.
- Wessels I, Rolles B, Rink L. The Potential Impact of Zinc Supplementation on COVID-19 Pathogenesis. Front Immunol. 2020 Jul 10;11:1712. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2020.01712. PMID: 32754164; PMCID: PMC7365891.
- Kogan S, Sood A, Garnick MS. Zinc and Wound Healing: A Review of Zinc Physiology and Clinical Applications. Wounds. 2017 Apr;29(4):102-106. PMID: 28448263.
- Overbeck S, Rink L, Haase H. Modulating the immune response by oral zinc supplementation: a single approach for multiple diseases. Arch Immunol Ther Exp (Warsz). 2008 Jan-Feb;56(1):15-30. doi: 10.1007/s00005-008-0003-8. Epub 2008 Feb 5. PMID: 18250973; PMCID: PMC7079749.