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Immunity nutrients

By Denise Elliot

Echinacea, Olive leaf, Garlic, Vitamin C and Zinc are superb choices for enhanced immunity and have the added benefit of antioxidant protection.

Echinacea species (3 are used for medicinal activity - Echinacea angustifolia, purpurea and pallida) are native to mid-western North America. One of the most popular uses of Echinacea is for the common cold. There are many well designed, placebo controlled, double blind studies that have shown the effectiveness of Echinacea in reducing the symptoms and duration of colds.

Olive leaf (Olea europaea) and Garlic (Allium sativum) have been used traditionally for thousands of years for immune enhancement, cardiac support and blood stabilising effects. Many recent studies on Garlic have demonstrated anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal activity.

Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin, so it is not stored in the body to any large extent. It is cited as being one of the safest vitamins. Vitamin C is crucial for robust immunity, resilient bone health and vital for collagen production. It is the primary protein involved in all connective tissue.   Large doses of vitamin C are not advised while on the contraceptive pill.

Zinc is vital for strong immune health. It is essential for growth and physical development and virtually every enzyme reaction in the brain involves zinc. This essential mineral is involved with immunity, insulin, thyroid function, reproduction, digestion, skin and prostate health.

The combination of these nutrients may strengthen and bolster the immune response through the colder winter months. If symptoms persist seek professional support.