Vitamins and your Health
The Corona virus pandemic has brought a lot of attention to the need for healthy and strong immune systems. As a result vitamins have been on the lips and minds of everyone.
With the reopening of the economy and the easing of many restrictions in spite of the increasing cases there is a possibility of a further spike in infections.
If the carefree attitude of many members of the public is anything to go by then this might be a situation of let the best immune system win.
This article tells us why vitamins are really important and helps us identify the vitamins that help with boosting the immune system.
Vitamins are a class of food nutrients that are important for carrying out several body functions ranging from building of new cells, strengthening of the teeth and bones.
They are also involved in blood building which is related to maintenance of the immune system of an individual.
There are 13 types of vitamins: A, D, E, K, B1, B2, B3, B5, B7, B6, B9, B12 and C. The B vitamins are often referred to as the B-complex vitamins.
The unique thing about vitamins unlike some classes of food is that they are not produced within the body. They must be taken from external sources like food or supplements.
Usually food sources give enough supply except in certain situations that might require a prescription for a supplement..
Vitamin B6 and B12
These vitamins are important for the development of blood cells like the white blood cells (WBCs), red blood cells (RBCs) and platelets.
White blood cells make up the immune system of the body. A decrease in white blood cell count translates to a weakened immune system.
The sources for these vitamins are: Protein-rich foods like turkey, beans, spinach, milk.
This Vitamin is a strong and notable immune booster recommended for people with colds (which are caused by viruses).
It helps boost the immune system to fight off the underlying cause of cold or disease.
This vitamin is important in these times, as it helps boost our immune system to help fight off viruses like the corona virus (as proven by various studies).
Food sources for vitamin C include tomatoes, sweet potatoes, green vegetables, citrus fruits like orange, grapes.
Vitamin E and K
These are powerful antioxidants that help regulate our body’s immune function. As antioxidants, they help mop up free radicals that may cause harm to the body.
Sources of Vitamin K include: Green leafy vegetables, liver, fish, eggs and cereals. For Vitamin E, vegetable oils like soybean oil, green leafy vegetables.
While all vitamins are essential for general body building, the above are great for our immune system.
We should endeavor to get adequate amounts of these vitamins to ensure we stay healthy.
This also helps prepare our immune systems to fight any possible infection including the corona virus.
N.B. Vitamins especially those marketed as supplements should be taken in moderation preferably with the advice of a pharmacist as excess could cause problems for your health.
Stay safe out there❤
Joyce Nwanochi Chinenyenwa
Pharmacist in training at the University of Port-Harcourt, Nigeria