If you think you have the flu, you're probably looking for almost anything that might make your feel better. Colds and flu are caused by viruses, and antibiotics won’t help. And if you're not interested in taking over-the-counter medications, your options may be limited. Now, there's growing research supporting supplements for flu and flu prevention.
Supplements for Flu: Vitamin D
Vitamin D may not be on your list of supplements for flu because it's typically tied to bone and muscle health. But a recent study found it may also help your body fight an acute respiratory infection, like flu. Daily or weekly supplementation provided the greatest benefit.
Another study found a link between low vitamin D levels and pneumonia.
Supplements for Flu: Magnesium
A key mineral for optimal heart health, Magnesium is a cofactor used in over 300 enzyme systems, including the ones involving the cell’s main energy storage molecule - ATP.
The International Medical Veritas Association recommends topical application of Magnesium Chloride for flu prevention, along with zinc lozenges, Vitamin C and a properly hydrated body to strengthen the cells from their roots up. Magnesium Chloride addresses the greatest and most important deficiency in the body with upwards of 90 percent of the population deficient in this vital nutrient.
To increase your body’s magnesium levels:
- Eat more dark greens, such as kale and collard greens, as well as nuts, pumpkin or sunflower seeds and seaweed.
- Soaking in Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) because magnesium is well absorbed through the skin. Use 1 to 2 cups of Epsom salt per bath, but you can use more if you're working on especially tight muscles or a muscular injury.
- Ask your medical doctor if you should take oral magnesium supplements.
Supplements for Flu: Zinc
- Sesame and pumpkin seeds
Supplements for Flu: Co-Q10Co-Q10 is a powerful antioxidant whose most critical role is helping to create energy in the cell mitochondria, which is essentially the battery or furnace of every cell. It is especially vital to muscle cells which use a lot of energy. And since the heart is essentially a large muscle, Co-enzyme Q10 is vital to keep the heart working well. Taking Co-Q10 Ubiquinol when you start to feel ill can boost your body’s immune system by increasing anti-oxidants, which attack free radicals.
Supplements for Flu: Fish Oil
This heart-boosting supplement is basically a healthy fatty acid from cold water fish like salmon. The benefits of fish oil include improvements in heart, brain, and skin cell function. It’s been shown to reduce inflammation, homocysteine, blood clotting, and triglycerides, among other benefits. An omega-3 fat supplement in the form of fish oil capsules or cod liver oil will establish healthy cell membranes that prevent inflammation and resist toxins and attack by pathogens. A Vitamin A supplement derived from fish oil is great for immune function and mucous membrane integrity helping to maintain a strong and vital immune system. One needs to take 2000 to 5000 mg a day for any benefit. For those patients who cannot tolerate statins; fish oil and omega-3-fatty acids are very good alternatives for treating cholesterol and triglycerides.
The most important ways to fend off the flu include:
- Getting vaccinated
- Washing your hands
- Avoiding contact with infected people
Of course, before you begin any new regimen of supplements, check with your cardiologist to see if they are right for you and your particular condition. If you're looking for more tips on how to avoid the flu, download our free guide: “How To Get Rid of the Flu or Not Get It At All.”