By Emily Hirsch, MS, RD
Trying to stay healthy year-round may feel like dodging raindrops during a downpour. In order to avoid colds or the flu, keeping your immune system robust through proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle is imperative. Besides washing your hands, eating a well-balanced diet, getting adequate rest, you may want to consider taking a supplement to ensure your body has the proper amount of Vitamin E.
Your immune system needs the right nutrients to stay strong. Although there are obvious times when the immune system needs a little boost, like cold and flu season, the bottom line is that stress can suppress immunity.
Many studies report increased bouts of colds and flus in athletes during periods of heavy training and competition, a time of stress. While moderate exercise may boost your immune system, intense exercise places extra stress on your body, leaving you more susceptible to infections. Even if you are not training for any athletic event, any period of stress can increase your susceptibility to illness.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble nutrient found in a variety of foods. In your body, Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant, meaning it helps to slow down cellular damage caused by environmental pollution, UV radiation, pesticides, alcohol and smoking. Your body also requires Vitamin E to help your immune system fight off harmful viruses and bacteria.
There are many foods that provide Vitamin E. Nuts, seeds and vegetable oils are among the richest sources. Additionally, significant amounts of Vitamin E are found in green leafy vegetables and fortified cereals. The majority of Vitamin E in the typical American diet comes from soybean, canola, corn and other vegetable oils. Furthermore, Vitamin E supplements have gained popularity and also contribute to Vitamin E intake among the US population.
Recent research has focused on Vitamin E and its effects on specific immune cells. When a virus enters your body, various immune cells will hit the ground running to help fight the virus. Research has shown that Vitamin E enhances the activity of important immune cells, including macrophages, T cells, natural killer cells and dendritic cells.
Additionally, according to researchers from Tufts University, Vitamin E supplementation taken above current dietary recommendations has been shown to enhance the function of the immune system and reduce risk of infection.
Vitamin E has also shown promising results in fighting the reproduction of free radicals —unstable molecules in the body that can damage cells, leading to illness and accelerated aging. One recent study showed that antioxidants like Vitamin E capture free radicals, suppress their ability to regenerate and inhibit viruses from reproducing.
Vitamin E supplementation has the potential to be a promising nutritional approach for people looking to avoid illness. It works to kick your immune system into high gear by enhancing the effectiveness of your immune system cells.
Trimmunity Multi-System Immune Support provides 100% of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin E, along with additional vitamins and herbs known for their immune-boosting properties. If you’re doing everything else but still getting sick, a nutritional supplement is a convenient way to make sure you’ve protected on multiple levels.
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