Trouble getting out of bed in the morning. Lack of enthusiasm and energy. Not to mention the schedule change planned for this last Sunday in October, which will shorten the days even more. To be sure, while summer is a distant memory, a month away from its official start, we are in raw autumn, the official season of laziness, gloomy weather, and nasopharyngitis.
So how do you find some fishing? Can we boost our immunity to keep respiratory viruses at bay? For many, the solution is to start a little autumn cure, to recharge with vitamins C, D or magnesium. But between the contributions of food, a possible deficit and the real needs, are these cures really effective? 20 minutes sift through five. And “if avoiding deficiencies is obviously good for health, we should not expect miracles from these cures either, in particular against Covid-19”, insists Thierry Souccar, scientific journalist and author of the book. Let’s stop sabotaging our immunity (Ed. Thierry Souccar).
Also called vitamin of the sun, vitamin D is synthesized by the body when one is exposed to its rays. It plays an essential role in bone health, and also in strengthening the immune system. “In particular, innate immunity, which is the body’s first line of defense against infectious agents such as bacteria, fungi and viruses,” explains Thierry Souccar.
However, as the time change approaches, naturally filling up on this vitamin becomes more complicated. If oily fish and fortified dairy products contain vitamin D, “food barely manages to cover the needs, and between 75 and 80% of the French population is deficient in vitamin D at this time of year”, stresses the scientific journalist . We can know if it is necessary thanks to a laboratory test. And if you have a deficit, taking a vitamin D cure in the fall may be a good idea. Studies show that supplementation can have a preventative effect against classic winter respiratory viruses.” In pharmacies, we will choose “rather vitamin D3 than D2: it is closer to the one produced naturally by the body, which absorbs it better”, advises Thierry Souccar.
Considered by many to be the energy vitamin, vitamin C supports brain activity, has antioxidant properties and contributes to the proper functioning of the immune system. “A varied diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, but also in viscera, can satisfy the body’s needs. Numerous studies show a drop in vitamin C status during cold seasons, when we can consume fewer plants than during the summer”, Thierry Souccar points out.
If a good dose of citrus fruits -the clementine season begins- can be enough, in case of a deficit, “a vitamin C cure may be indicated this season, believes the scientific journalist, but this supplementation is not essential”. In reality, it depends on the quantity and quality of the calories consumed: it will be more difficult to ensure a sufficient intake of vitamins and minerals if a diet is too rich in ultra-processed products or too low in calories. Especially if you smoke or if you have respiratory function disorders, where the body will have greater needs for vitamin C”, he continues. It would be a shame, in the middle of cold weather, vitamin C is a precious ally to reduce the duration and intensity.
Little known, zinc is a valuable trace element, which helps the growth and proper functioning of the immune system. On the plate it can be found in crustaceans, shellfish, red meat or eggs, which is better assimilated by the body than that contained in whole grains and vegetable proteins. However, “almost 20% of the population would be in a deficit situation, in particular vegetarians or vegans and the elderly,” says Thierry Souccar.
However, “it’s best not to be missed when the risk of viral infection is high, as is the case right now, as zinc has the effect of disrupting the replication of many viruses in the body,” he adds. It is probably one of the best allies against colds and certain viral infections, either in prevention or to reduce their duration. Supplementation may be indicated for certain profiles, as long as you take the right dose, not too much and not too little, that is, around 15 mg per day.
It is one of the most popular cures of the season. Magnesium is an essential mineral to help the brain with energy production, protect against stress, and slow the aging process. Again, food may be enough to increase your intake, particularly shellfish and oilseeds, “or even mineral waters naturally rich in magnesium, suggests Thierry Souccar. This can help you better resist stress and regain some energy.
If you still want to make a cure, “you have to know that there are different qualities. There is organic magnesium, a little more expensive but better absorbed by the body, and inorganic – including marine magnesium – which requires a higher dose for the same benefits, but can have a laxative effect, ”she warns.
If most people do not necessarily think of taking a probiotic cure, they are, however, the key players in our second brain: the intestinal microbiota, and they play a fundamental role in our body. “Probiotics are live bacteria naturally present in dairy products and other fermented foods such as miso or kefir,” says Thierry Souccar. Therefore, feeding may be sufficient to ensure the quality of the intestinal flora”.
Essential probiotics for health and immune defenses, since “alterations in the microbiota can promote and aggravate respiratory infections, and on the contrary, when the flora harbors a good diversity of probiotics, resistance to winter infections would be reinforced, but its duration and intensity would also be reduced. , he underlines. They could also improve the effectiveness of flu shots in the elderly, who develop a weaker immune response. Therefore, supplementation may be interesting in the fall for people over 65 years of age”.
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