Cold and Flu Supplements

Flu and cold season are upon us! Here are my best tips to help decrease your symptoms and potentially shorten the amount of days that you're sick!

Hi, I’m Doctor Emily Parke with your Functional Health Minute. Today I’d like to talk about what to do if you do get the flu or a common cold. There are certain supplements that you can take that can help decrease the symptoms that you’re having and can also potentially shorten the amount of days that you’re sick. So I’m going to start with general supportive nutrients and get a little bit more specific. So of course things like vitamin C, everyone thinks of when you get an illness of any kind. And vitamin C is a really good antioxidant. And so one of my favorite products is by Xymogen. It’s this one called Bio C because it doesn’t only have ascorbic acid in it, which is what most forms of vitamin C are, it also has some bioflavonoids, so there’s also some other good benefits in other parts of vitamin C, not just the ascorbic acid. You can get Bio C by visiting the link here using the code [email protected]

So I would do extra vitamin C, and when you’re sick, you can actually take tons more vitamin C than you could if you weren’t sick. So, for example, if you’re on a daily regimen of 500 milligrams a day or even 500 milligrams twice a day for other reasons, then you, when you get sick, you could actually increase that you up to as much as 5,000 milligrams. And that’s just as tolerated. Your gut will tell you if you can’t tolerate it. So a couple of things that can happen if you take too much vitamin C, you can get a little bit of stomach irritation or a gastritis and it can also cause some loose stool. So that’s kind of how you would know if you’ve gone too far taking vitamin C. But generally when you’re sick, your body uses tons of it, so you’ll be able to take a lot more of it.

The next nutrient is, of course, vitamin D and vitamin D3 is really important for your immune system. It’s also important for lots of other areas like bone health and brain health, for example. But when you’re sick, your usage of vitamin D is likely to go up. And so adding some extra, short term, is perfectly fine and may help shorten your illness also. But I will say with caution, vitamin D is a what’s called a fat soluble vitamin. And so what that means is your body will absorb as much as you give it. So it is good to kind of know what your vitamin D levels are before starting. Because there are a small percentage of patients that really over absorb vitamin D, and even normal dosages make their levels go very high. But honestly, short term, if you’re talking about five to seven days of taking an extra 5,000 of vitamin D, you’re very unlikely to cause harm.

But of course, if you have kidney or liver disease, you’re going to want to check with your practitioner on that. The next supplement is actually not a nutrient, it’s a probiotic. So probiotics can help because about 80% of your immune system is located inside your gut. And so probiotics help by creating a healthy immune system environment in the gut. So this is just general immune system support. The next couple of nutrients are going to really kind of target more viral infections, specifically. And the first one I’ve got here are zinc lozenges. And I looked at the actual research and it really is zinc lozenges that are proven to help decrease cold symptoms. And you can take a good amount of these. I mean these happen to be 10 milligram zinc lozenges, and you can take up to eight of these a day, and some studies were even studying higher dosages.  You do want to let it dissolve in the mouth. And the reason it’s lozenges and not pills is because if you think about it logically, how you get a cold or a flu? It comes in somewhere in your mucus membranes, right? Your eyes, your nose, your mouth, your throat, you know it comes in through the mucus membranes. And so the zinc lozenges, by dissolving it in your mouth, that really is the most effective way to get zinc in. And then the next thing, this is one of my favorite products to use. It’s a combination product. It’s called Viracid and it has a bunch of, not just nutrients, but herbs that are very well known to help with viral infections. So this does have some extra vitamin A in it, which is also a very immune system supporting, especially when it comes to a viral infection.

But this also has some other herbs like astragalus, elderberry and echinacea in it. And it also has lysine. So it’s got a lot of things in it that are very well known to help decrease viral symptoms and potentially shorten viral illnesses. So this is another thing that you would take for, again, no longer than five to seven days. And then the next three things are three things that I had talked about in a previous video that I use as part of my travel regimen, but that are also super supportive of the immune system. And the main one is glutathione.

So glutathione is your body’s main antioxidant and detoxifier. So in an illness of any kind, glutathione is going to be helpful. And so I would do about one packet or so of these a day. You can even increase the dose to one, twice a day, if you tolerate it very well. Purchase glutathione here using the code PARDO. Now the caution is, the way some people have their detox pathways set up genetically won’t do well with glutathione. They actually may feel worse. But for most of us it is super immune system supporting and really helps us to get rid of our symptoms faster. The next thing is that Biocidin throat spray. And again, same concept with the zinc, this is an herbal antimicrobial that is going to work locally, just like the zinc. As in, you spray it into your throat. And this, just as a reminder, this is the one that has a study that proves that it actually increases levels of what’s called secretory IgA, which is immunoglobulin A. The part of your mucosal immune system.

So it does help improve the immune system environment in the mouth and throat. And then the last one is the nasal silver hydrosol spray by Argentyn 23. And again, we’re kind of attacking where colds and flus get in, how they get into your system. It’s a mucous membrane of some kind. And so this, I do one spray in each nostril, up to three times a day. And so that’s my general recommendations for if you do get a cold or a flu virus. You can purchase these sprays here.

Supportive care that you can do besides the basic things like make sure you’re well rested, make sure you’re hydrating really well, and you’re able to eat something, lowering stress. Those are all things that are going to really help kick the cold or flu virus out. This is Doctor Emily Parke with your Functional Health Minute for today. If you’re interested in checking out functional medicine in the Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Arizona area, call to book an appointment at 602 892-4727 or fill out our contact form. If you’re not local to us, check out  7 Weeks to Your Healthiest Self – my masterclass that provides you with the foundational benefits of functional medicine – from the comfort and privacy of your own home.

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