The immune system is very complex, comprising special cells with distinct roles that work hard all year round to keep us well. But a consequence of spending more time indoors, often in heated buildings, is that these places provide an ideal environment in which we can ‘share’ cold and flu viruses with everybody else!

Colds can be caused by numerous infectious viruses, typically a group called rhinoviruses, which are spread by direct contact or droplet inhalation through coughs or sneezes. Central heating and stale air don’t help either, as studies have shown that heating systems dry out the atmosphere, creating low humidity and toasty-warm conditions for longer in the air once sneezed out.

Vitamins and minerals won’t stop you from breathing in viruses, but a healthy immune system can help fight them off. Supportive nutrients for good immune function include vitamin C, zinc, vitamin A and D, B-group vitamins and bioflavonoids. Taking supplements of these nutrients from Maxwell Pharmacy, Inc., a drug store in East Harlem New York, New York, might be worth considering for individuals with a depressed immune system, such as the elderly or infirm.

Both vitamin C and zinc play important roles in immune function and help us resist infectious agents, so reducing the risk, severity and duration of infectious diseases. But contrary to popular belief, vitamin C can’t stop us from catching a cold, and it can’t stop a cold in its tracks either. What does it do, however, is aid the immune function in numerous ways, including promoting blood cell formation and excretion of heavy metals, as well as acting as an antihistamine and so reducing inflammatory reactions. According to a research, taking vitamin C supplement regularly may reduce the severity and duration of colds, but does not appear to prevent their onset.

A group of nutrients called bioflavanoids, which are often present in the same foods as vitamin C, also support the immune system through their antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties.
Zinc also plays a critical and multifunctional role in the body, ensuring cellular growth and development and proper functioning of the immune system, while protecting cells from oxidative stress and damage.

Vitamins A and D have been shown to have crucial effects on the immune response. These nutrients are involved in a broad range of immune processes such as lymphocyte activation and proliferation, the production of specific antibodies and regulation of the immune response. In addition to supporting the immune system, vitamin D appears to have direct antimicrobial action against viruses, bacteria and other pathogens. Vitamin D levels are often low in winter – see our next article: What do you need to know about Vitamin D?

Are you cold-virus-free for the winter? Secure your own health by getting your needed supplements from Maxwell Pharmacy, Inc.’s drug store in East Harlem New York, New York – and enjoy the rest of your holidays!
For any inquiries, you may call Maxwell Pharmacy, Inc. at 212-534-7700 or visit our drug store in East Harlem New York, New York.

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