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Nutrition
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6 Medical Specialists Share Their Top Recommendations to Patients for the Best Immune Protection

Written by Brendan K. Ramos on September 15, 2020 — Medically reviewed by Sebastian Hunt, R.D., CDE

During this global pandemic, we're doing all we can to keep safe. And we want you to be safe as well. We’ve compiled an advisory from 6 medical specialists for their top recommendation for the best immune protection. It’s best to follow experts’ and doctors’ advice on boosting your immune system instead of just hearsay.
 

“Don't be afraid and panic. This will only weaken the immune system by producing the cortisol hormone, which can spin the entire system out of control. Some vitamins can also make a difference,” says Dr Oakley Edwards. “Vitamins C & D, Magnesium, Zinc, and other antioxidants are the best for your immune system. Vitamin C has become the face of immune support but if you could get yourself all of these vitamins and nutrients, all the better.”

Dr. Oakley Edwards has been an immunologist at The Mount Sinai Medical Center since 2009.

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“In order to improve immunity, good nutrition is key,” advises  Dr Harvey Phils. “The immune system is the defense of the body against disease and infection and several factors, including stress, sleep and nutrition. The food you intake, rather, the vitamins your body needs, have long been established to affect the function of the immune system.” When prodded what vitamins are best for the improvement of the immune system, Dr Harvey says “One of the most underrated mineral is selenium and NALC (N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine) as they both prevent your body from oxidative stress and replenishes your body’s antioxidants. Mind you, you still need the other vitamins, just that these two are overlooked quite often.”  

 

Dr Harvey Phils, M.D. practices family medicine in Bergen Regional Medical Center.

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“Water,” the first advice of Dr Helen Swift. “Staying hydrated is a key factor in your immune system and overall health.” Continuing she says “ Healthy foods, too. You don't give your body the support it needs to maintain a strong immune system if your diet is filled with fat, sugar, or other unhealthy food. Ensure that your diet consists of an adequate amount of healthy fats, whole plants, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts.”  

Dr. Helen A Swift, M.D. is a part of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She helped create a prevention strategies guide with the Institute for Functional Medicine.

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“Oh I have a lot, especially since I work with children all day.” Dr. KM Cowley advises, “Serve more fruits and vegetables. Make sure that everyone in the family has had Magnesium, Zinc, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, [and] Selenium to achieve their daily [nutritional] needs. Get enough sleep time, around 7 hours minimum. If you can, breast-feed your baby and exercise as a family.” 

 

Dr. KM Cowley M.D. works with sick children all day. Her expertise is pediatrics, working at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

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Dr. Stanley suggests the following tips. “Especially if you’re at an older age, a healthy diet is crucial. You need your vitamins and minerals. Get active as much as you can. Lower your stress level and get plenty of sleep. At this time, best to quit smoking.”

 

Dr. Stanley Raynaud, M.D. is a fellow at Johns Hopkins Hospital for geriatrics. He has been practicing medicine for 15 years.

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“I said earlier that taking supplements can decrease susceptibility to infection for those who have vitamin D deficiency. I myself take vitamin D. Well, to be efficient, I personally take Imuneti+ Maximum Immune Defense Formula. It just has the needed vitamins and minerals to boost my immune support” says Dr. Ranson. “Make sure to get your daily dose of Vitamin C, Zinc, Magnesium, and Vitamin D. At the least, your daily dose of Vitamin C.”

 

Dr. Suellen Ranson, M.D. practices at Massachusetts General Hospital as an immunologist. She has been in the department for 7 years.

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What we got from most of the specialists is that diet and rest play a critical role in our immune defense. It’s important that each of us get our daily nutritional servings of Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Zinc, and Magnesium. We should all get adequate rest for at least 7 hours daily.  

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