What vitamins improve your immune system?

“Those who think they have no time for healthy eating, will sooner or later have to find time for illness.” – Edward Stanley
“Don’t dig your grave with your own knife and fork.” – English Proverb
The question, “Which vitamins boost your immune system?” was addressed in a 2020 article in the Journal of Clinical Immunology, based on meta-analysis and systematic reviews of a number of nutritional supplement studies, which reported that micronutrients vitamin E, C, D, A, Bs, iron, selenium and zinc  “are essential for immunocompetence.” 
The article went on to say that one’s diet is important for maintaining nutritional well-being. 
“However, diet alone may not be sufficient in certain metabolic and lifestyle conditions, including advancing age, co-existing medical condition, cigarette smoking, or occupational exposure to environmental toxins.”
When considering what vitamins may help support the immune system, the following list is a good place to start your research:
Vitamin C
Vitamin E
Vitamin D
Vitamin A
B Vitamins
Iron (for women)
Selenium
Zinc
We will discuss each of these vitamins and minerals in depth in future posts and address such questions as: What is Vitamin E for? What are Vitamin E health benefits? What are the benefits of zinc supplements? etc.
What about high blood pressure?
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, and heart disease run in Dale’s family, so we will pay special attention to these threats to not only his health, but to the health of millions of others. Dale’s mother had high blood pressure and he was also faced with this threat to his health since his early thirties. However, in the last five years he has adopted a more comprehensive nutritional eating and supplement strategy designed to improve both cardiovascular health and cognitive functioning, (ie memory and thinking). We are happy to report, his blood pressure, on average, is now lower than it had been in forty years! His cognitive abilities are subject to debate! lol
Scientists would discount this testimony, labelling it as anecdotal evidence. However, all each of us have in the end are our anecdotal life stories, be they ones of health and longevity or not! We prefer to strive for health and wellness, based on both anecdotal evidence and science, and sincerely hope each of you will too.
In future posts we will provide our findings on questions such as: 
Can natural supplements lower blood pressure? 
Can natural supplements lower cholesterol levels?
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies pervasive in U.S.
What about the argument that most people get enough good nutrition from their diet and, therefore, do not need to, or should not, take supplements?
Nothing could be further from the truth, at least in the U.S., one of the most affluent countries in the world!  According to a report compiled by Chuck Benbrook of the Organic Centre which showed a “pervasiveness of inadequate nutrient intake throughout the U.S. population.”
In a study of 8,940 individuals, it was found that 44% consumed less than the estimated average requirement (EAR) of Vitamin A, 93% ate less that the EAR of vitamin E, 31% consumed less than the ERA of vitamin C, 56% ingested less than the ERA of magnesium and 12% consumed less than the ERA of zinc! Consumption of most  B vitamins also fell below their respective ERAs.
There is little reason to believe the nutrient content of the typical American diet has improved since this study was completed. Increased consumption of fast foods and mega farming techniques, which focus on quantity over quality, combined with nutrient depleted soil, have all resulted in a steady decline in food nutrient concentrations over the years.
What’s more, ERAs are lower than Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) and only reflect amounts estimated to keep 50% of a specific age group from being deficient of a particular nutrient.  The use of RDAs as nutrition guidelines have often been criticized for being too low and that nutrient levels offering  optimum health would be more beneficial.  ERAs provide even a worse benchmark!
Typical American diet a threat to health and longevity
Unfortunately, it would appear that anyone relying on the typical American diet to obtain the nutrients they require for optimal health and longevity, can expect a shorter life plagued by ill health and high medical costs. 
Of course the first place to begin improving your health and longevity, is eating a diverse diet of fruits, vegetables and nuts, if you are not allergic to them, and other non-processed foods loaded with nutrients, while avoiding or limiting refined carbohydrates (e.g. sugar).   But this is easier said than done for many people. 
Nutritional supplements can act as another line of defense for better health and longevity, by filling nutritional gaps and also providing therapeutic and potentially life-extending alternatives.
What types of food and supplements do you believe are best for you? What has helped you with health challenges in the past? What are you doing different to ensure a long and healthy life?
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