Ways to enhance your immune system
Ways to enhance your immune system

Ways to enhance your immune system

There are several ways to enhance your immune system to increase your chances for preventing infection. In December 2019 coronavirus also called SARS-CoV-2 was identified in hospitalized patients with pneumonia in Wuhan, Hubei Province in China. SARS-CoV-2 is the virus responsible for the outbreak of respiratory illness known as COVID-19. The virus has not previously been identified in human beings; however, it is very similar to that of SARS-CoV which caused the epidemic of severe acute respiratory disease in the Guandong Province of China in 2002. The other similar epidemic is the MERS-CoV plague which occurred in the Middle-East in 2010, where the largest number of cases was in Saudi Arabia. In this article, I will be sharing with a vital nutritional approach to prevent the coronavirus from infecting you.

Symptoms of coronavirus infection

These illnesses are usually respiratory-related and often present with similar symptoms. The symptoms could range from mild such as a sore throat, cough and fever to a more severe situation such as severe pneumonia, respiratory or kidney failure, and death. The severity of the disease seems to be influenced by the state of a person’s health as well as the existence of medical conditions including diabetes and heart diseases. Also, people living with HIV/AIDS and the associating Tuberculosis may be at a higher risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2 due to already compromised immune system. This explains why people respond differently to infection. A person with a stronger immune system is more likely to resist infection and a greater chance of minimizing the severity of disease if infected.

COVID-19 has by far recorded the highest number of people infected with the highest cases of deaths compared with SARS-CoV of 2002 and MERS-CoV of 2010. The treatment for COVID-19 comprises medical care similar to those given for influenza and other respiratory illnesses. The medical care treats the symptoms, which in the case of COVID-19 includes fever, cough and shortness of breath.

CDC’s recommendations to prevent infection and spread of coronavirus

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, after using the toilet, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer where water is not available.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of tissue properly and wash your hands.
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Maintain social distance in public places
  • Do not come in close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you are sick

Nutritional approach to enhance your immunity

As new cases of COVID-19 continues to emerge in countries around the world, it becomes necessary to take further measures towards preventing infection at a time of the global epidemic. As previously indicated if your immune system is strong, you can decrease your chances of infection as well as minimize disease severity if you get infected. The nutritional strategy is to improve your immune system, by ensuring you have an adequate intake of vital nutrients. Nutrients from varied food sources remain the best and advisable. However, food supplements may become necessary at times of increased need, impaired nutrient absorption, and reduced appetite.

It has been well-documented how supplementation with multiple micronutrients that have immune-supporting roles help to improve immune function and reduce the risk of infection. The micronutrients with the strongest evidence for immune support include vitamin C, Magnesium, Zinc and Selenium (1,2). These nutrients have been used with great success in improving the body immune system and they may be of great benefit in assisting you to prevent infection.

Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and it is one of the ways to enhance your immune system. However, the doses should be regulated from a low supplemental dosage such as 200mg/day to a high dosage such as 3000mg/day (3). Vitamin C supplementation can be very helpful for people of low economic background. It is less costly and very effective. Research outcome shows how 200 mg/day vitamin C that was given to elderly patients resulted in improvement in respiratory symptoms (4). Vitamin C strengthens the immune system by directly denaturing the viruses. It can be taken in the form of ascorbic acid capsule or crystal dissolved in water. Vitamin C can also be taken in its non-acidic form; sodium ascorbate (3). A group of researcher suggested that to ensure efficient absorption, a combination of oral and inhalation routes of vitamin C be administered. This will deliver higher concentrations of vitamin C at the respiratory lining; the site of influenza virus infection, thereby imparting anti-influenza immunity against the infection caused by new or old virus strains (5).

Some vitamin C supplements offer 1,000 mg of Vitamin C per serving and may also contain other nutrients such as vitamins A and E, Zinc, Selenium, Manganese and Magnesium. Vitamin C supplements may be in the form of chewable tablets which are nice-tasting and easy-to-use.

Magnesium supplement as one of the ways to enhance your immune system

Magnesium is an important nutrient with roles in many enzyme reactions in the human body including muscle and nerve function, supporting the immune system and regulating blood pressure.

Supplemental magnesium can serve as a very cost-effective supplement for any acute viral infection. A dosage of 400 mg/day in the form of citrate, malate, chelate, or chloride is suggested. A long-term deficiency of magnesium can build up in the body that may require several months to replenish (6).

Magnesium supplement in the form of magnesium glycinate may be more beneficial. It offers the chelated delivery form of magnesium which helps to optimize the bio-availability.

Zinc supplement to enhance your immunity

Zinc is a powerful antioxidant that is essential for several biochemical pathways. Documented evidence has shown zinc to be effective in helping the body fight infections (7), with a recommended dosage of 20-40 mg/day for adults. Some zinc supplement may include other beneficial substances such as probiotics, enzyme blend and vegetable blend for additional nutritional support.

Selenium supplement as one of the ways to enhance your immune system

Selenium is an essential micronutrient with a crucial role in a wide range of physiological processes including immune responses. It is an important antioxidant that can help to fight infections. People who are deficient in selenium have a high risk of a respiratory infection such as common cases of flu and SARS. The oxidative stress that causes inflammation makes the viruses to mutate rapidly to survive. On administration of selenium supplement to an individual with a viral infection, the rate at which the virus transforms diminishes and immune-competence improves. A daily dose of 100 mcg is recommended (3,8).

Some selenium supplements provide selenium in an amino acid chelate form, thereby enhancing their capacity to form selenoproteins, which are important antioxidant enzymes.

If you intend to take any supplement, ensure your dosage is safe by consulting with your doctor or pharmacist. You need to ascertain that the supplements will not interfere with any medications you are currently taking.


While the spread of COVID-19 persists, you and your family can stay safe. Adhere to the recommendations of the CDC for prevention. Also, ensure a sound immune system by engaging the nutritional ways to enhance your immune system.

NOTE: The information contained herewith is not meant to be a therapy on its own but serve as a guide for you to make an informed decision. The products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Also, note that if you purchase any products promoted on this site, a little commission may be earned by the site.


  1. Gombart AF, Pierre A, Maggini SA. 2020. Review of Micronutrients and the Immune System-Working in Harmony to Reduce the Risk of Infection. Nutrients. 16;12(1). pii: E236.https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/12/1/236.9.
  2. Case HS. 2017 Orthomolecular Nutrition for Everyone: Megavitamins and Your Best Health Ever. Basic Health Pubs. ISBN-13: 978-1681626581
  3. Andrew WS. 2020. Nutritional Treatment of Coronavirus. http://orthomolecular.org/subscribe.html, http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/index.shtml
  4. Hunt C, Chakravorty NK, Annan G, Habibzadeh N, Schorah CJ. 1994. The clinical effects of vitamin C supplementation in elderly hospitalized patients with acute respiratory infections. Int J Vitamin Nutr Res.64:212-219. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7814237.
  5. Dibyajyoti Banerjee, Deepak Kaul. 2010. Combined inhalational and oral supplementation of ascorbic acid may prevent influenza pandemic emergency: A hypothesis. Nutrition. 26:1(128-132).
  6. Levy TE. 2019. Magnesium: Reversing Disease. Medfox Pub. ISBN-13: 978-0998312408
  7. Maria Maares, Hajo Haase. 2016. Zinc and immunity: An essential interrelation, Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Volume 611, Pages 58-65. Https://doi.org/10.1016/j.abb.2016.03.022.
  8. Avery, JC, Hoffmann, PR. 2018. Selenium, Selenoproteins, and Immunity. Nutrients, 10, 1203.

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