More Energy, Immunity With Vitamin Supplements This Winter
Each year during the holidays, it seems like we never have enough energy and we're constantly trying to avoid getting sick. Luckily, there are some nutritional supplements that have been shown to both enhance the immune system and reduce fatigue.
Dr. Laura Hatton, CCN, PhD, and International Sports Sciences Association Certified Fitness Trainer recommends considering using Vitamin D, NADH, Ginseng, Astragalus, Glutamine this winter. ISSA's latest version of its acclaimed Performance Nutrition course is scheduled to be released in January.
Vitamin D was traditionally perceived as a nutrient solely used as a bone builder because of its effect on calcium absorption. However, Vitamin D has a role in every organ system of the body. It modulates the immune system and enhances its function. It also regulates an enzyme that's responsible for the production of L-dopa, which converts to energy enhancers. Supplementing with adequate Vitamin D ensures an optimally functioning immune system and sufficient energy production.
NADH (Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) is a coenzyme involved in energy production in cells. NADH is required by all cells that require energy. Supplementing with NADH provides your body with more of the molecules necessary to generate energy. NADH is also required by immune system cells as the immune system uses energy to fight infections.
Ginseng has been studied extensively for its effects on the immune system and on stamina. By enhancing the function of the adrenal glands, ginseng improves muscular oxygen utilization -- thus increasing endurance. Studies have demonstrated that ginseng also improves various immune system responses, raises white blood cell count, and has a marked effect on the symptoms of aging.
Astragalus is an herb that works with ginseng to improve endurance and white blood cell counts. When looking for a good ginseng supplement, it's helpful to find one that works in conjunction with this herb.
Glutamine is an amino acid necessary for developing muscle mass that also aids in immune function by enhancing some white blood cells. Studies have also shown depressions in glutamine levels after exercise stress, with glutamine levels not returning to normal even after six days of rest. Since skeletal and cardiac muscle tissue require glutamine for growth and maintenance, it's important to ensure an adequate supply of glutamine.