Vitamins can reduce the symptoms and duration of the flu and provide natural immunity from viral and bacterial infections. Research has shown that vitamins taken before a flu can build immunity and prevent the flu. Taken during the flu, vitamins can shorten the duration and also mitigate the symptoms and suffering. Many of these vitamins are available from readily available foods and some need to be added to the diet by supplements.
1. ECGC or Epigallocatechin gallate
EGCG is found in green tea. It is a known anti-bacterial, antiviral and also anti-tumor compound. Research in 2002 showed that ECGC could inhibit the spread of viral infections.
Research has shown that vitamin C taken daily can reduce the symptoms of the flu and shorten its duration. Vitamin C is found in great abundance in citrus fruits, berries and cherries, red peppers, tomatoes, and broccoli. Research showed that taking 1,000 mg of vitamin C every six hours effectively relieved, or even prevented, flu symptoms. Vitamin C also reduces the risk of developing a cold by approximately 50 percent. Several forms of vitamin C are now produced that don’t cause digestive discomfort. Look for buffered C or liposomal types.
3. NAC or N-Acetyl cysteine
NAC was shown to prevent the flu by 50 percent in 1997 research. Dosage used was 600 mg taken twice daily. NAC heals the lungs and restores lung cell fluid, making it an important nutrient in treating chronic asthma as well as acute respiratory infections.
Zinc works wonders on viral sore throats. Using a zinc lozenge every two to three hours can shorten the duration of cold symptoms. Zinc sprays can also target the back of the throat to apply zinc where it’s needed.
In a study of 326 children in China, probiotics demonstrated the ability to reduce the incidence of coughs, fevers and runny noses, and the illness duration was shorted by 32 percent. The children were fed milk that contained Lactobacillus acidophilus by itself, or combined with Bifidobacterium animalis.
6. Beta-carotene and vitamin A
Beta-carotene is a precursor to vitamin A, and is used to build cell walls and the lining of the lungs. Vitamin A is also needed to help increase the amount of infection fighting cells and to neutralize free radicals. Vitamin A increases immunity by increasing the white blood cells that fight disease.
7. Vitamin E
Daily supplementation with vitamin E stimulates the immune system. Vitamin E is needed to produce the B-lymphocytes that then make antibodies to fight viruses and bacteria. Taking vitamin E daily during flu season can help prevent the flu.