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Zinc & Echinacea Help Promote Healthy Immunity
Cold and flu season is upon us again, and supplements can be a first line of defense against feeling ill. Echinacea and zinc are common supplements that can safely be combined together to boost the immune system, and may even lessen the duration of a cold or the flu.
The mineral zinc is considered an essential mineral because the body needs it to function properly, but cannot produce it on its own. We must get it from foods or from supplements. Zinc is needed by every cell in the body for hundreds of natural processes, like the senses of taste and smell, and it is very important for the body to be able to maintain the immune system in proper working order. Although zinc is available in drinking water and in some foods (mostly meat), a surprising number of adults fail to get enough of this mineral through their diet. Since meat (seafood, fish, eggs, poultry, etc.) is the most abundant source of zinc in the diet, vegetarians are likely to be short on this important mineral.
Being deficient in zinc can affect the immune system’s ability to do its job, because zinc is believed to give the thymus gland more energy and encourage it to produce more white blood cells – key to fighting off cold and flu. Research also indicates that zinc may interfere with the ability of the cold virus (rhinovirus) to replicate and reproduce, and may cut the duration of a cold in half. One study focused on zinc supplements in the form of lozenges, and found that participants given zinc lozenges to suck on every couple of hours (instead of on a placebo lozenge) had their common colds disappear about three days earlier than the placebo group.
The herb echinacea, commonly known as “purple coneflower,” has been used for centuries for its healing properties. The plant is native to North America, and is most commonly used for boosting the body’s immune system.
Echinacea is one of the most widely studied supplements. There have been many clinical studies performed on echinacea that indicate the herb helps boost the body’s production of a virus-fighting substance called interferon. Some of the most recent of these studies suggest that echinacea is most effective when several doses of echinacea are taken within 24 hours of the first symptoms of a cold or flu, and then continuing to take several doses of the herb each day for 14 days. In most cases, cold and flu symptoms resolve 1-4 days earlier in those people taking echinacea when compared to those not taking anything for their symptoms.
These supplements can be safely taken together, even in very large amounts. Zinc, in amounts over 200mg per day, can cause stomach upset, and anyone with allergies to ragweed should be cautious about taking large amounts of echinacea, since it is in the same plant family as the ragweed plant. Research suggests that the most effective way to take these supplements is to take several doses throughout the day, instead of just one dose per day.
BIOMETICS’ complete line of advanced liquid nutritional supplements provide vital nutrients in a highly absorbable form. BIO IMMUNE contains Echinacea and Zinc, plus herbs Goldenseal and Astragalus, as well as Vitamin C to support overall health and wellness.*
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Zinc & Echinacea
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