3 Nutrients Necessary for Immune ManagementㅣDr. Esther Lyuh

3 Nutrients Necessary for Immune ManagementㅣDr. Esther Lyuh

Esther Essay

Best 3 Immune Nutrients



Have you ever had blisters on your lips and around your lips, or frequent stomachache after eating? Or do you often catch colds? In this case, you should suspect  'decreased immunity.  


When the immune system is weakened, the ability to remove bacteria and viruses is reduced, and various inflammatory diseases occur. This immunity is closely related to nutrition, so if you are deficient in a specific nutrient, your immunity may be lowered. If so, what kind of nutrient deficiency will weaken the immune system?

First, it is zinc.

When many people think of immune nutrientszinc is probably the first thing that comes to mind. Zinc plays an essential role in many tissues with rapid cell turnover, such as the immune system, and affects various aspects of the immune response process as well as the initial response to viral infection.


Zinc deficiency can weaken the immune system and lead to infections. In this regard, in 2020, Indonesia published a study involving 826 preschoolers. In the group taking the zinc supplement, there was an increased cellular immune response, which induces immune T cells to eliminate virus-infected cells.


However, just because it is an important nutrient for immunity, you should not consume too much of it with greed. In particular, taking zinc on an empty stomach may cause gastrointestinal disorders such as abdominal pain and nausea, so it is recommended to take it after a meal.


Second, vitamin D.

Vitamin D, which is also nicknamed the 'anti-cancer vitamin', plays a role in promoting the production of T cells and B cells that produce antibodies in the body to defeat external risk factors such as viruses.


In this regard, a study found that people diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency had a much higher risk of exacerbating severe symptoms when infected with COVID-19 compared to those with normal levels.


Vitamin D is synthesized by UV rays, but not many people are outdoors enough to synthesize enough vitamin D. So, most people are taking vitamin D supplements.


One tip when choosing a vitamin D formulation is to make sure the type of vitamin D is vitamin D3. This is because vitamin D3 is synthesized in the skin when we are exposed to the sun, and it has good activity and absorption in the body.

Finally, vitamin C.

Vitamin C is commonly known as a 'vitamin that is good for colds'. This is because it resists infection by promoting various cellular functions of the immune system.


According to a 2013 Cochrane Review, which combined 29 studies, consuming at least 200 mg of vitamin C daily was effective in reducing the incidence of colds by half in people with high physical stress, such as athletes and military personnel. Also, although vitamin C was not observed to prevent colds in the average person who did not have a cold, it was shown to reduce the duration and severity of colds in people who already did.


Therefore, if you are physically overworked, taking vitamin C can help you manage your immune system

Today, I introduced three ingredients that are essential for immune function. Please do not forget that basic health management through regular lifestyle and regular exercise is the priority.

Thank you 

Esther Lyuh, Doctor of Preventive Medicine, Seoul National University
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