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    Getting Through Cold and Flu Season: The Vitamins you Need

      |  Sep 26, 2023

    Cold and flu season is fast approaching. As temperatures drop, people spend more time indoors, allowing for the faster spread of respiratory illnesses and a rise in cold and flu infections. The average American gets the common cold 2 - 3 times a year, while the flu infects 40 million people annually. 

    It’s no fun getting sick. Not only do you feel terrible, but getting an illness can disrupt your daily life, from your ability to work to your social plans with friends and family. There are plenty of ways to prevent your risk of infection from cold and flu viruses, including regular hand washing, getting an annual flu shot, and maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise routine. 

    But sometimes, all that doesn’t feel like enough. Our body’s immune system is complex: it relies on various enzymes, bacteria, and vitamins to ensure it’s properly functioning. Lucky for you, many of these vitamins are available over the counter, and can help you get through cold and flu season more easily.

    Vitamin C

    If you’ve ever seen an orange juice commercial, you’ve probably heard of Vitamin C. Vitamin C, otherwise known as ascorbic acid, is commonly found in food, including citrus (oranges, lemons, grapefruit, and kiwi), bell peppers, strawberries, and even white potatoes. Because it’s water soluble, Vitamin C must be ingested daily through either food or supplements.

    Why? Vitamin C is integral for the performance of our immune system. Not only does it aid in the production of collagen, a fibrous protein that is essential to many of the body’s systems, it’s a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin C has the ability to neutralize free radicals in the body by increasing levels of glutathione — a naturally occurring antioxidant in your body’s cells that helps fight inflammation. In a recent study, adults that took 500-1,000 mg of vitamin C daily over 13 weeks saw an 18% increase of glutathione in their white blood cells.

    In the 1970s, Linus Pauling, a double Nobel laureate, advocated for the consumption of vitamin C via daily megadoses (the equivalent of 12 - 24 oranges) to prevent the common cold. However, recent studies around vitamin C as a preventative measure have not proven that high levels of consumption can prevent infection. Vitamin C’s positive impact on the immune system might help lower the severity and length of a cold, so you can get back to feeling better faster. 

    If you’re looking to increase your vitamin C intake, try a daily supplement or explore IV drip therapy. Combined with other vitamins like magnesium, vitamin B, and zinc, Modern Age’s Immunity IV Drip supports your immune system by delivering essential vitamins straight to the bloodstream for better absorption. Alongside immune health, vitamin C can also promote more radiant skin — looking good and feeling good go hand in hand.


    Zinc is a trace mineral found across a wide variety of foods, from legumes to shellfish to red meat. Adequate consumption of zinc is necessary for over 100 of the body’s enzymes to carry out key chemical reactions, including the normal functioning and growth of immune cells. While zinc deficiency is rare, even a mild or moderate deficiency can slow down the production of cells that protect the body against viruses.

    Does taking zinc supplements prevent the common cold and flu beyond contributing to a healthy immune system? Not exactly, but it can help make you feel better when you’re sick. Several studies have shown that taking zinc within 24 hours of the onset of flu or cold symptoms can reduce their length and severity. 

    Zinc does have some adverse side effects if not taken properly, especially upset stomach and nausea. If you do take zinc, make sure to take it with a full stomach so your body is better able to digest it.

    Vitamin D

    Vitamin D is a valuable nutrient: not only does it aid in the absorption of calcium to build strong bones, it plays an important role in supporting your immune system and reducing inflammation, among other benefits. Our bodies can get vitamin D from a variety of sources, including fatty fish, fortified grains, and even the sun — although few foods are naturally rich in Vitamin D. This might be one of the reasons 25% of Americans are vitamin D deficient.

    If you’re looking to boost your immune system and fight off the cold and flu, vitamin D is your best bet. A 2017 study found that daily or weekly vitamin D supplementation cut the risk of respiratory infections in people with vitamin D deficiencies in half, and everyone in the study experienced benefits from the supplements. 

    There are several ways to increase your vitamin D intake that don’t involve sitting out in the sun. Modern Age’s Chief Medical Officer, Anant Vinjamoori, recommends that everyone over 30 take a daily vitamin D supplement. Our preferred choice, Thorne’s Vitamin D 5000, is formulated with vitamin D in its D3 form, which is better absorbed into the body than its D2 form. Even more convenient than a daily pill, Vitamin D injections can be done monthly to maintain healthy levels of this essential nutrient.