Q & A with CIO and Dr. Michael Nova
Written by Paris Wilson
Whether you have gotten sick already or not, this interview with Dr. Michael Nova will be very helpful in recovering or avoiding the cold and flu this season.
Q: By only taking Vitamin C, am I safe from getting sick?
Some studies show that vitamin C can reduce the duration of a cold by as much as 24 to 36 hours. However, there is no evidence that taking Vit C can prevent you from getting sick.
Q: What are the best vitamins to take to avoid getting sick?
- Echinacea – Although some studies do not show that echinacea works as a treatment, others show it can reduce the length and severity of colds by 10% to 30%. Despite the confusion, many experts are fairly sure that echinacea can help treat colds.
- Zinc – Taking zinc, either as a syrup or lozenge, through the first few days of a cold may shorten the misery of an upper respiratory infection, the latest research shows. The research — a review of 15 past studies on the subject — also found that zinc appeared to prevent colds in people who used it over the course of about five months.
- Elderberry – There’s some promising evidence that elderberry might help treat the flu, Elderberry appears to boost the production of some immune cells and may also help block a virus’s ability to spread. One study shows that taking 4 tablespoons a day for three days of a specific formulation of elderberry extract — Sambucol — appears to shorten the symptoms of flu by 56%.
- Garlic – Garlic may also help fight viruses. Also, there is some preliminary evidence that garlic may lower the risk of catching a cold.
- Andrographis – “Andrographis is called ‘Indian echinacea, studies of andrographis show that it appears to improve cold symptoms significantly, at least when started within three days of the onset. There’s also some early evidence that it may reduce the chances of catching a cold, at least when taken for several months beforehand. Most studies have used a specific product called Kan Jang, which combines andrographis with Siberian ginseng (eleutherococcus senticosus).
Q: Do I have to get the flu shot if I take vitamins daily?
Yes. Nowadays, an annual flu vaccine is recommended for most children and adults. It’s highly effective and contrary to what you may have heard, the flu vaccine cannot give you the flu. It can save you and your family a lot of misery.
Q: If I eat properly, do I still need to take vitamins daily?
All the studies around vitamins that have shown effects on flu/colds have been done with supplements. So, while eating a good diet is important, it’s probably not a bad idea to take certain supplements as well.
Every body is different and DNA will play a large role in what nutrients and vitamins your body will run best on. If you aren’t sure, we offer a great tool to keep your body and immune system in top gear for cold and flu season- our Nutrition iQ DNA kits. This kit will test over 65 genetic markers to discover Eating Behaviors, Food Reactions, Nutritional needs, and even the type of diet that is best for you.