Immunity supplements are becoming increasingly popular as people look for ways to boost their immune system and protect themselves from illness. But while these supplements may seem like a good idea, dietitians warn that there can be some surprising side effects of not taking them. From increased risk of infection to nutrient deficiencies, not taking immunity supplements can have a significant impact on your health. In this article, we’ll explore the potential side effects of not taking immunity supplements and what you can do to ensure your immune system is functioning optimally.
Surprising Side Effects of Not Taking Immunity Supplements, Say Dietitians
Immunity supplements are becoming increasingly popular as people look for ways to boost their immune system and protect themselves from illness. But according to dietitians, there are some surprising side effects of not taking immunity supplements that you should be aware of.
1. You May Be More Susceptible to Illness
One of the most common side effects of not taking immunity supplements is that you may be more susceptible to illness. Immunity supplements are designed to help your body fight off infections and viruses, so if you’re not taking them, you may be more likely to get sick. This is especially true if you’re not getting enough vitamins and minerals from your diet.
2. You May Have a Weakened Immune System
Another side effect of not taking immunity supplements is that your immune system may be weakened. Immunity supplements are designed to help your body fight off infections and viruses, so if you’re not taking them, your body may not be able to fight off illnesses as effectively. This can lead to more frequent illnesses and a longer recovery time.
3. You May Have Nutrient Deficiencies
Not taking immunity supplements can also lead to nutrient deficiencies. Immunity supplements are designed to provide your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to stay healthy, so if you’re not taking them, you may be missing out on important nutrients. This can lead to a weakened immune system and an increased risk of illness.
4. You May Have Poor Digestion
Finally, not taking immunity supplements can also lead to poor digestion. Immunity supplements are designed to help your body absorb and utilize the nutrients from your food, so if you’re not taking them, your body may not be able to digest food as effectively. This can lead to digestive issues such as bloating, gas, and constipation.
If you’re considering taking immunity supplements, it’s important to talk to your doctor or dietitian first. They can help you determine if taking immunity supplements is right for you and can provide advice on the best type of supplement to take.
With all the holiday festivities approaching, it’s hard not to let the anxiety of flu season get to you, especially with COVID-19 still lingering. But for those who still want to be able to enjoy the next couple of months of gatherings and activities, doing what you can to boost your immune system can really help.
“We are lucky to live in an age where we can boost our immune system and prevent illness through diet and dietary supplements because this knowledge has not always been available to every generation,” says Trista Best, RD at Balance One Supplements, “and the benefits of taking immune-boosting supplements are widespread and can improve our overall health and longevity.”
But what are some of the effects of not taking immunity supplements this season, and are they worth the investment? We talked with a couple of expert dietitians to find out.
Continue reading to learn more about taking immunity supplements, and for more healthy eating tips on a daily basis, make sure to sign up for our Eat This, Not That! newsletter.
The most common form of immunity-boosting supplements are vitamin pills, and it’s important to know which ones are worth taking and which ones you can leave behind.
“Immune boosting supplements come in either individual vitamin form like vitamin D or C, or they may be a proprietary blend that combines multiple nutrients like zinc, vitamin C, B vitamins, and selenium,” says Best.
In an interview last year, Dr. Fauci went on record and said that vitamin D and vitamin C supplements are the only truly effective immunity supplements to take, and that there isn’t much data supporting the rest.
RELATED: The Verdict on Taking Vitamin D for Immunity
One possible unexpected side effect of not taking your immunity supplements is the possibility of added stress. And according to Courtney D’Angelo, MS, RD, author at GoWellness, this could turn into a vicious cycle of more stress.
“It’s possible that your stress levels may increase if you have a weaker immune system, and if that stress becomes long-term, it could weaken the responses of your immune system even further,” says D’Angelo.
RELATED: The #1 Food to Eat to Boost Your Immune System, Says Dietitian
As we approach the colder months, many of us are doing what we can to avoid catching the dreaded winter cold or flu. And according to Best, taking immunity supplements like vitamin D or C can help our odds.
“Choosing not to take an immune supporting supplement may put you at greater risk for obtaining community illnesses like the common flu or even stomach viruses,” says Best, “because a body that isn’t prepared to fight off these conditions is more susceptible to contracting them.”
Another thing to consider with boosting your immunity this season is that the stronger your immune system, the greater chance you have of experiencing less severe symptoms if you do get sick.
“Along with lower immunity and more susceptibility, the individual who chooses not to take an immune-boosting supplement is at greater risk for their illness being more severe and lasting longer,” says Best, “and although those with a strong immune system can still become ill, their body is often able to attack the virus or bacteria more efficiently and effectively.”
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