In a previous blog, we looked at which supplements are important in the summer. However, now that the days grow shorter and the warm weather is leaving us, it’s worth turning to winter supplements. This blog will examine some of the best vitamins for winter, and why they are so important.
One of the best vitamins for winter is undoubtedly vitamin D. As we usually get most of our vitamin D from sunlight exposure, the winter weather means that we suffer a deficiency. In 2016, the BBC reported how public health advice recommended taking vitamin D supplements in the autumn and winter due to this deficiency, as this lack means we risk weaker bones.
The NHS describes how some food, such as oily fish, red meat, and eggs, can be a source of vitamin D. However, this is typically only a small amount. As a result, dietary supplements are a far more effective option.
Supplements can also help alleviate aching joints, which may come about due to the cold weather, particularly among those who suffer from arthritis. Glucosamine is one of the most widely known supplements that aims to aid these joints. However, studies are still split on the effectiveness of glucosamine. The arthritis foundation notes that, while it may provide modest pain relief, some studies show that it only provides the same relief as a placebo. However, the article concludes that these supplements are safe to try, and patients who have seen an improvement with them should not stop taking them.
A more effective remedy to joint pain may be turmeric due to its key chemical, curcumin. Curcumin has been found to successfully treat joint inflammation. A 2016 study by Daily et al found that there was a ‘compelling justification for the use of curcumin as a treatment of arthritis’ due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Winter also brings with it the increased threat of the common cold. Fortunately, there are many supplements that can be used to support a healthy immune system. One of the best vitamins for winter in this regard is vitamin C. A 2017 paper by Anitra C. Carr and Silvia Maggini reported how vitamin C ‘is an essential micronutrient for humans,’ and is necessary for the immune system to fight against pathogens.
A deficiency of the vitamin thus leads to a higher susceptibility to infections, and so supplements may be required. The paper highlights this by noting how vitamin C deficiency is the fourth leading nutrient deficiency in the United States, with the need for the vitamin increasing due to pollution and smoking.
Similarly, in 2013, the BBC reported how zinc can also be used to regulate the immune system. By taking zinc at the start of a cold, the supplement can reduce its severity, as well as possibly shortening its duration. A mixture of vitamin C and zinc therefore provide an effective way to counter the common cold.
Through a combination of these supplements, the worst of the winter weather can be avoided, allowing you to continue to live healthily.
If you have any further questions about using supplements in the winter, please do get in touch.