Q10, Zinc, and Antioxidants Needed During the Flu

By: Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
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Antioxidants are a core requirement for your immune system to function properly. When your immune system is “tested” by an infection, you will use up antioxidants as part of the temporary challenge of combating the infection. If antioxidants are lacking in the first place or become lacking as you fight the infection, then your defense team is handicapped. This is especially true if a person is fighting a pandemic flu strain such as H1N1.

It has long been known that individuals with weak immunity are lacking in antioxidants. This is especially true of ubiquinol Q10, which may be the pivotal antioxidant in the immune defense system.

In a study of hospitalized children infected with the H1N1 pandemic strain, it was found that their total antioxidants were significantly lower than those fighting less severe strains of the seasonal flu, as compared to controls. Levels of Q10, zinc, and overall antioxidant status were impaired. 

When your immune system goes into battle, it is like a gun fight at the O.K. Corral. Infections are shooting free radical bullets at human cells and immune cells are firing back with their own free radical bullets. Antioxidants are needed to protect your cells from damage as well as protecting your own weapons from backfiring. Indeed, antioxidants are used in tandem with your own bullet-firing process. It is obvious that a lack of antioxidants is a risk for struggling in the fight, and if the fight is a bad one, then a lack of antioxidants is a real problem.

If you want to increase your chances for immune success then ensure your antioxidant team is well armed before entering battle and properly supplied if a battle is taking place. This means broad-based antioxidant support in general, as well as specifics antioxidant nutrients like Q10 and zinc, which are known to be helpful for efficient anti-viral immune function.

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