Sun Sentinel

Sun Sentinel: As Flu, Colds, COVID Take Over the Season, What Will You Turn To? Some Consider Vitamin Shots, IV Therapy, Probiotics

Published December 8, 2023

As cases of RSV, COVID-19 and the flu are surging this season, some people have chosen intravenous therapies to take precaution against these viruses. Vitamin shots and IV drips are some remedies people have taken to boost immunity and prevent themselves from getting sick.

Health care organizations that carry vitamin shots are witnessing an increase in demand for these IV services. Some Broward County businesses have taken action to hire these health practices that offer these services such as Healthy Choice Wellness Center to administer this treatment on-site to their employees.

Vitamin IV therapy has become a popular treatment among those looking for a way to protect themselves against aggressive viruses. It takes about 30 minutes to an hour for the mix of electrolytes, minerals and vitamins to pass through an arm vein into your body. The IV mix bypasses the digestive system to transport hydration, nutrients and minerals directly into your bloodstream.

Some doctors say patients should be cautious about IV vitamin therapy, however it is generally a safe treatment if a trained professional is administering the IV in a clean environment and uses sterile equipment.

There are also alternative measures people can take to boost their immunity.

Liquid Vitamins: Cold-pressed juices with ingredients such as ginger, turmeric and elderberry can be an instant immunity boost.

Probiotics: Probiotics stimulate the immune response with an increase in specific antibody production. Cultured dairy products and fermented foods including kombucha, yogurt and kimchi contain probiotics. This supplement also comes in powder or pill form.

Vitamin Supplements: Supplements such as Vitamin C, D and zinc can help increase immunity levels.

  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. It can help reduce the length and severity of colds.
  • Vitamin D: Vitamin D helps protect against acute respiratory infections and can improve immune response to antivirals.
  • Zinc: Zinc can help reduce the duration within 24 hours of the onset of a cold and create immune support.

A balanced diet is said to be one of the best ways to increase immunity levels. Reducing unhealthy substances such as the amount of saturated fat, trans fat, sodium and sugar can assist in boosting these levels.

Dr. Brett Osborn spoke with the Sun Sentinel about immunity support and said diet may play the biggest role in immunity health.

“When you have poor nutrition, it can cause inflammation. You are priming the pump and then, when you get exposed to a pathogen, you can have a heightened response,” he says.

Dr. Osborn advises to everyone to eat a lot of colorful vegetables, lean protein and good fats.

Quality sleep is equally as important as a healthy diet. Your natural immune cells decline when you do not receive an adequate amount of sleep which can make your body vulnerable to exposed viruses.

Consistently exercising can increase the circulation of immune cells that target pathogens and help eradicate them in your body.

Other helpful actions anyone can take to protect their immunity and stay healthy this season are reducing stress, exposure to sunlight, socializing with others and cutting back on alcohol.

Anyone with allergies or taking multiple medications should consult their primary physician first before choosing to participate in these treatments.

The full version of this article originally appeared in the Sun Sentinel on December 8, 2023 and was authored by Cindy Krischer Goodman.