Let's presume that you adore spending 12 hours a day at work, basking in your own creativity and accomplishments. Even in such an office Eden, overdoing it can be too much of a good thing, depleting your reserves of energy and leaving you vulnerable to colds and flu. These supplements will bolster your strength and immunity:
Coenzyme Q 10 provides the energy you need to keep going.
Best Dose: 30-150 mg daily with food that contains fat. Gel capsules are more potent and absorbable than powders.
ALERT! Keep it away from heat and light. Mild stomach upset is possible. Interacts with the anticoagulant Warfarin.
B-Complex converts food into fuel and combats stress.
Best Dose: 50-300 mg daily. Formulas of B-complex provide all the B vitamins in the correct proportions. The B's are water-soluble and pass through the body quickly, so take them in a time-released formula or in divided doses to ensure a steady reserve.
ALERT! Your need for B increases when you perspire; drink alcohol; or take diuretics, antibiotics, sleep aids, or estrogen.
Vitamin A is essential for maintaining strong immune function.
Best Dose: 4,000 IU daily for women, 5,000 IU daily for men. Take 50,000 IU for a day or two to treat a viral infection.
ALERT! Pregnant women should never take more than 5,000 IU. Diabetes can decrease carotene conversion. Liver patients and women taking oral contraceptives are at risk for toxicity; begin at a lower dosage and have your blood levels monitored.
Vitamin C boost immunity and reduces the effects of stress.
Best Dose: 500-3,000 mg daily. Our bodies don't make vitamin C, so we need outside sources. Ester-C is the preferred form: It's nonacidic, enters the blood faster, and stays in tissues longer (combine it with bioflavonoids for greater effect). Vitamin C rapidly flushes away in urine, so take it in a time-released formula or in divided doses with food. Add extra if you're on anticoagulants, analgesics, corticosteroids, or oral contraceptives; or if you're undergoing surgery.
ALERT! Pregnant women shouldn't take megadoses of C. Chewable forms can damage tooth enamel. Aspirin and non-esterified vitamin C taken together in large doses over time can cause stomach irritation and possibly lead to ulcers. Lower your dose if diarrhea occurs.
Zinc helps support the action of other nutrients involved in the immune response.
Best Dose: 20-50 mg daily, Taking more than 150 mg a day can cause copper deficiency. The best forms are zinc gluconate and zinc picolinate, Take iron at different times than zinc as they interfere with each other's functions. Vegetarians may require zinc supplementation.
ALERT! A high-fiber diet can cause zinc to be excreted; zinc is also lost through perspiration. Alcohol, infection, surgery, and taking steroids, oral contraceptives, arthritis drugs, and diuretics can reduce zinc absorption.