Cold and Flu Prevention

sick baby

Prevention really is the best medicine, and a good offense is the best defense.  Below are some tips collected by Dr. Zieman that may help you boost your immunity this cold and flu season.  Remember, that these tips do not replace the advice of a doctor, and do schedule a visit if you are feeling under the weather or are looking for more personalized prevention tips.

Vitamins and Supplements

  • Vitamin C: 500-1000 mg/day
  • Vitamin D: 2000-5000 IU/day
    • Protective in both autoimmune disease and preventing infections
    • Ear and digestive infections in children have been associated with Vitamin D deficiency
    • Statistically, most Americans are deficient in Vitamin D especially in the northern latitudes (i.e. Oregon)
  • Calcium/Magnesium: 500-1200 mg/day either from food sources or combined with supplementation
  • Probiotics: beneficial bacteria that grow in your digestive tract, your mucous membranes, and on your skin.  They have repeatedly been shown to support and modulate immune function.
  • Adequate Zinc:
    • Deficiency suppresses the immune system
    • Found in foods such as oysters, grass-fed meats, nuts, and seeds.

Botanical Medicines

  • Garlic: reduces severity, duration, and incidence of colds and flu
  • Echinacea: increases white blood cells


  • Adequate sleep
  • Adequate water
  • Adequate fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Adequate Protein: amino acids are required to make your immune cells and antibodies along with cytokines
  • Minimal sugar: it suppress the immune system
  • Exercise: moderate exercise improves immune function
  • Fun!: it boosts white blood cells (your disease fighting cells) significantly


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