I’m a Doctor and These Are the 6 Best Supplements to Take Right Now

Winter season may seem a bit bad for our health. As temperatures get cooler, we may be more susceptible to a number of problems, including respiratory illnesses, headaches and mood swings. And even though you’re focused on making sure you eat a healthy diet, get regular exercise, and get good sleep during the winter, it still may not be enough. That’s why doctors say certain supplements can come in handy during the colder months, giving your health a much-needed boost. Read on for his six best recommendations.

RELATED: 7 Supplements That Actually Keep You From Getting Sick

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Without a doubt, the “number one supplement” to consider taking in the winter is Vitamin D, greg lopezPharmD, lead researcher of the Supplementation and Nutrition Database investigation, explains best life, While our bodies naturally make vitamin D themselves, they require exposure to sunlight to do so.

He explains, “But during winter there is less sunlight and we are confined to a large extent, which leads to less sunlight, which reduces vitamin D levels.” “Having enough vitamin D in your system is important for musculoskeletal health in general and can help give your immune system a little boost in fighting off infections in the winter.”

RELATED: New report says most Americans are seriously deficient in vitamin D, here’s how to get more.

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Compared to something like vitamin D, you may be less familiar with Pycnogenol, which is a brand name of French maritime pine bark extract. But fred pescatoreMD, a Manhattan-based conservatively trained physician and internist who specializes in nutritional medicine, says he is a “strong believer” in the antioxidant properties of this supplement for winter.

According to Pescatore, the potential health benefits of pycnogenol during the colder months are strongly supported by research. In 2021, a study found that taking this supplement daily during the dry season “improved skin elasticity and firmness,” he said.

Other studies have also found that it “can shorten the duration of colds, as well as treat nasal congestion and runny nose due to its natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties,” says Pescatore.

Woman holding omega 3 capsules.
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Omega-3 fatty acids can help refresh your appearance, according to Soma MandalMD, a board-certified internist working with Summit Health in New Providence, New Jersey.

She shares, “Have you ever felt like your skin is dry during winter? This is a great supplement that helps deal with dry, flaky skin.”

RELATED: I’m a Dermatologist and I Never Use These 6 Products During Cold Weather.

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In winter you should not only worry about your skin. Saya NagoriBoard-certified ophthalmologist and founder of Eye Facts, MD, warns that weather conditions can also have a significant impact on the health of our eyes during this season. That’s why she recommends taking supplemental lutein now.

“Lutein, commonly found in green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach, protects against eye strain and damage caused by blue light, which we are more exposed to in the winter,” explains Nagori.

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Winter is cold and flu season, as many of us know. To help reduce your risk of getting sick, Lopez suggests supplementing with low levels of zinc.

“Zinc supplements are mostly useful for people with zinc deficiency, which can only be diagnosed by your doctor,” he says. “If you choose to take zinc tablets for weeks or months, I would recommend a dosage of 20 mg or less per day.”

But Lopez says that taking this supplement in another form may also help in case of infection.

He shares, “Sucking zinc lozenges as soon as you feel the first symptoms of a cold can help limit (but not cure) cold symptoms.

RELATED: 21 Surprising Signs You’re Deficient in Vitamins

A close up shot of a cut and squeezed orange, a glass of orange juice and a glass of orange flavored vitamin C tablets.  Eat an orange, drink juice or take a pill.
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Like zinc, vitamin C can help you fight some winter illnesses.

“This supplement supports the immune system and may help reduce the duration and severity of a cold or flu,” Zeeshan Afzalsays MD, health expert and medical officer of healthcare company Velzo. “It’s also an antioxidant that may protect against oxidative stress.”

But Afzal says caution should be exercised if you want to start using this supplement.

“Vitamin C is generally safe, but high doses can cause gastrointestinal upset in some people,” he explains. “Unless advised otherwise by a healthcare provider, stick to the recommended daily allowance.”

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Best Life provides the latest information from top experts, new research, and health agencies, but our content is not a substitute for professional guidance. You should always consult directly with your healthcare provider when it comes to medications you are taking or any other health questions.

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