Zinc, iron and magnesium levels may influence your immune function

Intense physical exercise has been shown to be associated with immunosuppression and increased rate of infection. The immunosuppressive effect of exhaustive exercise has been attributed to low salivary levels of immunoglobulin-A, decreased lymphocyte response and elevation of stress hormones. Yet some athletes can withstand intense training periods without health problems while others are prone to infections. Thus it has been postulated that other factors may interfere with immunoregulation.

The notion that macro- and micronutrients are involved in the regulation of immunological processes and the ability to cope with muscular and systemic exercise stress has been gaining attention. Particularly trace minerals have been shown to be related to cell mediated and humoral immunity function. Many investigations have reported decreased concentrations of trace elements in blood and tissues after training and competition.

A review in Exercise Immunology Review reported the data on zinc, iron and magneium status in athletes and reported on the consequences of deficiencies in these trace elements regarding exercise tolerance and immune function.

Dosage: To help support your immune system, both men and women should supplement daily with 250 to 500 mg of magnesium, up to 15 mg of zinc, and women should only supplement with 15 mg of iron per day.

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