Surviving the Winter. 3 Simple supplements for Flu prevention

Base mineral and vitamins to avoid cold, flu and more.

Vitamin C, D, K2 and Magnesium

The days are getting shorter and colder.  And with them we run into, well, cold. And flu. And COVID. (literally, the virus protective bubbles are much more environment resistant in a cold weather)

Are we doomed to repeat history year after year? Or are there any ways to improve the chances to “survive” the winter’s blue? 

Here are 3 supplements , which are cheap, easy to implement and can significantly improve your chances to go unscathed during this season.

Proper sleep, diet, exercise and stress reduction are important as usual. But for now we are talking just about minerals and vitamins for prevention. And number one on the list is…

Vitamin D

It has been known for quite a while that an optimal level of vitamin D provides protection against respiratory tract infections (among many other benefits).  The recent study from Boston has specifically looked at the chances to contract coronavirus and blood levels of 25(OH)D

The bottom line is, if your level drops from optimal ~55 ng/ml to a “standard American”  ~25 ng/ml you chances to get sick almost double. 

The only reliable natural source of vitamin D is the sun.  If you are not getting a solid 20-30 minutes exposure daily, you should consider supplementing. 

Vitamin D follows a U curve, so while it’s safe to bump your supplementation by 1000 ius /day during winter months it is a good idea to run a blood test. We all have a different biochemistry and some DNA tweaks which can make a huge difference in absorption and bioavailability.

On the subject of bioavailability, vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin and so should be taken with food. 

Our personal favorite is Vitamin D in fat capsules like this one by Sports Research.
(You might consider to take vitamin K2 along for bone health)

Also to properly activate vitamin D your body has to have enough of magnesium.  So that’s the prevention tip number two on our list.


There is a lot, which can be said about magnesium (Mg):

But in short, it is one of the essential minerals. It plays a role almost in every function of our body on micro and macro level.
Magnesium is also required for proper relaxation and sleep . And sleep of course ties into immune function big way.

Mg is a key activator of Vitamin D, discussed above.  Due to modern farming practices and soil depletion magnesium is systematically missing from everyone’s diet.

RDA sets the limits of daily intake at ~400mg of Mg for adults, but with proper kidney function higher doses don’t show any side effects, when magnesium is taken in “stomach friendly” forms.

The two forms we are personally using are:

Seeking Health Magnesium Malate Powder.
It is an easy addition to the morning’s glass of water.  Malic acid promotes energy production through Kreb cycle and is a good way to start the day.
Mixing it with a mineral or regular water and a pinch of salt makes a nice rehydration drink.
If you are on low carb or keto diet it prevents the headaches too.

Pure Encapsulations – Magnesium (Glycinate).
Glycinate form is also easy on the stomach and glycine provides a mind calming effect.
Add to it the muscle relaxation promoted by magnesium and you got a perfect evening combination.
Sleep is not mentioned in this article, but it is hugely important any time of the year, so here you go.

Side note. When supplementing with Zinc, which is popular thing to do when getting sick, the absorption of Magnesium is suppressed, so higher dosage should be considered.

And now to the last, but not least wonder vitamin:

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a major cofactor in building the tissues, protecting the body against oxidative stress and what’s important here – the immune system activator.  It is responsible for the white blood cell production and fuels their “search and destroy” capabilities.

Specifically when it comes to  viruses Vitamin C promotes interferon (cytokine type) production. Interferons signal the body to initiate the antiviral defenses. And that initial defense activation is crucial for severe COVID prevention. It plays a key role in avoiding the notorious “cytokines storm” :

Vitamin C is quickly processed by the body. Slow release supplementation seems to be the smartest approach, to keep the relatively high plasma levels.

We usually stick to NOW Sustained Release Vitamin C 1000

Simple Plan

Vitamin D: 5000 IU in the first half of the day with a meal, two times a week (target 55 ng/ml plasma level)
Magnesium: 1/2 scoop of Malate in the morning, 120mg Glycinate in the evening, each day
Vitamin C: 1000mg in the morning, 1000mg in the evening, each day

That’s all for today. Don’t forget to sign-up for more prevention tips in the future.
Ask any questions below or in our Smart Monkey Facebook Group.

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