If I take vitamins and minerals to ‘boost my immune system’ is this conflicting with the immunosuppressant?
Q) I’m on strong immunosuppressant drugs. If I take vitamins and minerals to ‘boost my immune system’ is this conflicting with the immunosuppressant? In other words, am I back to square one? If you could clarify this I’d be very grateful.
Mary, Hythe (Spring 2012)
A) A very good question. The simple answer is that there is no evidence that standard vitamin and mineral therapy does stimulate the immune system but it sounds good! Recently, there has been a lot of interest in vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones. It is called the ‘sunshine’ vitamin because it is made in the skin (but only when exposed to the sun). Unfortunately we don’t have a lot of sun in winter (especially in Yorkshire) and advice to cover up to prevent skin cancer has reduced vitamin D production even in the summer months. So, vitamin D supplements or a diet rich in vitamin D (oily fish) is recommended. Vitamin D may also have a role in our immune systems but it is not a question of ‘boosting’, rather a question of helping everything work normally. So, in short, I doubt you are causing a conflict by taking extra vitamins and minerals along with your immunosuppressants.
This answer was provided by Dr Philip Helliwell for the Spring 2012 edition of our magazine, Arthritis Today, and was correct at the time of publication.
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