Vitamin D fights Covid while selenium boosts sperm count — fight back with our A-Z of health-boosting supplements

IT seems D is the magic letter. A new study says taking vitamin D supplements may reduce the risk of cancer by up to 38 per cent.

The “sunshine supplement” is also thought to help fight Covid-19, with the Government ­planning to hand out free supplies to vulnerable people.

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Follow our guide to beating disease and illness with the help of vitamins[/caption]

Here in our A-Z guide, we show the best and most useful vitamins, minerals and natural supplements along with easy ways to boost your intake.

A What it does: Vital for the immune system, healthy skin, vision and to help our organs function properly. It can cause bone damage if you consume too much,though.

How to get it: Meat, dairy, eggs and oily fish. Vegans need foods high in beta-carotene.

B What it does: There are eight B vitamins, with functions including the breakdown, use and storage of energy from food, keeping the nervous system healthy and forming healthy red blood cells.

How to get it: They come from many sources – see

C What it does: This antioxidant protects our cells from damage. It also helps to form collagen, heal wounds, keep vessels, bones and cartilage healthy, and absorb iron from food.

How to get it: Citrus fruits such as oranges, and kiwis and tomatoes.

D What it does: Not only brilliant for bones, joints and muscles but it also boosts our immune system. Known as the “sunshine vitamin”, it is made through exposure to the sun.

How to get it: In winter it is worth taking a vitamin supplement.

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Selenium from the likes of chicken can boost the immune system, aid healthy hair and nails and the development of sperm cells in men[/caption]

E What it does: It is a cancer-fighting antioxidant that also helps to maintain healthy skin and vision. It strengthens the immune system to help fight illnesses.

How to get it: Plant oils, such as olive and vegetable, nuts, wheatgerm, seeds and green veg.

F IBRE. What it does: It helps lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and bowel cancer. A fibre-rich diet can also make you feel fuller and aid digestion.

How to get it: Healthy cereals like Weetabix, porridge, wholegrain bread, skin on potatoes and veg.

G LUCOSAMINE. What it does: Found naturally in the body, glucosamine helps form cartilage. Taking a supplement is thought to ease joint pain or osteoarthritis, though research is inconclusive.

How to get it: Supplements that are harvested from shells of shellfish.

H What it does: Also known as biotin, it is called the “beauty vitamin” as it prevents hair loss and breakage, and can improve skin.

How to get it: Meat, fish, eggs, seeds, nuts and some veg but often in small quantities. Our gut bacteria makes biotin.

I RON: What it does: It is essential for making haemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that ­carries oxygen.


Vitamin C helps to form collagen, heal wounds and keep vessels, bones and cartilage healthy[/caption]

How to get it: Meat, beans and green leafy veg. The body absorbs iron more easily when taken with foods high in vitamin C, such as orange juice.

J What it does: Known as choline, this nutrient plays a part in liver function, brain development, muscle movement, a healthy nervous system and metabolising food.

How to get it: Your liver produces small amounts. Found in meats, fish, nuts, beans, spinach and eggs.

K What it does: This group of vitamins helps blood to clot, ­ensuring we can heal when we cut ourselves.

How to get it: Green leafy veg, such as broccoli and spinach, as well as vegetable oils, cereal grains – and there’s small amounts in meat and dairy.

LECITHIN. What it does: Found in the tissues of your body, lecithin is made up of fatty acids and can help treat high cholesterol, improve heart health and aid breastfeeding mums.

How to get it: Lecithin-high foods include egg yolks, milk and peanuts.


Fibre from the likes of wholemeal bread helps lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and bowel cancer[/caption]

MAGNESIUM. What it does: The mineral helps turn food into energy. It’s also important for muscle and nerve function and bone health. But taking too much can cause diarrhoea.

How to get it: Spinach, nuts, wholegrain bread and legumes.

N IACIN. What it does: Also known as vitamin B3, niacin acts as an antioxidant and is needed for metabolism function and the nervous system.

How to get it: Fish, chicken, turkey, pork, beef, mushrooms, brown rice, peanuts, green peas and avocados.

O MEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS. What it does: These essential fatty acids are especially good for heart health and boosting our immune systems. Omega 3 cannot be made by the body.

How to get it: From oily fish such as sardines, salmon and mackerel.

POTASSIUM. What it does: This powerful mineral is needed for nerves and muscles to “communicate”, cells to move nutrients and waste, and for a healthy heart.

How to get it: Fruit, especially bananas, as well as sweet potatoes, avocados and milk.


Biotin, found in eggs, is called the ‘beauty vitamin’ as it prevents hair loss and breakage, and can improve skin condition[/caption]

Q UERCETIN. What it does: The antioxidant plant pigment is thought to help reduce inflammation, kill cancer cells, ­control blood sugar and prevent heart disease.

How to get it: Plants and foods, such as red wine, onions, apples, green tea and berries.

RESVERATROL. What it does: A plant compound that acts like an antioxidant, it helps to protect the body against damage that can lead to diseases, such as cancer.

How to get it: Red wine and red grape skins, ­purple grape juice and mulberries.

S ELENIUM. What it does: The essential mineral plays a vital role in thyroid function, the immune system, healthy hair and nails and the development of sperm cells in men.

How to get it: Milk, yoghurt, cereal, chicken, fish, nuts, seeds and eggs.

T HIAMINE. What it does: Also known as vitamin B1, Thiamine enables the body to use carbohydrates as energy and also aids nerve, muscle and heart function.

How to get it: From meat, legumes, cereal, seeds, nuts, wholegrains and liver.


Essential fatty acids are especially good for heart health and boosting our immune systems[/caption]

U What it does: Not an official vitamin, but a term for a substance in cabbage juice. There is no consensus on what it does, but cabbage juice may help stomach ulcers.

How to get it: Cabbage juice. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts and kale may have a similar effect.

V  ALERIAN. What it does: Herbal medicine valerian is thought to relieve mild anxiety and can help people with sleep issues to have a good night’s kip.

How to get it: Valerian is a herb – you can take capsules of the dried extract.

W ORT, ST JOHN’S. What it does: A herbal remedy used for hundreds of years to aid mental health problems. It can be used to treat mild depression.

How to get it: Most often taken in liquid or capsules. The dried herb may also be used as a tea.

X YLITOL. What it does: Widely used as a sugar substitute and in “sugar-free” gums and sweets. Using these instead of sugary ones could reduce tooth decay.

How to get it: Found in many processed foods and toothpastes – beware as it is poisonous to dogs.

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Vitamin D is thought to help fight Covid-19[/caption]

Y ARROW. What it does: Some people take yarrow, a plant, to treat diarrhoea, gas, colds, and asthma, but there is no good scientific evidence to support this.

How to get it: Powders, ointments, extracts, and dried leaves and flowers can be made into tea.

Z INC. What it does: Helps the immune system fight bugs and is also needed to make proteins and DNA, which in turn build cells.

How to get it: Poultry, red meat, beans, nuts and dairy products. Oysters have the most zinc per serving of all foods.

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Source: thesun
Vitamin D fights Covid while selenium boosts sperm count — fight back with our A-Z of health-boosting supplements