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How to Supercharge Your Immune System with Vitamin C and Quercetin

How to Supercharge Your Immune System with Vitamin C and Quercetin

The following article was written by Heinen’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Todd Pesek, MD.

Regardless of your current state of health, everyone needs to consider creating and sustaining a set of basic habits, including enjoying an abundance of whole, plant-based foods and taking a select few whole food supplements. Without them, you run the risk of a compromised immune system, which can create health issues and disease over time.

To help you practice smart supplementation, I created a “good” and “optimal” supplement strategy for immune health. It starts with the following recommendations:

It’s time to close the loop by revealing the top rung of the ladder, or the “optimal” supplement strategy, to supercharge your immune system—the addition of Vitamin C and quercetin.

Vitamin C

Of the two, you are probably most familiar with Vitamin C. This antioxidant vitamin serves as fuel for first line immune support against viruses and bacteria. It stimulates the production of hydrogen peroxide in your cells, which neutralizes health threats like infectious cells and even cancer cells.

I recommend supplementing with 2,000-3,000 mg of Vitamin C daily in liposomal or ester form.

You should also aim to incorporate more food sources of Vitamin C into your daily meals, with foods such as citrus, peppers and berries. Click here for specific recommendations and meal inspiration.


Quercetin is a natural pigment found in apples (concentrated in the skin), onions, garlic, leeks, shallots, cherries, red grapes, berries and green tea. It works to restore normal immune function, thereby acting as a powerful balancing agent and strengthening the immune system.

Quercetin also serves as a shuttle for zinc, helping to transport it into the cells where it can stop viruses from replicating. Think of it as a zinc booster.

I recommend taking one capsule of quercetin each day in combination with Vitamin C for maximum effect.

Key Takeaway

To build an immune system of steel, the most effective plan should include daily supplementation of:

  • Vitamin D3: 5,000 -10,000 IU/day once levels are optimal (no less than 60 ng/ml and ideally in the range of 80-100 ng/ml)
  • Bioavailable Iodine: 3 mg/day
  • Zinc: 30-50 mg/day
  • Vitamin C (liposomal or ester form): 2,000-3,000 mg/day
  • Quercetin: 1,000-2,000 mg/day

Remember, it’s impossible to supplement your way out of a poor diet, so take steps to gradually increase your leafy greens, rainbow fruits and veggies, and functional foods like herbs, spices and mushrooms.

Please check with your healthcare provider before beginning any new supplements.

For personalized guidance on your digestive health, discover the VitalHealth Optimization Package, now available at the Personalized Nutrition Center at Heinen’s Mayfield Village.

Heinen's Grocery Store

By Heinen's Grocery Store

In 1929, Joe Heinen opened the doors of a small butcher shop on the east side of Cleveland, Ohio, aiming to establish himself as the city’s purveyor of quality meats. As customers came into Heinen’s new shop for their meat purchases, they began asking him to carry groceries as well. Joe added homemade peanut butter, pickles and donuts and by 1933, business had grown enough to include a line of produce and canned goods. Heinen’s Grocery Store was born.

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