Attention A T users. To access the menus on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Please switch auto forms mode to off. 2. Hit enter to expand a main menu option (Health, Benefits, etc). 3. To enter and activate the submenu links, hit the down arrow. You will now be able to tab or arrow up or down through the submenu options to access/activate the submenu links.

HIV/AIDS

Quick Links

Veterans Crisis Line Badge
My healthevet badge

Vitamins and minerals that affect the immune system

for Veterans and the Public

Vitamins and minerals that affect the immune system

NameWhat It DoesWhere to Get ItAbout Supplements
Source: Adapted from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United NationsLink will take you outside the VA website. VA is not responsible for the content of the linked site.
Vitamin A and beta-caroteneKeeps skin, lungs, and stomach healthy.liver, whole eggs, milk, dark green, yellow, orange, and red vegetables and fruit (like spinach, pumpkin, green peppers, squash, carrots, papaya, and mangoes). Also found in orange and yellow sweet potatoesIt's best to get vitamin A from food. Vitamin A supplements are toxic in high doses. Supplements of beta-carotene (the form of vitamin A in fruits and vegetables) have been shown to increase cancer risk in smokers.
Vitamin B-group (B-1, B-2, B-6, B-12, Folate) Keeps the immune and nervous system healthy.white beans, potatoes, meat, fish, chicken, watermelon, grains, nuts, avocados, broccoli, and green leafy vegetables
Vitamin C Helps protect the body from infection and aids in recovery. citrus fruits (like oranges, grapefruit, and lemons), tomatoes, and potatoes
Vitamin E Protects cells and helps fight off infection. green leafy vegetables, vegetable oils, and peanutsLimit to 400 IU per day.
Iron Not having enough iron can cause anemia. green leafy vegetables, whole grain breads and pastas, dried fruit, beans, red meat, chicken, liver, fish, and eggsLimit to 45 mg per day unless otherwise instructed by your doctor. Iron may be a problem for people with HIV because it can increase the activity of some bacteria. Supplements that do not contain iron may be better. Ask your VA doctor.
Selenium Important for the immune system. whole grains, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, peanut butter, and nutsLimit to 400 mcg per day.
Zinc Important for the immune system. meat, fish, poultry, beans, peanuts, and milk and dairy productsLimit to 40 mg per day.