Save 15% off on your first order. Use coupon: FIRST15 at checkout. Shop Now!

Search
Best Vitamins and Supplements for Immune Support

The Best Vitamins and Supplements for Immune System Support

Maintaining overall health and preventing disease depends on a robust immune system. The immune system is in charge of defending the body against dangerous pathogens like viruses and bacteria, and several things like stress, a poor diet, and a lack of sleep can weaken it. 

 While leading a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise, a nutritious diet, and enough sleep can strengthen the immune system, vitamins and supplements can also be very helpful. Enhancing immunological performance. 

 For the immune system to work at its peak, vitamins and supplements can supply the body with vital elements that may be missing from the diet. Inflammation, which can lead to the emergence of several diseases, can also be lessened by them.

Let’s summarise the best vitamins and nutritional supplements for boosting the immune system, along with information on their advantages, food sources suggested dosages, and any possible negative effects. 

People can support their immune systems and enhance their general health by including these vitamins and supplements in their daily routines.

Top Best Vitamins and Supplements To Promote Immunity

Best Vitamins and Supplements To Promote Immunity
Source: Canva

1. Vitamin C

immune system for Vitamin C
Source: Canva

Ascorbic acid, another name for vitamin C, is a water-soluble vitamin that is crucial for immune system health. It is a strong antioxidant that can aid in preventing oxidative stress, which can harm the body’s cells and tissues. Vitamin C is essential for synthesising collagen, wound healing, and iron absorption. 1

Vitamin C’s importance for immune system health

Because it increases the generation of white blood cells, which aid in the defence against infections and sickness, vitamin C is essential for immunological function. And, it aids in promoting these cells’ functionality, enhancing their capacity to eliminate hazardous microorganisms. Also it can aid in reducing inflammation. Inflammation can impair the immune system and lead to the onset of chronic disease. 2

Benefits of vitamin C supplements

Vitamin C supplements, especially in those lacking in this mineral, can support immune function and lower the risk of infections. And, they can lessen the intensity and duration of the symptoms brought on by respiratory infections like the common cold. 3

Foods high in vitamin C

Citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwis, mangoes, pineapples, papayas, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, red bell peppers, and spinach are some of the richest sources of vitamin C. 4

Dosage recommendations

For both women and men, a daily dose of 75–90 mg of vitamin C is advised for adults. Higher doses of vitamin C may be necessary for those who smoke, are under a lot of stress, or have compromised immune systems. 

Up to 2000 mg of vitamin C daily is generally considered safe, but larger dosages may result in gastrointestinal discomforts such as diarrhoea, nausea, and stomach cramps. 1

Potential side effects

Even though vitamin C is generally well-tolerated and safe, some people may still develop allergic responses, especially if they have a history of citrus fruit sensitivity. Large amounts of vitamin C may also hinder the absorption of other medicines, including statins and warfarin. 1

2. Vitamin D

Vitamin D
Source: Canva

A fat-soluble vitamin called vitamin D is crucial for bone health, immune system health, and general well-being. Although it can be present in some foods and supplements, sun exposure is the main way to get it.

Importance of Vitamin D for immune function

Vitamin D is important for immune system health because it helps immune cells like macrophages and T cells grow and function. Vitamin D is essential for immune system health. And, it can aid in lowering inflammation, which has been linked to a number of disorders. 5

Benefits of Vitamin D

The benefits of vitamin D supplements include improving immune function and lowering the risk of infections, especially in those who are vitamin D deficient. Also, they could lessen the intensity and duration of respiratory infection symptoms, including flu. 6

Food sources rich in Vitamin D

Some of the best food sources of vitamin D include fatty fish (such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel), egg yolks, cheese, and fortified foods such as milk, yoghurt, and cereal. 7

Dosage recommendations

Adults should consume 600–800 IU of vitamin D daily; however, those who are low in this essential may need to take higher quantities. 

Up to 4000 IU of vitamin D per day is typically considered safe, but larger levels may be harmful and result in symptoms like weakness, nausea, and vomiting. 8

Potential side effects

Potential side effects include allergic responses in some people, especially if they have a history of sensitivity to vitamin D supplements. Vitamin D is generally safe and well-tolerated, but some people may develop these reactions. 

High vitamin D dosages can also result in hypercalcemia, a disorder marked by elevated blood calcium levels that can harm the kidneys and cause other major health issues. 9

3. Zinc

Zinc
Source: Canva

The immune system, wound healing, and growth and development all depend on the mineral zinc, which is a necessary component. It participates in numerous biological processes, including the creation of DNA and the metabolism of proteins.

Importance of Zinc for immune function

Zinc promotes the development and operation of immune cells, such as T cells and natural killer cells, which play a critical role in immunological function. Inflammation, which can hasten the onset of chronic diseases, can also be controlled with its aid.

Benefits of zinc supplements

Especially in those who are weak in this mineral, zinc supplements can help boost immune system health and lower the risk of infections. They might also lessen the intensity and duration of respiratory infection-related symptoms, such as the flu and the common cold. 10

Food sources rich in Zinc

Zinc’s best food sources include oysters, beef, pork, chicken, beans, nuts, and whole grains. 11

Dosage recommendations

Adults should consume between 8 and 11 mg of Zinc daily, women and men, respectively. Higher doses could be necessary for those who are Zinc deficient or have compromised immune systems. Zinc consumption of up to 40 mg daily is typically considered safe, but larger levels may result in nausea and vomiting. 11

Potential side effects

Although generally safe and well-tolerated, zinc supplements have the potential to cause some people to feel sick or have diarrhoea. High levels of Zinc taken over a long period can also hinder the body’s ability to absorb copper, which can result in anaemia and other health issues. 11

4. Probiotics

Probiotics
Source: Canva

Probiotics are living bacteria that, when taken in sufficient quantities, positively affect health. They are frequently found in fermented foods and nutritional supplements, and research has shown that they provide several health advantages, including immunological support.

Importance of probiotics for immune function

Probiotics play a critical part in immune function by encouraging the growth and activity of helpful bacteria in the gut. This is why probiotics are so important for immunological health. For which, they can support the creation of antibodies and aid in the regulation of inflammation, which both work to ward off infections. 12

Benefits of probiotic supplements

Probiotic supplements, particularly in people with compromised immune systems or those on antibiotics, can help improve immune function and lower the risk of infections. They might also aid in reducing IBS symptoms and enhancing digestive health. 13 14

Food sources rich in probiotics

Some of the best food sources of probiotics include yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and miso. 15

Dosage recommendations

Probiotics have no set daily consumption. However, most supplements deliver 1 to 10 billion colony-forming units (CFUs) in each serving. It’s crucial to pick a probiotic pill with strains proven to help the immune system. 16

Potential side effects

Probiotics are generally well-tolerated and safe. However, some people may develop bloating, gas, and diarrhoea after ingesting excessive doses of probiotics. Before beginning a probiotic supplement, it’s vital to talk to your doctor, especially if your immune system is already impaired or you’re using immunosuppressive medicine. 17

5. Echinacea

Echinacea
Source: Canva

For decades, echinacea has been used as a traditional herbal treatment for respiratory illnesses like the flu and colds. It is said to possess immune-stimulating qualities that can aid in preventing infections and lessen the intensity of symptoms.

Importance of Echinacea for immune function

Echinacea is important for immune function since it is believed to work by boosting the activity of immune cells like natural killer cells and white blood cells. It possesses anti-inflammatory qualities that may aid in reducing bodily inflammation, which may aid in the emergence of chronic disorders. 18

Benefits of Echinacea supplements

Echinacea supplements can help support immune function and reduce the risk of infections, particularly in individuals who are prone to respiratory infections or who have weakened immune systems. They may also help reduce the severity and duration of cold and flu symptoms. 19

Dosage recommendations

Depending on the supplement and the illness being treated, different Echinacea dosages are advised. Before beginning a new supplement, it is crucial to read the manufacturer’s directions and consult a healthcare professional. 

Echinacea supplementation is generally safe for up to 10 days, but prolonged use is not advised. 20

Potential side effects

Echinacea is typically safe and well-tolerated. However, some people may develop allergic reactions or gastrointestinal discomfort while taking supplements of the herb. Before beginning a new supplement, it’s crucial to see a healthcare professional, especially if you have a history of allergies or autoimmune diseases. 21

Boosting Immunity: An Exploration of Ayurvedic Principles and Immune Support

Exploration of Ayurvedic Principles and Immune Support
Source: Canva

Ayurveda focuses on a holistic approach to health and well-being, highlighting the significance 

of achieving harmony between the mind, body, and spirit to fend off illness and lengthen life expectancy. Herbs and supplements have been used for a very long time in Ayurveda to support immune function and ward against disease.

Ayurveda and its approach to immune support

A strong immune system is essential to general health and well-being. It underlines how crucial it is to keep a healthy digestive system and get rid of toxins from the body in order to boost immunological function. 

Ashwagandha, turmeric, ginger, and holy basil are just a few of the herbs and nutrients used by ayurvedic practitioners to strengthen the immune system and ward against disease.

Ayurvedic herbs and supplements for immune support

1. Turmeric

Bright yellow spice, known as turmeric, is frequently used in Indian cooking and is also a well-liked Ayurvedic supplement. Curcumin, a substance found in it, has been demonstrated to have potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities.

 According to Ayurveda, turmeric strengthens the immune system by lowering oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. 22

2. Ashwagandha

Ayurvedic practitioners have long employed the herb ashwagandha to support lifespan and good health. It’s said to offer a number of health advantages, including immunological support. Ashwagandha has been found in research to promote immunological function and white blood cell activity. 

And, it might aid in lowering stress and anxiety, which is beneficial for the immune system and general health. 23

3. Tulsi

Tulsi, often known as holy basil, is a herb that is frequently utilised in Ayurveda because of its capacity to improve health. It is thought to possess antibacterial and antiviral properties, and animal studies have demonstrated that it enhances immunological function. 

Tulsi is frequently used to avoid respiratory infections and might be beneficial for general health and well-being. 24

Benefits of Ayurvedic Supplements for immune support

Numerous health advantages, including immunological support, are attributed to ayurvedic supplements. Since they are made from natural ingredients, they are frequently regarded as reliable and efficient. 

By lowering oxidative stress and inflammation in the body and boosting the activity of white blood cells, ayurvedic medicines may improve immune function.

Comparison of Ayurvedic approach to immune support with Western medicine approach

While Western medicine also stresses the value of keeping a robust immune system, it tends to place more of an emphasis on pharmaceutical interventions like vaccines and antibiotics. 

In order to promote immune function and stave off sickness, Ayurveda uses a more holistic approach, combining herbs, vitamins, and lifestyle changes. Both strategies can be successful. Therefore, people may decide to combine components of both into their healthcare routine.

Dosage recommendations for taking Ayurvedic supplements

Depending on the supplement and the user’s needs, different Ayurvedic supplements may require different dosages. Before beginning a new supplement regimen, it is crucial to speak with a knowledgeable Ayurvedic practitioner or healthcare professional. Supplements should generally be taken as instructed on the label or as advised by a healthcare professional.

Side effects associated with Ayurvedic supplements

When used as indicated, ayurvedic supplements are generally regarded as safe. However, if used in excessive dosages or for an extended period of time, some supplements may have negative effects. Here are some side effects of the Ayurvedic supplements:

  • Turmeric has blood-thinning properties; thus, if any person is already taking blood thinners must use turmeric cautiously.
  • Ashwagandha may upset the stomach or interfere with specific drugs. 
  • Tulsi may lower blood sugar levels. Thus, people with diabetes should consume it cautiously. 

Final Words

Best Vitamins and Supplements for Immune Support
Source: Canva

Lifespan and general well-being depend on a strong immune system. While there are many ways to promote good health and a great immune system, vitamins and supplements are essential to provide additional nutrition. 

They create an immunity that fights off infections. We have discussed various essential vitamins and supplements that provide support to the immune system. 

It is essential to stress that consuming vitamins and supplements alone cannot guarantee a robust immune system. In addition to regular exercise, a good diet, and enough sleep, a healthy lifestyle is also crucial for maintaining immune function. 

Before beginning any supplement, it is also imperative to speak with a healthcare professional because some supplements may mix with particular prescriptions or have potentially negative effects.

The immune system can be best supported by adopting a balanced diet, good lifestyle practices, and the right supplements. As a result, it’s crucial to give these habits a top priority in order to support the maintenance of a powerful and robust immune system.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which vitamins and supplements are best for immune support?

Key supplements include vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc, which can help strengthen your immune system and support overall health.

How much vitamin C should I take for immune support?

For immune support, a daily intake of 1000mg of vitamin C is recommended. However, consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice.

Is there any evidence that supplements can boost immune function?

Yes, studies show that certain supplements like vitamin D, zinc, and probiotics can enhance immune function and reduce the risk of infections.

References

  1. Carr, A. C., & Maggini, S. (2017). Vitamin C and immune function. Nutrients, 9(11), 1211.[][][]
  2. Hemilä, H. (2017). Vitamin C and infections. Nutrients, 9(4), 339. []
  3. Hemilä, H., & Chalker, E. (2013). Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 1, CD000980. []
  4. Carr, A. C., & Maggini, S. (2017). Vitamin C and immune function. Nutrients, 9(11), 1211. []
  5. Aranow C. Vitamin D and the immune system. Journal of investigative medicine: the official publication of the American Federation for Clinical Research. []
  6. Martineau AR, Jolliffe DA, Hooper RL, et al. Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory tract infections: systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data.[]
  7. Wacker M, Holick MF. Sunlight and Vitamin D: A global perspective for health. Dermato-endocrinology. []
  8. Ross AC, Manson JE, Abrams SA, et al. The 2011 report on dietary reference intakes for calcium and vitamin D from the Institute of Medicine: what clinicians need to know. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011;96(1):53-58.[]
  9. Vieth R. Vitamin D supplementation, 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations, and safety. Am J Clin Nutr.[]
  10. Hemilä, H. (2017). Zinc lozenges and the common cold: a meta-analysis comparing zinc acetate and zinc gluconate, and the role of zinc dosage. JRSM Open, 8(5), 2054270417694291.[]
  11. National Institutes of Health. (2020). Zinc. Office of Dietary Supplements.[][][]
  12. Vighi, G., Marcucci, F., Sensi, L., Di Cara, G., & Frati, F. (2008). Allergy and the gastrointestinal system. Clinical and Experimental Immunology, 153(Suppl 1), 3-6. []
  13. Bermudez-Brito, M., Plaza-Diaz, J., Munoz-Quezada, S., Gomez-Llorente, C., & Gil, A. (2012). Probiotic mechanisms of action. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, 61(2), 160-174. []
  14. King, S., Glanville, J., Sanders, M. E., Fitzgerald, A., & Varley, D. (2014). Effectiveness of probiotics on the duration of illness in healthy children and adults who develop common acute respiratory infectious conditions: A systematic review and meta-analysis. British Journal of Nutrition, 112(1), 41-54.[]
  15. Marco, M. L., Heeney, D., Binda, S., Cifelli, C. J., Cotter, P. D., Foligné, B., Gänzle, M., Kort, R., Pasin, G., Pihlanto, A., Smid, E. J., Hutkins, R. W., & Vaughan, E. E. (2017). Health benefits of fermented foods: microbiota and beyond. Current Opinion in Biotechnology, 44, 94-102.[]
  16. Hill, C., Guarner, F., Reid, G., Gibson, G. R., Merenstein, D. J., Pot, B., Morelli, L., Canani, R. B., Flint, H. J., Salminen, S., Calder, P. C., & Sanders, M. E. (2014). Expert consensus document: The International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics consensus statement on the scope and appropriate use of the term probiotic. Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology, 11(8), 506-514.[]
  17. Didari, T., Mozaffari, S., Nikfar, S., & Abdollahi, M. (2014). Effectiveness of probiotics in irritable bowel syndrome: Updated systematic review with meta-analysis. World Journal of Gastroenterology, 20(34), 14853-14867.[]
  18. Shah, S. A., Sander, S., & White, C. M. (2007). Evaluation of echinacea for the prevention and treatment of the common cold: a meta-analysis. The Lancet Infectious Diseases, 7(7), 473-480.[]
  19. Sharma, M., Anderson, M., & Schoop, R. (2014). Echinacea purpurea for prevention of experimental rhinovirus colds. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 58(10), 1367-1372.[]
  20. Barrett, B. (2003). Medicinal properties of Echinacea: a critical review. Phytomedicine, 10(1), 66-86.[]
  21. Goel, V., Lovlin, R., Barton, R., Lyon, M. R., Bauer, R., & Lee, T. D. (2004). Efficacy of a standardized echinacea preparation (Echinilin) for the treatment of the common cold: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, 29(1), 75-83.[]
  22. Bundy, R., Walker, A. F., & Middleton, R. W. (2018). Turmeric extract may improve irritable bowel syndrome symptomology in otherwise healthy adults: A pilot study. Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine, 15(3).[]
  23. Chandrasekhar, K., Kapoor, J., & Anishetty, S. (2012). A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of ashwagandha root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults. Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, 34(3), 255–262.[]
  24. Saxena, R. C., Singh, R., Kumar, P., Yadav, S. C., & Negi, M. P. (2011). A randomized double blind placebo controlled clinical evaluation of extract of Tulasi (Ocimum sanctum Linn.) in the management of generalised anxiety disorder. Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, 55(3), 283–286[]