While there’s no way to make your immune system bulletproof, there are some ways to give it the boost that it needs. With the cold and flu season upon us, have you considered supplementation for better immune support?
Ask any doctor and they will confirm, there is no guaranteed way to hack your immune system to make it foolproof to infection or disease. However, there is some evidence that supports the idea that a healthy balance of vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and prebiotics can increase your overall immune support. In this way, herbal supplements for immune support may be a good option for some who are looking for a boost. Here are the best 5 supplements to consider as a support for your immune system in 2022.
- Liposomal Vitamin C
What is Liposomal Vitamin C?
Vitamin C (or ascorbic acid) is a water-soluble vitamin. It is not stored efficiently in the body which makes it important for everyone to meet or exceed their recommended dietary allowance (RDA) on a daily basis. Some can meet their RDA of ascorbic acid through a well-balanced diet or you can opt to supplement throughout the year depending on your needs at different times of the year.
What are the benefits of vitamin C supplementation?
The right immune support supplement with Vitamin C can have a number of benefits including:
- Total immune system support, which is the major tool used to fight against infection and illness
- Increase in heart health due to vitamin C’s unrivaled antioxidant properties
- Smoother skin as ascorbic acid helps the body produce collagen and prevent cellular damage
- Can reduce oxidative stress on the brain and potentially lessen the risk of dementia and other cognitive decline
- Ultimately boost your overall mood by synthesizing neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine
What are the recommended dietary allowances for vitamin C?
According to the National Institutes of Health, the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of vitamin C is:
- 90 mg per day for men over the age of 19
- 75 mg per day for women over the age of 19
- 2,000 mg maximum per day for adults over the age of 19
For those who would like supplemental support, liposomal vitamin C for immune support is an option to increase your daily intake. The main difference between a standard immune support supplement with vitamin C and a liposomal vitamin C supplement is the formulation. Liposomal vitamin C is encapsulated in pockets of fat cells to promote better cellular uptake.
What is the best liposomal vitamin C supplement?
Optimunity Liposomal Vitamin C (1500 mg)
Optimunity’s 1500 mg Liposomal Vitamin C supplement packs a powerful punch as an immune support supplement with vitamin C. The capsule formulation is designed to absorb quickly into the body to boost protection from viruses, fevers, flu and other infectious diseases by maintaining the full and efficient capabilities of your immune system.
Optimunity’s liposomal encapsulated ascorbic acid supplement formulation is highly absorbent, non-GMO and green/vegan friendly. The product has passed all clinical tests required in the industry to provide the best and most potent dosage of vitamin C as possible.
- Probiotics and/or Prebiotics
What are probiotics and prebiotics?
Probiotics are live bacteria that provide numerous health benefits and are naturally found in certain foods or supplements.
Prebiotics are substances that come from specific types of cabs (fiber) that humans can’t digest, but beneficial bacteria in your gut can.
Both probiotics and prebiotics can be some of the best immune support supplements out there depending on your needs. Keep reading about why you may want to consider them in your journey to boost overall immune system health.
What are the benefits of probiotic/prebiotic supplementation?
Both probiotics and prebiotics help to feed the gut bacteria in your microbiome which work to perform many functions in the body, including disease prevention. Eating balanced amounts of (or supplementing) probiotics and prebiotics can help ensure that you have the right balance of this critical bacteria to keep your gut flora and immune system healthy.
Probiotics and prebiotics can come in pill, powder or liquid form and all contain beneficial bacteria or yeast that are alive at the time of ingestion. Both kinds of supplement have become easier to find on the market, but not all probiotics and prebiotics are worth your money and not all have the same bacteria or concentrations.
Is there a recommended prebiotic or probiotic dosage per day?
It’s recommended not to start taking probiotics or prebiotics without speaking with a doctor or pharmacist first. Not all supplements are effective and some can be detrimental with certain health conditions.
Dosages of prebiotics and probiotics vary by product, so no general dosing recommendation can be made. However, usual doses for adults range from f5 to 10 billion live bacteria per day. It is recommended to take just one dose of probiotics per day, unless instructed otherwise. Often, you do not have to take a probiotic or prebiotic for the long-term. It may be recommended after being on antibiotics to complete a 30-day regimen of probiotic treatment to increase gut bacteria and diversity.
Not sure what dosage or formula is best for you? Reach out to your medical doctor. It also may be possible to consult with a reputable and evidence-based naturopath to find the right supplement for your needs.
What are the best probiotic and prebiotic supplements?
Genuine Health Extra-Strength Probiotic (50 billion)
The Genuine Health Extra-Strength probiotic is guaranteed to contain 50 billion live bacteria with no refrigeration required. This probiotic is an all-around formula that has 15 balanced bacteria strains designed for whole body support. According to Genuine Health, “this extra-strength formula was made to reduce bloating and gas, aid in nutrient absorption, and support a healthy immune system to help you feel your best.”
Sunfiber Regular Day Prebiotic Fiber
Sunfiber Regular Day Prebiotic Fiber is our best overall prebiotic pick because of its water-solubility. This fibrous product promotes gut health, regularity, and overall wellness. The product is specially formulated to be gluten-free, non-GMO, and all-natural. According to Subfiber, this product is “clean and clinically tested” to be the smart choice for consumers who would like to increase their overall fiber intake.
- Vitamin D
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is also one of the best immune support supplements that you can consider. Unlike vitamin C, vitamin D is fat-soluble which means that it absorbs best when taken alongside food that contains fat (like milk, avocados or nuts).
Unfortunately, vitamin D is not naturally found in large amounts in food. Some foods are fortified, but it still is challenging to meet your RDA with this immune-boosting vitamin. Vitamin D can also be absorbed through the sun’s UVB rays but this is not recommended due to skin cancer and cellular sun damage risks.
What are the benefits of Vitamin D supplementation?
Vitamin D is known for its ability to absorb and retain calcium and phosphorus which are critical to build and retain bone mass. Vitamin D supplementation is usually recommended by medical doctors for most people. Supplementation is especially recommended for those who live in countries that don’t have consistent daylight or warm weather.
Vitamin D supplementation comes in two forms; D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol). While both forms increase overall vitamin D in your blood, D3 has been shown to be more effective for longer in the body.
Is there a recommended Vitamin D dosage per day?
According to the National Institutes of Health, the recommended dietary allowance of vitamin D for immune system support is:
- 15 mcg (600 IU) per day for adults aged 19-70
- 20 mcg (800 IU) per day for adults aged 71 years and older
- 100 mcg (4000 IU) maximum per day for adults aged 19+ years old
As with all supplements, you may want to consult with a healthcare professional who’s knowledgeable about probiotics.
What is the best Vitamin D supplement?
Carlson Labs Super Daily® D3 Supplement
Our choice for one of the best immune support supplements is the Carlson Labs Super Daily® D3 Supplement. This formulation is liquid which is designed to be easily added to food or drink. In comparison to pill form, drops may be slightly superior in increasing the likelihood that it will be ingested alongside some fat to encourage better uptake.
What is Zinc?
Zinc is a small trace mineral in the body that packs a powerful punch. While it’s only necessary in small amounts, zinc plays a major role in functional processes and chemical reactions within the body.
What are the benefits of Zinc supplementation?
Zinc is another commonly found item on lists around herbal supplements for immune support. Zinc helps to build proteins, heal damaged tissue, and support a healthy immune system. Within the body, zinc helps cells to grow and multiply and is required most during times of rapid growth like childhood and pregnancy.
Is there a recommended Zinc dosage per day?
Supplementation may be considered in the form of pills or lozenges but may not be necessary for those without an obvious deficiency. Consult with your doctor or consider bloodwork if you are concerned about your zinc levels.
According to the National Institutes of Health, the recommended dietary allowance of zinc is:
- 11 mg per day for men aged 19+ years old
- 8 mg per day for women aged 19+ years old
- 40 mg maximum per day for adults aged 19+ years old
What is the best Zinc supplement?
This Pure Encapsulations supplement offers broad physiological and immune support. It is made with both hypoallergenic and vegan ingredients.
- Other Herbal Supplements (curcumin, echinacea, ginger, hibiscus)
Other common herbal supplements for immune support include things like curcumin, echinacea, hibiscus, and ginger. These common herbal remedies often have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which can help to boost overall immune support and responses. Depending on which herbal supplement you choose, you may find different benefits. For example, hibiscus contains antioxidants and has some properties that may work to lower blood pressure when ingested regularly through things like tea.
Many of these herbal supplements can be incorporated naturally into the diet by adding them to food, tea blends, smoothies, or juices. However, some supplementation may be recommended depending on your individual needs. Due to the broad nature of this category, there are no definitive product recommendations around this category.
Consult with your medical doctor or an evidence-based naturopath about any unique herbal supplements for immune support. Always consult a doctor before incorporating new herbal supplements into your daily routine. Ensure that your health provider also considers any potential contraindications with the existing medications that you are already taking.
Websites referenced or researched: