Behind every healthy person whether a child or a grown-up person or an older adult lies a strong immune system that gives protection against external pathogens, toxins, and other harmful substances. However, the good news is that irrespective of your current health status or your immune system you can empower it by using some best supplements to boost immune system.
The immune system of a human body remains consist of a complex collection of cells, chemicals, and processes which constantly work as a defense mechanism for your body and give protection against infectious diseases caused by harmful bacteria, viruses, etc. So keeping your immune power strong is the key to live and maintain a healthy body and mind.
You can do so by leading a healthy lifestyle including getting enough amount of sleep, regular exercising, and having a balanced diet including highly nutritious foods that contain many vital substances such as Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Omega 3, zinc, probiotics, etc that boost your immune system.
So supplementing with these vitamins, minerals, and herbs will improve your immune system and reduce your risk of developing various illnesses including minor to major types of diseases. However, it is vital to note here that the usage of some supplements may interfere with some prescribed or over-the-counter medications. Also in some cases, certain supplement doses may interfere with certain health conditions hence proves inappropriate for people with certain medical conditions.
If taken care of these associated side effects risks then these immune health-boosting supplements are really effective for everyone. Here is the list of some important supplements that are known for stimulating the immune system-
11 Best Supplements to Boost Your Immune System
Vitamin D is one of the most essential nutrients which boost your health in many ways along with stimulating the function of your immune system. Though sunlight is the purest and most reliable source of this vitamin but you can’t get enough amount of this vitamin by single dependency on this particular source.
In the lack of vitamin D in the body, you are highly vulnerable to develop different types of diseases as your immune power gets weaken and fails to fight against many infection-causing pathogens.
However with the supplementation of this particular vitamin the level of pathogen-fighting power of macrophages and monocytes, the white blood cells increases which are the vital parts of the immune system’s defense mechanism. Also, it reduces inflammation which again helps in promoting immune response.
The deficiency of vitamin D in the body impacts your health in many ways. It increases your risk of developing respiratory tract infections including allergic asthma and influenza. Some study report says that taking vitamin D in supplement form may reduce your risk of developing respiratory tract infection to a great extent.
In a review report conducted in the year 2019 on random control study on about 11,000 people who were supplemented with Vitamin D, significant reduction found in the risk of respiratory infections in people who were previous deficient with vitamin D. Also it reduces the risk of respiratory infection even in people whose body had already an adequate level of this vitamin.
You can get vitamin D supplements in pills or capsules form. Also, you can get it through different food sources such as cod liver oil, fish like trout, salmon, tuna, portabella mushrooms (that have been exposed to light), foods fortified with vitamin D such as milk, yogurt, soy milk, rice milk, almond milk, orange juice, and some cereals.
Among all types of vitamins, Vitamin C is the most popular one because of its multidimensional health benefits. It is one of the highly purchased supplement products. It plays an important role in stimulating immune health and for giving protection against infection risk.
Vitamin C supplements offer support to various important immune cells and stimulate their functioning ability so that these cells can work more effectively and give enough health support to maintain a healthy disease-free body.
This supplement is also essential for cellular death which includes the death of old and damaged cells so that for replacing them new and healthy cells will take their place. As early as your body will manage to do this old cell clearing and replacement job it will get its benefit in terms of stimulated immune health which is not possible if your body remains full of the baggage of old cells.
Vitamin C is also a strong antioxidant that gives protection against oxidative damages which otherwise can cause major health damages or diseases including cancer, skin health issues, etc. Oxidative stress occurs as a result of free radicals or reactive molecules accumulation which can negatively impact the immune health and it is associated with many different autoimmune diseases. So by giving protection against oxidative damages, Vitamin C supplements play a positive role in your immune system.
It is found in researches that supplementing with Vitamin C helps in reducing the severity and duration of upper respiratory tract infections such as common cold etc. Also, it is found in a large study report that participants who were taking vitamin C supplement regularly experienced a drastic reduction in the frequency of common cold occurrence than before and also with comparison to other groups of people who were not taking this supplement.
Other than this with high dose intravenous vitamin C treatment significant improvement found in the condition of patients affected with the symptoms of severe infections such as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), sepsis, etc. However, another study suggests that the contribution of Vitamin C in this context is still under the investigation process.
Still, if we consider the overall benefit and importance of vitamin C for immune health it is truly remarkable. You can get this supplement in pills or powder form. Apart from that, you can easily get this vitamin in different food sources including- Tropical fruits (mango, papaya, and kiwi), Citrus fruits (lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruit), Strawberries, Cantaloupe, Broccoli, Bell peppers, Tomatoes, and Leafy greens.
Zinc is one of those minerals that are highly used in different types of supplements and medical-grade products such as lozenges which helps in boosting immune system response. It stimulates the function of the immune system so this feature makes it essentials for many different healthcare products. It boosts the growth of immune cells and enhances its communication level. Also, zinc plays an important role in the inflammatory response of the body.
Hence the deficiency of this particular mineral in the body impacts your immune system functioning power negatively leading to increased risk of different infectious diseases including pneumonia etc. A recent study report says that approx. 2 billion people are affected with zinc deficiency around the world and older adults are the most common victims of this deficiency.
So for stimulating your immune system response or function it is vital to include this supplement in your day to day life routine in the supplement form. It is found in many study report that taking zinc supplements may prevent one’s risk of developing respiratory tract infections such as cold and flu.
Also supplementing with zinc in people who are already sick may also help in their recovery tenure and strength. In a study report conducted on children affected with acute lower respiratory tract infections (ALRIs) in the year 2019, it is found that when these hospitalized children supplemented with 30 mg of zinc every day a remarkable sign of improvement seen in their condition.
On average this added supplement usage in these children reduced their hospitalization staying duration by 2 days with comparison to placebo group patients. Also taking zinc supplements may reduce the total duration of suffering caused by the common cold.
Older and healthy adults who are the highest victim of this mineral deficiency will really get benefited if supplemented with less than 40 mg of elemental zinc (upper limit) every day. Also, it is safe for them even if taken for the long term.
However, its excessive doses intake may interfere with the copper absorption ability of the body which again increases the risk of contracting the infection. Apart from zinc pills or capsules, you can get this immune-boosting supplement in different foods such as cashews, chickpeas, oysters, shellfish, meat, and whole grains like oats, etc.
This is another effective supplement for stimulating your immune health. Protein is a rich source of amino acids which works as fuel for the immune system. Hence when someone starts taking protein supplements in their day to day life they naturally feel improvement in their immune health.
Protein supplement improves immune function of the intestinal cells of your body. Hence gives protection against different intestinal diseases. People whose body remains deficient with this particular nutrient often have a weak immune system. As a result of this, they are common and regular victims of the common cold and other respiratory diseases as their immune system fails in giving protection against external harmful pathogens.
However, how much protein your body needs depends on different factors including your age, body shape or size, stage of life, and current health status. So it’s better to consult with a healthcare provider to determine that what particular protein doses (per day) are necessary for your health.
You can get this supplement in powder form easily online or over the counter. Some good food sources of protein include – eggs, poultry like chicken and turkey, less processed beef and pork, fish, beans, nuts, and soy products.
Omega-3s are another vital supplement that is known for stimulating immune health dramatically. It is found in a study report that the omega-3s fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) boost your immune health by reducing the level of cell stress responses as well as by enhancing the function of immune cells.
By including omega 3 rich foods in your diet routine at least for 3 to 4 days in a week can provide many health benefits for you associated with this nutrient substance.
Remember the short term cell stress reaction is a normal and vital physiological phenomenon which initiates the natural healing process of the body, in the reaction of an injury, illness, or an infection. However when this cell stress response continues for a long duration then it can lead to cells and tissue-damaging. Also if persists for the long term then it can give birth to several chronic health conditions.
Herein lies the importance of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids such as EPA and DHA have the potential to synthesize vital signal molecules that help in lowering cell stress responses and to streamline the body to get back to its normal state once the threat disappears. On the other hand, potent signal molecules developed from the omega-6 fatty acid, arachidonic acid raises cell stress responses.
Though both types of fatty acids are vital for cell membranes function but the study suggests that having a good amount of omega-3s is enough for stimulating healthy cell response and for boosting overall immune system function. However, in general life, people give priority to more omega-6 fatty acids rich food sources such as processed snacks, red meat, vegetable oils, etc.
Hence the level of omega-6 fatty acids remains much higher than the omega-3 fatty acids in the cell membranes of people who have these foods. However, this ratio can be well balanced by increasing the intake of more omega-3s rich food sources such as fatty fish, fish oil or algae oil resulting in it enhances your body’s response to cellular stress.
Another way by which omega-3s enhances the immune health is by stimulating the function of both adaptive and innate immune cells. Omega-3s fatty acids such as DHA and EPA regulate the function of macrophage cells which play an important role in the function of innate immune defense by protecting and eliminating the invaded pathogens. Also, it stimulates the adaptive immune function of the body by increasing the count and percentages of B cells and the growth and specialization of some kind of T cells in many different tissues.
It is found in several research reports that probiotics, the living microorganisms benefit your body and health in many ways, and out of its numerous health benefits its role in boosting immune health is one. Ingesting this live microorganism via different dietary sources which mostly include good bacteria increases your body’s ability to fight off against external harmful invaders. Ingesting these healthy microbes benefit your immune health in many ways by activating multiple immune mechanisms.
The consumption of probiotics rich foods in day to day life helps in inhibiting the growth of pathogenic bacteria hence reduces the growth risk of many diseases. It does so by producing substances that can kill harmful bacteria and prevent their further growth. Also, it competes with the pathogens with regard to adherence to intestinal epithelium which is a physiological barrier or layer that prevents pathogens from entering inside. This is a vital substance of the intestine.
Apart from this, probiotics give support to the immune system by stimulating the barrier function and increasing the survival rate of intestinal epithelial cells. So we can say that probiotics stimulate the immune system function in various ways and techniques. However, among all the ways by which probiotics offer support to the immune system, the immune cell activity stimulation is the most vital one.
So with supplementation of different probiotic species and strains, you get benefited several ways. For example, it enhances the protective responses of intestinal epithelial cells, boosts innate immunity, promotes the production of immunity-boosting proteins in different connective tissues, promotes the intestinal barrier integrity via increased gene expression, and shifts the gut composition towards certain beneficial bacteria. You can have probiotics both in supplement or food form as both are beneficial for your immune health boost.
So these are some of the best supplements to boost immune system that you can easily avail of in the market. However along with taking these supplements for enhancing the function and power of your immunity system you should also focus in improving your lifestyles by incorporating a balanced diet routine, exercise plan, taking sound sleep in the night and by avoiding the consumption of unhealthy foods and beverages that can impact your immunity health.