Our immune system consists of a whole network of cells with processes that are constantly defending our body against invading pathogens, including viruses, toxins, and bacteria. Keeping our immunity strong all year round is key to preventing infection and disease.
Adapting to a healthy lifestyle by eating nutritious foods, sleeping well, and working out are the most important ways to bolster your immune system.
And when you feel that all the above is not enough, there is research that shows that supplementing with certain vitamins and minerals may help improve immune response and potentially protect against illness.
It's important to make very sound decisions while choosing supplements as some supplements can interact with prescription or over-the-counter medications. Some may not suit people with certain health conditions. Therefore, it's important to talk with a healthcare professional before starting any supplements.
Here are our recommendations for 6 supplements that are known for their immune-boosting potential.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is essential to the health and functioning of the immune system. Vitamin D enhances the pathogen-fighting effects of our body and decreases inflammation, which helps promote an immune response
In the UAE, about 30 - 50% of children, as well as adults, have Vitamin D levels less than 20ng/ml. This deficiency may negatively affect immune function. Research shows that low vitamin D levels are associated with an increased risk of upper respiratory tract infections.
Other studies show that vitamin D supplements may improve response to antiviral treatments in people with certain infections
Vitamin D has been highly researched in connection with COVID-19 because of its effect on immunity. Studies have shown that Vitamin D can speed up the process of healing and retard inflammation in the respiratory system.
With reference to dosage, it is recommended that supplemental vitamin D per day can be 1,000 to 4,000 IU for most people.
Bioglan Vitagummies Vitamin D contains 1000 IU of Vitamin D which is perfect for daily consumption, however, if you are deficient in Vitamin D or if your diet is also deficient in Vitamin D then Vitabalans Dmax contains around 4000 IU of Vitamin D.
Zinc is an essential mineral that’s added to supplements and other healthcare products like lozenges that boost the immune system. Zinc plays an important role in the inflammatory response, it specifically protects tissue barriers in the body and helps prevent foreign pathogens from entering.
A deficiency in this mineral significantly affects the immune system’s ability to function properly, resulting in a higher risk of infection and disease.
According to research, 16% of all deep respiratory infections worldwide are due to the deficiency of Zinc. There is also a study that shows that supplemental zinc helps reduce the duration of the common cold.
Vitabalans Echina - Zinc contains three immunity-boosting elements namely, Vitamin C, Echinacea, and Zinc in the form of lozenges to boost immunity and protects the body against pathogens.
Recently Vitamin C has become the most popular supplement taken to protect against infection due to its immune-boosting properties. Vitamin C supports the function of various immune cells and enhances their ability to protect against infection. It’s also necessary in clearing out old cells and replacing them with new ones by causing cellular death, which helps keep the immune system healthy
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, hence it contributed in protecting against damage induced by oxidative stress, which occurs with the accumulation of free radicals.
Vitamin C supplements have been shown to reduce the duration and severity of upper respiratory tract infections, including the common cold according to a study.
Additionally, high-dose intravenous vitamin C (like Pascorbin) has been shown to significantly improve symptoms in people with severe infections, including sepsis and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) which happens due to a viral infection.
Typically supplemental daily doses of Vitamin C are typically between 250 and 1,000 mg. Bioglan Vitamin C + Zinc Effervescent contains 1000 mg of Vitamin C along with Zinc to boost immunity and offers all-around protection from infections. If you prefer lozenges then try the Vitabalans CMax + Zinc which comes in the delicious flavour of strawberry.
Black elderberry (Sambucus nigra), traditionally used to treat infections, is being researched for its effects on immunity.
Studies have shown that elderberry extract demonstrates potent antibacterial and antiviral potential against bacterial pathogens responsible for upper respiratory tract infections and strains of the influenza virus. Studies have also shown elderberry enhances the immune system response and may help shorten the duration and severity of colds as well as reduce symptoms related to viral infections.
Sambucol Black Elderberry range contains immunity-boosting supplements for kids and adults that have been found to be effective in boosting immunity all year around.
Curcumin is the main active compound found in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and studies indicate that it helps boost immunity. Curcumin has prebiotic-like properties that enable it to make changes in the gut microflora hence supporting the gut-immune connection. It also lowers the cortisol levels that when high can impair the immune system.
The Bioglan Active Curcumin range has Tablets and Gummies to suit your preference and palette.
Echinacea is a genus of plants, it belongs to the daisy family. As per a study, certain species of Echinacea have been shown to improve immune health and may have antiviral effects against several respiratory viruses. Echinacea may stimulate the immune system and makes it more effective to fight infections.
Fitaminat offers a range of supplements that help improve immunity, the recently launched bundles, are carefully tailored to meet the body's needs and cover-up from all perspectives of health. Check out the Immunity FITAMINAT Bundle which has carefully selected products to boost your immunity.
Zinc, elderberry, vitamins C, and D, and more are just some of the elements that have been researched for their immune-enhancing potential.
However, although these supplements may be beneficial in increasing immunity, they should not be replacing a healthy lifestyle. It's important to eat a well-balanced diet, get enough sleep, do regular physical activity, and preferably quit smoking to help keep the immune system healthy and reduce the chances of infection and disease.
If you feel you need supplements, speak with your healthcare professional first, as some supplements may counter the action of certain medications or are inappropriate for some people. Until we see you next time, stay healthy and positive!