Your immune system is complex. It consists of an intricate collection of cells and chemicals that perform complex functions to defend your body against invaders, including viruses, toxins, and bacteria. Keeping your immune system healthy is vital for preventing disease and infection. 

Eating a healthy diet, getting proper sleep, and moving your body every day are important steps for supporting your immune system. Research has shown that supplementing with certain vitamins, minerals, or other substances can also improve the immune response and protect against illness and infection. 

Here are 8 supplements that aid immune system functions:

Vitamin A 

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that can be divided into 2 categories. Retinoids are found in animal sources and provide active vitamin A (ready for use in the body). Carotenoids are found in plant sources and include substances the body converts to vitamin A.

Immunity Benefits of Vitamin A:
  • Has anti-inflammatory effects
  • Is necessary in the body for detoxification of highly toxic substances
  • Plays a regulatory role in the immune responses in the body

Astaxanthin 

Astaxanthin is a carotenoid (form of vitamin A) that is believed to be the most powerful antioxidant nature has to offer (6,000x stronger than vitamin C). 

Immunity Benefits of Astaxanthin:
  • Can handle multiple free radicals (up to 19) at a time (most antioxidants can only handle 1 at a time)

Vitamin C 

Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin that cannot be produced by the body and therefore must be consumed by food or supplements. Vitamin C is not essential not only for proper immune function, but for many other essential body functions.

Immunity Benefits of Vitamin C:
  • Is a powerful antioxidant 
  • Benefits the immune system by increasing the number of white blood cells and interferons 
  • Supports the energy producing capacity of mitochondria
  • Can be taken in IV form for a higher concentration (Reduces the amount excreted through the urine because it enters the bloodstream and immediately increase serum levels in the blood)

Vitamin D 

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is provided from a few foods, primarily animal sources. Vitamin D is also produced by the body when sunshine comes into contact with the skin.

Immunity Benefits of Vitamin D:
  • Has anti-inflammatory effects
  • Is necessary for blood clotting
  • Can help protect against respiratory infections

Glutathione 

Glutathione is a tripeptide composed of amino acids. It is produced in the body and is found in every single cell, but production levels often begin to decline after the age of 40.

Immunity Benefits of Glutathione:
  • Protects cells from damage by oxidation and free radicals
  • Stimulates the production of interleukin 1 and 2, which helps regulate the immune system
  • Helps recycle other antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E

NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine)

Cysteine is a semi-essential amino acid that can be produced within the body from other amino acids. N-Acetyl Cysteine is the supplemental form of cysteine.

Immunity Benefits of NAC:
  • Is one of the building blocks of glutathione 
  • Is a powerful antioxidant 
  • Has anti-inflammatory effects
  • Breaks apart mucus in the lungs

Selenium

Selenium is a mineral that is essential to optimal health in trace amounts. The amount of selenium found in food depends on the soil in which it was grown.

Immunity Benefits of Selenium:
  • Works with vitamin E as an antioxidant
  • Reduces heavy me
  • Plays a role in DNA repair
  • Is necessary for immune system function

Zinc 

Zinc is a mineral that is only needed in small amounts in the human body, but is a cofactor in over 100 enzymatic reactions. 

Immunity Benefits of Zinc:
  • Boosts immune defenses
  • Enhances biochemical actions of vitamin D
  • Aids in absorption of vitamin A
  • Needed for proper maintenance of vitamin E
  • Has anti-inflammatory effects
  • Is an antioxidant

We carry a wide variety of high-quality, filler-free, and efficiently absorbable supplement brands that go above and beyond what you can buy online or off the shelf. If you have questions about supplements you are taking or have been prescribed, our Wellness Team is here to help. 

This blog post is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat. It is important to note that some supplements can interact with prescription or over-the-counter medications and some may not be appropriate for people with certain health conditions. Be sure to talk with your healthcare provider before starting any supplements.