Best supplements for immune system support. Spoiler Alert: none of them are Vitamin C.
Our bodies are shielded from dangerous microorganisms by the intricate network of organs, cells, and antibodies that makes up the human immune system. One of the most crucial physiological systems in a person's body is it.
The immune system is built to identify and combat foreign invaders like germs and viruses. However, it can also react to a vaccine or other stimuli by boosting its defenses against possible dangers. The most excellent supplements for promoting a healthy immune response are examined in this article.
What is immune system support?
Immune system support enhances our body's normal immune response, a more robust response to infection or disease, and a reduced response to vaccination. A healthy immune system can respond to and recover from injury and illness. It defends against invading microbes by destroying them or by rendering them harmless.
It also produces antibodies that help us fight disease in the future by remembering previous infections. Normal immune system responses include inflammation, wound healing, and allergy responses.
Although inflammation is essential for immune function, excessive or inappropriate inflammation can lead to autoimmune diseases, allergies, and other diseases. The immune system can become weaker with age due to frequent infections, injuries, or long-term changes in the body. This can lead to conditions that occur more often in older people, such as upper respiratory infections, allergies, or autoimmune diseases.
Vitamin C: Does it help the immune system?
Vitamin C is not just an antioxidant; it is an essential trace element for the immune system to function correctly. It is necessary for collagen synthesis and the building of connective tissue in the skin, tendons, and ligaments.
It is also needed to produce neurotransmitters, hormones like estrogen and cortisol, and the creation of hydroxyproline, a building block of the cartilage in joints. It is also involved in immune function, helping to make and break down proteins and produce specific antibodies.
Carnitine, a chemical that aids in the body's usage of fats for energy and is necessary for muscular function, is also made possible by vitamin C. But does this mean that Vitamin C is an immune booster? No, technically, it is not.
Vitamin C is not an immune-enhancing supplement but a necessary component of a healthy immune system. Supplementing Vitamin C is helpful for people who are experiencing chronic stress, have a low intake of Vitamin C in their regular diet, or have been prescribed an antibiotic and have subsequently depleted their Vitamin C levels.
Why isn't Vitamin C considered an immune booster?
Vitamin C isn't categorized as an immune booster because it contains no active ingredients. Instead, it is a necessary component for producing white blood cells.
The immune system's white blood cells defend the body against illnesses and foreign substances, including bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi. The production of white blood cells is called the monocytic process, where Vitamin C is most needed.
Vitamin C is the precursor to a critical coenzyme called oxidized ascorbic acid. This oxidized ascorbic acid is an essential cofactor for producing white blood cells. Supplemental Vitamin C is not a one-stop shop for boosting your immune system but is undoubtedly a key component.
Other Immune Boosting Vitamins & Nutrients
Vitamin B: Vitamin B is a broad term for water-soluble vitamins essential for normal bodily functions. Vitamin B deficiencies can have a wide range of adverse health effects, from mild fatigue and irritability to liver disease and nervous system disorders.
Other essential B vitamins for the immune system include B2, B3, B5, and B6.
- B2 (riboflavin) plays a role in the creation of red blood cells and the process that converts amino acids into proteins, including antibodies, which are essential for the immune response.
- B3 (niacin) is needed for more than 50 reactions involving amino acids, fats, and carbohydrates, including producing two substances that regulate inflammation.
- B5 (pantothenic acid) is required to release energy from amino acids and fats and synthesize sex hormones and red blood cells.
- B6 (pyridoxine) is necessary to release energy from amino acids and synthesize amino acids, proteins, red blood cells, and neurotransmitters.
Vitamin A: A is a fat-soluble vitamin essential for the immune system, eyes, and skin. A lack of vitamin A increases the chance of contracting infectious illnesses, including malaria, measles, TB, and night blindness. Vitamin A is found in various foods, including fish, eggs, dairy products, and fruits and vegetables.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin not found in plant foods or other natural sources. Vitamin D is essential for immune function, and deficiencies have been linked to an increased risk of infections, autoimmune diseases, and other diseases, including cancer.
Vitamin E: Vitamin E is an antioxidant with two primary purposes: it shields cells from cell-damaging free radicals and may also aid in lessening inflammation. Vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, wheat germ, avocados, certain fruits, and other foods are sources of vitamin E.
Zinc: Zinc is an essential trace element needed for more than three hundred different metabolic reactions in the body. This includes immune function, wound healing, and the regulation of genes. Zinc is found in meats, beans, fortified grains, dairy products, vegetables, and other foods.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) - Your body's natural anti-inflammatory
CoQ10 is a naturally occurring antioxidant found in every cell in the human body. Additionally, it is an essential component of the Mitochondrial Respiratory Chain (MRC), the body's primary mechanism for producing ATP. CoQ10 has been dubbed as your body's natural anti-inflammatory.
Because our bodies manufacture less CoQ10 as we age, inflammation may worsen. Supplementing with CoQ10 can help reduce inflammation and support the body's immune system.
Studies have shown that supplemental CoQ10 can help reduce the frequency and severity of allergies, cold and flu symptoms, headaches, joint pain, and migraines. Additionally, it may assist in lowering blood pressure and the risk of blood clots.
Turmeric - The darling of immunity and inflammation research.
Turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal herb. It is frequently used in Asian, Middle Eastern, and Indian cuisine and is a member of the ginger family. Studies suggest that turmeric and its main active ingredient, curcumin, can effectively treat arthritis, psoriasis, and other inflammatory diseases.
It may also help lower cholesterol and prevent cancer. Turmeric and curcumin may also be helpful as an anti-inflammatory treatment after exercise.
Curcumin has also been found to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. It can also help improve mood and cognition and decrease feelings of anxiety.
Zinc - An essential mineral for a healthy immune response.
Zinc is a necessary mineral involved in over 300 metabolic processes that occur in the body, including immune function. Zinc is found in various foods, including meat, seafood, dairy products, nuts, legumes, and whole grains.
Studies have suggested that a daily dose of 30 mg of zinc can reduce the duration and severity of the common cold. Zinc is needed to make white blood cells, which are part of the immune system, so that it may help with the common cold.
Zinc may also help reduce the risk of contracting pneumonia when someone is sick with a cold. Zinc is also needed for wound healing, which may help you recover from an injury or surgery.