You always hear about how crucial it is to boost the immune system, but it’s not always easy to do so. There are so many supplements on the market that it can be tough to choose the ones that can benefit you the most.
In addition, the immune system is not just a single aspect of the body. It’s a complex collection of mechanisms, cells, and substances that work to defend your body against invaders which may include microorganisms such as viruses and bacteria, and toxins.
This means that you will need not just one, but a combination of vitamins and minerals to keep your immune system in good shape year-round. If you’re looking for different types of supplements to boost your immunity, start with the 6 things on this list.
1. Vitamin B
Vitamin B actually refers to 8 different types of vitamins, not just one. Each of them has a unique role in your health, although most of their functions are all related to helping the body convert food to energy.
B1 or thiamin helps organs, such as the brain and the heart, grow and function well.
B2 or riboflavin is vital in breaking down fats and drugs.
B3 or niacin keeps your nervous and digestive system healthy. It also helps keep your skin looking healthy.
B5 or pantothenic acid has a role in keeping the brain and nervous system healthy.
B6 or pyridoxine assists in the production of new red blood cells, the type that carries oxygen throughout your body to keep cells functioning. Because it supports biochemical reactions in the body’s immune system, this one is particularly important if you’re looking for different types of supplements to boost your immunity.
B7 or biotin helps keep your nails, and hair healthy, and is vital in maintaining nerve function.
B9 or folic acid is utilized in making genetic material. It is especially crucial for pregnant women.
B12 or cobalamin is needed by blood and nerve cells. Low b12 levels is associated with a type of anemia.
Many Vitamin B supplements contain all these in one pill, although in varying amounts. So pay close attention to the types of B vitamins in the supplement you’re looking to buy.
2. Vitamin C
This type of supplement is vital for the immune system, so much so that it’s widely known that taking it prior to getting sick helps you recover faster from the common cold and other upper respiratory tract infections. It also eases the symptoms.
Even if you’re heathy, this is one supplement you should be taking now. It’s an essential vitamin because the body doesn’t produce it and can’t even store it so it’s important that you meet your daily requirements either through diet or supplementation.
It has antioxidant properties as it helps reduce inflammation, which is one of the more severe symptoms of respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19.
It enhances the ability of immune cells to fight off infection. It also plays a role in helping your immune system clear our old cells and replace them with new ones.
3. Vitamin D
The primary role of this nutrient is in maintaining optimal levels of calcium and phosphorous in the bloodstream.
This vitamin boosts your immune system by enhancing the strength of white blood cells particularly monocytes and macrophages, enabling them to get better at fighting pathogens.
Like Vitamin C, it helps decrease inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury or anything problematic, but it is an unnatural state that causes damage to your body, which is why it is linked to numerous diseases.
Low levels of this vitamin are associated with higher risk of influenza, allergic asthma, and other illnesses and infection in the upper respiratory tract.
You can get Vitamin D by getting exposure to the sun’s UV rays, but during winter, or when you can’t go outdoors for extended periods, it’s best that you get your recommended daily intake through supplements.
4. Vitamin E
The body is constantly fighting the onslaught of oxidative stress, which occurs when there is too much exposure to free radicals and there is a lack of antioxidants such as Vitamins C and E to neutralize the harmful effects.
Free radicals are atoms that cause cellular damage, leading to illnesses and aging. The amount of free radicals your body has to deal with increases when you’re exposed to polluted air, UV radiation, smoking and toxic substances like alcohol. They are also produced during normal body processes such as metabolism.
Free radicals and oxidative stress can do a number on your immune system, leaving you exposed to illnesses and infection. This is why your body needs all the help it can get, and Vitamin E is can help.
This mineral is so effective that taking medication that contains zinc when you’re dealing with the common cold is known to shorten the duration of your condition. It also eases symptoms such as nasal drainage and congestion, cough, and sore throat.
Zinc helps the immune system by boosting production and activation of T cells, which are part of the body’s immune response to infections.
Zinc deficiency hampers your immune system’s function, and this can lead to increased risk of succumbing to infections and symptoms of respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia.
This is a potent antioxidant which means that it can give your immune system a boost. Increased levels of selenium in your bloodstream are associated with better immune response. A low-selenium diet, on the other hand, is linked to increased risk of heart disease.
This mineral is particularly used for fighting various influenza strains such as swine flu and bird flu. The downside is that it can worsen the condition of those with autoimmune diseases.
Some people get their daily recommended intake of these immune system boosters through a varied, healthy diet. However, it can be costly to maintain such a diet and it takes a lot of effort to get and prepare different kinds of food. You might be able to benefit from taking different types of supplements to boost your immunity instead. Just make sure that what you’re taking contains most if not all of the vitamins and minerals mentioned here.