What To Know About “Immune Boosters” Before Trying Them

Understandably, people want to do everything they can to support their immune system and stay healthy - especially in the face of a global pandemic. With that in mind, you may have found yourself Googling the words, "immune boosters," in an effort to find something to ward off illnesses of any kind at all costs. With vitamins and supplements being touted as a gold standard of wellness, it can be easy to think that popping a gummy is all it takes to bolster your body's immunity. Well, it's not quite that simple - but, that doesn't mean there aren't some combination of steps you can take to stay healthy.

"Immunity is not just one 'thing,'" Dr. Erin Michos, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine tells R29. "There is no magic pill to reduce the risk of infections - it's about overall wellbeing." And she's right: Eating a balanced diet, engaging in regular exercise, and getting enough sleep are among the best things anyone can do to support a healthy immune system. (And remember, sleep and YouTube workouts don't cost a thing!) "These are all things that have been shown to lessen risk in infections," she explains.

That said, if you are deficient in a certain vitamin (or are looking to supplement, not substitute your diet), there are ways to navigate the vitamin industry with intelligence and intention. First and foremost, any vitamin regimen should be always discussed with your medical provider to avoid potential drug interactions. Also, be mindful of dosages - according to Michos, there's no need to exceed the recommended daily value of anything. "[Ask yourself] why are you taking this? What is the purpose? What are you trying to treat or correct?" she says. "It’s important to note that high doses - too much of a good thing - can have side effects, so more is not necessarily better."

If you've cleared things with your doctor, then (and only then!) should you hit "add to cart." And when it comes to navigating the virtual vitamin aisles, always look for transparency when it comes to ingredients and formulation: "Look for brands that show their work," says Nina Mullen, Hilma Co-Founder & Co-CEO. "See if there is information readily available on the research, testing, and experts behind the product you’re considering." For those who are immunity-boosting-curious, we've gone ahead and started the work for you by highlighting a few products with high marks.

We’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. 

Hum Here Comes The Sun

"There are some limited data from clinical trials that show that vitamin D may help reduce the risk for respiratory infection," Dr. Michos says. "If someone is vitamin D deficient, taking a recommended daily value of vitamin D won’t hurt, and they may see a benefit from supplementation." Hum Nutrition's soft gels contain vitamin D3, which also reportedly aids in calcium absorption for healthier bones and teeth over time.

Hum Nutrition Here Comes The Sun, $, available at DermStore

The Nue Co. Immunity

When it comes to a healthy lifestyle, the body absorbs more nutrients via a healthy diet than by relying on vitamins to do the work for you. Enter, The Nue Co.'s formula, which combines plant-based ingredients found in Chinese medicine with vitamin C to reportedly increase absorption.

The Nue Co. Immunity, $, available at The Nue Co

Hilma Immune Booster

Hilma's dissolvable powders were formulated in partnership with a medical advisory board, and are made with zinc, vitamin C, echinacea, and ginger (and without dyes, fillers, and less than a gram of sugar). "Safe dosages of zinc and vitamin C can be used at the onset of symptoms," says New York City-based internist (and Hilma's Scientific Advisor) Dr. Paul Grewal, MD.

Hilma Immune Support, $, available at Hilma

Emergen-C Immune Support Gummies

If you have trouble swallowing oral pills, then these gummies from the reigning kings of vitamin C will be an easy way to help support your immune system. One thing to note, however, is the 8g of added sugar — so it's best to not go overboard with other sweets if you're taking these.

Emergen-C Gummies for Immune Support - 500mg Vitamin C, $, available at The Vitamin Shoppe

Vital Proteins Vitality Immune Booster

In addition to vitamin C, this powder contains amino acids, zinc, electrolytes, and vitamins B and D to help regulate pathways of the immune response and promote healthy cell function.

Vital Proteins Vitality Immune Booster, $, available at Vital Proteins

Havasu Premium Elderberry Gummies

Another immune-boosting superfood? Elderberry. Havasu's daily supplements blend the antioxidant-packed superfruit with naturally occurring free-radical defenders, Vitamin C, and Zinc into an easy-to-chew gummy form.

Havasu Nutrition Elderberry Gummies 100mg, 60 Gummies, $, available at Amazon

from refinery29
What To Know About “Immune Boosters” Before Trying Them What To Know About “Immune Boosters” Before Trying Them Reviewed by streakoggi on June 17, 2020 Rating: 5
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