After the ups and downs of the last two Covid years and a brief return to ‘almost’ normal this summer, we’re once again jolted back to reality of how important our natural defense system really is for our short-term and long-term health. Fall and winter are considered “sick seasons”—when viruses and microbes pose a greater risk—forcing the immune system to be even more vigilant.
And with end of summer and back to school, there’s no better time than now to bring in some muscle to help protect your immune system. Here are 5 powerful immune boosters to look into this season.
#1 Vitamin D
The “sunshine vitamin” as it’s known is actually a fat-soluble hormone that our bodies produce in response to the sun’s UVB rays. According to Harvard’s School of Public Health, vitamin D may “help control infections and reduce inflammation”. In fact, studies show that vitamin D deficiency is connected to an increased risk of infection.*If you live in a colder weather climate or you’re the indoor type, chances are you’re not getting enough sunlight to synthesize vitamin D on your own, which is why a supplement is so crucial. But what should you look for?
Vitamin D is a superhero all by itself, but when combined with vitamin K2, the synergy offers a 1-2 punch of immune boosting power. Studies show that vitamin D and vitamin K2 are the “perfect pair”, because they amplify each other’s ability to support immune function as well as bone strength and heart health.*
#2 Black elderberry
Many varieties of elderberry exist, but black elderberry (Sambuca nigra) is said to contain twice the amount of anthocyanin antioxidants of any fruit. Black elderberry has been traditionally used in herbal medicinal tonics and preparations for centuries. In recent years, some studies have borne out the effectiveness of certain elderberry preparations in supporting immune health.
To find out how to “bulletproof” your immune system with a black elderberry extract that’s 20X more potent than many leading brands, read this fascinating guide on black elderberry.
#3 Vitamin C
Vitamin C is touted as the go-to staple for fighting bugs and pathogens, and for good reason. Vitamin C is an essential vitamin that doubles as a powerful, free radical-fighting antioxidant, and it enhances your immune response and overall health in a variety of ways, such as enabling iron absorption. Iron is a key mineral needed to support the body’s first line of defense against harmful bugs and microbes.
Another way vitamin C supports immunity is by aiding production of white blood cells, which help protect the body against sickness.* And studies show vitamin C can help reduce the duration of colds by about one day… and every day counts when you’re not feeling well. Experts suggest 1,000 mg of vitamin C is an effective, therapeutic serving.
This mineral is considered a gatekeeper of immune function.* One study described zinc’s important job like this: “New research suggests that zinc helps control infections by gently tapping the breaks on the immune response in a way that prevents out-of-control inflammation that can be damaging and even deadly.”
If you’ve heard that zinc can reduce the duration of cold symptoms, it’s true, according to an analysis of several studies. Lozenges and syrup forms are best, because they allow the mineral to come in direct contact with the cold bug in a way that a tablet or capsule cannot.
This may be the least familiar immune support ingredient to you. Fermentate is a whole food ingredient derived from the fermentation process. Specifically, Epicor fermentate is the pathogen-fighting ingredient causing a buzz, because it’s a tough contender in the immune support arena that’s backed by 15 human clinical trials and preclinical studies.
Epicor fermentate is unique in how it supports an active immune response. Because it has a probiotic makeup, it helps to strengthen the GI tract—where healthy immunity starts—by arming the trillions of good bacteria in the gut. And it’s so powerful, studies show it triggers immune system activity starting in just 2 hours! You can find the ingredient here.
Remember, all supplements should be consumed as part of a healthy, balanced diet. But when it comes to putting your immune system in the best possible position to ward off airborne threats to your health, these powerful immune fighters can give you a big advantage.