By Janette Mason CNP
As a natural health expert, you need to be prepared to answer all sorts of health-related questions from customers daily. If there is one common theme, we have seen over the last two years – it is questions about supporting immunity. Some customers have been trying to do research on their own, but for many it has been information overload! So, they turn to you, their local expert on all things natural health.
With the abundance of natural immune boosters out there, it can be confusing on where to start, even for the most experienced health advisors. This is why we have decided to round up our top go-to supplements to support immune health. At Jamieson, we are all about providing simple solutions to support everyday health. We want to empower you with the need-to-know info on these key immune support supplements!
Immunity is governed by an ornate system that grows and develops as the individual grows and develops. Every individual is born with specific immune functions and as the person ages, their immune functions adapt to protect against a growing list of pathogens1.
As an individual goes through life, there can be varying factors that depress the immune system. These include2:
Older age: As we age, our internal organs may become less efficient
Environmental toxins: (smoke, alcohol and other pollutants) can impair or suppress the normal activity of immune cells
Excess weight: Obesity is associated with low-grade chronic inflammation.
Poor diet: Malnutrition or a diet lacking in one or more nutrients can impair the production and activity of immune cells and antibodies
Chronic diseases: Autoimmune and immunodeficiency disorders attack and potentially disable immune cells.
Chronic mental stress: Stress releases hormones like cortisol that suppresses inflammation (inflammation is initially needed to activate immune cells) and the action of white blood cells
Lack of sleep and rest: Sleep is a time of restoration for the body, during which a type of cytokine is released that fights infection; too little sleep lowers the amount of these cytokines and other immune cells.
As much as possible, we want to be able to educate our customers on ways they can mitigate the above factors. From a nutrition standpoint, there are key nutrients we can include that have been studied to support overall immune health.
Vitamin D is our MVP for immune health (especially during the fall and winter months). The implications of vitamin D deficiency on the immune system have become clearer in recent years and in the context of vitamin D deficiency, there appears to be an increased susceptibility to infection and illness3. Vitamin D is a powerful immune system modulator and supports both chains of the immune system – innate (what you are born with) and adaptive (the part that grows with you)4. Jamieson has a variety of Vitamin D supplements to meet the needs of your customers. A go-to is the Vitamin D3 drops by Jamieson – this is a great, easy to absorb option!
Vit C, it goes without saying that vitamin C is an important nutrient for immune health. Vitamin C contributes to immune defense by supporting various cellular functions of both the innate and adaptive immune system5.
Echinacea. According to Health Canada, echinacea “helps to relieve the symptoms and shorten the duration of upper respiratory tract infections (common cold)6. Jamieson Echinacea Tincture 2,000 mg is a high potency, premium formula of pure Echinacea purpurea in liquid form7. As with all Jamieson Wellness herbal products, this herb has been True-ID certified, which means it has been DNA tested to ensure what is listed on the label, is in the bottle.
Zinc. This well studied mineral has been shown to be an important factor in supporting immune function. Zinc has been shown to help heal wounds and support the overall growth of T and B cells, which are involved in the body’s immune response8. Zinc has been shown to significantly reduce the duration of the common cold9. Jamieson has a variety of dosage forms such as regular, time released, and zinc lozenges available.
Mushrooms. These are still the it superfood/ nutrient and for good reason! Mushrooms have been shown to have adaptogenic properties – something almost everyone could benefit from right now. They also have immunomodulating properties and are used in to support the immune system10. Jamieson’s Mushroom Complex is the perfect basket-addon for the customer looking for immune support and better energy11.
- Janeway CA Jr, Travers P, Walport M, et al. Immunobiology: The Immune System in Health and Disease. 5th edition. New York: Garland Science; 2001. Principles of innate and adaptive immunity. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK27090/
- The Harvard School of Public Health. Nutrition and immunity. The Nutrition Source. (2021, January 27). Retrieved September 24, 2021, from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/nutrition-and-immunity/#:~:text=8%20Steps%20to%20Help%20Support,includes%20these%20types%20of%20foods.
- Watkins, R., Lemonovich, T., & Salata, R. (2015). An update on the association of vitamin D deficiency with common infectious diseases. Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, 2015, 93:363-368, https://doi.org/10.1139/cjpp-2014-0352
- Lagishetty, V., Liu, N., & Hewison, M. (2011). Vitamin D metabolism and innate immunity. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, 347(1-2), 97–105. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mce.2011.04.015
- Carr, A. C., & Maggini, S. (2017). Vitamin C and Immune Function. Nutrients, 9(11), 1211. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9111211
- Health Canada (2018). Echinacea Purpurea Monograph. Accessed Sept 17, 2019 at: http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/atReq.do?atid=echinacea.purpurea&lang=eng
- Health Canada. (2017, August 24). Echinacea Tincture. Product Information. Retrieved November 3, 2021, from https://health-products.canada.ca/lnhpd-bdpsnh/index-eng.jsp.
- Prasad A. S. (2008). Zinc in human health: effect of zinc on immune cells. Molecular medicine (Cambridge, Mass.), 14(5-6), 353–357. https://doi.org/10.2119/2008-00033.Prasad
- Spears, J. W., & Kegley, E. B. (2002). Effect of zinc source (zinc oxide vs zinc proteinate) and level on performance, carcass characteristics, and immune response of growing and finishing steers. Journal of Animal Science,80(10), 2747. doi:10.2527/2002.80102747x
- Health Canada. Mushrooms Monograph. Accessed May 25, 2020 at: http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/atReq.do?atid=mushrooms.champignons&lang=eng
- Government of Canada, H. C. (2017, August 24). Mushroom Complex. Licensed natural health products. Retrieved November 9, 2021, from https://health-products.canada.ca/lnhpd-bdpsnh/index-eng.jsp.