Key Nutraceuticals to Support Immune Health

an echinacea flower with capsules of dried powder

Over the past couple of years or so, our nation has gained a better understanding of why it is so important to maintain a healthy immune system. As a result, dietary supplements known to support immune response—like vitamin D, vitamin C, and zinc—have had fairly brisk sales.

Many people have chosen to support their immunity with dietary supplements. If asked, however, they can’t always tell you the role these supplements actually play in their immune health.

This article will help to explain the roles of these supplements and other nutraceuticals found in Twinlab Daily Immune Support, Advanced Immune Support, C-1000 Caps, Mega D3 Dots, and Zinc Caps.

TwinLabs Ingredients for Immunity

  • Vitamin C

    Vitamin C affects various components of the human immune response, including antimicrobial and natural killer cell activities, and lymphocyte (white blood cell) proliferation. Supplementation with 500 milligrams (mg) daily has been shown to promote immune/respiratory health and increase the lymphocyte activity of SOD and catalase (powerful antioxidants).

  • Zinc

    Zinc is integral to the immune system, affecting multiple immune activities from lymphocyte gene regulation to the skin barrier, and decreasing oxidative stress markers. Zinc is crucial for normal development and function of cells mediating nonspecific immunity such as neutrophils and natural killer cells.

  • Selenium

    Selenium helps synthesize the antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase, which influences the immune system and provides protection against free radicals and other damaging reactive oxygen species. Supplementation with selenium has also been shown to provide effective support for a healthy immune response.

  • Beta 1,3/1,6 glucan

    Beta glucan, a component of yeast, helps prime and strengthen the function of predominant immune cells known as neutrophils. Multiple studies demonstrate that supplementation promotes immune respiratory health.

  • Echinacea

    This granddaddy of all immune-enhancing herbs supports the immune system through the activation of white blood cells (lymphocytes and macrophages), and by increasing the number of T cells.

  • Vitamin D

    Vitamin D promotes the function of multiple immune cells, including B cells, T cells, and antigen-presenting cells.

Conclusion

Individually, or in various combination, these Twinlab products support a healthy immune system.

Sources: 

“Baker’s yeast beta-glucan supplement reduces upper respiratory symptoms and improves mood state in stressed women” by S.M. Talbott et al., Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 8/12

"Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc," Institute of Medicine Panel on Micronutrients

"Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, and Carotenoids," Institute of Medicine Panel on Dietary Antioxidants and Related Compounds

“The effect of Echinacea purpurea, Astragalus membranaceus and Glycyrrhiza glabra on CD69 expression and immune cell activation in humans” by J. Brush et al., Phytotherapy Research 8/06

“The effect of Echinacea purpurea, Astragalus membranaceus and Glycyrrhiza glabra on CD25 expression in humans: A pilot study” by H. Zwickey et al., 11/07, Phytotherapy Research

“Effect of vitamin C on common cold: Randomized controlled trial” by S. Sasazuki, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1/06

“Effect of vitamin C supplements on antioxidant defence and stress proteins in human lymphocytes and skeletal muscle” by M. Khassaf et al., Journal of Physiology

“Effects of selenium supplementation on selenoprotein gene expression and response to influenza vaccine challenge: A randomised controlled trial” by A.J. Goldson et al., PLoS One, 3/11

“In vitro effects of echinacea and ginseng on natural killer and antibody-dependent cell cytotoxicity in healthy subjects and chronic fatigue syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome patients” by D.M. See et al., Immunopharmacology

“Influence of yeast-derived 1,3/1,6 glucopolysaccharide on circulating cytokines and chemokines with respect to upper respiratory tract infections” by R. Fuller et al., Nutrition, 6/12

“Selenium in the immune system” by J.R. Arthur et al., Journal of Nutrition

“Vitamin D and the immune system” by C. Aranow, Journal of Investigative Medicine, 3/11

“Zinc and immune function: The biological basis of altered resistance to infection” by A.H. Shankar and A.S. Prasad, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

“Zinc in human health: Effect of zinc on immune cells” by A.S. Prasad, Molecular Medicine

Contributor

Gene Bruno, MS, MHS, RH(AHG)

Gene Bruno is the Vice President of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs for Twinlab Consolidation Corporation and Professor of Nutraceutical Science for Huntington University of Health Sciences.

With graduate degrees in nutrition and herbal medicine, and as a 42-year veteran of the dietary supplement industry as well as an award-winning formulator, he has developed natural products for dozens of dietary supplement companies; educated and trained natural product retailers and health care professionals; and written articles on nutrition, herbal medicine, nutraceuticals and integrative health issues for trade, consumer and peer-reviewed publications, as well as authoring books and textbook chapters.

His latest book is What’s In Your Blood & Why You Should Care: How to Cleanse and Detoxify Your Blood for Optimum Health (2019, Square One Publishers).