Boosting Immunity to Prevent COVID

With the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infecting many, people are seeking to boost their immune systems. We definitely need our bodies' defenses to be as strong as possible. The immune system is an intricate network of units that act together to combat invaders, in this case, bacteria, viruses and other "enemies."

 

Since it is a system of many parts, not a single unit, it cannot technically be boosted. However, it can be strengthened to run efficiently in order to fight off diseases. How can this be done?

Immune-Strengthening Strategies

The healthy living strategies you can do for your immune system include:

  • Exercising regularly – Experts recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.

  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet that is high in fruits and vegetables.

  • Maintaining a healthy weight – Aim for a BMI of 25 or lower.

  • Getting quality sleep.

  • Reducing stress and developing good coping mechanisms.

  • Quitting smoking.

  • Drinking alcohol only in moderation, if at all.

Immunity Support Supplements

Chris D'Adamo, PhD, director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, helped create a prevention strategies guide. These guidelines are in alignment with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Using the following supplements in moderation are recommended  to keep the immune system functioning at its best:

  • Vitamin C may help prevent viral, bacterial and other infections by shortening the duration of colds and acting as a natural antihistamine and anti-inflammatory.

  • Vitamin D is one of the most important immune system-strengthening nutrients that can reduce the risk of colds and flu; this should be taken on a regular basis.

  • Vitamin A, when used on a short-term basis, can help support the body's ability to fight infections, especially with respiratory infections.

  • Zinc can help reduce the number of infections and the duration of the common cold when taken within 24 hours of onset.

  • Selenium is a key nutrient for immune function and is easily obtained from foods like the Brazil nut. Selenium is also an antioxidant, which strengthens the body's defenses against bacteria, viruses and cancer cells.

  • Raw honey is good at relieving minor pain and inflammation of mucous membranes, like nose and mouth, and has antioxidant properties and some microbial effects; it is helpful for coughs and sore throats and can be added to tea or hot water with lemon. (Note that children under 1 should not be given honey.)

  • Garlic, fresh, aged extract and garlic supplements, may reduce the severity of upper viral respiratory infections and function in preventing viral infections of the common cold.

  • Probiotics contain "good bacteria" that both support gut health and influence the function and regulation of the immune system. They also can decrease the number of respiratory infections, especially in children.

Further research has been conducted and the following additional supplements are now recommended as options for strengthening immunity:

  • Beta-glucans – numerous human trials have shown that beta-glucans stimulate activity against viral attack, these findings include a decrease in cold and flu symptoms and upper respiratory tract infections compared to placebo.

  • Mushrooms – a variety of mushroom species have been shown to help with immune function in a myriad of ways; some of the medicinal mushrooms include Shiitake, Lion's Mane, Maitake, and Reishi.

  • Berberine – found in the roots, rhizomes, and stem bark of various plants, this natural compound has been shown to have antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties; it can be found in goldenseal, goldthread and Oregon grape species.

  • Sulforaphane – sulforaphane has potent anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties; it can be produced in the body in small amounts by eating some cruciferous vegetables or in more therapeutic amounts in dietary supplements containing glucoraphanin and myrosinase enzyme.

  • Elderberry – studies have shown that elderberry has properties that appear to help fight viruses; choose a low-sugar capsule or tablet, if possible, as opposed to sugary syrup.

Find Popular Immunity Support Supplements

Based on the immunity-strengthening strategies suggested by the Univesity of Maryland Medical System, we have selected the following supplements. These can cover the supplements recommended above.

Brand
Product
Product Image
Ingredient Functions
Highlights
Price
Purchase
NOW Supplements, Probiotic-10
Support the function and regulation of the immune system
25 billion CFU, with 10 clinical validated probiotic strains
$29.17 (100 count)
Puritan's Pride Odorless Garlic
May reduce the severity of upper viral respiratory infections
1000 mg of odorless garlic used for its exceptional rejuvenating properties
$16.56 (500 count)
BEEKEEPER'S NATURALS Wildflower Honey
Relieve minor pain and inflammation of mucous membranes;
Raw, wildcrafted, and unprocessed wildflower honey; rich in nutrients and beneficial enzymes
$14.99 (1.1lbs)
Host Defense, Reishi Capsules
Help with immune function
Daily mushroom mycelium supplement reishi capsules supporting general wellness and vitality
$44.96 (120 count)
Jarrow Formulas BroccoMax
Potent anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties
Concentration of sulforaphane glucosinolate (SGS) and the enzyme myrosinase
$30.90 (120 count)
Berberine Plus
Potent anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties
1200 Mg Pure Berberine
$22.90 (120 count)
NOW Supplements, Beta-Glucans with ImmunEnhancer with Larch Arabinogalactan
Stimulate activity against viral attack
250 mg of Beta-Glucans with Larch Arabinogalactan
$13.77 (60 count)
CHEWSY 6-in-1 Immune Support Supplement Fruity Chews
Strengthen immune systems and help reduce the number of infections
Mix of super nutrients such as elderberry, vitamins A, C, D, zinc
$24.99 (30 count)