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What Are the Different Types of Immune System Supplements?

By Erin J. Hill
Updated May 17, 2024
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Immune system supplements usually either aim to stimulate and intensify the immune response or destroy oxidants and other harmful cells within the body to help aid the immune system in keeping one healthy. Many immune system supplements perform a combination of these functions. Vitamin C, for instance has been shown to help the immune system fight disease, and it is also a powerful antioxidant which helps prevent free radical damage.

In most cases, the immune system is best kept healthy through eating a proper diet and getting plenty of exercise. Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of most antioxidant vitamins, and eating a wide range of them in various colors is the best way to stay healthy. Since most people do not eat a diet rich in these beneficial substances, the use of immune system supplements may help keep people healthy and help make them less susceptible to disease.

Most immune system supplements act in one of two ways or a combination of those ways. First, they help strengthen and intensify the immune response has against illness. Vitamins C, B12, and many others have been shown to help keep the immune system strong and healthy. Taking a daily multivitamin is one good way of getting these vitamins in the amounts recommended by nutritionists and other experts.

Another function of many immune system supplements is the destruction of free radicals and other damaging cells. These are often precursors to cancer and other disease. Many vitamins also act as antioxidants, but there are immune system supplements which contain additional ones.

When you choose supplements, it is usually better to choose those that are derived from natural ingredients. There are food-based vitamins that are created by using fruits and vegetables which have been dried and combined into capsules or pills. Synthetic vitamins are often less expensive, however, and studies have shown that these still help prolong life and promote good health.

Other immune system supplements contain high doses of key vitamins and antioxidants. These are often sold in the form of juice, drink shots, or drink mixes. They are similar to pills and other forms, but they contain much higher doses. These can often be taken every day, but sometimes they are recommended for use when someone is going to be in a compromising situation. For instance, one may take high dose supplements before riding on an airplane or being in another crowded situation.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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