Vitamins to boost immune system are often the first immune system supplements people look for when they are sick. It is however essential to make sure you have normal levels of all vitamins all year round. The body needs an ongoing supply of these key nutrients in order to maintain a healthy strong immune system. A deficiency in any vitamin can cause a weak immune system as well as other health issues.
In other words: it is much better to provide your body the needed vitamins for immune system on an ongoing basis, than to take vitamins to boost immune system when you are sick. It is also quite easy to get most vitamins from natural foods.
This is exactly what this experts guide is all about.
Best Vitamins For Immune System
Here is the list of the best vitamins for immune system and the best ways to get them. (Food vs. supplements).
|Vitamins for immune system||Foods vs. Supplements|
|Vitamin D.||Vitamin D3 supplement due to common vitamin D deficiency.|
|Vitamin B (the B vitamins).||B12 supplement due to common vitamin B12 deficiency.|
|Vitamin A (beta-carotene).||Foods: carrot, spinach, pumpkin, sweet potatoes.|
|Vitamin C.||Foods: citrus, kiwis, strawberries, kale, red bell peppers.|
|Vitamin E.||Foods: sunflower seeds, almonds, avocados.|
1. Vitamin D
There are two main reasons why the medical community considers vitamin D as the top vitamin to boost immune system.
- Vitamin D is a natural antibiotic.
According to research, vitamin D has a very powerful natural antibiotic effect in the body. Vitamin D increases the body’s antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). These peptides are potent natural antibiotics designed to kill many types of bacteria, viruses, and fungi in the body.
- Vitamin D deficiency is very common and affects almost 50% of the population worldwide .
Getting enough vitamin D from foods such as fatty fish, egg yolks, liver, certain mushrooms is possible, although is not realistic for most people. The best way to get vitamin D is by sun exposure that stimulates the production of vitamin D in the body. Since sun exposure is considered risky or may not be always possible, vitamin D supplements are often used.
- Vitamin D supplements that uses the natural vitamin D3 form (cholecalciferol) are suggested by research to work faster and stay longer in the body . This form is the same form that is naturally produced in our body when we are exposed to sunlight.
- Vitamin D3 (lichen): The vegan source of vitamin D3 (lichen) is usually the one that is recommended by health professionals. The main reason is to avoid animal by-products undesirable compounds and toxins that may be present in non vegan sources.
Suntrex D3 is our preferred choice for a natural vegan liquid vitamin D3 supplement. We find its formula highly effective, pure with a very pleasant taste.
2. Vitamin B12
The importance of vitamin B12 to the immune system has been suggested by many studies [3, 4]. As research suggests, vitamin B12 plays a key role in regulating the immune system and improves many critical immune system functions.
- It is estimated that approximately 40% of the American population has low levels of vitamin B12.
The biggest reason is poor absorption. The absorption of vitamin B12 in the body is complex and involves multiple steps. Each step depends on many factors that can affect the absorption. Especially age,medications, digestive or stomach disorders, conditions such as pernicious anemia, candida, leaky gut and others.
- Vitamin B-12 Supplements.
The best vitamin b-12 supplements are the natural forms of the vitamin. The natural forms are recognized by the body as active vitamin B12 and are easily utilized. According to research, a combination of Adenosylcobalamin & Methylcobalamin, 2 naturally occurring forms of vitamin B12 is required, since each of these forms provides different functions in the body. .
VeganSafe B-12 is the vitamin b-12 supplements we use in our natural protocols for immune system, that combines Adenosylcobalamin & Methylcobalamin. Many people feel a significant energy boost and a sense of well-being in a matter of days after they start to take it.
3. Vitamin C
When it comes to vitamins to boost immune system, vitamin C is usually the first to come in mind. Vitamin C is essential for a strong immune system function. Especially in order for the body to handle ongoing stress, fight infections, and reduce inflammation. Vitamin C is also required for collagen production which is essential for a healthy skin.
You can easily meet the daily values of vitamin C from foods. Good sources may include: red bell pepper (1 large – 230% daily value), broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts (3 oz of any of these provide 100% daily value).
Citrus fruits are also excellent sources of vitamin C. If you are looking for low carb fruits that are rich in vitamin C, great choices include: guavas (2 oz – 150% daily value, 5 grams net carbs), strawberries (5 oz – 100% daily value, 8 grams net carbs) and kiwis (3 oz – 100% daily value, 10 grams net carbs).
4. Vitamin A
Vitamin A plays a key role in maintaining healthy skin and mucous membrane. Both are a part of the immune system’s first line of defense. It is also a key nutrient required to strengthen immune system’s response against various infections.
- Foods: You can easily meet the daily values of vitamin A from foods. How easy? eat ½ large carrot or 1 large red bell pepper every day.
- Supplements: If you consider vitamin A supplements, make sure to only use 100% Beta-carotene. The body only converts as much vitamin A from beta-carotene as it needs. Synthetic vitamin A supplements however, can be toxic in high amounts.
5. Vitamin B
B vitamins are essential for a strong immune system and serve as catalysts for critical biochemical functions. Especially when it comes to DNA synthesis, energy production, healthy nervous system, brain, skin and muscles.
The B vitamins are made up of eight vitamins:
- B1 – Thiamine.
- B2 – Riboflavin.
- B3 – Niacin.
- B5 – Pantothenic acid.
- B6 – Pyridoxine.
- B7 – Biotin.
- B9 – Folic acid.
- B12 – Cobalamin.
With the exception of vitamin B12, it is possible to meet the daily values of B vitamins from whole foods. Many people however, find this a challenge. You do have to follow a versatile diet that includes several food groups and sources that are rich in B vitamins. These foods includes nuts, seeds, legumes, grains, fruits, greens, eggs, fish and meat, with each group and food sources rich in certain B vitamins.
6. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is potent antioxidant known to boost the production of natural killer cells in the body. These cells are responsible for the elimination of cells in the body that are infected with viruses, bacteria, or fungi as well as cells that have developed cancer.
Foods: You can easily meet the daily values of vitamin E from foods. Especially if you like nuts, seeds and fats. Excellent sources of vitamin E include:
- Sunflower seeds (1 oz provides 70% of your daily value).
- Almonds (1 oz – 50% daily value).
- Hazelnuts (1 oz – 30% daily value).
- Green olives (4 oz – 30% daily value).
- Avocado (1 cup mashed or 1 medium avocado – 40% daily value).
- Greens: spinach, swiss chard and collared greens (3 oz – 15% daily value).
- Red bell pepper (1 large pepper – 15% daily value).
For the complete list of supplement for immune system including probiotics, selenium, antioxidants and more, see:
To check if you may have a weak immune system, see: