In this article, we look at the amazing immune system and which supplements can help balance and support it so you can achieve optimum health.
Do you ever wonder why some people get sick more than others? What can you do to gain the advantage and stay healthy?
Of course, we all want to be healthy. But when it comes to our health, we often overlook our immune system. Yet our health depends on it.
That’s because a healthy immune system defends every cell in your body against infection and disease. When it fails, your health suffers.
One of the first things I look at when a client comes to me is how they’re supporting their immune system. That’s because I’ve seen how a weak immune system can impact someone’s health and fitness goals. It might show up as a lack of energy or strength for training, more difficulty in their body’s ability to recover and repair themselves, or downtime battling infections like colds or other illnesses.
The good news is that you can manage your immune system by taking a proactive and consistent approach to your health, ensuring it is in good shape before it has a chance to weaken.
Our philosophy at Human Performance Hub is a holistic approach to health that advocates prevention instead of just taking a ‘pill for an ill’ to treat symptoms once you get sick. As the saying goes, “the best defence is a good offence, ” especially true when it comes to your immune system.
What is the immune system, and why is it so important?
Your immune system is your body’s natural defence system. It’s called a ‘system’ because it’s not one thing but a complex network of tissues, organs, and cells. Given the right tools, your immune system works like a well-oiled assembly line to protect your body against foreign invaders that can cause infection and diseases.
A vital part of the immune system is the lymphatic system that transports lymph fluid with infection-fighting white blood cells throughout the body. It goes to work daily, removing toxins, waste, and other unwanted materials, including rogue cells like cancer.
Did you know?
Any cell in the body has the potential to become cancerous. A robust immune system works to destroy cancer cells and prevent them from multiplying.
When there’s a threat to the body, the entire system mobilises to attack and neutralise the enemy. When all elements of your immune system are in sync, it works efficiently to protect your body. If something is out of whack, your immune system can’t properly protect you against infection and disease.
What is a low immune function?
Weakness in the body’s ability to defend itself against threats is commonly referred to as low immune function. A weak immune system puts you more at risk for developing health problems like allergies from overreaction to environmental substances, slow down or failure of the immune system, or even autoimmune diseases when the body attacks itself.
Several damaging factors can contribute to low immune function.
Toxins and the immune system
From the air, we breathe to the chemicals used in our water, foods, and other products, toxins are everywhere. Some estimates suggest we’re exposed to more than 700,000 toxic chemicals daily!
It’s no surprise that the build-up of so many toxins over time can make it increasingly challenging for your immune system to work correctly. This is backed up in the scientific community, where there’s heightened awareness and concern that exposure to chemical pollutants suppresses immune processes and is contributing to infections and diseases like cancer .
Stress and the immune system
For many of us, stress is just part of everyday life. But the more stress you have, particularly chronic stress, the higher the toll on your immune system. Studies have shown that stress exposure can increase the likelihood of developing a disease and exacerbating pre-existing conditions .
When you’re stressed, your body produces higher levels of the “stress hormone” cortisol. In short spurts, cortisol plays an important role as an anti-inflammatory. However, over time too much cortisol can kill or neutralise immune cells, opening the door for more inflammation.
Stress also decreases the body’s white blood cells (lymphocytes) that help fight off infection, putting you more at risk of catching viruses.
Ageing and the immune system
A natural consequence of getting older is that your immune system can get weaker because your body produces fewer immune cells.
This can lead to slower healing, increased risk of cancer, lower defence against colds and flu, and autoimmune disorders in which the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissues .
Sleep and the immune system
Another impact on the immune system is sleep deprivation. If you’re not sleeping enough, your body may not be able to fight off infections and inflammation as easily.
Researchers who studied sleep habits found that people who got less than 7 hours of sleep were nearly 3 times as likely to develop a cold than those who had 8 hours or more a night. Also, those with less sleep had a harder time shaking off a cold .
Nutrition and the immune system
The most frequent cause of a depressed immune system is nutrient deficiency. Clinical studies indicate that deficiencies in one or more essential nutrients can undermine the immune system and lead to serious health issues .
Vitamins, especially A, C and D, and minerals such as zinc have a vital role in the functioning of our immune system. They’re also integral components of our diets. Theoretically, if you follow a “balanced diet”, you’ll get enough vitamins and minerals to maintain healthy immune function. However, this theory doesn’t really hold up in real life today.
- The recommended daily allowances are not high enough or contain all the nutrients we really need to be optimised. Surveys show that micronutrient inadequacies are widespread, and without enrichment and/or fortification and supplementation, many people do not achieve the recommended micronutrient intake levels .
- Nutrient deficiencies occur in populations with bountiful food supplies and the means to procure nutrient-rich foods .
- Typical western diets bear little resemblance to what experts recommend for fruit, vegetables, and whole grains, which serve as important sources of vitamins and minerals .
- Some people may have issues that reduce absorption or health goals that increase a need for nutrients. This means that even people who are not “deficient” may still need to increase their nutritional status.
Many people take multivitamins believing them to be an insurance policy for their health. Not surprisingly, more people take multivitamins than any other type of dietary supplement, according to the National Institutes of Health .
However, there’s no single “magic pill” you can take to provide your body with all the essential vitamins and minerals it needs for optimum support. That’s why we put together our essential supplement subscriptions – a collection of vital components to support your immune health and well-being.
Essentials supplements for daily health
Along with stress reduction, regular exercise, quality sleep, and a balanced diet, core nutrients play an essential role in keeping your immune system healthy.
We’ve carefully chosen products for our Human Performance “Essentials” range to make getting these core nutrients easier. This range contains the daily essential micronutrients most people need for a strong immune system.
All the products work synergistically to:
- Restore, maintain, and optimise the immune system
- Enhance absorption and assimilation of nutrients
- Reduce inflammation
- Promote the elimination of wastes and environmental toxins
The superior quality and efficacy of our Human Performance Hub products, the company’s “Science first” approach, non-GMO ingredients, and integrity make them one of our preferred supplement providers.
Human Performance Hub Essentials range includes:
- Complete-multi Vitamin Drink – High-potency multiple-vitamin and mineral formula supports the immune system with nutritional supplementation and addresses any underlying dietary deficiencies.
- Omega 3 Ultra 120 caps – Omega-3 fatty acids with lipase deliver a powerful boost to the immune system, helping to increase the activity of white cells that battle dangerous bacteria and protect you from colds, the flu, and other respiratory tract infections.
- Zinc Complex – A powerful antioxidant in the formulation of zinc chelates with other nutrients like vitamins B6 and taurine, providing superior absorption and results. An essential mineral for the body and a healthy immune function, zinc fights free radicals to prevent infections and cancer, helps maintain hormone levels and assists the body in absorbing other nutrients.
- Vitamin D3 + K complex – A concentrated, highly bio-available liquid vitamin D formulation enhanced with vitamins K1 and K2. Vitamin D plays a critical role in many important systems in the body and optimal immune health, reducing the risk of colds and flu, infections and preventing cancer and other diseases.
- Vitamin C Complex Drink – Vitamin C delivered in liposomal form enhances absorption in your cells for a more pronounced effect. Vitamin C’s anti-viral and immune-enhancing effects are vital to good health, enabling the cells of your immune system to deliver potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agents to your entire body.
How do I take the supplements?
To ensure you’re getting the most from the supplements you take, check the best timing and combination of each one. See the Essentials User guide below for recommendations on how to start with the Essentials packs.
As everyone is different, a more targeted approach would be to identify your individual requirements to address any vitamin or other nutrient deficiencies or imbalances you may have. Human Performance Hub offers first-class private laboratory tests that can help identify your unique needs.
Note: Health supplements are natural and are intended to support the body. However, they are not meant to replace medication prescribed by a doctor. You should consult your prescribing doctor if there is any confusion, and stop taking a supplement if you experience discomfort.
- Pink salt, fresh lime with water
- Multi-vitamin x1-3
- Vitamin C Liposomal x1tsp or 2 caps
- Fish Oil x3g
- Vitamin D 1 dropper
- Multi-vitamin x1-3
- Zinc x1
- Vitamin C Liposomal x1tsp or 2 caps
- Fish Oil x3g
- Multi-vitamin x1-3
- Zinc x1
- Vitamin C – Liposomal x1tsp or 2 caps
- Fish Oil x3g
- Magnesium x2-4
For a protocol that is specifically tailored to you, please contact us to arrange a consultation.
How long should I stay on Essentials?
We recommend taking the supplements in each pack for 12 weeks to provide your body with the consistent exposure it needs to see an optimal change.
The supplements in each pack have different mineral densities and formulations. The benefits of trying the two brands are to allow the body to not get used to the same intake of nutrients.
As your body becomes used to the doses over time, you might gain more significant benefits by changing the exposure, increasing or decreasing the volume every two to three weeks.
After 12 weeks, you may also consider a more personal plan to get the best outcome for your health and performance goals.
How can I measure the effectiveness of the supplements on my health?
Start by measuring your own health with regular check-ins.
- How do you feel?
- Do you have energy?
- Do you have an appetite?
- Do you have a sex drive?
- Are you going to the toilet correctly?
- Are you getting enough quality sleep?
You can also measure your own health markers by taking blood and nutrient tests. A rule of thumb is 6-8 months if you need to focus on something; otherwise, every 12 months for prevention. Once you have your results, you’ll know what vitamin or other nutrient deficiencies or imbalances you may have and how to correct them.
Partners in Health
Our mission at Human Performance Hub is to support you in your health and wellness goals. Supplementation is one of the core pillars we consider necessary for optimal health, along with nutrition, exercise, mindset, and recovery.
Human Performance Hub only endorses and recommends the highest quality supplements available. We work with the world’s leading suppliers of dietary supplements to provide you with the best products using superior ingredients.
Thank you for being part of our journey – stay tuned for more updates!
Always speak with your physician or another healthcare professional before making any nutritional & lifestyle changes or before taking any nutritional supplement. For more information, please view our terms & conditions.
- The Capacity of Toxic Agents to Compromise the Immune System (Biologic Markers of Immunosuppression), National Research Council (US) Subcommittee on Immunotoxicology. Biologic Markers in Immunotoxicology. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1992. 5, Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK235670/
- Efficacy of Multivitamin / mineral Supplementation to Reduce Chronic Disease Risk: A Critical Review of the Evidence from Observational Studies and Randomized Controlled Trials. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2015;55(14):1968-91 Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24941429
- Foods, Fortificants, and Supplements: Where Do Americans Get Their Nutrients?, Fulgoni, Victor L. et al. The Journal of Nutrition 141.10 (2011): 1847–1854. PMC. Web. 24 Sept. 2018. Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3174857/
- Current Directions in Stress and Human Immune Function, Morey, J. N., Boggero, I. A., Scott, A. B., & Segerstrom, S. C. (2015) Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4465119/
- Aging changes in immunity, A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia Link: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/004008.htm
- Sleep Habits and Susceptibility to the Common Cold. Cohen S, Doyle WJ, Alper CM, Janicki-Deverts D, Turner RB. Arch Intern Med. 2009 Link: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/414701
- Exercise and immunity, A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia Link: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007165.htm
- Addressing nutritional gaps with multivitamin and mineral supplements, Elizabeth Ward, Nutrition Journal 2014 Link: https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1475-2891-13-72
- Possible roles of magnesium on the immune system, M Tam, S Gómez, M González-Gross & A Marcos, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition volume57, pages1193–1197 (2003) Link: https://www.nature.com/articles/1601689