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Vitamins for the immune system

Our immune systems are in a constant battle against bacteria and viruses to keep us fighting fit, but it's not infallible. It's important to pay attention to your diet and lifestyle to keep your immune system health in top shape. Healthspan has a range of vitamins for your immune system, including vitamin D and C, multivitamins, and probiotics to protect and maintain your immunity.

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Immune system guides

Healthy and happy woman having coffee in her kitchen
Keeping our immune systems healthy is vital to fight off infection. Here are the vitamins and supplements that can help, with expert advice from Dr Hilary Jones.
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Graphic of family in a bubble protected from viruses and bacteria outside
What do T cells, antibodies and those other parts of the immune response actually do, and how can you help to maintain your immune system?
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Close-up of turmeric powder on a spoon
Here's the evidence behind turmeric's role in supporting immunity.
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Salmon, tomatoes, broccoli and nuts
Maintaining a healthy diet is an important way to support your immunity, says nutritionist Rob Hobson - and some foods are more powerful than others.
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The importance of immune system support

The immune system is a complex series of processes within our body that protects us from disease. There are two main parts. The innate immune system is the first line of defence, such as physical barriers and cells that attack invaders.

The adaptive immune system makes antibodies against germs, such as bacteria and viruses, that the body has encountered before. Find out more about the innate and adaptive immune systems.

A healthy immune system is vital to protect us from illness, and it needs certain nutrients to work properly. Although we can get these nutrients from our diet, supplements can give our immune system a boost.

Foods that support your immune system

A well-balanced diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, wholegrains and healthy fats is important for immunity. Studies have shown that certain foods are particularly beneficial, including garlic, turmeric, berries and oily fish. Find out more about immune system-boosting foods.

Healthspan's immunity supplements

Although a balanced diet is key to a healthy immune system, supplements can be helpful, particularly during the winter months when colds and other viruses are more prevalent, or if you're feeling run down. Supplements that can support the immune system include vitamins C and D, and the mineral zinc.

Vitamin D for your immune system

Vitamin D contributes to the normal function of the immune system in adults and children. It's thought that vitamin D does this in several ways, including by activating and regulating infection-fighting T cells. Find out more in this guide to vitamin D and its importance for immunity.

Vitamin D is produced in the skin in response to sunlight (which is why it's known as the sunshine vitamin), but vitamin D deficiency is common in the autumn or winter when the sun is not as strong.

A good rule of thumb is that if your shadow is taller than you are, you won't be making enough vitamin D. Even in summer, those sensibly using sun protection can fail to make enough of the vitamin.

Although vitamin D is found in small amounts in animal products such as oily fish, eggs and butter, supplementing with vitamin D can be helpful, especially if you are vegan or vegetarian. In fact, in the UK, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends that all adults take a daily supplement containing 400IU (10 micrograms) of vitamin D from October to March.

Healthspan offers several vitamin D supplements, all of which contain vitamin D3, which is the form naturally produced in the body. There's Vitamin D3 (240 tablets), which provides 10 micrograms of D3, and Super Strength Vitamin D3 (60 or 240 tablets), which contains 25 micrograms of D3.

As we age, our skin is less able to synthesise the sunshine vitamin, so Vitamin D3 50 Plus (180 capsules), Healthspan's strongest vitamin D supplement, offers 50 micrograms of D3. This is equivalent to 1000% nutrient reference value or NRV, and is ideal for older adults.

Vegans are also catered for: both Vegan Super Strength Vitamin D3 (240 tablets) and Vegan Vitamin D3 50 Plus (180 capsules) contain vitamin D3 that is produced from photosynthesising algae, and is chemically identical to the D3 of animal origin.

Finally, for those who find swallowing tablets and capsules difficult, Healthspan's Vitamin D3 Gummies (30 or 90 gummies) provide 25 micrograms of vitamin D3 and are also suitable for vegans.

View all Healthspan's vitamin D supplements.

Vitamin C immune support

Vitamin C is another vital nutrient for a healthy immune system. It contributes to the normal function of the immune system, at rest and during and after intense physical exercise.

Vitamin C cannot be stored in the body, so regular intake is essential. We obtain most of the nutrient from fruit and vegetables, but it is very unstable and much of it can be lost during cooking and processing. The EU NRV for vitamin C is 80mg. Find out more about the importance of vitamin C.

Healthspan offers various vitamin C supplements (all of which are vegan) including Vitamin C 500mg (160 tablets), which provides 625% NRV in chewable tablets, or Vitamin C 1000mg (160 or 320 tablets), our strongest vitamin C supplement, providing 1,250% NRV.

There is also Vitamin C Sustained Release (90 tablets), which breaks down slowly and provides a steady supply of the vitamin throughout the day.

Finally, for those who can't – or don't like to – swallow tablets, there are Vitamin C Gummies (30 gummies), which provide 80mg of vitamin C, or Orange Effervescent Vitamin C 1000mg (40 tablets), to make a tasty orange-flavoured sodium-free drink.

View all Healthspan's vitamin C supplements.

Zinc for immunity

Zinc contributes to the normal function of the immune system, and has been shown to reduce the duration of symptoms of the common cold. It also plays an important role in wound healing.

You can obtain zinc from red meat, seafood, wholegrains and nuts and seeds. Read more about the importance of zinc.

Healthspan's Zinc with Vitamin C (360 tablets) contains zinc citrate, which is easily absorbed, along with vitamin C for added immune health benefits. The Elite Zinc Defence Lozenges (45 lozenges) are designed to coat the membranes of the nose and throat, and should be taken at the first sign of cold or flu.

View all Healthspan's zinc supplements.

Immune system multivitamins

Multivitamins are a great choice for those wanting to support their immune system, as they provide all the essential immunity nutrients in one tablet or capsule.

Healthspan offers a wide range of multivitamins, including one for vegans and vegetarians – MultiVitality for Vegetarians & Vegans (120 tablets).

Other Healthspan multivitamins include MultiVitality Pro, MultiVitality Gold, MultiVitality 50 Plus and MultiVitality 70 Plus. These tablets contain different dosages of the various immunity nutrients, and it's important to find one that's right for you. See What to look for in a multivitamin for more information.

Immune system tablets from Healthspan

Vitamins C and D and the mineral zinc are vital for keeping your immune system working properly, something that is increasingly important as we age. Find out more about the supplements and the foods that can help boost your immune system.

Alternatively, for an overview of Healthspan's supplements and how they can support your health, visit the Your Health page.

Healthspan offers a wide range of high-quality immunity supplements, with various dosages and formulations to suit our customers' differing needs. If you need expert advice on which immunity supplement is right for you, please get in touch.