Nutritional and herbal supplements have been used for centuries to ward off illness and boost the immune system. Elderberry is one such herb, as it contains a high amount vitamins, flavonoids and antioxidants that may provide relief from seasonal challenges. Many believe this to be one of the most powerful plants available for relief at the first sign of immune system weakening. Zinc and vitamin C are popular supplements for overall immune benefits and when taken with elderberry, make a powerful combination for those looking to boost their natural immunity.
Our immune system transports white blood cells throughout the body where they work hard to protect us. The many macrophages, leukocytes and other immune cells destroy and ingest invaders that may lead to weakening of the immune system, if left unchecked. While many of us are aware that the immune system is responsible for fighting invaders, it does a lot more than that. A strong immune system can fight a number of foreign invaders that can wreak havoc on your health.
Unfortunately, our immune systems can become compromised for many reasons. For example, a busy lifestyle can interrupt sleep patterns or create excess stress, leaving you susceptible. While our lifestyles might limit us from taking care of ourselves to the fullest, there are some things that we can do to help strengthen immune function and take more control over our health. The immune benefits of elderberry, zinc and Vitamin C offer a strong, nutritional combination that can help us play a proactive role in our health.
Vitamin C is the most common go-to vitamin for immune building. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant, which protects the body from free radicals that can damage DNA and skin, making C an effective healthy-aging nutrient. And it’s an essential part of our immune system.
With a weakened immune response or stress, Vitamin C in the blood plasma declines, which can lead to less than optimal immune response or the inability to heal properly. A busy lifestyle can create excess stress and sap energy, which also lowers immunity. But sometimes it’s not easy to consume the amount of fruits and vegetables to maintain healthy levels, especially during winter.
Fortunately, at least one study showed increased activity of natural killer cells when 14 young men supplemented with dietary Vitamin C for four weeks, while other research showed it can increase the body’s ability to clear waste from infections. (1) But Vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient; meaning your body doesn’t store it. Therefore, consuming adequate amounts of this important nutrient can ensure your body has what it needs to enjoy healthy immune function, especially when taken with zinc. (2)
Zinc is a mineral found in meat, poultry and shellfish, and in many cells throughout the human body. It aids in immune recovery and helps us heal from injury. At the same time, zinc helps the immune system fight foreign invaders by activating T-cells that attack invaders and regulate immune response. (3)
On the other hand, zinc deficiency can lead to severe immune dysfunctions and have a negative effect on the function of T-cells. Clinically, zinc deficiency is characterized by loss of appetite, skin lesions and impaired immunity. If you lack zinc, you could have a higher risk, as it is crucial for healthy function of cells that regulate your immune system. (4)
So, who’s at risk for zinc deficiency? You might be surprised. Sources of zinc include beef, shellfish, certain types of cheese, poultry, and milk. This means vegetarians and vegans could be at a higher risk of deficiency. Digestive issues, intestinal problems and surgeries can all interfere with absorption of this nutrient, as well as over-consumption of alcohol.
Elderberry is a native American plant that has long been used during times of immune weakening. It is packed with amygdalin, or B17, that protects the body. Flavonoids are abundant in the berries, which makes them a powerful ally to protect the body. It is often paired with Vitamin C in traditional remedies.
Research with elderberry extract has shown it is effective, therefore it is believed that this herb has a positive impact on the immune system. Those who travel will be happy to hear that in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, airline passengers had positive benefits when given elderberry extract before and after traveling. Of those who experienced a weakening of the immune response, the group that took elderberry experienced less severe weakening and for a shorter duration. (5)
Elderberry, Zinc and Vitamin C make a powerful combination with immune benefits that can protect against a wide range of pathogens. The triple protection can pick up where stress or poor diets leave off, adding extra nutrition to help strengthen the body’s natural immunity. Along with protection from the foreign invaders, this combination can help safeguard your body and aid in healthy aging.
The evidence shows that each of these ingredients can strengthen your body with positive immune benefits. In today’s modern stressful and hectic environment, nutritional support is a principle part of any health regimen, and prevention. Added with a healthy diet and exercise, this supplement combination can power up your immune system during the winter season or any time you need support.
1 Sharma, P.; Raghavan, S.A.; Saini, R.; Dikshit, M. Ascorbate-mediated enhancement of reactive oxygen species generation from polymorphonuclear leukocytes: Modulatory effect of nitric oxide. J. Leukoc. Biol. 2004, 75, 1070–1078.
2 Wintergerst, E. S., Maggini, S., & Hornig, D. H. (2005, December 21). Immune-enhancing role of vitamin C and zinc and effect on clinical conditions. Retrieved October 23, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16373990.
3 Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. (2009, July 31). Got Zinc? New Zinc Research Suggests Novel Therapeutic Targets. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2019 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090730103740.htm
4 Prasad AS. Zinc in human health: effect of zinc on immune cells. Mol Med. 2008;14(5-6):353–357. doi:10.2119/2008-00033.Prasad
5 Tiralongo E, Wee SS, Lea RA. Elderberry Supplementation Reduces Cold Duration and Symptoms in Air-Travellers: A Randomized, Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. Nutrients. 2016;8(4):182. Published 2016 Mar 24. doi:10.3390/nu8040182
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.