Six Considerations for Selecting an Immune-building Supplement
Your immune system is your best wellness ally. With a well-tuned immune system, you’ll get sick less often because potential problems are dealt with before they get traction.
With a well-tuned immune system, if you do become ill, you’ll get better faster and experience fewer symptoms. As a bonus, when your immune system is working properly, it helps you feel healthier and more energetic because you aren’t dealing with under-the-radar infection or inflammation.
So, how do you develop a strong immune system?
Like many people, you may want to turn to dietary supplements. Even a good diet may not provide a full nutrient profile. A supplement helps ensure your immune system gets the nutrition it needs to build immunity and stay healthy. As usual, the devil is in the details. Choosing the right supplement is important. Multiple products and methods of building immunity can be confusing.
So, how do you pick?
Here are six things for you to think about before you choose an immune-enhancing supplement.
1.Herbs, Vitamins, or Specialty Supplements?
There are three main categories of supplements for immune-enhancement: herb mixtures, vitamin mixtures, or specialty formulations. So how do you compare them?
• Herbs and Vitamins- Immunity claims for vitamins and herbs are often based on historical lore, not science. They are minimally regulated. Potency and efficacy vary greatly, so it’s hard to trust what positive outcomes are truly possible/repeatable.
• Specialty Formulations– Unlike herbs and vitamins, specialty supplements ARE purposely formulated to enhance particular healthy outcomes. They are more likely to offer you greater bio-active potency AND are formulated based on actual scientific foundations.
2. How many immune-building mechanisms are Included in a Specialty Supplement?
Specialty formulations are usually based on a mixture of ingredients, which are selected because they have been shown to be effective in peer reviewed literature.
The mixture motivation is this: multiple ingredients serve you better. If each ingredient alone has been shown to build your immunity, the greater number of ingredients should be extra effective. Each ingredient is included for a specific reason, and more immune building mechanisms are in play within your body. The probability of synergy among the multiple ingredients in your supplement can only benefit you (the whole is greater than the sum of the parts).
3. Consider Humane Animal or Human Testing
The scientific method of validating product efficacy is testing. Many large mammals, pigs in particular, are very similar to humans. So, consider humane animal testing in your evaluation.
Existence of either animal or human testing is a good sign. Look for related studies from manufacturers as support for their benefit claims.
4. Safety and Manufacturing
Long periods of safe use are particularly comforting. The longer that products have been safely in use, the more confidence you can have.
When comparing products, look at the concentration of bio-actives on the label’s “Supplement Facts” grid. This lets you determine comparative potency between products. Typically, those with higher potency will be more expensive, but also more effective. In the long run, you may find better value in the more expensive offering, but the time to figure that out is before you buy.
6. Supplement Effectiveness and Price
For your immune-building supplement, effectiveness is, by far, your prime consideration. Your immunity is too important to ignore. Your quality of life depends on it.
Of course, price should be a factor, but it shouldn’t be the highest point on your priority list. A low price usually signals a low ingredient cost, but it doesn’t speak to effectiveness. Typically, specialty formulations at higher price points perform best.
Take these six thoughts into consideration when you’re making your next supplement purchase. If you take better care of your immune system, it will take better care of you.