Your thoughts on immunity and food supplements
There is no better time than in the winter to be placing a greater emphasis on immune health. However, we predicted that the immune system may not be the top health priority for most people.
We set out to discover how people prioritised immune health relative to other concerns. We also wanted to learn about how demographics might influence these rankings. This article explores why immune support is important and how a healthy lifestyle and supplementation can benefit you. Then we examine our findings: you ranked immune health as the third top priority, and older adults rated immune health differently. Finally, we explore how other groups ranked immune health and how important supplements were considered for optimal immune health.
The importance of immune health and supplements
The immune system is a complex defence mechanism that relies on a steady supply of nutrients. A healthy, balanced diet is essential to maintain a healthy immune system. However, other factors can affect your immune system health, including sleep, diet, stress and an indoor, sedentary lifestyle. Certain age groups may be at a higher risk than others, including older adults and young children.
Supplements are a great way to ensure you get the proper nutrients for the immune system if you struggle to eat a healthy, balanced diet every day. Picky eaters can benefit from dietary supplements, and older adults may find it convenient to boost their immune system with supplementation.
When choosing a supplement, it is essential to consider vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C, zinc, vitamin D, B12 and vitamin B6 all contribute to the normal functioning of the immune system, so it is essential to look out for these in a dietary supplement.
Immune health is considered the third top priority
We asked people to rank the following in order of health priority:
- Joint/bone health
- Heart/vascular health
- Cognitive health
- Immune health
- Athletic performance
- Hormonal/sexual health
- Gut health
On average, immune health was ranked as the third-highest priority (Revive Active 2022) behind brain health and heart health. We also looked at how immunity priorities change based on specific demographics. Age, gender, income, education level, activity level and working hours were considered when assessing health priority rankings. Our responses only indicated differences between age groups, education level and income brackets regarding opinions on immune health and supplements.
Age may affect how people prioritise immunity
Immune system health is essential for all life stages, particularly for older adults. As we age, immune function declines; this phenomenon is called immunosenescence and results from the body downregulating the adaptive immune response. In the elderly, the production of immune cells such as T cells, B cells and lymphocytes decreases to combat elevated oxidative stress in the body.
We predicted that immune function would take higher priority in older adults due to immune response decline and an increased vulnerability to severe illness. However, we found this not to be the case. In fact, when the Revive Active team asked people how they rated immune function relative to other health priorities, older adults aged 35 and above ranked the immune system lower than average (5th), behind cognitive health, heart health, joint/bone health and gut health (Revive Active, 2022).
Looking after your health can be more complicated, with multiple support areas to address. This is where multivitamin supplements can be beneficial for older adults. In fact, respondents in the over 35 age group placed greater importance on immunity supplements for optimal immune health (Revive Active, 2022).
Who prioritises immunity the most?
Interestingly, immune system health was ranked lower in those in a higher income bracket and those who had graduated from higher education or beyond. However, we recognise that income, education and age may all be correlated. On the other hand, higher education status and income were associated with greater importance placed on immunity supplements; a pattern that was not observed in older adults.
The opposite was also true for those at earlier stages of education. Students or those who haven’t yet graduated from higher education ranked immune health the highest compared to the other groups. However, they also placed a minor significance on immunity supplements for optimal immune health.
Younger adults with busy lifestyles, potentially more at risk of feeling run down may want to especially consider immune health. Diet and lifestyle significantly impact immune health, including sleep, stress, nutrient intake, and outdoor exercise. To support immune health, prioritise a healthy, balanced diet, good quality sleep, stress management and moderate exercise.
Alternatively, an immunity supplement is a convenient way to get the proper nutrients daily to support a healthy immune response. Balancing a healthy lifestyle and adult responsibilities can often be challenging. Particularly look for vitamin C, vitamin D3, zinc and vitamin B6 in your supplement.
Choosing an all-in-one health supplement for immunity
Certain groups may benefit from immune supplements, particularly older adults. However, students and youngsters may also want to consider a vitamin supplement to support their busy, active lives.
Our all-in-one supplements are ideal if you prioritise multiple health concerns. Revive Active contains 25 active ingredients to support heart health, immune health, and normal energy-yielding metabolism. It is ideally suited to adults over 35 looking to support healthy ageing and vitality.
On the other hand, Zest Active contains eight active vitamins and minerals for immune support. We also include l-theanine and l-glutamine. This powdered vitamin supplement supports immune function, cognitive health, normal energy levels and muscle function; it is ideal for adults with active, busy lifestyles. Zest Active is for students, young adults, and athletes looking for an immune boost in the winter and throughout the year.
- 1. The Bidirectional Relationship between Sleep and Immunity against Infections
- 2. Physical activity, immunity and infection
- 3. Stress responses and innate immunity: aging as a contributory factor
- 4. Vitamin D and immunity
- 5. Immunosenescence: deficits in adaptive immunity in the elderly
- 6. Development of child immunity in the context of COVID-19 pandemic
- 7. Immune System in Aging