8 Best Supplements for Building Immune System

Do you ever get a cold and feel like it’s just impossible to shake? If so, you’re not alone.

A lot of people seem to be coming down with colds and the flu this year. Not even including covid!

Maybe you’ve been trying to boost your immune system naturally with things like vitamin C or echinacea, but if that hasn’t been working for you, it might be time to try a supplement.

In this article, we will discuss the best supplements for building a strong immune system.

If you want more helpful info on supplements – including risks and general FDA guidelines – please see our “Supplements and Vitamins – Ultimate Beginner’s Guide“.

How We Rank and Review – 8 Criteria

1 – Price: What’s the price of the supplement? What’s the cost per serving?

  • At Eating Enlightenment we value quality over price. However, all else being equal, then price comes into consideration. 

2 – Reviews: How many reviews for each product? What’s the average rating? How many third party reviews?

  • We strongly believe in third party reviews. Many supplement companies list positive reviews on their website, but third party reviews include negative comments. We always go with third party reviews.

3 – Reputation: How reputable is the brand behind the supplement? How long has the brand been around? What’s their mission? 

  • We believe that a company’s intention is highly important and should be one of your top purchasing decision factors.

4 – Taste / Absorption = What’s the taste? How quickly does your body absorb the supplement? Do reviews mention any negative side effects like an upset stomach?

5 – Perceived Therapeutic Effect = What beneficial effects or feelings does this supplement promote?

6 – Food Allergens = Does the company provide allergen info?

7 – Science / Certifications: Does the company list transparent scientific studies on their website? Do third party certifications test the company’s supplement for quality control? How many certifications does the company have?

8 – Pros/Cons: What are the pros and cons of each supplement? How is the supplement unique? For what situations is this supplement best?

1 – Best Overall – Life Extension

  • Price = $31.50
  • # of Servings = 30
  • Price per Serving = $1.05
  • Product Reviews = 4.9/5 with 33 verified reviews
  • Taste / Absorption = 1 vegetarian capsule per serving, once per day
  • Labeled Effect = prepare your immune system for whatever the world throws at you
  • Food Allergens = very safe
  • Pro’s = great high quality ingredients for general health
  • Con’s = a bit higher price but not too much

About “Immune Packs with Vitamin C & D, Zinc and Probiotic”:

This is a great beginner supplement because of the variety of ingredients known to contribute towards a healthy immune system.

You are getting a lot of bases covered here with vitamins C and D along with Zinc. Just getting adequate vitamin D levels can significantly improve immune response.

Plus, it also has a probiotic, which is good for your gut.  So by taking this product, you also recognize your immune system goes beyond vitamin C, and includes your gut health as well.

Made by “Life Extension”:

life extension

About Life Extension: Life Extension began in 1980 and is still going 40 years later. In 2021 ConsumerLab.com voted Life Extension as #1 Rated Catalog/Internet Merchant. According to ReviewMeta.com, Life Extension’s average adjusted rating of 4.1/5 from 24, 224 verified reviews. 

  • Start = 1980
  • Revenue = $168 million
  • Employees = 500
  • Mission = Achieve your goals with the best nutritional products that science can offer
  • Third Party Certifications = GMP, Non-GMO
  • Third Party Reviews = average adjusted rating of 4.1/5 from 24, 224 reviews

2 – Best Price – Now

  • Price = $18.95
  • # of Servings = 60
  • Price per Serving = $0.31
  • Product Reviews = 5/5 with 6 verified reviews
  • Taste / Absorption = 2 vegetarian capsules, twice per day, 20 minutes before meals
  • Labeled Effect = help support a balanced immune system response to environmental challenges
  • Food Allergens = safe
  • Pro’s = decent science behind two main ingredients, which also have long history of use
  • Con’s = no vitamins or minerals

About “Now Quercetin With Bromelain”:

Both quercetin and bromelain have decent science supporting their importance for immune system health.

If you have done your research and know that quercetin or bromelain is a good option for you then this is a high quality supplement to try.

However, if you are looking for a general supplement for building the immune system, then it’s best to try an option with more ingredients.

Made by “Now”:

About Now Foods: Family owned since 1968. One of the most popular supplement brands, with many more third party reviews. According to ReviewMeta.com, Now Foods has an average adjusted rating of 4.2/5 from 175,757 verified reviews.

  • Start = 1968
  • Revenue = $650 million
  • Employees = 1600
  • Mission = provide value in products and services that empower people to lead healthier lives
  • Third Party Certifications = USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, Certified Gluten Free, GMP
  • Third Party Reviews = 4.2/5 from 175,757 verified reviews

3 – Best Liquid Drops – CLE Holistic Health

  • Price = $69.95
  • # of Servings = 60
  • Price per Serving = $1.16
  • Product Reviews = 5/5 with 46 verified reviews
  • Taste / Absorption = 10 drops per day in the morning, mix with water
  • Labeled Effect = benefits your whole body in staying strong and healthy
  • Food Allergens = very safe
  • Pro’s = 43 of minerals with a verified third party lab report for high transparency, plant based
  • Con’s = higher price, drops not capsules

About “Immune Supplement”:

This is a high quality drop supplement with trace amounts of over 70 minerals, 18 amino acids and 30 organic acids.

This is another beginner friendly supplement because of the number of ingredients known to help with immune function.

The trace minerals are all plant-based as well.

Made by “CLE Holistic Health”:

About CLE Holistic Health: CLE Holistic Health is located in Vancouver, Canada and began in 2010. Generally speaking, Canadian authorities’ regulations on the production, testing, and marketing of supplements are among the most stringent in the world. 

  • Start = 2010
  • Revenue = less than $5 million
  • Employees = less than 25
  • Mission = heal and empower you to take your health into your own hands 
  • Third Party Certifications = NPN (More strict Canadian version of GMP)
  • Third Party Reviews = positive

4 – Best for Vitamin C – Dr. Mercola

  • Price = $36.97
  • # of Servings = 90
  • Price per Serving = $0.41
  • Product Reviews = 4.9/5 with 62 verified reviews
  • Taste / Absorption = two capsules daily with water
  • Labeled Effect = allows easy absorption of vitamin C
  • Food Allergens = safe
  • Pro’s = high quality Vitamin C supplement, very bioavailable
  • Con’s = No other vitamins or minerals

About “Liposomal Vitamin C 1000 mg”:

This is a high quality vitamin C supplement.

Vitamin C is an important part of a healthy diet that you can get from nutritious foods like oranges and broccoli.

It’s less common these days for people to be deficient in vitamin C. However, if you are deficient this could have serious consequences to your immune cells and overall immune system.

For example, vitamin C deficiencies are linked to upper respiratory tract infections, and even chronic stress.

What makes this supplement unique is that while there are many other vitamin C supplements on the market, liposomes aren’t as common.

Liposomes make vitamin C easier to digest and also protect against occasional intestinal discomfort.

Made by “Dr. Mercola”:

About Dr. Mercola: Dr. Mercola began in Florida in 1985. In the following years Dr. Mercola became known for non-mainstream medicine viewpoints. Their vitamin supplements are high quality and time tested. According to Reviewmeta.com, average adjusted rating is 4.2/5 from 6,636 verified reviews.

  • Start = 1985
  • Revenue = $9 million
  • Employees = 130
  • Mission = encourage preventive care and overall bodily maintenance
  • Third Party Certifications = Non-GMO, GMP
  • Third Party Reviews = average adjusted rating is 4.2/5 from 6,636 reviews

5 – Most Natural – Real Mushrooms

  • Price = $34.95
  • # of Servings = 45
  • Price per Serving = $0.77
  • Product Reviews = 4.9/5 with 417 verified reviews
  • Taste / Absorption = 2 vegetarian capsules
  • Labeled Effect = immune strength
  • Food Allergens = very safe
  • Pro’s = contains more than 20% Beta Glucans with five different types of mushrooms
  • Con’s = no vitamins or minerals

About “5 Defenders Organic Mushroom Blend Capsules”:

This mushroom supplement contains over 20% Beta Glucans and has over 5 different types of mushrooms.

Beta Glucans are the most well researched, beneficial and active compound behind mushroom supplementation benefits.

Mushrooms are known to improve immune function, and contribute towards healthy immune cells.

They have been a part of traditional Chinese medicine for years, where practitioners commonly claim that mushrooms have seemingly magical immune enhancing properties.

Overall this is a high quality mushroom supplement.

Made by “Real Mushrooms”:

About Real Mushrooms: Since its inception in 1989, Nammex has been at the forefront of mushroom extracts’ development and production for the health and wellness sector. Over 1500 practitioners are prescribing Real Mushrooms. Real Mushrooms contain >8% Beta glucans without added starch, mycelium, or grain of any kind. ReviewMeta.com gives an average adjusted rating of 4.6/5 with 361 reviews.

Author Affiliate Note: I have interviewed Jeff Chilton, founder of Real Mushrooms, take their supplements myself, and am a huge fan.

  • Start = 1989
  • Revenue = less than $5 million
  • Employees = less than 25
  • Mission = deliver the best possible medicinal mushrooms extracts in their purest form, without any carriers or grain fillers
  • Third Party Certifications = Certificates of Analysis available upon request
  • Third Party Reviews = average adjusted rating 4.6/5 from 361 reviews

6 – Best Gummies – MegaFood

  • Price = $11.99
  • # of Servings = 27
  • Price per Serving = $0.44
  • Product Reviews = 5/5 with 22 verified reviews
  • Taste / Absorption = 2 gummies per serving, 2 grams of sugar per serving, 
  • Labeled Effect = supports a healthy immune system
  • Food Allergens = very safe
  • Pro’s = high quality gummies with quality ingredients
  • Con’s = doesn’t contain any vitamins, only herbs and minerals

About “Elderberry Immune Support Gummies”:

Looking for a tasty supplement for boosting immunity that you can chew while sick?

Sometimes you lose your appetite while sick and tablets don’t sound appealing either.

These gummies have tons of natural ingredients including ginger and elderberry, along with zinc.

You do get a little sugar with the gummies, which makes them tastier.  If you are sick then you may not be eating enough anyways so the sugar won’t harm you.

Made by “MegaFood”:

megafood

About MegaFood: MegaFood started in 1973 and is a verified B-Corporation, which means they meet higher standards for quality, transparency and sustainability. MegaFood provides tons of science, gives back to the community, and is transparent about their supply chain. On their website, MegaFood lists 1923 verified reviews with an average rating of 4.8/5. However, they recently settled a $2.1 million lawsuit for labeling their products as ‘whole foods’. According to MetaCritic, MegaFood has a 4.3/5 average rating based on 7,100 reviews.

  • Start = 1973
  • Revenue = $67 million
  • Employees = 200
  • Mission = working toward a world where everyone is truly nourished
  • Third Party Certifications = B Certification, USDA Organic Certification, Non-GMO Project Verified, Vegan, Certified Kosher, 125+ Pesticide Free, Certified Gluten-Free
  • Third Party Reviews = 4.3/5 with 7,100 reviews

7 – Best Delayed Release – Botanic Choice

  • Price = $13.99
  • # of Servings = 30
  • Price per Serving = $0.46
  • Product Reviews = 5/5 with 19 verified reviews
  • Taste / Absorption = 3 slow release tablets per serving, once per day
  • Labeled Effect = offers superior immune system protection
  • Food Allergens = safe 
  • Pro’s = uncommon delayed release
  • Con’s = large serving size

About “Delayed Release Vitamin C with Rose Hips”:

Rose hips are known as one of best supplements for building the immune system as they contain vitamin C.

In addition, the delayed release feature of this product means that you don’t have to worry about stomach upset from taking too much at once.

However, the serving size is three capsules.

Made by “Botanic Choice”:

botanic choice

About “Botanic Choice”: Botanic Choice started in 1910, over 100 years ago. The company is family owned and has millions of customers worldwide. They are one of the oldest supplement companies still around today. According to MetaCritic, Botanic Choice has a 3.8/5 rating with 1,496 reviews.

  • Start = 112 years old, founded in 1910
  • Revenue = $18 million
  • Employees = 107
  • Mission = dedicated to making effective natural health solutions available to all
  • Third Party Certifications = GMP
  • Third Party Reviews = 3.8/5 with 1,496 reviews

8 – Best for Pure Elderberry – Sambucol

  • Price = $9.74
  • # of Servings = 12
  • Price per Serving = $0.81
  • Product Reviews = 4.6/5 with 211 verified reviews
  • Taste / Absorption = 2 teaspoons (liquid) per serving
  • Labeled Effect = provides strong immune system support
  • Food Allergens = very safe
  • Pro’s = quality elderberry supplement with decent science
  • Con’s = only blackberry extract, no other ingredients, not many servings per container

About “Black Elderberry Immune System Support Original”:

Elderberries are a great supplement for building the immune system and this product contains black elderberry extract.

However there are no other active ingredients.

If you know elderberry is what you want then this supplement is great.

Please note the container only contains 12 servings.

Made by “Sambucol”:

About Sambucol: Sambucol specializes in black elderberry supplements and has been around for decades. They originated in Central Europe, and Sambucol USA is one of their branches. According to ReviewMeta.com, average adjusted rating is 4.4/5 from 2,526 verified reviews.

  • Start = Decades ago
  • Revenue = less than $5 million
  • Employees = less than 25
  • Mission = provide elderberry supplements for immune support
  • Third Party Certifications
  • Third Party Reviews = average adjusted rating is 4.4/5 from 2,526 reviews

Here are a few questions about Covid because many people are asking about covid in the same breath as their immune system.

What are some ways you can improve your immune system during the COVID-19 pandemic?

It is vital to have a healthy and balanced diet, as well as stress management, in order to promote the health of one’s body.

Sleep is the most important physical and mental health behavior for optimal immunity, mood, and physical health.

Lacking sleep makes it difficult to minimize stress, and you are much more prone to respiratory infections.

Does your immune system get stronger after COVID-19?

Depends on your perspective.

If you catch the Covid virus, your body retains antibodies. These antibodies help your body’s immune responses in preventing or fighting off infections..

In this sense you become more able to fight off Covid, if exposed to it again.

Although the immune correlates of protective effects are not cannot be fully understood, current evidence suggests that the antibody formation during infection may confer an additional level of immune immunity against a similar infection over a period of 6 months or more.

This is strain- specific, however.

However, there are new forms of Covid, for which your body may not have exposure. Your respiratory system can come under attack again, even if you have a strong immune system that would defend you against the previous form.

Additionally, after Covid, you may be weakened physically or suffer other long-term effects like brain fog.

Is vitamin D beneficial against infections?

There’s evidence for vitamin D’s ability to improve immune functions, particularly when compared with antibiotics.

Conclusion

If you have any questions about what the best supplement for building the immune system can do, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

We are here to help and want your experience with our website or company to be a positive one.

Whether it’s finding the best supplements online or something else entirely, we’re happy to answer all of your questions!

Remember that prevention is key when trying not only to fight off infection but also other diseases as well so make sure you’ve got healthy habits down pat before disaster strikes again!

Affiliate Disclosure: ​​Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning that if you decide to purchase a product after clicking one, we may earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. 

Medical Disclaimer: This information should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult your doctor before taking any supplements.

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About the Author

Hey, I'm Jared and I'm a writer and coach.

I help yo yo dieters stop binge eating and emotional eating through journaling, which works because it's so easy, simple and effective for lasting habit change.


Check out my free Masterclass for my entire journey from yo yo dieting wrestler to Buddhist Monk and finally, to Eating Enlightenment. .

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