The 7 Best Immune-Supporting Supplements, According to a Dietitian

And what to keep an eye out for—from form and type to dosage

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A healthy diet, adequate sleep, exercise, hand hygiene, and stress management are all great ways to support the immune system throughout the year, and especially during cold and flu season. While there are no cure-all supplements or foods for immunity, some research studies support the use of specific herbs and vitamins to help your immune system work for you.

You may already have some of these—like probiotics, vitamin D, and vitamin C—in your medicine cabinet. Our team works hard to be transparent about why we recommend certain supplements; you can read more about our dietary supplement methodology here

Here, the best immune-boosting supplements.

Best Vitamin C: Doctor's Best Vitamin C with Q-C

Doctor's Best Vitamin C

Research published in 2017 suggests that Vitamin C supports the immune system by reducing the severity and duration of colds. The powerful antioxidant is shown to alleviate and prevent infections caused by bacteria and viruses. This commonly used supplement is a well-known family favorite for boosting immunity year-round.

Doctor's Best Vitamin C provides 1,000 mg of ascorbic acid, which is the preferred source of supplemental vitamin C due to bioavailability. Doctor's Best uses a particular brand of ascorbic acid called Quali-C, which is celebrated for its quality and reliability. The brand recommends taking the non-GMO, gluten-free, soy-free, vegan capsules without food.

Best Zinc: Thorne Research Zinc Picolinate 15mg

Thorne Zinc Picolinate 15mg

Zinc is shown to support immune cells, and similar to vitamin C, it may also reduce the severity and duration of the common cold.

Thorne is a trusted brand with a commitment to high-quality products that are tested for quality, safety, and efficacy. The company prides itself on offering research-backed ingredients that are highly potent and easily absorbed. Thorne Research capsules contain 15 mg of zinc picolinate, a highly absorbable form of zinc. The capsules are free of gluten, GMOs, artificial preservatives, and all of the major allergens, so it’s accessible to a wide variety of people.

Best Vitamin D: Nordic Naturals Vitamin D3-25 mcg

Nordic Naturals Vitamin D3-25 mcg

Anecdotally, sunshine is always a great way to boost mood and immunity. In fact, exposure to sunshine boosts vitamin D production in the skin which may in turn support the immune system. Research published in 2017 shows that supplementation with vitamin D may be protective against the flu.

Each once-daily soft gel of Nordic Naturals Vitamin D3 provides 1000IU, or 125% of the recommended daily value. Nordic Natural's non-GMO product is third-party tested and NSF-Certified to ensure you're getting the highest quality vitamin possible that complies with strict manufacturing standards. Nordic Naturals recommends taking the supplement with food, as vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which is best absorbed with healthy sources of fat in the diet.

Best Elderberry: Gaia Herbs Black Elderberry Syrup

Gaia Herbs Black Elderberry Syrup

Known as Sambucus nigra, elderberry has been used throughout history to fight cold and flu symptoms. Research shows that elderberry could provide protection against the flu, so adding this supplement to your flu-season routine (or any time throughout the year) may be beneficial.

Gaia Herbs Black Elderberry Syrup is a great-tasting, plant-based syrup that is safe and effective for the entire family (age 1+). Each teaspoon serving contains the equivalent of 14.5 grams of fresh elderberries, as well as 147mg of acerola extract, an immunity-boosting fruit with very high vitamin C content.

The USDA Organic product is purity tested to ensure that it is free of pesticides, microbes and heavy metals. It's also vegan and free of corn, dairy, gluten, peanuts, shellfish, soy, tree nuts, and yeast.

Best Echinacea: Gaia Herbs Echinacea Supreme

Gaia Herbs Echinacea

Taking echinacea while you're feeling well is thought to reduce the chances of catching a cold. While more research is needed, there is some clinical evidence to support echinacea's immune-boosting properties.

Gaia Herbs' USDA Certified Organic Echinacea Supreme liquid extract blends two types of echinacea —echinacea purpurea and echinacea angustifolia— to create a highly potent supplement. Gaia recommends that adults take 40-60 drops at onset of symptoms in a small amount of water 4 to 6 times per day, in between meals. The purity-tested liquid is great for use at home or on-the-go and is free of dairy, gluten, and soy.

Best Turmeric: Garden of Life mykind Organics Extra Strength Turmeric Inflammatory Response 60 Tablets

Garden of Life mykind Organics Extra Strength Turmeric Inflammatory Response 60 Tablets

Traditionally celebrated for its anti-inflammatory effects, turmeric may also bolster the immune system.

Mykind Organics Extra Strength Turmeric Inflammatory Response provides a powerful 100mg of curcuminoids in each once-daily tablet. The USDA prganic, certified-vegan, and NSF-certified gluten-free supplement combines black pepper and ginger with turmeric to create a highly effective anti-inflammatory and immune booster.

Best Probiotic: Renew Life Ultimate Flora Adult Extra Care Probiotic

Renew Life Ultimate Flora Adult Extra Care Probiotic

Probiotics are generally associated with gut health; however, the beneficial bacteria play a huge role in immune function. In addition to easing tummy troubles and improving digestion, probiotics help to regulate immune response, specifically maintaining a balance between innate and adaptive immune responses. Keep in mind, however, that without a prebiotic, probiotics don't flourish. Prebiotic supplements help maintain digestive balance while supplying the required nutrition probiotics need to thrive.

Renew Life's Ultimate Flora Probiotic contains twelve strains of probiotics and 30 billion live cultures in each once-daily capsule. The vegetarian capsules are allergy-friendly, as they are free of gluten, soy, and dairy. Refrigeration is recommended, but not required, so you can take the bottle with you on-the-go.

Final Verdict

There are many options when it comes to specific supplements you can use to boost your immunity. If you're looking to use something year-round to boost overall wellness—and immunity—consider Renew Life's Ultimate Flora Probiotic (view at Amazon).

What to Look for in an Immune-Boosting Supplement


Supplements are available in various forms, such as capsules, tablets, lozenges, and liquids. If you have trouble swallowing pills, you may prefer a chewable tablet or liquid supplement.


There are many different types of each supplement available. For example, there is a huge variety of probiotic strains, three species of echinacea, and multiple forms of zinc. Speak with your physician to figure out what works best for you.


It's important to note that these evidence-based supplements may optimize and bolster your immunity; however, it's always a good idea to check with your physician before adding any supplement to your routine. Specifically, ask your health care provider about the supplement and dosage that is right for you.

What Experts Say

"Our immune system is bolstered or suppressed by various lifestyle factors including nutrition, hydration, sleep, and stress. It’s important to look at the whole picture before turning to supplementation. That said, I recommend supplementation if someone's diet is missing a key nutrient, there is a known deficiency, during certain seasons (i.e,. cold season), or when traveling."Alanna Cabrero, RDN

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What foods help boost immunity?

    Your immune system is a complex network of cells and proteins that work together to protect your body against germs that make you sick. Though diet plays an essential role in supporting immunity, no single food boosts immunity.

    However, a balanced diet filled with nutrient-rich foods—fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy proteins—is the best way to protect your health. A proper diet ensures your immune system has everything it needs to fight off harmful germs.

  • What are some other ways to boost immunity?

    Exercise and sleep also benefit your immune system. Moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, like a brisk walk or a hilly bike ride, stimulates cellular immunity, increasing production of germ-fighting white blood cells and proteins that reduce inflammation.

    As the saying goes, “sleep is the best medicine.” Not getting an adequate amount of sleep affects production of the cells and proteins that protect you from disease, making you more susceptible to illness. Try to get at least seven hours of sleep a night to boost immunity.

  • Why should you give your immune system a boost?

    Your immune system fights off harmful substances on a daily basis. Poor diet, lack of exercise, inadequate sleep, and stress negatively affect your immune system, making you more susceptible to infections and illnesses. Giving your immune system a boost improves your body’s defenses against disease and may prevent you from getting sick, or help you heal faster when you are ill.

  • How do I keep my immune system strong?

    Eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, and making sleep a priority are some of the best things you can do to keep your immune system strong. Adding immune-supporting supplements, finding healthy outlets for chronic stress, and maintaining a healthy weight also helps. And of course, wash your hands regularly throughout the day to prevent the spread of germs.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

A personal note on my recommendations written above. As a dietitian, I am careful to recommend supplements. I spent time reviewing the most current clinical research on specific herb and vitamin supplements that may support the immune system. I looked at multiple brands and products and consulted with trusted peers in dietetics. I believe the supplements in the round-up are made by trusted brands that are devoted to product purity and are composed of high-quality ingredients.

Personally, in addition to focusing on lifestyle factors, I take vitamin C, probiotics, and elderberry to boost my immune system.—Eliza Savage, MS, RD, CDN

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Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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