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Survey: One-in-four Americans boost their immune system to prevent getting sick over cough-cold season


WASHINGTON — According to a recent survey from the Council for Responsible Nutrition, only one-quarter of adults take dietary supplements for immune health, the association noted Wednesday. 


The immune system is the body’s defense, the stronger the immune system, the healthier a person is. There are certain dietary supplements that provide the body key nutrients that can support the immune system. 


Zinc, a mineral dietary supplement, is especially helpful for supporting the immune system in the elderly, according to studies. “As we age, our bodies do not absorb nutrients as well as they used to — and zinc is one of those nutrients — so supplementing ensures the body is getting enough of what it needs to stay well,” stated Duffy MacKay, SVP scientific and regulatory affairs, CRN.


Beyond vitamins (such as vitamin C) and minerals, other examples of dietary supplements that can support the immune system in adults of all ages include: botanical dietary supplements, like elderberry, garlic and astragalus; probiotics; and dried fermentate (made using baker’s yeast), which, according to published research, has been demonstrated to be helpful for adults to experience more healthy days during winter months.


“During the winter months, our immune systems can weaken, which means we are more susceptible to getting sick. We’re exercising less and straying from healthy diets to indulge in seasonal treats. We also experience stress from travel and family gatherings, and lack of sleep from staying out late at holiday parties. All of these can contribute to weakened immune systems,” MacKay said. 

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