How to Boost Your Immune System

Are you looking for ways to boost your immune system when winter approaches? Who isn’t! The coldest months of the year bring surges in colds, congestion, and viruses like flu. Winter months’ general low temperatures and poorly-ventilated indoor spaces obviously add up. So what’s the solution? A stronger immune system.

As such, it’s not over the top to consider ways to boost your immune system in cold months. Recently, the potential medicinal properties of terpenes and terpenoids, a group of natural compounds, have become a hot topic of discussion (1). Terpenes and terpenoids are the primary ingredients of Vital Shield, a Sundt Nutrition immune-system-boosting supplement. We think you’ll love it!

Key Ideas

  • Winter can weaken your immune defences, leaving you at the mercy of various illnesses. As such, cold months demand you pay closer attention to your immune system.
  • Ways to defend yourself include a healthy diet, exercise, and getting enough sleep. But at times, these don’t suffice. You may not have the time, and your hectic lifestyle may include harmful agents like alcohol and tobacco.
  • Sundt Nutrition’s Vital Shield supplement is terpene-based and specially designed to support healthy immune system functioning during colder months. You’ll love it!

Boosting Your Immune System: What You Need to Know

Do you remember the last time you caught cold? It eventually cured itself, didn’t it? That wasn’t just thanks to the medications you took; it was because your body’s immune system created its own defences. But how does the immune system work? Who or what attacks it? How does it defend your body? This section offers answers for all these common questions, so take note!

Keeping your immune system strong is a basic requirement for your body to protect itself from “enemies” like infections, viruses, and other illnesses. (Source: Priscilla Du Preez: zeqWK0n5PNM/ Unsplash.com)

What Is the Immune System?

It’s a set of cells, organs, and tissues which help your body defend itself from infections and other illnesses (2, 3).

Imagine that you’ve come down with flu. At that moment, the “soldiers” in your system begin attacking the infection. In other words, your body attacks germs, which may be viruses or bacteria. But what is the immune system made up of? This list explains it:

  • White blood cells. Also called leucocytes, they’re genuine “soldiers” which combat germs and infections.
  • Skin. Your skin is designed as a barrier to prevent germs from entering your body.
  • Mucus. Another natural barrier comes from mucus and other substances capable of “trapping” germs.
  • Lymphatic system tissues and organs. These include, for example, your bone marrow, spleen, lymphatic vessels, and lymph nodes. All of them are responsible for producing, storing, and transporting white blood cells throughout the body.

Your immune system defends you from outside visitors like viruses and bacteria. And though it’s hard to imagine, as soon as the immune system recognizes an unfamiliar element, it “attacks” it by producing antibodies.

These antibodies destroy germs. What’s more, your cells will carry a memory of their microscopic “enemies” for as long as they live. In other words, you can resist reinfection in the future. Your body will send the correct antibodies to fight the bacteria or virus that bothered it before.

What Factors Harm the Immune System?

Keeping your immune system strong is a basic requirement for your body to protect itself from “enemies” like infections, viruses, and other illnesses. The hostile forces facing your immune system include tobacco, drugs, and stress, among others. Watch out for this list:

  • Tobacco. Tobacco is one of the immune system’s greatest enemies, and its harmful effects have been widely studied. Cigarette smoke can give rise to numerous illnesses. You may be more prone to cardiovascular, respiratory, and autoimmune diseases. Other increased risks include allergies, cancer, and transplant rejection (4).
  • Lack of sleep. Sleep is closely related to your immune system. In fact, studies indicate that people with chronic infectious or inflammatory illnesses suffer from altered sleep patterns. As if that weren’t enough, various studies show that lack of sleep makes humans more prone to infection. It also weakens the immune system’s response to vaccination. As such, a good night’s sleep is fundamental for a strong immune system (5).
  • Alcohol. As far as the immune system, studies do show that moderate alcohol consumption is associated with reduced inflammation and better vaccine response. However, chronic excessive drinking is associated with higher risk of bacterial and viral infections (6).
  • Stress. Stress is a beneficial response when the stressor situation is temporary. For example, when you’re suddenly in danger, stress is what helps you fight or flee. However, the more chronic stress becomes, the more it endangers immune system components. The association between stress and immune defences is still pending further study. So far, evidence shows that a relaxing life is a healthy life (7, 8)!
High-quality nutrition is fundamental for your immune system to function properly. (Source: Heather Ford: Ug7kk0kThLk/ Unsplash.com)

Using Your Diet to Boost Your Immune System

Though you may not be aware of it, micronutrient deficiencies weaken your immune function. High-quality nutrition is fundamental for your immune system to function properly. We’ve created a table to summarise the most important nutrients, what happens when a deficiency occurs, and the best dietary sources of them. Take a look (9, 10, 11, 12, 13)!

NutrientEffects of a DeficiencyDietary Sources
Vitamin ALow vitamin A alters your immune response and makes you more prone to many infections. Vitamin A deficiency can result in night blindness, inflamed eyes, and dry, rough skin.Cod liver oil, fish, liver, egg yolks, spinach
Vitamin DLow vitamin D levels increase your risk of respiratory infections. Exposure to sunlight, which produces vitamin D, reduces the rate of viral respiratory infections. Cod liver oil has the same effect.Eggs, blue fish, prawns, chicken, beef, aged cheese, milk, butter
Vitamin EVitamin E deficiency symptoms include serious muscular and nervous system problems, loss of balance, and a weaker, more sensitive immune system.Leafy green vegetables, whole grains, fortified breakfast cereals, vegetable oils
ZincZinc deficiency may increase the rate of infectious disease, especially respiratory and skin infections.Oysters, clams, liver, red meat, fish
IronIron deficiency negatively affects your immune system. Low iron can cause anaemia, which could weaken your ability to fight germs.Lean meat, shellfish, poultry, lentils, beans, spinach, nuts
SeleniumSelenium deficiency may reduce your immune system’s ability to prevent infection.Fish, shellfish, eggs, whole grains, seeds, Brazil nuts
Vitamin CVitamin C deficiency leads to scurvy, which can eventually be fatal. Scurvy causes fatigue, swollen gums, small red or purple skin blemishes, joint pain, and trouble healing cuts and wounds. Citrus fruits, red and green peppers, kiwi, broccoli, strawberries

Exercise and Your Immune System

Staying active boosts your immune system’s defences. It’s critical to get moderate physical exercise every day in order to optimise your immune system’s responses (11, 15).

If that’s not enough reason, exercise also helps manage stress and create more flexible metabolism. We’ve laid out the WHO’s recommendations by age:

Age GroupRecommendations
5-17 years oldGames, sport, trips, activities, physical education and scheduled exercise. 60 minutes a day should be spent exercising, and aerobic activity is preferred.
18-64 At a minimum, 150 minutes a week should be spent engaging in moderate aerobic activity. Alternatively, a minimum of 75 minutes a week should be spent on strenuous aerobic activity.
65+The WHO recommends 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity, or 75 minutes a week of strenuous aerobic activity, or an equivalent combination of both moderate and strenuous activity.

Sleep and Your Immune System

Sleep is fundamental for regulating your immune system. While you sleep, your body’s defences regenerate and regain strength. In fact, there are studies showing that people who sleep less than seven hours a night are three times more likely to catch cold (compared to people who sleep at least eight hours) (5, 11).

We like this set of recommendations provided by the Cantabria Nursing Foundation:

  • Maintain a consistent bedtime
  • Avoid large dinners and late dinners
  • Don’t go to bed immediately after eating
  • Avoid caffeine during the afternoon and night
  • Avoid stacking your pillows up too high
  • Take a hot bath before bed
  • Make sure the room is fully dark
  • Avoid electronic devices for two hours before going to bed
  • Engage in moderate exercise two hours before bed
  • Try practicing a meditation technique
  • Sleep on a mattress you find comfortable
  • Keep the temperature in the room between 18 y 21 ºC
  • Avoid self-medicating

Can Supplements Boost Your Immune System?

When winter arrives, cold and flu come with it. Your responsibility is to take care of yourself and build an effective immune system you can rely on to fight viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens. Why not take advantage of supplements? Our hectic lifestyles don’t always allow us to get all the nutrients we need, even though they’re vital for immune system health! Let’s take a look at supplements in more detail (16, 17, 18).

Staying active boosts your immune system’s defences. It’s critical to get moderate physical exercise every day in order to optimise your immune system’s responses. (Source: Gordon Cowie: nR7RzE0OBI0/ Unsplash.com)

Multivitamins

When people have low levels of one nutrient, they often have low levels of several! And you’re aware that your body’s defences need to be able to face the winter cold. We suggest Sundt Nutrition’s liposomal multivitamin. What are its advantages?

Liposomal technology is the key factor behind our recommendation. Nutrients are encapsulated in microscopic liposomes, whose structure is similar to our own cells. This resemblance to cells allows your body to absorb the vitamins more efficiently.

Plus, Sundt Nutrition’s multivitamin is gluten-free, sugar-free, GMO-free, and contains no animal products. And of course, it has all the vitamins you might need!

We think that’s all we need to say. Give it a try!

Vitamin C

If you need to strengthen your immune system, there’s no better solution than Sundt Nutrition liposomal vitamin C. Bid farewell to vitamin pills and tablets! It comes in liquid drops we think you’ll love, but what really makes it shine is liposomal technology.

Scientific advances have allowed liposomal supplements to be developed. These liposomal versions have greater bioavailability – but what does that mean? In other words, vitamin C reaches its destination in the body much more efficiently and in higher amounts.

Plus, if you’re vegan or coeliac, this is the supplement for you. It’s cruelty-free, gluten- and sugar-free, and was made with no GMOs. You won’t regret trying it out!

Vital Shield: The Terpene Revolution

Our final recommendation belongs to a truly revolutionary supplement in the nutrition field. Vital Shield is a Sundt Nutrition supplement specifically formulated to boost and strengthen the immune system. How does it do that? The answer is terpenes.

Terpenes are natural compounds primarily found in plants. They have a wide range of medicinal uses – in fact, the bioactive terpenes found in some plants have shown results related to their antiviral properties. Their potential for fighting all kinds of illnesses is currently being researched top to bottom!

Vital Shield is made up of several ingredients: basil oil, eugenol, d-limonene, beta-caryophyllene, linalool, and eucalyptus oil. This terpene-based formula was designed with the goal of helping your immune functioning from the moment you take it. Don’t miss out!

Our Conclusions

Boosting your immune system is key during the leadup to long winter months. Viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens can creep up on us between the cold and the wet, humid conditions. As such, we need to provide our body’s defences with germ-fighting weapons.

If you’re experiencing signs of a weakened immune system, visit a healthcare professional first. If your doctor suggests taking a supplement, consider Vital Shield from Sundt Nutrition. We hope the power of terpenes can help you stay healthy this winter and year-round!

If you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it or leave us a comment. We’ll be delighted to answer as soon as we can!

References (18)

1. Therapeutic and medicinal uses of terpenes Destinney Cox-Georgian, Niveditha Ramadoss, Chathu Dona, Chhandak Basu Medicinal plants. November 12, 2019: 333–359. Posted online Nov 12, 2019 Doi: 10.1007 / 978-3-030-31269-5_15 PMCID: PMC7120914 PubReader PDF Article – 568K Citation.
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2. Immune System and Disorders. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
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3. The immune system Lindsay B. Nicholson Biochem Assays. October 31, 2016; 60 (3): 275-301. Published online October 26, 2016. doi: 10.1042 / EBC20160017 PMCID: PMC5091071 PubReader PDF Article – 1.5M Citation.
Source

4. Qiu F, Liang C-L, Liu H, Zeng Y-Q, Hou S, Huang S, et al. Impacts of cigarette smoking on immune responsiveness: Up and down or upside down? Oncotarget [Internet]. 2017 Jan 3 [ 2020 Mar 23];8(1):268–84.
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5. Variation of the human immune system Petter Brodin, Mark M. Davis Nat Rev Immunol. Author’s manuscript; Available at PMC 2017 Feb 27. Published in final edited form as: Nat Rev Immunol. 2017 Jan; 17 (1): 21-29. Published online December 5, 2016 doi: 10.1038 / nri.2016.125 PMCID: PMC5328245 PubReader PDF Article – 1.0M Citation.
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6. Barr T, Helms C, Grant K, Messaoudi I. Opposing effects of alcohol on the immune system. Prog Neuro-Psychopharmacology Biol Psychiatry [Internet]. 2016 Feb 4 [ 2020 Mar 23];65:242–51.
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7. Psychological stress and the human immune system: a meta-analytic study of 30 years of research Suzanne C. Segerstromy Gregory E. Miller. doi: 10.1037 / 0033-2909.130.4.601.
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8. Effects of stress on the immune system Author Links Open Overlay Panel David N Khansari 1 Anthony J Murgo 2 Robert E Faith 3 https://doi.org/10.1016/0167-5699(90)90069-L Disponible online
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9. Calder PC. Feeding the immune system. Proc Nutr Soc [Internet]. 2013 Aug 21 [ 2020 Mar 23];72(3):299–309.
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10. Maggini S, Wintergerst ES, Beveridge S, Hornig DH. Selected vitamins and trace elements support immune function by strengthening epithelial barriers and cellular and humoral immune responses. In: British Journal of Nutrition [Internet]. 2007 [ 2020 Mar 16]. p. S29-35. Disponible online
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11. Guía básica para sistema inmune. FUNDACIÓN DE ENFERMERÍA DE CANTABRIA. ISBN: 978-84-09-20262-1. 1ª Edición Abril 2020. Disponible online
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12. Vitamin E. National Institutes of Health (NIH). Disponible online
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13. Iron. National Institutes of Health (NIH). Disponible online
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14. Vitamin C. National Institutes of Health (NIH). Disponible online
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15. Organización Mundial de la Salud OMS | Recomendaciones mundiales sobre la actividad física para la salud. WHO [Internet]. 2013, Disponible online
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16. Liposomes for Enhanced Bioavailability of Water-Insoluble Drugs: In Vivo Evidence and Recent Approaches. Mi-Kyung Lee. Pharmaceutics. 2020 Mar; 12(3): 264. Published online 2020 Mar 13. doi: 10.3390/pharmaceutics12030264 PMCID: PMC7151102 ArticlePubReaderPDF–2.9MCitation. Disponible online
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17. Liposomal-encapsulated Ascorbic Acid: Influence on Vitamin C Bioavailability and Capacity to Protect Against Ischemia–Reperfusion Injury. Janelle L. Davis, Hunter L. Paris, Joseph W. Beals, Scott E. Binns, Gregory R. Giordano, Rebecca L. Scalzo, Melani M. Schweder, Emek Blair and Christopher Bell. Journal ListNutr Metab Insightsv.9; 2016PMC4915787. Disponible online
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18. Therapeutic and Medicinal Uses of Terpenes Destinney Cox-Georgian, Niveditha Ramadoss, Chathu Dona, Chhandak Basu Medicinal Plants. 2019 Nov 12 : 333–359. Published online 2019 Nov 12. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-31269-5_15 PMCID: PMC7120914 ArticlePubReaderPDF–568KCitation. Disponible online
Source

Scientific Article
Therapeutic and medicinal uses of terpenes Destinney Cox-Georgian, Niveditha Ramadoss, Chathu Dona, Chhandak Basu Medicinal plants. November 12, 2019: 333–359. Posted online Nov 12, 2019 Doi: 10.1007 / 978-3-030-31269-5_15 PMCID: PMC7120914 PubReader PDF Article – 568K Citation.
Go to source
Scientific Article
Immune System and Disorders. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Go to source
Scientific Article
The immune system Lindsay B. Nicholson Biochem Assays. October 31, 2016; 60 (3): 275-301. Published online October 26, 2016. doi: 10.1042 / EBC20160017 PMCID: PMC5091071 PubReader PDF Article – 1.5M Citation.
Go to source
Scientific Article
Qiu F, Liang C-L, Liu H, Zeng Y-Q, Hou S, Huang S, et al. Impacts of cigarette smoking on immune responsiveness: Up and down or upside down? Oncotarget [Internet]. 2017 Jan 3 [ 2020 Mar 23];8(1):268–84.
Go to source
Scientific Article
Variation of the human immune system Petter Brodin, Mark M. Davis Nat Rev Immunol. Author’s manuscript; Available at PMC 2017 Feb 27. Published in final edited form as: Nat Rev Immunol. 2017 Jan; 17 (1): 21-29. Published online December 5, 2016 doi: 10.1038 / nri.2016.125 PMCID: PMC5328245 PubReader PDF Article – 1.0M Citation.
Go to source
Scientific Article
Barr T, Helms C, Grant K, Messaoudi I. Opposing effects of alcohol on the immune system. Prog Neuro-Psychopharmacology Biol Psychiatry [Internet]. 2016 Feb 4 [ 2020 Mar 23];65:242–51.
Go to source
Meta-Analysis
Psychological stress and the human immune system: a meta-analytic study of 30 years of research Suzanne C. Segerstromy Gregory E. Miller. doi: 10.1037 / 0033-2909.130.4.601.
Go to source
Scientific Article
Effects of stress on the immune system Author Links Open Overlay Panel David N Khansari 1 Anthony J Murgo 2 Robert E Faith 3 https://doi.org/10.1016/0167-5699(90)90069-L Disponible online
Go to source
Scientific Article
Calder PC. Feeding the immune system. Proc Nutr Soc [Internet]. 2013 Aug 21 [ 2020 Mar 23];72(3):299–309.
Go to source
Artículo científico
Maggini S, Wintergerst ES, Beveridge S, Hornig DH. Selected vitamins and trace elements support immune function by strengthening epithelial barriers and cellular and humoral immune responses. In: British Journal of Nutrition [Internet]. 2007 [ 2020 Mar 16]. p. S29-35. Disponible online
Go to source
Clinical Guide
Guía básica para sistema inmune. FUNDACIÓN DE ENFERMERÍA DE CANTABRIA. ISBN: 978-84-09-20262-1. 1ª Edición Abril 2020. Disponible online
Go to source
Official Website
Vitamin E. National Institutes of Health (NIH). Disponible online
Go to source
Official Website
Iron. National Institutes of Health (NIH). Disponible online
Go to source
Official Website
Vitamin C. National Institutes of Health (NIH). Disponible online
Go to source
WHO Recommendations
Organización Mundial de la Salud OMS | Recomendaciones mundiales sobre la actividad física para la salud. WHO [Internet]. 2013, Disponible online
Go to source
Scientific Article
Liposomes for Enhanced Bioavailability of Water-Insoluble Drugs: In Vivo Evidence and Recent Approaches. Mi-Kyung Lee. Pharmaceutics. 2020 Mar; 12(3): 264. Published online 2020 Mar 13. doi: 10.3390/pharmaceutics12030264 PMCID: PMC7151102 ArticlePubReaderPDF–2.9MCitation. Disponible online
Go to source
Scientific Article
Liposomal-encapsulated Ascorbic Acid: Influence on Vitamin C Bioavailability and Capacity to Protect Against Ischemia–Reperfusion Injury. Janelle L. Davis, Hunter L. Paris, Joseph W. Beals, Scott E. Binns, Gregory R. Giordano, Rebecca L. Scalzo, Melani M. Schweder, Emek Blair and Christopher Bell. Journal ListNutr Metab Insightsv.9; 2016PMC4915787. Disponible online
Go to source
Scientific Article
Therapeutic and Medicinal Uses of Terpenes Destinney Cox-Georgian, Niveditha Ramadoss, Chathu Dona, Chhandak Basu Medicinal Plants. 2019 Nov 12 : 333–359. Published online 2019 Nov 12. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-31269-5_15 PMCID: PMC7120914 ArticlePubReaderPDF–568KCitation. Disponible online
Go to source
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