4 supplements you shouldn’t take for immune health, according to dietitians

let’s face it; We have all, at least at one point, been duped into buying that expensive supplement that we thought would cure all our ills. You’ve probably found yourself scouring the supplement aisle at the first sign of a sniffle.

However, the problem with supplements is that the FDA doesn’t regulate them before they hit the shelves, and technically, anyone can fill capsules with anything and sell them. Scary, isn’t it? Of course, not all supplements are harmful, as many companies do everything they can to ensure that their products are safe for their consumers, with accurate labeling and third-party testing.

Still, supplements should not take the place of a balanced diet. They should be used exactly as their names suggest Appendix For a healthy diet (for example, in cases where you are unable to get adequate amounts from your diet). Eating a well-balanced diet will give you the vitamins and minerals you need to support a strong immune system.

In this article, you’ll learn which four supplements you should avoid and which foods you should start eating more of when it comes to supporting your immune health.

Why is your immune health important?

Our body’s immune system is equipped to recognize and fight potentially harmful invaders. Think of your immune system as your body’s internal superhero. If our immune system is healthy, it’s easier to fight off viruses, bacteria or anything else that tries to make us sick, says Nashville, TN-based dietitian and owner Chelsea. explains LeBlanc, RDN, LD. Chelsea LeBlanc Nutrition.

However, if that inner superhero becomes compromised, he may not be able to provide protection. Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, media dietitian and creator and author of BetterThanDieting.com, explains that your immune system plays a role in many areas more than just protecting you from things like colds, flu, and viruses. Read it before you eat it – taking you from label to table, A healthy immune system can also help you recover faster from illness and reduce inflammation. Your immune system is also believed to play a role in longevity and disease prevention, she says.

Eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, dealing with stress, and exercising regularly are the main ways you can help support your immune health, which brings us to four supplements you should take to support immune health. Should not be taken for granted.

4 supplements you shouldn’t take for immune health

oregano oil

If you’ve ever gotten an immunity shot from your local juice shop, you might be surprised to see oregano oil listed as an ingredient. Yes, that oregano we all sprinkle on pizza and pasta. Oregano oil is extracted from its leaves and is available in liquid and capsule form. According to a 2020 article published in MetabolitesOregano oil has been used medicinally for years to treat countless ailments. According to a 2019 article, it is also used as a natural food preservative due to its antioxidant and anti-microbial properties. International Journal of Nutrition,

However, human trials are lacking to determine whether it is actually effective in supporting health. 2020 meta-analysis published phytotherapy research Investigations based primarily on animal studies have shown that oregano oil can effectively reduce some markers of inflammation. However, other research, such as one in 2020 Journal of Virology, showed no effect in fighting the flu. Instead of taking supplements, focus on sprinkling dried or fresh herbs on your food.

colloidal silver

Colloidal silver is a liquid of tiny silver particles, which is known to treat infections and wounds. However, health experts and the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) warn against getting caught up in its claims. There are many false claims about the health benefits of taking colloidal silver, especially that it has antimicrobial properties, says Kristen Carli, MS, RD, owner of CamelBak Nutrition & Wellness. There is not enough evidence to support these claims.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned that colloidal silver is unsafe and has neither been proven effective nor used for preventive measures. Carly adds, I would caution anyone against taking colloidal silver as it can be harmful in high doses and can interact negatively with many medications.


One of the most popular ingredients you may see in cold and flu products is echinacea. Echinacea is available in almost any form – syrup, powder, throat lozenges, tea bags, capsules and gummies, making it so tempting to add one of these products to your shopping cart when it comes to boosting your immune system. Is.

According to the NCCIH, echinacea comes from a plant and is promoted for its infection-fighting powers. However, Taub-Dix points out, some people trust echinacea, but studies have shown mixed results as to whether it can be trusted. Additionally, echinacea may interfere with certain health conditions such as autoimmune disorders.

A 2019 meta-analysis of 29 studies published in complementary therapies in medicine No significant benefit was found when echinacea was used to prevent or treat upper respiratory infections. So, this is another way to avoid spending your hard earned money and save.

pre workout

Moderate to vigorous exercise can help improve the functioning of your immune system. Still, if you’re willing to take a booster like pre-workout before leaving the house, LeBlanc recommends using it with caution at the end of the day. “Many of them contain caffeine, which can energize your workout, but too much can affect your sleep, leaving you restless and awake before you fall asleep.

LeBlanc further explains, quality sleep is important for immune health. This allows your body to rest, repair, and fight disease. Most adults need 7-9 hours a night, so if you’re having trouble sleeping when taking a pre-workout supplement, choose a supplement without caffeine. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lack of sleep can disrupt the immune system and increase your risk for not only infections but also metabolic and cardiovascular disorders.

Healthy Eating Tips for Your Immune Health

So, instead of popping a handful of pills when you feel an illness coming your way, focus on foods that are rich in nutrients. Nutrient-rich foods, such as vitamins C and D, zinc, and antioxidants, act as frontline protectors and help your body fight disease, says LeBlanc. Vitamin C can be found in oranges, grapes, kiwi, strawberries, bell peppers and broccoli. Vitamin D can be found in foods like salmon, egg yolks, yogurt and fortified milk. And lentils, chickpeas, curd and cashews are good sources of zinc.

You can never go wrong by including more fruits and vegetables in your diet, Taub-Dix said. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with immune-supporting nutrients and can be treated as a main meal, not just a side. To get your fill of veggies, try our Sheet-Pan Ratatouille, VeggieStrone or Eat-the-Rainbow Chopped Salad recipes. Smoothies are a great way to incorporate both vegetables and fruits, like our Mango and Kale Smoothie, which features kale, mangoes, and bananas. Or start embracing fruits for natural sweetness and try these healthy dessert options packed with immune-supporting nutrients: Pineapple Nice Cream, Baked Peaches, or Brown Sugar Broiled Grapefruit.

The main thing is not to wait until you have a cold or feel tired to start adding these foods or any supplements into your diet. Make a habit of regularly incorporating these foods into your daily diet, which can help you get and stay strong all year long, says Taub-Dix.


Although it’s tempting to stock up on immune-boosting supplements, especially during cold and flu season, remember to focus on including nutrient-rich foods in your diet and avoid overuse of supplements. Avoid. Also, it is important to always be careful when choosing supplements, and you should be sure to choose a reliable brand and check with your medical provider before taking them. Eating enough fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and protein will give you all the immune-boosting vitamins and minerals you need.

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