Immune strength is paramount in the pursuit of optimal health, especially as we enter 2024. With our world constantly changing, the significance of bolstering our body's defences has intensified. This guide, rooted in naturopathic wisdom, navigates the expansive landscape of dietary supplements to spotlight those genuinely effective in enhancing immunity. Here, we distil the essence of both traditional knowledge and scientific research to recommend the best immune-supporting supplements for the year ahead, aiming to empower your wellness journey with informed, natural choices.

Key Immune-Boosting Supplements for 2024: What Makes the Cut

Selecting the right supplements becomes paramount as we focus on fortifying our immune health in the coming year. Through diligent research and adherence to naturopathic principles, we've identified supplements that stand out for their immune-enhancing properties. These selections are backed by scientific evidence, ensuring they offer more than just peace of mind but real benefits to your immune system. Let's explore these pivotal nutrients and herbs poised to impact your health in 2024 significantly.

Vitamin C

Why It's Recommended: Vitamin C is well-known for its immune-boosting properties. It supports various cellular functions of both the innate and adaptive immune system. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant, helping protect the body against oxidative stress.

Scientific Evidence: Supplementation with vitamin C has been shown to prevent and treat respiratory and systemic infections. Regular intake can reduce the duration and severity of common cold symptoms, with more pronounced benefits in individuals under physical stress.

Recommended Dosage: The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin C is 75 mg for women and 90 mg for men. For immune support, especially during cold and flu season, doses up to 1,000 mg per day may be beneficial but should be discussed with a healthcare provider.

Safety Profile: Vitamin C is generally safe at recommended doses. High doses can cause gastrointestinal disturbances and have been associated with kidney stones in individuals with a history of these conditions.

Vitamin D

Why It's Recommended: Vitamin D plays a pivotal role in immune health, influencing innate and adaptive immune responses. It's essential for adequately functioning T-cells, a white blood cell type crucial for immune defence. Given that vitamin D production is triggered by skin exposure to sunlight, many individuals living in northern latitudes or leading predominantly indoor lifestyles may not synthesise enough, making supplementation beneficial.

Scientific Evidence: Numerous studies have shown that adequate vitamin D levels can help reduce the risk of respiratory infections, including the flu and COVID-19. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to an increased susceptibility to illness and autoimmune diseases.

Recommended Dosage: Health experts typically recommend between 800 to 2000 IU of vitamin D daily, though the exact dosage can vary based on individual factors such as age, geographic location, skin colour, and current vitamin D levels. It's always wise to consult a healthcare provider to determine the appropriate dosage for your needs.

Safety Profile: Vitamin D supplements are generally considered safe when taken at recommended levels. Excessive intake, however, can lead to toxicity, underscoring the importance of adhering to advised dosages.


Why It's Recommended: Echinacea is a group of herbaceous plants used in traditional medicine to treat infections. It's believed to boost the immune system and reduce symptoms of colds, flu, and other illnesses.

Scientific Evidence: Some studies suggest that echinacea can reduce the duration and severity of cold symptoms, particularly if taken when symptoms first appear.

Recommended Dosage: Dosage varies widely depending on the echinacea product used. A general guideline is 240 mg to 4,000 mg of dried echinacea root or herb daily for short-term use as tea or in capsules.

Safety Profile: Echinacea is considered safe for most people, but it can cause side effects in some, including rash, increased asthma symptoms, and anaphylaxis. It's also known to interact with certain medications.


Why It's Recommended: Elderberry is renowned for its immune-boosting properties, particularly in combating viral infections like the common cold and flu. Rich in vitamins and antioxidants, elderberry can help reduce inflammation, alleviate stress, and support heart health.

Scientific Evidence: Studies have shown that elderberry supplementation can reduce the duration and severity of influenza symptoms. Its high antioxidant content supports the body's immune response and defence mechanisms.

Recommended Dosage: Elderberry supplements typically come in various forms, including syrups, gummies, tablets, and capsules. Some studies have suggested taking 15-30 mL of elderberry syrup four times a day for 3-5 days for cold and flu symptoms. However, dosages can vary based on the specific product.

Safety Profile: Elderberry is generally safe when used according to recommended dosages for short-term relief of cold and flu symptoms. However, raw or unripe elderberries and the leaves, seeds, and bark of the plant contain toxic substances and should not be consumed. Always use commercial preparations designed explicitly for supplement use, and consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen, especially for pregnant or breastfeeding women, children, and those with autoimmune diseases.


Why It's Recommended: Zinc is crucial for maintaining immune function. It plays a significant role in the development and function of immune cells, particularly T-lymphocytes. Zinc deficiency is known to impair immune responses, leading to increased susceptibility to a variety of pathogens.

Scientific Evidence: Research indicates that zinc supplementation can significantly reduce the duration of the common cold when taken within 24 hours of onset. Furthermore, zinc has been shown to protect against certain viral infections, possibly by enhancing antiviral immunity and inhibiting viral replication.

Recommended Dosage: The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for zinc varies by age, sex, and life stage. For adults, the RDA is 11 mg for men and 8 mg for women. Studies have used doses ranging from 50-100 mg per day for a short duration to treat cold symptoms. Still, long-term high-dose supplementation is not recommended due to the risk of copper deficiency and other side effects.

Safety Profile: Zinc is generally safe when taken in recommended amounts, but excessive zinc intake can interfere with the absorption of copper and lead to other adverse effects, such as nausea and gastrointestinal discomfort. It's crucial to balance zinc supplementation with dietary intake and consult a healthcare provider for personalised advice.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Why It's Recommended: Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil, flaxseed, and walnuts are essential for brain function and heart health. They also possess anti-inflammatory properties that can support immune function.

Scientific Evidence: Research indicates that omega-3s can enhance the function of immune B cells, playing a critical role in protecting the body against pathogens.

Recommended Dosage: The American Heart Association recommends two servings of fatty fish per week for healthy individuals. For omega-3 supplements, daily dosages of 250 to 500 mg of EPA and DHA are commonly recommended.

Safety Profile: Omega-3 supplements are considered safe for most people when taken in recommended doses. High doses can thin the blood and increase the risk of bleeding.


Why It's Recommended: Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that contribute to gut health and are closely tied to immune function. They can enhance the body's defence against pathogens by competing for nutrition and attachment sites in the gut.

Scientific Evidence: Studies show that probiotics can reduce the risk of respiratory tract infections and improve the response to vaccinations.

Recommended Dosage: There is no one-size-fits-all dosage for probiotics. Dosages are typically measured in colony-forming units (CFUs), with general recommendations ranging from 1 billion to 10 billion CFUs per day, depending on the strain and the desired health effect.

Safety Profile: Probiotics are generally considered safe for healthy individuals but may cause gas and bloating. Individuals with immune system problems or other severe health conditions should consult a healthcare provider before use.


Why It's Recommended: Selenium is a mineral essential for health. It plays a critical role in metabolism and thyroid function and has antioxidant properties that help protect against oxidative stress and infection.

Scientific Evidence: Adequate selenium intake is essential for immunity and can help prevent viral infections from becoming more severe.

Recommended Dosage: The RDA for selenium is 55 micrograms for adults. Selenium can be toxic at high levels, so it's important not to exceed the upper limit of 400 micrograms per day.

Safety Profile: Taking selenium supplements at recommended doses is safe. However, high doses can cause toxicity, resulting in symptoms such as gastrointestinal upset, hair loss, fatigue, and mild nerve damage.

Incorporating immune supplements into your daily routine can be an effective way to bolster your immune health, but it's crucial to approach supplementation with mindfulness and knowledge. Here's a guide on how to use immune supplements effectively and safely:

How to Use Immune Supplements

Start with a Balanced Diet

  • Foundation of Nutrition: Remember, supplements are adjuncts, not substitutes, for a healthy diet. A well-rounded diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins provides essential nutrients that support overall health, including immunity.

Consult with Healthcare Professionals

  • Personalised Recommendations: Before starting any supplement regimen, consult a healthcare provider or a naturopath. They can offer customised advice based on your health history, current medications, and specific needs.

Follow Recommended Dosages

  • Adhere to Guidelines: Pay close attention to the recommended dosages on supplement labels and adhere to any guidelines suggested by your healthcare provider. More is not always better; excessive intake of certain supplements can lead to adverse effects.

Consider Quality and Purity

  • Select Reputable Brands: Choose supplements from reputable manufacturers that adhere to high-quality standards. Look for products that have been independently tested for purity and potency.

Timing and Consistency

  • Regular Intake: Take supplements consistently and according to the product instructions or your healthcare provider's recommendations for the best results. Some supplements are best taken with meals for optimal absorption.

Monitor Your Response

  • Observe and Adjust: Pay attention to how your body responds to the supplements. If you experience any adverse effects, consult with your healthcare provider. They may suggest adjusting the dosage or trying an alternative.

Understand Synergies and Interactions

  • Complementary Effects: Some supplements can work synergistically, enhancing each other's effects. However, be aware of potential interactions between different supplements or with medications. Discuss these combinations with a healthcare provider.

Stay Informed

  • Ongoing Research: The field of nutrition and supplement research is constantly evolving. Stay informed about the latest studies and recommendations regarding immune health and supplementation.

Embrace a Holistic Approach

  • Beyond Supplements: Recognise that maintaining a robust immune system involves more than supplements. Adequate sleep, regular exercise, stress management, and not smoking are all critical components of a healthy immune system.

By following these guidelines, you can make informed decisions about using immune supplements as part of a comprehensive approach to support your immune health.

Lifestyle and Diet Considerations

Adopting a holistic approach to immune health involves more than just taking supplements. Your lifestyle and diet play pivotal roles in strengthening your immune system. Here are vital considerations to integrate into your daily routine for optimal immune function:

Prioritise a Nutrient-Rich Diet

  • Whole Foods: Focus on a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. These foods provide essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients that support immune function.
  • Diverse Nutrients: Ensure a variety of nutrients to support all aspects of the immune system. Vitamins A, C, D, E, B6, and B12 and minerals like zinc, selenium, and iron are particularly important for immune health.

Maintain Gut Health

  • Probiotics: Incorporate probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kombucha to support a healthy gut microbiome, which is crucial for immune function.
  • Fibre: High-fiber foods such as legumes, whole grains, and vegetables feed beneficial gut bacteria and promote gut health.

Stay Hydrated

  • Adequate Fluids: Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, to support overall health. Hydration is essential for lymphatic system function, which helps remove toxins and waste from the body.

Exercise Regularly

  • Moderate Exercise: Engage in regular, moderate exercise such as walking, cycling, or yoga. Exercise can help boost your immune system by promoting good circulation, which allows the immune system's cells and substances to move freely through the body and do their job efficiently.

Manage Stress

  • Stress Reduction: Chronic stress can weaken the immune system. Incorporate stress-reduction techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, and mindfulness into your daily routine.

Prioritise Sleep

  • Adequate Rest: Ensure you're getting enough sleep each night. Sleep plays a critical role in immune function; inadequate sleep has been linked to a higher susceptibility to illness.

Limit Alcohol and Avoid Smoking

  • Moderation: Excessive alcohol consumption can impair immune function. If you drink, do so in moderation.
  • No Smoking: Smoking damages the immune system and can make the body less successful at fighting disease.

Supplement Wisely

  • Complementary Approach: While supplements can bolster your immune system, they should complement, not replace, a healthy lifestyle.

By embracing these lifestyle and diet considerations, you're not just supporting your immune system but enhancing your overall health and well-being. Making these practices a part of your everyday life can help you maintain a robust immune system and a vibrant, healthy body.

Personalizing Your Immune Support Strategy

As we've explored a range of supplements and lifestyle practices known to bolster immune health, it's crucial to remember that individual needs can vary. Factors such as age, existing health conditions, lifestyle, and even geographic location play a role in determining the most effective strategies for you. Here's why personalisation matters:

  • Unique Health Profiles: People's health history and current condition shape their nutritional needs and how their body responds to different supplements.
  • Lifestyle Considerations: Daily habits, stress levels, dietary patterns, and physical activity influence immune function and supplementation needs.
  • Collaborative Approach: Working with healthcare professionals can help tailor recommendations to fit your specific circumstances, ensuring that you support your immune system in the most effective way possible.

Adopting a holistic and personalised approach to immune health empowers you to make informed decisions that align with your body's unique requirements, optimising your wellness journey.

Find Your Supplement Shield


In our journey through the best immune-boosting supplements and lifestyle habits for 2024, we've highlighted the importance of a balanced, informed approach to enhancing immune health. Remember, the key to a robust immune system lies in what supplements we take and how we live our lives—embracing a holistic strategy that includes proper nutrition, exercise, and stress management.

As you incorporate these supplements and practices into your routine, always consider your unique health needs and consult healthcare professionals to tailor your approach. Let's make 2024 a year of empowered, proactive steps towards better health and stronger immunity.


This guide is intended for educational and informational purposes and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read in this guide. The supplements and practices recommended here may only be suitable for some. They should be used in consultation with a healthcare professional to ensure they align with your health needs.

  • Better Health Channel. "Immune system explained." Link
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Vaccines and Immunizations." Link
  • National Sleep Foundation. "How Sleep Affects Your Immunity." Link
Tagged: Immune Health