If you’ve got kiddos that go to school, you’re probably no stranger to the overlap of back-to-school with the start of cold and flu season. Knowing how to strengthen your immune system quickly can relieve some of this pressure.
Many of our kids spend a lot of time outdoors during summer, and now have to adjust to spending most of the day confined indoors again. When you add exposure to a new group of kids with variable viral loads, it’s logical that an immune system adjustment period must follow.
Preparing for back-to-school should include more than just office supplies and new shoes. We’ve got some pretty compelling reasons to add Acute Immune Boost to your shopping list this fall.
What is Acute Immune Boost?
Acute Immune Boost is a nutritional supplement whose formula includes botanical extracts, vitamins, and minerals known to support the immune system through multiple pathways.
Designed to strengthen your immune system quickly, this is the boost you’re looking for when faced with a viral threat. Great for back-to-school, preparation for air travel, or other times when you foresee your immune system facing a challenge.
Acute Immune Boost contains potent and powerful doses of vitamins A, C, D, zinc, elderberry, andrographis, and N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine.
How will Acute Immune Boost support my immune system?
To start, the most famous immune-boosting vitamin: Vitamin C. Regular supplementation of vitamin C has been associated with a reduced duration (in adults by 8%, in children by 14%), severity, and incidence (by 9% in the general population) of the common cold . These effects are likely seen due to vitamin C’s support of various immune cells, as it enhances their ability to protect against infection . Vitamin C also functions as a powerful antioxidant, repairing and protecting against oxidative damage from the accumulation of free radicals .
Vitamin D plays a role in innate immunity, and there are vitamin D-dependent antimicrobial proteins that combat infections . It enhances the pathogen-fighting effects of monocytes and macrophages, white blood cells that are important parts of your immune defense . Vitamin D also has anti-inflammatory properties, which helps promote other pathways of immune response .
Although the body makes vitamin D in response to sunlight, supplementary vitamin D becomes more necessary in fall and winter. As we spend more time indoors, the more likely we are to develop vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency.
In 1928, vitamin A was dubbed “the anti-inflammation vitamin” as one of its first notable effects was its ability to enhance the anti-inflammatory processes . Now we know that vitamin A plays a major role in the innate immune system. For one, it is necessary for the maintenance of mucosal barriers that protect tissues against viral or pathogenic infection . It also promotes the function of immune cells such as neutrophils, macrophages, and natural killer cells .
Vitamin A plays a role in the adaptive immune system too, as it induces T cell migration and activation, as well as some helper cell responses .
Impaired immune function due to inadequate zinc status may be the most common cause of secondary immunodeficiency in humans . Zinc can inhibit replication of the rhinovirus (which causes the common cold) and has been demonstrated to shorten the duration of colds by approximately 33% . Zinc can help strengthen your immune system quickly. It is suggested that zinc supplementation is most effective when started within 24 hours of symptom onset .
N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC) is yet another nutrient with anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, and respiratory supportive effects . NAC may aid in shortening the duration of respiratory tract/bronchial infections, as it can loosen the viscosity of mucous by disrupting the glycoprotein matrix structure [6,7]. When colds lead to excess mucus formation, NAC may help to thin mucus for easier expectoration (productive coughing).
In terms of medicinal herbal ingredients, elderberries are a staple in traditional, natural remedies for colds and flu. Observational and clinical studies support this history of use, as elderberries have been scientifically linked to a significant reduction in the duration and severity of colds and flu-like symptoms .
Prepping for travel is another time you’ll likely want to strengthen your immune system quickly. There may also be preventative benefits to taking elderberry extract before extended air travel. One study noted a significant reduction in both severity and duration of colds in those who supplemented with elderberry before and during trips when compared to a placebo group .
Elderberries also contain a variety of nutrients ranging from various vitamins (A, B1, B2, B6, B9, C, and E), trace elements (such as Cu, Zn, and Fe), minerals (such as K, Ca and Mg), and phytochemicals (such as carotenoids, phytosterols, and polyphenols).
Andrographis or A. Paniculata (Burm.f.) Wall ex Nees (Acanthaceae family), also known as nemone chinensi, or Chuān Xīn Lián, is a traditional component of Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. It is typically suggested for relief from the severity and duration of common colds, alleviating fevers, coughs, and sore throats .
Double-blind placebo studies have shown that A. Paniculata can support a quicker recovery from cough and sore throat, allowing for an overall shorter duration of sick-leave/downtime after a respiratory infection .
Can I take this supplement daily/long term?
Originally, our team of physicians and nutrition experts designed Acute Immune Boost for short-term use only. They also formulated it for use in tandem with a multivitamin. As a “boost”, it delivers extra nutrition at times when your body may be using more of those particular nutrients to fight infection.
Depending on your diet, health status, and content of other supplements you take, these doses may be totally appropriate for indefinite use.
However, because of the potent doses of vitamin A, vitamin D, and zinc, it would be prudent to speak with your doctor before taking Acute Immune Boost, especially if you intend to continue taking it in the long term. Our bodies store these vitamins and minerals, and if levels build too high up over time there can be negative consequences.
- Rondanelli, Mariangela, et al. “Self-care for common colds: the pivotal role of vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc, and Echinacea in three main immune interactive clusters (physical barriers, innate and adaptive immunity) involved during an episode of common colds—Practical advice on dosages and on the time to take these nutrients/botanicals in order to prevent or treat common colds.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2018 (2018).
- Darbar, Soumendra, Srimoyee Saha, and Sangita Agarwal. “Immunomodulatory role of vitamin C, D and E to fight against COVID-19 infection through boosting immunity: A Review‖.” Parana Journal of Science and Education 7.1 (2021): 10-18.
- Chesney RW. “Vitamin D and The Magic Mountain: the anti-infectious role of the vitamin.” JPediatr (2010) 156:698-703.
- Huang, Zhiyi, et al. “Role of vitamin A in the immune system.” Journal of clinical medicine 7.9 (2018): 258.
- Maggini, S., S. Beveridge, and M. Suter. “A combination of high-dose vitamin C plus zinc for the common cold.” Journal of International Medical Research 40.1 (2012): 28-42.
- Rushworth, Gordon F., and Ian L. Megson. “Existing and potential therapeutic uses for N-acetylcysteine: the need for conversion to intracellular glutathione for antioxidant benefits.” Pharmacology & therapeutics 141.2 (2014): 150-159.
- Wei, Jia, et al. “Effect of orally administered N-acetylcysteine on chronic bronchitis: A Meta-analysis.” Advances in therapy 36.12 (2019): 3356-3367.
- Krawitz, Christian, et al. “Inhibitory activity of a standardized elderberry liquid extract against clinically-relevant human respiratory bacterial pathogens and influenza A and B viruses.” BMC complementary and alternative medicine 11.1 (2011): 16.
- Hu, Xiao-Yang, et al. “Andrographis paniculata (Chuān Xīn Lián) for symptomatic relief of acute respiratory tract infections in adults and children: A systematic review and meta-analysis.” PloS one 12.8 (2017): e0181780.