Before lockdowns and self-isolation, to keep your immune system functioning well you might have thought all it took was a decent dose of vitamin C, a pinch of echinacea and for the very brave, maybe a garlic clove or two. Obviously, things have changed. As we adjust to this ‘new normal’, it’s no longer important to keep our immune systems functioning well, it’s critical. And that’s why next generation immune support formulas are becoming increasingly popular.
Before we begin, let’s be clear about the fundamentals of immune support through supplementation. Immune support formulas aren’t designed to combat a winter nasty once you have one. Their purpose is to top up already healthy immune systems so they’re ‘battle-ready’ should an attack occur. To do this, traditional mainstays like Vitamin C or zinc are a good option and just as relevant as they ever were. The difference is the way in which they’re now formulated is far superior not only in terms of convenience but efficiency. Where the big advancements are being made is that unlike formulas of old, these ‘next gen’ options are specifically designed for your body to get the most out of them. The result is a more potent level of support.
The convenience factor is relatively easy to achieve. You just have to pick a brand able to provide a wide range of delivery options. In the old days, you might have been limited to multiple large, difficult to swallow capsules. Now, there’s one-a-day formulas, gummies, powders, liquids, you name it. The real test, however, is the absorption factor. This is what the more advanced natural health companies are focusing on because it has a direct impact on how much immune support a particular formula can provide. Two formulas gaining widespread attention in relation to this include Liposomal Vitamin C, and Methionine-bound Zinc called Zinc Complex.
Liposomal Vitamin C is considered a groundbreaking option for high-dose vitamin C because of the sheer volume it allows the body to absorb. Normally, the body struggles to absorb anything over 200mg. This is when liposomes come in handy. Liposomes are microscopic spheres that carry vitamin C at their core. Unlike standard vitamin C, Liposomal Vitamin C is absorbed by fusing to small intestinal cells in the gut. The result is a more direct release of vitamin C into the blood stream and a higher absorption rate. In other words, more of the good stuff gets into you.
Zinc Complex is also showing promising results, the result of a fusing two immune support ‘superheroes’ together. While Zinc is well known for its immune supporting qualities, it’s methionine that takes things next level. Methionine is an amino acid found in many proteins including those in certain foods and the tissues and organs of your body. It plays a critical role in supporting immunity because it produces specific molecules vital for normal cell function, one of which is cysteine. Cysteine can then create glutathione which is sometimes called the ‘master antioxidant’ due to its important role in your body’s defenses. By binding methionine to zinc, your immune system essentially gets a ‘double whammy’.
Post-lockdown, our lives will return to normal, to a degree. Some things might irrevocably change and it’s highly likely our attitudes to immune support will be one. The rule of thumb moving forward is that we can’t just assume all we need is what we’ve always had. The stakes are higher and for that we need high level support. Stay safe New Zealand!