Immune supplements? Here’s what the data says…

As winter arrives, billions of dollars flow into ads promoting supplements that claim to boost your immune system and prevent infection. You’ll see the taglines - “supports a healthy immune system!” - everywhere. Well, what’s the research say? Let’s take a look…

--- Vitamins and Minerals ---

 Vitamin C

Truth: Regular vitamin C supplementation may marginally reduce the duration and severity of colds but starting vitamin C supplementation after you’ve become sick seems to have no effect. The exception is in the athletes population that undergoes intense exercise, where regular vitamin C supplementation seems to help prevent colds. Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4]

Provided at custom dosage in your Rootine formula.


Truth: Zinc lozenges seem to help reduce the duration of cold symptoms when started immediately at the onset. Preliminary evidence in the elderly shows some benefit from oral zinc supplementation in reducing infections, but the data did not reach significance. Sources: [1] [2] [3]

Provided at custom dosage in your Rootine formula.

Vitamin D

Truth: Vitamin D plays a role in regulating immune cells and a deficiency can impair immunity. This statement is supported by epidemiological evidence showing an association between low vitamin D levels and an increased risk of upper respiratory tract infections (viral). In addition, a meta-analyses (completed in 2017) determined supplemental vitamin D may help prevent upper respiratory tract infections. Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

Provided at custom dosage in your Rootine formula.

Vitamin E

Truth: Increased T-cell mediated immunity has been demonstrated with vitamin E supplementation in elderly populations. This benefit does not translate to younger populations. Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4]

Provided at custom dosage in your Rootine formula.

--- Botanicals ---

The evidence is shaky at best as we enter the herbal category, with most evidence being mixed or study populations not large enough to reach significance. 


Truth: May reduce the risk of upper respiratory tract infections but data is scarce. Benefits are small at best. Sources: [1] [2]


Truth: While understudied, elderberries may reduce duration and severity of colds and even the flu. Please note, the elderberry plant is poisonous and the berries must be prepared properly. Sources: [1] [2] [3]


--- Lifestyle Solutions ---

What else can you do?

The most promising methods to prevent illness are daily habits that should always be practiced:

  • Eat a healthful diet
  • Exercise
  • Drink enough water
  • Reduce contact with potential carriers
  • Wash your hands
  • Do not touch hands to mouth, eyes, nose, or face
  • Prioritize sleep
  • Manage stress
  • Maintain healthy skin


--- About Rootine's Immune Support ---

As the "immune system" is an incredibly complex and diverse system, at Rootine we take a comprehensive approach to immune support. We offer 18 nutrients in customized doses based on your DNA, blood and lifestyle data, including 10 nutrients that have been shown to support immune system function:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B9 (folate)
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin D
  • Zinc
  • Iron
  • Copper
  • Selenium
  • MSM
  • CoQ10

Click here to learn more.