Health & Wellness

The Top-Rated Immune Support Supplements of 2020

Peter Gold
Health Editor

Peter is a practitioner of naturopathic medicine, applying his craft in the Pacific Northwest. His passion is preventive care and self-healing. His philosophy is healthy habits help people live their lives to the fullest.

How We Found the Best Immune Support Supplements

ImmunityFamily

If staying healthy is on your mind, like many people today, you may be considering adding an immune system support supplement to your daily routine. And that makes good sense – because a healthy, highly responsive immune system is the key to a long and healthy life.

But before you drop your hard-earned money on just any immune support formula, here’s what you need to know. While some immunity blends may help your immune system respond more quickly and efficiently, the reality is that many fall short. We’ve discovered that some of the most popular brands use unproven ingredients, insufficient levels of active ingredients, or low-quality fillers.

To help you cut through the clutter and make an informed decision, we put together this comprehensive immune system supplement guide. We looked at a wide array of ingredients that claim to have immune system supporting benefits. We determined – based on months of research – which ingredients are “must-haves.” We then looked at dozens of formulas, selected our favorites, and figured out what to avoid. Only the best products with outstanding user satisfaction, generous return policies, and high value made our top 5 list.

How Your Immune System Works

Your immune system’s primary task is fighting off infection-causing microbes like viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It also fights cell changes inside your body that cause diseases. You don’t notice your immune system when things are running smoothly, but if it’s too weak to fight off an aggressive invader – you can become quite ill.

T-cells and B-cells are two types of white blood cells that your immune system uses to defend your body from harmful outside invaders. When a microbe enters your body, it triggers a series of white blood cell responses.

T-cells recognize that the microbe is foreign, and then a type of T-cell called a killer cell eliminates it.

Your immune system remembers every microbe it has ever defeated. It reacts quickly the next time that microbe enters your body before it has a chance to multiply and make you sick again. B-cells create the antibodies that quickly defeat previously encountered microbes. That’s called immunity.

Without a balanced and supported immune system, you have no way of fighting invaders that enter your body or harmful elements that manifest inside your body. For these reasons, fortifying your immune system so it can function at its peak is one of the surest ways to stay healthy. 1-2

Quality Immune Support Supplements Help To:

  • Support the immune system process8-12
  • Enhance antibody response10-12
  • Modulate the activation of immune system cells such as B-cells and T-cells11
  • Reduce the likelihood of contracting an infection16
  • Decrease the duration of illnesses8-9
  • Reduce the severity of upper respiratory symptoms8-10
  • Alleviate allergy symptoms8

5 Common Things That Can Weaken Your Immune System

Nobody’s perfect. We all do things that can negatively impact our immune system response. While some of these choices are in your control, others are unavoidable. Gaining a better awareness, adjusting behaviors as much as possible, and adding an immune support supplement can go a long way towards reversing the damage.

Too Little Sleep

Lack of sleep prevents your immune system from fully restoring its defense abilities, leading to a higher risk for infections. During sleep, your body makes pathogen fighting antibodies and maintains white blood cell count.3

Poor Diet Choices

Your immune system counts on a healthy, balanced diet to run smoothly. Overdoing sugar and artificial ingredients that have no nutritional value inhibit immune system function.4

Dehydration

Water plays a critical role in removing toxins, and waste products from your body, bolstering your immune system’s ability to fight off infections. When you’re properly hydrated, you can better maintain proper blood pressure, which reduces strain on your body. Water is also essential for blood circulation, which guides nutrients to where they are needed to defend your immune system. Drinking too little water suppresses your immune system function.5

Smoking

Smoking and vaping weaken your immune system and damages your lungs. Harmful chemicals in cigarettes and vape products weaken your innate defenses against pathogens. Smokers also cough and touch their faces more often, increasing the risk of transmitting infections.6

Stress

When you’re stressed, your body produces a chemical called cortisol, which decreases the production of certain hormones that support immune function. Stress also makes you more susceptible to colds and the flu.7

Top 4 Ingredients for a Quality Immune System Supplement

We spent months researching immune system supplements and gathering user feedback. There are specific ingredients that, when present in a formula, help differentiate high-quality immune system supplements from generic ones. Below are the four most essential ingredients to consider before deciding on which brand is best for your needs.

Elderberry

Elderberry

Elderberry is grown in Europe and is used in medicinal remedies around the world. Elderberry’s benefits include helping alleviate allergy, cold, and flu symptoms and helping reduce the duration of illness if you do get sick. 8-9 Multiple studies found that elderberry in supplement form can dramatically decrease upper respiratory symptoms caused by viral infections. Elderberry also includes antioxidant-rich polyphenols micronutrients. The polyphenols found in elderberry help increase the number of white blood cells, which supports your immune system function.

Echinacea

Echinacea

Echinacea is a flower from the daisy family that is loaded with antioxidants that defend your body from oxidative stress, best known for their beneficial effect on your immune system. Echinacea helps stimulate white blood cell activity and energizes your immune cells, making them more efficient at attacking harmful bacteria and viruses. Study after study shows it may assist your immune system in combating viruses and infections. Echinacea has also been shown in studies to help reduce the risk of contracting a cold by up to 58% and helps reduce the duration by up to 36 hours. 10,15

Zinc

Zinc

Zinc is a critical trace mineral that affects your ability to make immune cells and produce antibodies necessary for immune response. According to the European Journal of Immunology, zinc is required for both the activation of T-cells and their proliferation. It’s also been shown to help decrease the incidences of respiratory tract infections. 11-12

Lactobacillus acidophilus Probiotic

Lactobacillus acidophilus Probiotic

Many studies show that probiotic bacteria living in your digestive tract benefits your immune system. L. acidophilus specifically has been found to strengthen your immunity while reducing your risk for infections like those that cause the flu and common cold.

L. acidophilus seems to recognize harmful foreign microbes in your digestive tract and stimulates your immune system to fight the threat. It also helps activate antibody formation to prevent the growth of harmful microbes like candida, E-coli, and salmonella, which can cause illness. And finally, research has shown that these remarkable friendly bacteria may reduce the number and severity of respiratory infections. 13-14

We suggest finding a formula that combines L. acidophilus with Elderberry as studies show that these two ingredients together increase your immune system’s sensitivity meaning it more quickly recognizes and reacts to invading pathogens. 15

3 Things To AVOID
When Buying an Immune Support Supplement

1. Insufficient Return Policy

A reputable immune system supplement brand will demonstrate they have faith in their product by offering a 100% money-back guarantee policy. Some try to complicate their refund policies by placing limitations on what kind of returns they will take. Avoid any brand that does not have at minimum a no questions asked 90-day money-back guarantee.

2. Relying on Amazon Reviews

Research showed that in March 2019, there were 1.8 million new unverified reviews, with an average of 99.6% of them being 5-star reviews.16 Most of these reviews are from people paid to write them. These fake reviews inflate the number and overall star rating of a product. When deciding on a product that can impact your health, don’t rely on Amazon reviews as they can be extremely misleading.17

3. Proprietary Blends

Supplement makers are required by the FDA to list all ingredients in the “Supplement Facts” panel. Another requirement is to include the weight next to the name – unless it’s a proprietary blend. With proprietary blends, manufacturers need only show the total weight. This practice may seem harmless, but there are a handful of serious problems. First, manufacturers can hide the amount of fillers in their products. And when dealing with proprietary blends, there’s no way of knowing if the supplement contains an effective dose of the ingredients with proven health benefits. There’s also some risk that an ingredient is over the recommended amount, which can lead to unpleasant side effects. Too much zinc, for instance, can lead to diarrhea, headaches, or vomiting, so it’s crucial you know how much you are getting of each ingredient in the supplements you’re taking.24

2020’s Top Immune Support Supplements

Our review encompassed dozens of different immune support supplements, putting each through our rigorous Review Scout assessment process. To determine 2020’s Top 5 Immune System Supplements, we looked for predicted effectiveness, safety, return policy, and overall customer satisfaction.

#1 Stonehenge Health Dynamic Immunity

A+

Overall Grade

#1 Stonehenge Health Dynamic Immunity

  • OVERALL RATING9.7/10
  • Predicted Effectiveness9.7/10
  • Value9.6/10
  • Safety9.9/10
  • Return Policy9.8/10
  • User Satisfaction9.7/10
PROS
  • Includes Our Top 4 Ingredients – Elderberry, Echinacea, Zinc, Lactobacillus acidophilus Probiotic
  • Vegan with Vegetarian Capsule, Allergen Free, Antibiotic Free, Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Hormone Free, No Binders or Fillers
  • Endorsed by a Doctor
  • Plus 6 Addition Immune-Boosting Ingredients: Garlic, Vitamins C, B6, and E,
    L-glutamine HCL, and Turmeric Curcumin
  • Can be used as both a Daily Immune Support Supplement and Rapid Response When Sick
  • Verified 90-day
    100% money-back return policy
CONS
  • Often out of stock due to high demand
Why We Chose It

Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Immunity is Review Scout’s number one choice for daily immune support supplement. In reviewing dozens of brands, we found that most include one or two of our top ingredients but rarely all four. This formula is a potent blend of 10 immune-boosting ingredients. The blend including our favorites: Elderberry, Echinacea, Zinc, and Lactobacillus acidophilus Probiotic, along with Garlic, Vitamins C, B6, and E, L-glutamine HCL, and Turmeric Curcumin.

We were impressed that Stonehenge Health chose to include probiotic strain Lactobacillus acidophilus, which you’ll rarely find in an immune support supplement. Numerous studies show that this probiotic strain supports the immune system and helps reduce the risk of contracting a viral infection. 18

Dynamic Immunity’s Elderberry Extract is super concentrated at a 10 to 1 ratio, meaning it’s 300 mg dosage is equivalent to 3,000 mg of pure Elderberry. We also like that this blend uses Echinacea purpurea aerial. The aerial parts of Echinacea, meaning the leaves and flowers instead of the roots, contain higher concentrations of polysaccharides that are best for ongoing immune system support. 19

Rather than taking separate pills, we like that you get the benefits of all these bug fighting immune boosters in one easy to swallow supplement. This formula has the right combination of ingredients to help strengthen your immune system and support your body’s ability to fight off infections quickly if you get sick.

We were able to verify that Stonehenge Health’s formula does not contain any synthetic fillers, artificial ingredients, or sugars. Stonehenge Health backs all of its supplements with a no-questions-asked, 90-day money-back guarantee and is one of the few brands to be endorsed by a board-certified doctor. We also like that they offer customers discounts on bundles. Click on the link below to see their current specials.

*Results are based on user-generated experiences with these products, and individual results may vary. Please refer to the manufacturer’s product website for detailed information.

#2 Truvani Immune Support

A-

Overall Grade

#2 Truvani Immune Support

  • OVERALL RATING9.0/10
  • Predicted Effectiveness8.9/10
  • Value9/10
  • Safety9.5/10
  • Return Policy8.5/10
  • User Satisfaction8.9/10
PROS
  • Contains Elderberry Extract, Echinacea, Garlic, and Astragalus
  • Non-GMO, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, and vegan
CONS
  • Tablets instead of capsules
  • Does not include Zinc or a Probiotic
  • Limited 30 Day money-back guarantee
Why We Chose It

Truvani Immune Support is a quality supplement that promises to support your immune system’s health while it helps your body respond if you do become sick. It includes two of our four favorite ingredients: Elderberry Extract and Echinacea. It’s 300 mg dosage of Elderberry Extract is at a respectable 4 to 1 concentration ratio.

We like that Immune Support is made with organic real food ingredients that are third-party tested to ensure purity. Although this brand is missing Zinc and a probiotic, it does include Astragalus Root, a polysaccharide-rich herb native to China that supports respiratory health. 20

Truvani chose to make this supplement in tablet form instead of capsules. The problem with tablets is that they break down inconsistently in your body, decreasing absorption and overall effectiveness. Studies show that capsules have higher bioavailability than tablets, meaning more nutrients are likely to enter your bloodstream.21 Truvani allows only 30 days to return the product for a full refund.

*Results are based on user-generated experiences with these products, and individual results may vary. Please refer to the manufacturer’s product website for detailed information.

#3 Pure Synergy Rapid Rescue

B+

Overall Grade

#3 Pure Synergy Rapid Rescue

  • OVERALL RATING8.9/10
  • Predicted Effectiveness8.8/10
  • Value8.4/10
  • Safety9/10
  • Return Policy9.5/10
  • User Satisfaction8.9/10
PROS
  • Contains Elderberry and Echinacea
  • 90 Day money-back guarantee
  • Organic ingredients
  • Non-GMO, No Gluten, No dairy, Np sugar, No artificial ingredients
CONS
  • Missing Zinc, Garlic, and a Probiotic
  • Not a daily immune support supplement
Why We Chose It

Pure Synergy suggests you reach for Rapid Rescue as soon as you start feeling under the weather. Instead of a daily immune system support supplement, this product is marketed as a treatment that promises a fast-acting immune response if you find yourself becoming ill or are in the midst of an illness.

The ingredients in Synergy’s formula have been shown to support its “rescue” claim. Elderberry is known to reduce the severity and duration of infections. 22 Andrographis Extract is an immunostimulant for upper respiratory tract infections. 23 Echinacea purpurea Juice Extract is a particular ingredient shown in studies as being useful for the short-term treatment of cold infections and encouraging healthy throat, sinus, and repository health. 19 Many of the comments from users support the claim that this product may help stop cold and flu symptoms from progressing.

The makers suggest taking two pills three times a day for one week. One bottle contains 42 capsules, suitable for one bout of cold or flu. Pure Synergy offers a generous 90 Day money-back guarantee.

*Results are based on user-generated experiences with these products, and individual results may vary. Please refer to the manufacturer’s product website for detailed information.

#4 Garden of Life Elderberry Immune Gummy

B

Overall Grade

#4 Garden of Life Elderberry Immune Gummy

  • OVERALL RATING8.6/10
  • Predicted Effectiveness8.8/10
  • Value8.5/10
  • Safety8/10
  • Return Policy8.8/10
  • User Satisfaction9/10
PROS
  • Certified organic ingredients
  • Good taste
  • Contains Elderberry, Echinacea, and Zinc
CONS
  • 7 grams of sugar per serving
  • Proprietary Blend
  • Limited 14 Day money-back guarantee
Why We Chose It

Garden of Life Elderberry Immune Gummies is a popular immune support supplement with both adults and kids. These gummies are made with certified organic, non-GMO verified real fruit. Its primary immune-boosting ingredient is Black Elderberry concentrate and extract. Although it’s 355mg dosage is substantial, the supporting ingredients are at insignificant levels. For instance, you’ll find only 50 mg of Echinacea Root Extract and 100mg of Aronia Berry concentrate in this formulation.

Many users claim this product tastes good, commenting that they’re as good as candy. On the bright side, the pleasing taste encourages people – especially kids, to take them every day. The problem is with the 7 grams of sugar in each serving. One week’s dosage has the sugar equivalent of 2 1/2 Snickers bars. That’s a lot of sugar! And something you should consider if you’re keeping an eye on your weight. Finally, we were disappointed in Garden of Life’s return policy. You have a mere 14 days from the day you purchase to return this product for a refund.

*Results are based on user-generated experiences with these products, and individual results may vary. Please refer to the manufacturer’s product website for detailed information.

#5 Nufargo Berrymune

B-

Overall Grade

#5 Nufargo Berrymune

  • OVERALL RATING8.2/10
  • Predicted Effectiveness8.3/10
  • Value8/10
  • Safety8/10
  • Return Policy8.5/10
  • User Satisfaction8.4/10
PROS
  • Includes Elderberry and Zinc
  • Doubles as a multivitamin
  • Boosts energy levels
  • Includes Tibetan Buckthorn
CONS
  • Magnesium Stearate and Silicon Dioxide
  • Proprietary Blend
  • Missing Echinacea, Garlic, and Probiotics
  • Gelatin Capsules – not vegan
Why We Chose It

Nufargos Berrymune contains two superfruit berry extracts – Elderberry and Tibetan Buchthorn – plus 11 vitamins and minerals to support your immune system. Nurfargo claims that this blend has antioxidant benefits that keep inflammation under control along with ingredients Elderberry Extract, Zinc, and Vitamin C to promote a healthy respiratory tract. Berrymune contains a high dosage of B vitamins to help boost your energy levels.

There were a few things that we found disappointing with Berrymune. First, they’ve hidden the amount of Elderberry Extract in a propriety blend, so there’s no way of knowing how much of this proven herb is in the formula. Second, the supplements contain both Silicon Dioxide and Magnesium Stearate, two fillers that you should avoid. And finally, Nufargos only offers a limited 30-day return policy.

*Results are based on user-generated experiences with these products, and individual results may vary. Please refer to the manufacturer’s product website for detailed information.

Citations
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  2. “The Immune System”. 2020. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/the-immune-system.
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  17. Amazon Flooded With Millions Of Fake Reviews In 2019 – Reviewmeta Blog “. 2019. Reviewmeta.Com. https://reviewmeta.com/blog/amazon-flooded-with-millions-of-fake-reviews-in-2019/.
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  20. H, Koehler, Puchalski K, Ruiz G, Jacobs B, and Langland J. 2020. “The Role Of Endophytic/Epiphytic Bacterial Constituents In The Immunostimulatory Activity Of The Botanical, Astragalus Membranaceus”. The Yale Journal Of Biology And Medicine 93 (2). https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32607085/
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  24. Office of Dietary Supplements – Zinc. “Office Of Dietary Supplements – Zinc”. 2020. Ods.Od.Nih.Gov. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-HealthProfessional/.