In addition to a healthy diet, supplements can help support a healthy immune system and respiratory health. Supplements can help fill nutritional gaps, ensuring your body gets the nutrients it needs for optimal immune function.
Unfortunately, some supplement labels misrepresent what’s inside, so it is important to understand your supplement label to make sure you are getting optimal support.
You have made the decision to add supplemental support to your immune health routine. But, there are so many options out there. It is important to have the right information, so you can make good purchasing decisions and use your supplement effectively and safely. The label of your immune health supplement is where you will find all the information you need.
Suggested use: Supplements are regulated as food, so every label must provide information about suggested use or servings. It is important to take only the recommended amount for effective results and optimal health.
Cautions or warnings: Any cautions regarding ingredients need to be clearly stated. This lets you know if you need to avoid or take precautions when taking certain products.
Storage: Every quality supplement should provide storage information. This information helps to preserve the quality and potency of the supplement to maintain its effectiveness and freshness for optimal health results. It also provides safety information.
As an example, you can find these details on the box and right side of the bottle of 1MD Nutrition’s ImmunityMD®:
Suggested Use: As a dietary supplement, adults take two (2) capsules, once (1x) daily, with a meal, or as recommended by a healthcare practitioner.
WARNING: Consult a healthcare practitioner if you are pregnant or nursing, have a serious medical condition or use any medications.
KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN. DO NOT USE IF SAFETY SEAL IS DAMAGED OR MISSING. STORE IN A COOL, DRY PLACE. COLOR MAY VARY.
Expiration date: Along with proper storage, you also need to know the expiration date of your supplement. This should be provided on every label, assuring you that your supplement will contain the claimed potency until the date provided.
Dietary seals: While the information may be displayed in different formats, it is essential for all dietary restrictions to be addressed on the label.
Quality standards: A quality product will feature the GMP logo. This assures that the supplements are made according to the current FDA good manufacturing practices (cGMPs).
Manufacturer information: A quality supplement will provide the manufacturer's information, including phone number, email, and website, so that you can reach out to them with any questions or concerns about their product.
FDA compliance: Including a statement like the one below shows that the manufacturer is compliant with FDA regulations and that the company has integrity for their products and the statements that they make.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease
Failure to include this statement would be a red flag that the company is not following basic regulations to ensure their product is safe and effective.
Now that you know which important general information to look out for, you can take a deeper dive into the supplement. What ingredients are included, and what can this supplement do for you?
When it comes to immune system and respiratory health, the key features you want to focus on include functional description, health category, function claims, and ingredients.
The label should include a functional description that tells you how the product and its ingredients support your health. This description can be short or more detailed. 1MD Nutrition’s immune supplement description can be found on the box.
ImmunityMD® pairs two doctor-selected probiotic strains, L. acidophilus and L. rhamnosus, with a potent dosage of L-lysine and zinc, providing a comprehensive formula to support immune response, promote lip, skin, and oral health, and aid calmness.*
BreatheMD™ is a comprehensive formula combining African geranium with nine potent ingredients, including botanicals, vitamins, minerals, and an amino acid to promote antioxidant activity, respiratory system performance, immune system defenses, and provide better overall health.*
For a quick reference of which system in your body the supplement is designed for and how it will benefit your health, labels will provide the health function category and highlighted function claims.
When looking at 1MD Nutrition’s immune health supplements, the box and bottle labels feature the main product attribute in bold and the key health benefits you need to know at a glance.
COMPREHENSIVE IMMUNE SUPPORT
Supports Healthy Immune System Response*
12 Billion CFUs
1000 mg L-Lysine
LUNG & RESPIRATORY SUPPORT
Scientifically-Formulated Lung Support*
Promotes a Healthy Respiratory System*
Potent Immune System Support*
One of the most important components of any supplement is ingredients. Every supplement should include a supplement facts table listing every ingredient, the amount per serving, and the %DV (the percentage of the daily recommended value, this amount of a given ingredient is).
Not every list will include a number in the percentage daily value column. This is nothing to worry about and simply means that the FDA has not made an official recommendation for how much of this nutrient you should have.
♦ Zinc is essential for overall health and should be consumed daily, up to 11 milligrams per day for men and 8 milligrams per day for women. This essential mineral supports immune cell activity to promote healthy immune responses that protect against everyday toxins.
♦ Lactobacillus Acidophilus is safe when taken as directed and helps ensure the growth of the beneficial gut bacteria at the root of immune system strength to help promote healthy immune responses.
♦ Lactobacillus Rhamnosus should be taken according to the recommended dosage and helps maintain a healthy microbiome balance, which supports immune responses, so your body can take on everyday threats.
♦ L-Lysine at a 1000 milligram dosage per day is considered safe and effective, helps support immune cell activity, and reduces everyday stress levels connected to occasional skin outbreaks in and around the mouth.
♦ NutraFlora® Prebiotic fibers help nourish probiotics to help maintain a healthy balance in the gut microbiome to support healthy immune system function.
♦ Vitamin C daily doses are 120 milligrams for adult men and women. This vitamin is a key player in immune system activity, supporting white cell production and strengthening the epithelial lining of the respiratory tract, which is the main defense of the immune system.
♦ Vitamin D3 is safe up to the daily recommended dose of 5000IU per day. As part of your daily routine, it helps to activate key peptides in the immune system, promoting strong immune responses.
♦ Vitamin E is recommended at daily doses of 15 mg and helps support T-cell production, a broad class of immune cells responsible for identifying and taking out problem cells.
♦ Chromium is safe up to 1,000 mcg per day and helps reproduce crucial immune cells known as T-cells and macrophages.
♦ African Geranium is an herbal extract considered safe for adult consumption and can help promote healthy immune cell activity and helps the body’s natural healing rate.
♦ Elderberry Fruit Extract can be taken safely as a supplement or syrup and helps support immune cell activity and helps relieve common fatigue, nasal drippage, and cough.
♦ Marshmallow Root Extract is considered safe for adult supplementation up to 100 milligrams per day. It helps maintain normal mucus thickness, allowing it to be coughed up normally and be removed from the airways to support respiratory and lung health.
♦ L-Cysteine should be taken according to recommended dosages and helps support lung health by reducing everyday oxidative stress and relieving occasional respiratory symptoms.
Be sure to check the ‘other ingredients’ section of the supplement facts to make sure you are not getting a bunch of fillers and additives. Some additives help bind the ingredients together or make up the capsule, like vegetable cellulose and silica, but others are unnecessary and should be avoided.
Common additives to watch for and avoid include:
♦ Artificial colors
♦ Magnesium stearate
♦ Artificial sweeteners
♦ Preservatives such as sodium benzoate
I have a strong appreciation for the benefit that naturally-sourced supplements have for immune and respiratory health. But, you want a supplement you can trust. 1MD Nutrition® understands the role that labels play in helping you make your choice and makes that choice easy for you. Just take a look at ImmunityMD® and BreatheMD™ labels — all the information you want and all the ingredients your immune system needs!
Dr. Brian Greenberg
Dr. Brian Greenberg is an immunologist, allergist, and pediatrician who received his medical degree from the University of Florida, and completed his residency and fellowship at UCLA. He has practiced medicine in Southern California for almost 25 years.