Boost Your Immune Health Supplement Line with These 7 Minerals
Has the thought of creating a new immune health supplement line crossed your mind during these uncertain times? What about adding several well-formulated immune support products to your existing line?
Regardless of whether you're a new brand owner or the leader of an established brand, consumer interest in boosting immune health is at a six-year high and there's no sign of that slowing down anytime soon. Capitalizing on this trend is in the best interest of your brand and for consumers looking for high-quality supplements.
But how do you do it?
I've worked in the nutraceuticals industry for over 40 years and found there are 7 effective minerals for immune support. Adding one or a combination of them to your dietary supplement, in addition to working with an experienced contract manufacturer, may help position your brand for success in a very crowded and competitive marketplace.
Who Needs Immune-Enhancing Mineral Supplements?
Are mineral inadequacies for real? How common is it? Not as uncommon as people might think. Not getting enough minerals that keep the immune system functioning optimally is common worldwide, even in developed countries like the United States. The Linus Pauling Institute cites national surveys that show a high prevalence of micronutrient (such as magnesium) inadequacies in the American population due to poor diets.[i]
Inadequate intake or malabsorption of minerals is especially prevalent in the elderly who may not eat a variety of food or have age-related digestive problems. In addition, various other factors can influence mineral insufficiency at different stages in life, requiring the need for mineral supplementation.
Supplement business owners may want to consider creating immune-enhancing mineral supplements for kids, adults, and the elderly. Insufficiency can also be triggered by lack of nutrition in the regular diet and in those who engage in regular strenuous exercise regiments.
How Do Minerals Help to Boost the Immune System?
The overall picture from extensive studies reveals that both macro minerals like magnesium, as well as trace minerals which the body needs in tiny amounts, play an extremely vital role in the development, maintenance, and expression of immune responses.
Immune function may be improved by restoring minerals to the recommended intake levels, listed in the U.S. Dietary Guidelines. This would increase the body’s ability to resist pathogens and support faster recovery when attacked.[ii]
Which Minerals Are Essential for a Healthy Immune System?
There’s good evidence to show a clear relationship between nutrition and immunity. The immune system works like an army, and just like any army, it also requires a good dose of nutrition rich in minerals and vitamins! Primed by specific nutrients, immune cells and organs respond to harmful pathogens by forming the first line of defense. In this immune interplay, there are 7 minerals that stand out.
Did you know that nearly 70% of Americans do not meet their daily recommended intake of magnesium?[iii]
So, what can a small amount of magnesium do in the body? Quite a bit. Magnesium is involved in around 300 chemical reactions in the body. Emerging data shows that magnesium has a strong relationship with the immune system. It works in both innate and adaptive immune responses.
Apart from its role in building immunity, magnesium also helps in building bones and teeth, and in supporting healthy blood sugar levels, maintaining normal blood pressure, and assisting in neuronal messaging. It also helps in the blood clotting process and plays a role in the way enzymes work.[iv]
Selenium is the least studied mineral on our list of 7 vital minerals for immune support. But there’s no doubt that it is crucial for supporting important immune functions. So far, the research that has been conducted has shown that many selenoproteins may act as an antioxidant protecting the body against free radical damage. Too much free radical activity is believed to weaken the immune system.[v]
Selenium also plays a vital role in supporting hair and nail health and supporting thyroid health.[vi]
A preliminary study, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) [vii], revealed that manganese might help to build a stronger immune support system, along with iron and zinc.
Manganese is also used by the body to help bone formation and plays an essential role in supporting lipid and carbohydrate metabolism.[viii]
Ever heard of immunocompetency [ix], [x]? That’s just a big word to show the body’s readiness to fight pathogens. Copper supports the activities of immunocompetent cells. It is considered to be an essential micromineral for the development, growth, and maintenance of the immune system.
Copper also assists in the production of energy, red blood cells, and in mitigating free radical activity.[xi]
Of all the trace minerals, zinc has been studied the most extensively for its effect on a host of immune functions. Subacute deficiency of zinc is the most common worldwide, affecting about 4 million people in the United States.
Why is zinc so crucial for immune health? Without it, immune cells may not be able to communicate. Communication is very vital to any army and is necessary to coordinate a targeted attack against the enemy! This mineral is an example of how one mineral may affect the entire immune system.[xii], [xiii], [xiv], [xv], [xvi]
The elderly are more prone to suffering from zinc inadequacies. Some studies show that zinc, either alone or in combination with vitamin C, is known to reduce the duration of the common cold.
Apart from bolstering immunity, the body uses zinc in many other impressive ways. It helps in the clotting of blood, helps make proteins and DNA, and is needed for wound healing and cell division.[xvii]
Adequate levels of iron are associated with proper immune responses.[xviii] Conversely, scientists have noted insufficient levels of iron related to an immune system that is not performing at its best. This can lead to a weakened defense against pathogens.
Apart from supporting critical immune functions, iron helps in making hemoglobin in the blood. Because it is an integral part of many proteins and enzymes, it is essential for supporting certain enzyme activity and helps in the production of collagen and hormones.[xix] Iron is also involved in the transport and storage of oxygen in the cells.
Folic acid is a synthetic form of folate, a B vitamin. Folate is not only crucial for supporting, promoting, and maintaining cells in the body, but it plays a vital role in pregnancy and infancy.
Since folic acid is soluble in water, insufficiency usually impacts organs that depend on rapid cell proliferation, such as the immune system.
Folic acid is also needed to make the genetic material that tells cells in the body what to do. And because of this important role, an insufficiency of folic acid is likely to hamper immune functions.[xx]
Immune Health is a Hot Business!
As I mentioned towards the beginning of the article, interest in boosting immune health is surging and there's no sign that this trend will slow down anytime soon.
This includes supplements containing essential vitamins and minerals as well as herbal/botanical extracts, amino acids, probiotics, omega-3 fatty acids, and others.[xxi]
Add Custom Manufactured Immune-Boosting Supplements to Your Product Line!
Now is the perfect time for brand owners to either re-formulate or add high-quality immune boosting mineral supplements to their product line. With over 50 years of dietary supplement contract manufacturing experience, NutraScience Labs is equipped to handle your business needs – whatever they may be!
In addition to manufacturing world-class products in GMP-Certified facilities, NutraScience Labs also offers award-winning packaging, labeling, and order fulfillment services under one roof. Brand owners that have taken advantage of these services have saved time, money, and stress which has allowed them to focus on what matters most – bringing their product to market as quickly as possible!