Supporting the Immune System

There may be more supplements for immune-boosting than any other category. Instead of “boosting” the immune system, we recommend a more balanced approach to feed the immune system to keep it healthy.

Immune-boosting should only be done on an occasional basis.

The immune system is a complex biochemical interaction involving almost all of the tissues and organs of the body. A properly functioning immune system is critical to good health.

Most immune support products simply try to boost the immune system. Much of the time, this approach fails to help. Like all other body processes, balance is the key.

Immugen is designed to support the immune system, not simply boost it. The formula was designed to provide vitamins, minerals, amino acids, botanicals, glandulars, and other key ingredients that can optimize immune system function. By using this approach, the body's own immune needs are more easily met.

Immugen a product by Thorne Research is one of the more balanced, powerful immune-enhancing products available. It can be used for many chronic and acute diseases requiring immune support.

Recent interest has surged in the immune-supporting effects of a number of natural substances. Research has found many natural substances can promote the activity of phagocytes, T-lymphocytes, natural killer (NK) cells, and B-cells. Immugen was designed to promote these varied immune components in a powerful, effective way.

To optimize immune function, one needs to provide the nutritional building blocks of the immune response, including certain vitamins and minerals. The body needs to optimize mitochondria function so that the cellular energy required by the immune system is available. Finally, certain products have shown to boost immunity in lab situations that can be employed as well. Some of the products that can help include the following. You can look for immune support products that contain some or all of the following.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A supports and maintains healthy cells that line the skin, lungs, stomach, and intestines; these cells are the first barrier to the invasion of the body by harmful microorganisms.


Carrotenoids might support the immune system by their antioxidant effects and in their support of cellular strength. Carotenoids can inhibit the propagation of radical-initiated lipid peroxidation. Carotenoids, including alpha and beta-carotene and canthaxanthin, significantly suppressed cell viability [measured by tetrazolium (MTT) assay], DNA synthesis (measured by [3H]thymidine uptake), and cell proliferation (measured by cell counting) and thus showed growth inhibitory effects on cancer cell lines.


Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate, the active form of Vitamin B-6, is essential for amino acid metabolism, neurotransmitter synthesis, and glycogen breakdown, as well as the metabolism of most fatty acids required in the prostaglandin and eicosanoid pathways of the inflammatory process.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 nurtures blood cells, the nerves, and is needed by the body to produce new cells. Perhaps most beneficial in the maintenance of a good immune system is due to its ability to promote digestion and absorption of foods.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is required to produce the body's virus-fighting substance, interferon. It is an antioxidant, so it helps maintain an optimal environment for the functioning of many other immune system functions. Insufficient zinc will lead to increased incidents of infections; it helps maintain Vitamin E levels and can be a powerful antioxidant on its own. It is required for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.


Low zinc levels will lower T-lymphocyte production.

Coenzyme Q-10

Coenzyme Q-10 is essential for the energy-producing organs of the cell called mitochondria. It might increase the amount of energy available to the body's cells; thus, the immune system will have more cellular energy. It also acts as an antioxidant.

N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC)

NAC serves as a nutritional precursor of the synthesis of glutathione. Glutathione is the body's primary antioxidant. NAC may be the most effective way to boost glutathione levels. In one study, the level of glutathione peroxidase (GSH-px) in thrombocytes of the NAC treated individuals was increased in comparison with the activity before treatment. These results suggest that NAC might act as a scavenger of oxygen-derived free radicals released by stimulated neutrophils and thereby protect the tissue against the radical caused injury as well as optimize phagocytosis.

Dimethyl glycine (DMG)

Dimethyl glycine (DMG) is an effective methyl donor and assists the liver in Phase II detoxification. In laboratory studies, mean antibody titers to the H antigen were higher in DMG treated animals compared with controls after both the first and second inoculation. Lymphocyte transformation assays on cells taken from DMG treated animals immunized with the influenza vaccine showed a tenfold increase in mean proliferate response (p = 0.0024). Lymphocytes from DMG treated animals immunized with the typhoid vaccine showed a fourfold increase (mean values) in thymidine uptake (p = 0.0180). No toxicity or adverse effects were observed at any time during the experiment.


Glutamine is considered conditionally essential, especially during sustained catabolic states, as often seen during illness. Glutamine is the primary fuel for the small intestine's enterocytes. Glutamine enhances gut immune function as it decreases the ability of bacteria to invade the mucosal barrier.

Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma)

Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma) is an immune boosting mushroom. Much of its immune effects are due to its non-specific mucopolysaccharides that boost several aspects of the immune system, including leukotriene function, platelet aggregation, and lymphocyte function.

  • Viral upper respiratory conditions in dogs or cats
  • Cancer therapy
  • Animals that exhibit weak immune function by being chronically sick
  • Neonates (babies) that fail to thrive
  • Post-surgical animals that need immune support
  • When boarding animals, to decrease the incidence of acquired colds, bacterial infections, and diarrhea
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