Immune Supplements That Are Better Together
Many of us prepare for the colder seasons by stocking up on immune support supplements. From vitamin D and zinc to elderberry and functional mushrooms, there are a wide range of supplements to choose from. Luckily, many of these immune support supplements complement one another and can be taken together. In fact, some of them actually work better when combined.
Immune support ingredients are often found together in nature. For instance, vitamin C, an essential nutrient, is typically found in colorful fruits and vegetables that are also rich in bioflavonoids, such as quercetin. Nature puts these nutrients together for a reason. Research shows that they have a natural synergy and seem to help support each other’s effects.
Pairing the right ingredients together can help boost their bioavailability and effectiveness while offering complementary benefits for immune support. Here are a few examples of immune support supplements that work well as a team.
Vitamin C + Quercetin, Bioflavonoids
Vitamin C and Bioflavonoids are a classic pairing: not only are they found together in nature, they are often combined in the same supplement. Nature makes the best formulas, after all, and we want to take advantage of that natural synergy. Bioflavonoids are thought to help with the absorption of vitamin C and work in harmony with it for enhanced immune benefits.
One potent bioflavonoid that’s often found with vitamin C is quercetin. Quercetin has been getting a lot of attention recently, not just for its immune support benefits, but for the way it complements other nutrients. A recent study found that Quercetin and Vitamin C have synergistic action for immune support and may work best when combined. Vitamin C supports the absorption of quercetin and helps extend its effects by recycling quercetin in the body.1
Quercetin also happens to be the leading active compound in Elderberry – another popular immune support ingredient. That means that Vitamin C and Elderberry will also make a great combination. (Elderberry already contains vitamin C, but you may want a higher dose.)
Zinc + Vitamin C, Quercetin
When it comes to immune support, zinc and vitamin C are the go-to supplements. Both are essential for maintaining healthy immune defenses, and they are often taken together during the cold season. Numerous studies show that taking sufficient levels of zinc and vitamin C can help manage symptoms of the common cold and support respiratory health. While they don’t necessarily enhance each other’s effects, they are harmonious and complement each other well.
But when you add quercetin to the mix, you can kick things up another notch. Ever the team player, quercetin doesn’t just work in synergy with vitamin C, it also helps boost the action of zinc. Quercetin works as a zinc ionophore, helping to transport zinc across cell membranes so that it can enter the cell more effectively. Meanwhile, vitamin C helps recycle quercetin, so all three of these ingredients play nicely together.
Mushrooms + Probiotics
Functional mushrooms such as turkey tail, reishi, and maitake are rich in bioactive compounds that support the immune system, particularly beta-glucans. Not only do beta-glucans support healthy immune defenses, they also help support a healthy gut microbiome by acting as prebiotics. Prebiotics are a type of non-digestible plant fiber that helps feed your friendly gut bacteria. Compounds from turkey tail mushroom have been shown to help increase beneficial bacteria such as lactobacillus and bifidobacterium and help crowd out harmful gut bacteria.
This matters for your immune health, because your gut is a key part of your immune system. You need those friendly gut bacteria to help regulate immune responses, keep unwanted microbes in check, and maintain a healthy gut barrier. Probiotics can help repopulate your gut with friendly bacteria to support your immune defenses. But they need prebiotics to nourish them in order to thrive.
That’s why Mushrooms and Probiotics make such good partners. Both are daily supplements that can be taken long-term to support your everyday immune health and gut health. Plus, the prebiotic compounds in the mushrooms will also help nourish the probiotics along the way.
Immune Support Synergy
Browse our full selection of immune support supplements to find some great pairings. Keep in mind that not all supplements complement each other and some may interact with medications, so it's a good idea to check your supplements with your doctor, especially if you have a health condition.
 Colunga Biancatelli RML, Berrill M, Catravas JD, Marik PE. Quercetin and Vitamin C: An Experimental, Synergistic Therapy for the Prevention and Treatment of SARS-CoV-2 Related Disease (COVID-19). Front Immunol. 2020 Jun 19;11:1451. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2020.01451. PMID: 32636851; PMCID: PMC7318306.
 Brewster, Rob. “Citrus Bioflavonoids: Synergy with Vitamin C & Beyond.” Nutraceuticals World, 2018.
 Simonyi, Agnes et al. “Inhibition of microglial activation by elderberry extracts and its phenolic components.” Life sciences vol. 128 (2015): 30-8. doi:10.1016/j.lfs.2015.01.037
 Wintergerst E, S, Maggini S, Hornig D, H: Immune-Enhancing Role of Vitamin C and Zinc and Effect on Clinical Conditions. Ann Nutr Metab 2006;50:85-94. doi: 10.1159/000090495
 Dabbagh-Bazarbachi H, Clergeaud G, Quesada IM, Ortiz M, O'Sullivan CK, Fernández-Larrea JB. Zinc ionophore activity of quercetin and epigallocatechin-gallate: from Hepa 1-6 cells to a liposome model. J Agric Food Chem. 2014 Aug 13;62(32):8085-93. doi: 10.1021/jf5014633. Epub 2014 Jul 31. PMID: 25050823.
 Vlassopoulou M, Yannakoulia M, Pletsa V, Zervakis GI, Kyriacou A. Effects of fungal beta-glucans on health - a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Food Funct. 2021 Apr 26;12(8):3366-3380. doi: 10.1039/d1fo00122a. PMID: 33876798.
 Jayachandran, Muthukumaran et al. “A Critical Review on Health Promoting Benefits of Edible Mushrooms through Gut Microbiota.” International journal of molecular sciences vol. 18,9 1934. 8 Sep. 2017, doi:10.3390/ijms18091934
 Pallav K, Dowd SE, Villafuerte J, Yang X, Kabbani T, Hansen J, Dennis M, Leffler DA, Newburg DS, Kelly CP. Effects of polysaccharopeptide from Trametes versicolor and amoxicillin on the gut microbiome of healthy volunteers: a randomized clinical trial. Gut Microbes. 2014 Jul 1;5(4):458-67. doi: 10.4161/gmic.29558. Epub 2014 Jul 9. PMID: 25006989.