When it comes to the immune system, the most important nutrients should come from a healthy, balanced fresh food diet. Ideally, diets should be biologically appropriate – similar to what animals would eat in the wild – and should already include a number of immune-boosting ingredients such as those containing vitamin C, E and zinc. For patients with autoimmune disorders or other health concerns, the addition of immune support supplements may be beneficial.
“When the immune system becomes stressed or overworked, there are several useful herbs to consider as supplements,” says integrative veterinarian Dr. Barbara Royal, DVM, CVA. “We use ashwaganda (an adaptogen that can be used for both overactive immune issues and deficient immune function), medicinal mushrooms (which have many helpful immune system support functions), turmeric root (helps decrease inflammation and inflammatory responses), as well as other important organ and immune support supplements like milk thistle or licorice root.”