Charge up Your Immune Health From 22p a Day

January 11, 2021
4 mins read

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The synergy of combining nature with dietetic science could be the answer to keep our immune health fit through the seasons. That’s according to the scientists and nutritionists at Nature’s Way who are the brains behind wrapping Black Elderberries (Sambucus nigra L.), Vitamin C and Zinc in a gluten, gelatine free gummy – Sambucus Immune Support – from 22p a day. 

Commenting on the launch of Nature’s Way Sambucus Immune Support, public health nutritionist, Suzie Sawyer notes:

“Elderberries, rich in the plant, polyphenol compound, Anthocyanins, have beneficial effects in boosting our immune system thanks to being prized with strong antiviral and antibacterial properties.[1] Plus, emerging science has found that the polyphenols in elderberries can help fight against colds too.[2]

 FACT: Anthocyanins are also responsible for the bright colours in berries 

“And while elderberries are vital for our immune system to work around the clock, the nutrients, vitamin C (also an antioxidant) and Zinc are essential too as they help defend our immune system when under attack, as well as having antiviral properties.

“Low vitamin C status for example increases your susceptibility to infections, because low levels of antioxidants are unable to counteract oxidative stress. Science also shows that vitamin C has the power to scavenge free radicals preventing damage to our proteins, lipids and DNA, all key to overall health and wellness.[3] Additionally, and relevant as we live through COVID-19 times, is that oxidative stress is a factor in lung disease and can harm our immune fitness.[4] If our lungs are protected with polyphenol plant compounds, antioxidants and the right nutrients, this may help prevent any damaging challenge to the immune system.

“And while elderberries and Vitamin C are essential to our immune wellness, so too is Zinc. This nutrient is one of our busiest minerals, being part of over 200 enzyme reactions within the body, a key antioxidant, and playing a vital role within our immune health body map.  Zinc has long been known as a powerful antiviral agent[5] but unfortunately frequently deficient in the UK population.  Latest government NDNS data[6], shows just 22% of girls in the 11-18 age groups and 17% of boys respectively fall below the reference nutrient intake for zinc, making them more at risk of immune system dysfunction.”

Public health nutritionist, Suzie Sawyer adds: “Our immune system is complicated but the health and wellness of this complex body road map is powered by three action modes: 

  1. Physical (e.g., skin, epithelial lining of the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts)
  2. Biochemical barriers (e.g., secretions, mucous and gastric acid)
  3. A host of different immune cells and antibodies that help defend any attack on our immune health

“However, the bad news is an optimal immune system is dependent on a healthy immune system,[7] but many of us are guilty of not providing our immune health with the TLC (tender loving care) it deserves. And we need our immune health working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through all seasons as we live with Covid-19. 

“In fact, studies continue to reveal that if our nutrition is poor, then our immune response is impaired, leaving us more susceptible to infections. And if our body is in the process of fighting off an infection, this could also strip us of some essential immunity fighting nutrients. A combined approach to immune-boosting foods, lifestyle changes and appropriate supplementation, together with keeping our immune health loved by adding Nature’s Way Sambucus Immune Support from 22p a day, is smart, common sense.”


#1. Eat a rainbow every day.  Vitamin C is found in all fruits and vegetables in varying amounts with red peppers, guavas, strawberries, kiwis and broccoli being some of the top performers.

#2. Eat clean.  This means cutting back on sugary refined foods and loading up on whole grains, rich in zinc and other essential nutrients.

#3. Get spicey. Add herbs and spices liberally to your cooking.  They are high in antioxidants and other immune boosting properties.  Oregano, turmeric, garlic, clover, thyme and rosemary are your friends.

#4. Sleep love. Don’t be afraid to turn the light off early.  Sleep is one of the best infection-fighters, plus the sleep hormone, melatonin, is secreted during the hours of darkness, so early nights are great for the immune system.

#5. Breathe fresh air.  Winter cold air is perfect for stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system, great for busting stress and supporting immune health.

What is immunity?

Once an antibody has been produced, a copy remains in the body so that, if the same antigen returns, it can be dealt with more quickly. This is called immunity.

Types of immunity:
Innate immunity: We are all born with some level of immunity so our immune system can attack invaders from day one. In young children, early immunity is related to IgM (immunoglobulin – type of antibody) in antibodies and the barriers provided by the skin and mucous membranes of the throat and gut.[8]

Adaptive immunity: This develops as we are exposed to diseases or get vaccinated, and we build up a library of antibodies to different pathogens, sometimes called ‘immunological memory’. These responses involve mature T-cells and B-cells that require training not to attack our own cells.

Passive immunity: This is ‘borrowed’ and does not last indefinitely. A baby receives antibodies from their mother through the placenta before birth and in breast milk following birth. This protects them from some infections during their early years.


suzie-sawyer-150x150Suzie Sawyer is a Clinical Nutritionist with over 15 years’ experience in the natural healthcare arena. From working in a private clinic in Harley Street, to managing a team of nutritionists in one of the UK’s leading food supplement manufacturers, Suzie is passionate about the topic of nutrition. Suzie is the UK formulator for several well-known food supplement brands.

Suzie Sawyer is a Clinical Nutritionist with over 15 years’ experience in the natural healthcare arena. From working in a private clinic in Harley Street, to managing a team of nutritionists in one of the UK’s leading food supplement manufacturers, Suzie is passionate about the topic of nutrition. Suzie is the UK formulator for several well-known food supplement brands.

[1] Karolina Mlynarczyk et al. Bioactive properties of Sambucus nigra L. as a functional ingredient for food and pharmaceutical industry. J Funct Foods. 2018 Jan; 40:377-390

[2] Evelin Tiralongo et al. Elderberry Supplementation Reduces Cold Duration and Symptoms in Air-Travellers: A Randomized, Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. Nutrients. 2016 Mar 24;8(4):182.

[3] Mette M Berger et al. Vitamin C supplementation in the critically ill patient.  Curr Opin Nutr Metab Care. 2015 Mar; 18(2):193-201


[5] Scott A Read et al. The Role of Zinc in Antiviral Immunity. Adv Nutr. 2019 Jul1;10(4):696-710


[7]Maggini, S.; Maldonado, P.; Cardim, P.; Fernandez Newball, C.; Sota Latino, E. Vitamins C., D and zinc: Synergistic roles in immune function and infections. Vitam. Miner. 2017, 6, 167.

[8]Carsetti R et al (2020)

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