The global awareness prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic has led to new immunity trends as people look to boost their health and wellbeing by preventing infections rather than just treating them.
As we move into the post-pandemic era, the focus on strengthening our immune health remains a prominent trend in 2023.
With the upcoming winter cold and flu season, the significance of immune health continues to drive several trends in the healthcare industry, including these three trends:
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Trend #1: Embracing Holistic Immunity
The body functions as an integrated system, including the immune system, For instance, the innate system acts as a barrier against foreign substances, while the acquired system involves immune cells that combat infections.
As such, it is crucial to understand the interplay between the innate and acquired immune systems while addressing multiple aspects of immunity instead of isolating one area.
The 2022 Immunity Report by DSM highlights this holistic approach and emphasizes lifestyle factors like sleep and stress.
To cater to this trend, supplement and nutritional brands now offer natural solutions that enhance sleep quality, manage stress levels, and support overall wellbeing alongside immune health.
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Trend #2: Vitamin D and Probiotics
As part of the holistic immunity trend, more consumers are turning to supplements to improve their immune health and overall wellbeing.
A DSM survey conducted in 2021 revealed that 36% of global consumers are taking more supplements than before, with 69% of them doing so specifically for immune support.
While supplements like vitamin C, B vitamins, vitamin A, zinc, echinacea, and co-enzyme Q10 are already popular choices for immunity, vitamin D and probiotics are gaining traction due to mounting research supporting their crucial roles in optimal immune function.
- Vitamin D: Acts as an immunomodulator, reducing levels of inflammatory proteins called cytokines and boosting the production of antimicrobial proteins that combat germs and viruses. It has been found to be essential for both innate and adaptive immune responses.
- Probiotics: Play a vital role in supporting immune health by aiding in the destruction of pathogens, regulating cytokine production, and stimulating white blood cell activity. A randomized controlled trial has also demonstrated their efficacy in reducing the incidence, frequency, and severity of upper respiratory tract infections.
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Trend #3. Harnessing the Power of Cold Water Therapy
Cold water therapy is an emerging global trend, with searches for “cold therapies” increasing by 38% from 2021 to 2022, according to Google Trends data.
Research has shown a positive link between cold exposure through methods like cold water immersions, cryotherapy, or cold showers, and improved immune response and overall health.
Cold water therapy involves immersing the body in water at 15°C or colder, including ice baths, cold showers, or swimming in cold or icy environments.
Studies have revealed that acute cold exposure stimulates the production of immune cells, such as natural killer cells, while regular cold showers have been found to increase disease-fighting white blood cells.
Boosting immunity continues to be a top health trend in 2023, driven by the lasting impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. By prioritizing our immune systems and making informed lifestyle choices, we can enhance our overall health and wellbeing, preparing ourselves for those dreaded winter bugs.
Author: Pedro van Gaalen
When he’s not writing about sport or health and fitness, Pedro is probably out training for his next marathon or ultra-marathon. He’s worked as a fitness professional and as a marketing and comms expert. He now combines his passions in his role as managing editor at Fitness magazine.
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