5% Nutrition’s Immune Defender Goes Big for Immunity

From the brand started by Rich Piana, Immune Defender will help supercharge your immune system so you can stay healthy and in the game. It’s not all about getting ready to “KILL IT” before your pre workout and yelling “It’s Shake Time!” in the kitchen, after all… if you’re under the weather, you’re not going to have a good time hitting your goals.

Rich Piana 5% Nutrition Immune Defender

Immunity done the Rich Piana way – with vitamins, minerals, herbs, and mushrooms! Why choose just one when you can have them all?!

5% Nutrition’s Immune Defender

As we’ve said before, 5% Nutrition believes it’s better to “go big or go home”. And, as always, that vision is brought to fruition through their innovative formulations. Although the world said farewell to Rich Piana in 2017, 5% Nutrition hasn’t lost their attitude about living life to the fullest or their serious approach to developing new formulas.

Immune Defender is another great example of this philosophy. With the combination of select vitamins, minerals, herbs, and powerful nutrients, 5% Nutrition created one of the most comprehensive immune health products on the market — and it’s got garlic inside — something all these other brands seem to be afraid of.. but not Rich Piana!

Herb and shroom heavy immune support

This one’s going to come in heavier on the herbs and mushroom powder, with large doses of elderberry, reishi, and echinacea to top vitamins C, D, and zinc.

Below, we break this immunity-minded supplement down, but have some coupons and price alert sign-ups for you first. You can always sign up for our 5% Nutrition News alerts as well.

Rich Piana 5% Nutrition Immune Defender – Deals and Price Drop Alerts

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5% Immune Defender Ingredients:

First we bring in the vitamins and minerals, and then head on over to the specialty ingredients. This is what you’ll get in a four capsule serving size, which can be taken all at once or split into two separate 2-capsule doses in the AM and PM (our preferred method).

  • Vitamin C (as Ascorbic Acid) – 1,000 mg

    Rich Piana 5% Nutrition Immune Defender Ingredients

    In four capsules, you get a solid dose of vitamins, minerals, herbs… and Reishi mushroom!

    Vitamin C is the dietary supplement people turn to for immune support, and for good reason. It’s a potent antioxidant that promotes and supports a healthy immune system. In most other similar supplements on the market, many companies use 250 or 500 milligrams of vitamin C, but not 5% Nutrition. As we said earlier, they “Go big or go home.” So they gave Immune Defender a massive 1 gram dose of vitamin C.[1]

  • Vitamin D (as Cholecalciferol) – 125 mcg

    Vitamin D may not be the first supplement you think of when it comes to immune health. 5% Nutrition put it in Immune Defender for one reason: a really important component of the immune system are white blood cells.[2] and vitamin D supports their immune defense properties.[3] Vitamin D deficiency can lead to respiratory tract infections. Also, during the winter when days are short and you can’t get enough sun exposure on your skin (that’s how the body synthesizes vitamin D), there’s a higher risk for deficiency So you can imagine, with more people staying indoors during the pandemic and not getting a lot of sun, there’s a higher chance of developing significant deficiency.[4] This is why 5% Nutrition ensured that Vitamin D is a primary ingredient in their advanced immune product.

  • Zinc (as Zinc Citrate) – 30 mg

    Rich Piana Livin the Dream

    Live the dream – not the sickness. Rich Piana went out his way, and it wasn’t from catching the seasonal cold!

    Zinc is an important trace mineral that has a wide range of benefits. Research has shown that zinc can help shorten the duration of a cold and can protect against respiratory tract infections. Not getting enough zinc is known to weaken the immune system.[5-7] On the note of respiratory tract infections, zinc has come into the fold in a major way over the past year, as a very strong correlation has been shown between good zinc status and successful recovery from the novel virus in the news.[8-10] In fact, we’ve seen a strong improvement in recovery when zinc is used in early treatment (usually with other potent drugs),[11,12] and even good success when used with late treatment![13,14]

    Better than zinc oxide!

    To ensure that the mineral is absorbed properly by the body, it needs to be combined with another compound. Although zinc is available in several forms, for immune support, zinc citrate is one of the more effective formulations that doesn’t break the bank, and is shown to be more bioavailable than the zinc oxide[15] you’ll see in cheaper multivitamins.

  • Elderberry Extract (Sambucus nigra L.) (fruit) – 500 mg

    Elderberry extract is a very popular immune enhancer[16] because the berries contain high amounts of antioxidants, flavonoids, polyphenols, and vitamins. The medicinal herb is known for preventing colds and flu. It’s also used to fight infections like bronchitis and sinusitis.

    Rich Piana 5% Nutrition Immune Defender

    5% Nutrition’s Immune Defender offers effective protection with 11 ingredients… a huge open blend, just how we like our 5% Nutrition supps!

    It’s also known as Sambucus Nigra and European Elder (hence the name elderberry), and studies have demonstrated that it can reduce cold and flu symptom duration.[17] It does so by increasing antibody production after the body has been exposed to pathogens, and enhances the immune system’s cytokine secretion, enhancing overall immune activity.[17]

    Overall, research has concluded that elderberry is not just an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory — it also has anti-viral and immune system stimulation effects.[17,18]

  • Reishi Mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) (fruit body) – 400 mg

    The reishi mushroom is a medicinal fungus with a long history of use in enhancing the immune system health and reducing stress and fatigue.

    It’s scientifically known as Ganoderma Lucidum, and there generally appears to be good effects on T-lymphocytes and natural killer cells after ingestion. Most studies are done with a pretty high dose of the mushroom, but they consistently show improvements in immunity or immunity-based biomarkers,[19-22] and can do so in as little as ten days.[22]

    We’re consistently supportive of mushroom-based supplementation, because we’re not eating enough of these healthy fungi anymore, and that’s the exact reason to supplement them.

  • Echinacea Extract 4:1 (Echinacea purpurea) (aerial) – 250 mg

    Rich Piana Perserverence

    You can’t persevere if you’re sick in bed, after all. The man’s legendary status would have persevered regardless, but 5% Nutrition is putting together some fantastic formulas to keep Rich Piana’s legacy going strong!

    Echinacea is another herb commonly found in cold and flu supplements. It’s known for supporting immune health — specifically, it helps the body fight respiratory infections.[23] For this reason, we generally start bumping up echinacea the second something feels “off”.

    A 2016 study demonstrated echinacea purpurea’s potency by reducing the number of cold episodes, number of sick days, and a reduced need for other medicines.[24] The effects seem to be two-fold: there’s an anti-inflammatory effect, but also an immune-boosting process that works via activation of macrophages, leukocytes, NK cells, and neutrophils.[25] These cells are critical to the immune system – they help identify and destroy pathogens and infected/compromised cells.

  • Turmeric Powder (Curcuma longa) (root) – 105 mg

    Turmeric powder is another ingredient that has a positive effect on the immune system and how it functions. The herb works synergistically with vitamin D to support white blood cell health.

  • Olive Leaf Extract (20% Oleuropein) (Olea europaea L.) – 50 mg

    Olive Leaf Extract

    Olive Leaf Extract brings a ton of benefits and is extremely popular for its weight loss and thyroid function benefits… but don’t forget about immunity as well!

    Olive leaf extract contains an active ingredient called oleuropein that has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.[26] It’s in Immune Defender because of its antimicrobial and antiviral benefits and can help fight respiratory tract infections, which leads to the next ingredient:

  • N-Acetyl L-Cysteine – 50 mg

    N-acetyl L-cysteine increases the amount of glutathione in the body In turn, the amino acid promotes antioxidant production, which protects cells against free radicals. Additionally, glutathione supports immune health, combats oxidative stress, and helps decrease cellular damage.[27]

  • Ginger Root Extract (5% Gingerols) (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) – 50 mg

    Ginger can relieve stomach discomfort, but what most people know the herb for is as a flavorful spice. That doesn’t discount the fact that ginger effectively supports normal immune health and functioning.

  • Odorless Garlic Extract 4:1 (Allium sativum L.) (garlic bulbs) – 25 mg

    Finally, an immune system supplement with some garlic!

    Rich Piana 5% Nutrition Immune Defender

    It’s about more than just vitamin C!

    Many people take garlic supplements when they experience the slightest cold or flu symptoms because it’s considered one of the most popular immune boosters around. The herb supports immune health by binding to and destroying virus cells that cause colds and flus.[28] The extract also works well with zinc to promote overall immune health (a lot of the research is confounded, but zinc and garlic are both here, so we’re confident in citing it). Studies have demonstrated that it reduces the rate of sickness,[28,29] but only moderately helping with sickness duration if already sick.[29]

    Like the minced garlic you add to recipes, a garlic supplement can also be a bit hard to take on the nose, which is why 5% Nutrition only uses the best odorless garlic.

    As a sidenote, garlic is an incredible booster for HDL cholesterol, one of the most important cardiovascular biomarkers that has not yet been safely “gamed” by pharmaceuticals… but garlic can boost it!

    We’ve seen way too many immune system supplements that haven’t brought garlic into the fold. Aside from warding off vampires, 5% Nutrition does the Rich Piana legacy proper by using a strong standardized extract.


There are four capsules per serving, and they can all be taken at once. However, for overall maintenance, we suggest taking two capsules twice per day – an AM and a PM dose. In addition, the label won’t say so, but if you start to “feel” something, don’t be afraid to bump that up to a three and three capsule dosage for a few days.

Immunity done the Rich Piana Way

5% Nutrition Black Logo

For those who are willing to do whatever it takes.

Getting sick is never fun, but what makes it even worse is the time away from your workout routine. Say what you will about Rich Piana, but he didn’t hit it as hard as he did to get taken down by a wimpy cold. He went hard, and when you do that, your immune system can be compromised. Keep it as strong as you can with Immune Defender.

We’ve been waiting for a new immune system supplement with garlic, and we got it here from the brand behind Rich Piana. It’s about time!

Long story short, 5% Nutrition’s Immune Defender can be that assist you need to stave off a cold or flu so you don’t have to take time off from the gym. Live hard but live smart. Get your training in, get your food in, get your sleep, and stay healthy and protected with a good dose of zinc, garlic, and everything else in between.

Rich Piana 5% Nutrition Immune Defender – Deals and Price Drop Alerts

Get Price Alerts

No spam, no scams.

Disclosure: PricePlow relies on pricing from stores with which we have a business relationship. We work hard to keep pricing current, but you may find a better offer.

Posts are sponsored in part by the retailers and/or brands listed on this page.

About the Author: Mike Roberto

Mike Roberto

Mike Roberto is a research scientist and water sports athlete who founded PricePlow. He is an n=1 diet experimenter with extensive experience in supplementation and dietary modification, whose personal expertise stems from several experiments done on himself while sharing lab tests.

Mike's goal is to bridge the gap between nutritional research scientists and non-academics who seek to better their health in a system that has catastrophically failed the public.

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  1. Carr, Anitra C, and Silvia Maggini. “Vitamin c and Immune Function.” Nutrients, vol. 9, no. 11, 2017, p. 1211, 10.3390/nu9111211; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5707683/
  2. “How Your Immune System Works.” HowStuffWorks, 1 Apr. 2000; https://health.howstuffworks.com/human-body/systems/immune/immune-system9.htm
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  15. Wegmüller, Rita et al. “Zinc absorption by young adults from supplemental zinc citrate is comparable with that from zinc gluconate and higher than from zinc oxide.” The Journal of nutrition vol. 144,2 (2014): 132-6. doi:10.3945/jn.113.181487; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3901420/
  16. Ulbricht, C., Basch, E., Cheung, L., Goldberg, H., Hammerness, P., Isaac, R., Khalsa, K. P., Romm, A., Rychlik, I., Varghese, M., Weissner, W., Windsor, R. C., & Wortley, J. (2014). An evidence-based systematic review of elderberry and elderflower (Sambucus nigra) by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration. Journal of dietary supplements, 11(1), 80–120. https://doi.org/10.3109/19390211.2013.859852
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  21. Gao, Yihuai, et al. “Effects of Ganopoly(AGanoderma LucidumPolysaccharide Extract) on the Immune Functions in Advanced‐Stage Cancer Patients.” Immunological Investigations, vol. 32, no. 3, Jan. 2003, pp. 201–215, 10.1081/imm-120022979; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12916709/
  22. Wicks, Sheila M., et al. “Safety and Tolerability of Ganoderma Lucidum in Healthy Subjects: A Double-Blind Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial.” The American Journal of Chinese Medicine, vol. 35, no. 3, 2007, pp. 407–414, 10.1142/S0192415X07004928; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17597499/
  23. Hudson, James, and Selvarani Vimalanathan. “Echinacea—a Source of Potent Antivirals for Respiratory Virus Infections.” Pharmaceuticals, vol. 4, no. 7, 13 July 2011, pp. 1019–1031, 10.3390/ph4071019; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4058675/
  24. Ross SM; “Echinacea purpurea: A Proprietary Extract of Echinacea purpurea Is Shown to be Safe and Effective in the Prevention of the Common Cold”; Holistic Nursing Practice; 2016; 30(1):54–57; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26633727
  25. Manayi A, Vazirian M, Saeidnia S; “Echinacea purpurea: Pharmacology, phytochemistry and analysis methods;” Pharmacogn Rev. 2015;9(17):63–72; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4441164/
  26. Barbaro, Barbara, et al. “Effects of the Olive-Derived Polyphenol Oleuropein on Human Health.” International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol. 15, no. 10, 14 Oct. 2014, pp. 18508–18524, 10.3390/ijms151018508; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4227229/
  27. Cascella, R., Evangelisti, E., Zampagni, M., Becatti, M., D’Adamio, G., Goti, A., Liguri, G., Fiorillo, C., & Cecchi, C. (2014). S-linolenoyl glutathione intake extends life-span and stress resistance via Sir-2.1 upregulation in Caenorhabditis elegans. Free radical biology & medicine, 73, 127–135. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2014.05.004
  28. Mp, Nantz, et al. “Supplementation with Aged Garlic Extract Improves Both NK and γδ-T Cell Function and Reduces the Severity of Cold and Flu Symptoms: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Nutrition Intervention.” Clinical Nutrition (Edinburgh, Scotland), 1 June 2012; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22280901/
  29. P, Josling. “Preventing the Common Cold with a Garlic Supplement: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Survey.” Advances in Therapy, 1 July 2001; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11697022/

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