Immune System Booster Vitamins
When talking about immunity, we often might refer to a desire to ‘boost’ our immune system but in reality, we don’t actually want this to happen, as Dr Ruxton explains.
‘Like many other body systems, such as blood glucose levels or brain oxygen levels, our immune response works across a tight optimal range,’ she says. ‘Too low, and our sluggish system will not successfully attack and contain pathogens.
‘Too high, and we are at risk of developing so-called autoimmune conditions where the bodys overreactive immune response starts to attack normal healthy tissue. Examples of these conditions include type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.’
Instead, you should look make sure your immune system is functioning optimally, and that’s where nutrition getting the right vitamins for immune system comes in.
Effects On Adaptive Immune
Vitamin A metabolites can also affect some aspects of the adaptive immune response . Retinoic acid enhances cytotoxicity and T-cell proliferation, the latter probably mediated, at least in part, by enhancing IL-2 secretion and signalling in T cells. Consistent with an in vivo role for vitamin A in T-cell function, vitamin A-deficient mice have defects in TH-cell activity. A possible mechanism for this observation is that in the setting of vitamin A deficiency, retinoic acid does not compete with 1,252VD3 for their common nuclear binding partner RXR and, therefore, the inhibitory effects of 1,252VD3 on T-cell function are not offset by retinoic acid.
Effects of vitamin A metabolites on gut mucosal immunity
Retinoic acid can inhibit B-cell proliferation,, although it has also been found to enhance B-cell activation under some conditions,. In addition, retinoic acid inhibits B-cell apoptosis. These effects are mediated through binding of vitamin A metabolites to RAR receptors.
The Science Behind Zinc And Immunity
Zinc supports the functioning of immune cells like neutrophils and macrophages. As a result, a zinc deficiency can lead to a higher risk of infections. You’ve probably seen zinc lozenges at your pharmacy. Though the research is conflicting, the nutrient is thought to potentially drive down the duration and severity of symptoms associated with the common cold by preventing the entry of the virus into cells and stopping it from multiplying in the body.
Zinc’s antiviral properties may help the body fight viral species similar to those that cause COVID-19, per emerging research. However, studies on zinc and viruses like the coronavirus are still in their infancy, and a great deal of further research in humans is still needed before we can making any sweeping conclusions about the relationship between the two.
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What Are The Best Alternatives
Besides following a high protein, sugar-free, gluten-free and dairy-free organic diet, while exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and engaging in anti-stress programs like meditation, what else can you do to boost immunity against colds and flus? Taking plenty of vacations in warm climates helps and so does laughter. Are food allergies and sensitivities important? Can you prevent more serious illnesses such as cancer and autoimmune disorders using a natural supplement regime? And, will these all work without side effects?
Food Allergy/Sensitivity Testing Food allergies, intolerances or hypersensitivities are unsuspected factors in the development of many worldwide killer diseases such as recurrent infections, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, asthma and just about every autoimmune disease . Over 90% of the documented adverse reactions to foods are not true allergies, occur on a delayed basis , and will avoid detection by conventional skin scratch tests. They are often referred to as Type 2 Allergies and they may have either immune or non-immune system mechanisms.
The most accepted method of identifying these non-classical food reactions is by an elimination diet. This is accomplished by following a hypoallergenic diet for three weeks, which eliminates the most commonly eaten foods . After three weeks, the body is then challenged with the eliminated foods one by one, noting the reactions.
The Science Behind Vitamin A And Immunity
Vitamin A strengthens both the innate and adaptive immune systems of the body. The innate immune response protects the skin, eyes, respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract and reproductive organs. The adaptive immune system produces antibodies that attack foreign invaders . Carotenoids are also powerful antioxidants that help the body fight inflammation. Like most nutrients for immune health, the best way to get your vitamin A is from food, rather than supplements.
Vitamin A supplementation is especially prone to causing toxicity, and over-supplementation can actually weaken the immune system. The good news? Food sources of vitamin A are safe and effective for meeting your daily needs. Plus, they’re colorful and delicious!
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Effects On Immunoglobulin Isotypes
An important feature of activated B cells is their capacity to undergo immunoglobulin class-switching and to give rise to different antibody isotypes. TH1- and TH2-cell cytokines differentially influence antibody class-switching: the TH1-cell cytokine IFN promotes switching to IgG2a and IgG3, whereas the TH2-cell cytokine IL-4 induces the production of IgG1 and IgE and suppresses the generation of IgG2b and IgG3 . DCs can also modulate B-cell activation and antibody class-switching, which could occur indirectly by influencing TH-cell differentiation. However, DCs can also directly promote the induction of specific immunoglobulin isotypes. GALT-resident DCs efficiently induce the generation of IgA+ ASCs when cultured with activated B cells in vitro,. Several cytokines and other bioactive factors are involved in the capacity of GALT-resident DCs to induce IgA+ ASCs, including TGF1 , IL-6 , APRIL and nitric oxide.
Dr Fauci Reveals Immune System Boosters For Covid
- Vitamins C and D boost our immune systems, aiding in the fight against infectious diseases
- Vitamin D might ower the risk of viral respiratory tract infections like COVID-19
- People with untreated vitamin D deficiency are more likely to test positive for the COVID-19
Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases , personally takes and recommends two types of vitamins to give the immune systems a boost against COVID-19, and one of them is a free gift from Mother Nature.
The respected infectious disease expert recommends taking both vitamin C and vitamin D to help keep the immune systems healthy and potentially fend off infection from the deadly disease.
Fauci said vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin found in many foods and juices, is a good antioxidant. Abundant in many fruits and vegetables, vitimin C is a potent antioxidant that helps boost immune function while promoting skin health.
So if people want to take a gram or two at the most vitamin C, that would be fine, he said referring to vitamin C supplements.
A study in 2017 by the National Institutes of Health said vitamin C contributes to immune defense by supporting various cellular functions of the bodys immune systems. Vitamin C also appears to prevent and treat respiratory and systemic infections.
Most of the foods rich in vitamin C are fruits and veggies such as chili peppers, sweet yellow peppers, lemons, papayas, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.
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Hazards Of Light Smoking
Here’s the long list of health hazards associated with light and intermittent smoking:
heart disease due to high blood pressure and cholesterol-clogged arteries
premature death from cardiovascular disease
lung, esophageal, stomach, and pancreatic cancer
respiratory tract infections
delayed conception in women and poorer sperm function in men
slower recovery from torn cartilage and other injuries
increased frailty in older men and women
poorer health-related quality of life.
The risks range from a 50% increase for slower recovery from torn cartilage to a 500% increase for lung cancer in women. Light or intermittent smoking may also contribute to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , stroke, peripheral artery disease, breast cancer, and other conditions.
One aspect of light and intermittent smoking that puzzles experts is the role of nicotine dependence. Nicotine is the most addictive substance in cigarette smoke.
The physical symptoms of nicotine withdrawal are what prompt smokers to reach for a cigarette again and again. Some light smokers feel the need to smoke every day. Others can go days or even weeks without smoking, but then experience a deep, sudden urge to do it.
Whats The Connection Between Gut Health & Immunity
Did you know about 70% of your immune system is within your 9-metre-long digestive system?6
This is partly down to a diverse community of trillions of gut bacteria living in your gastrointestinal tract.
These microbes not only help with your digestive health, they also influence your overall wellness.
Because your immune system and digestive system are so interconnected, problems in your gut could also make you more susceptible to feeling run down or picking up other illnesses.
Its not an easy link to get your head around.
But the simplest way to think of it is that a healthy gut supports the immune system by preventing the infiltration of pathogens into the body.
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Supporting Your Immune System Whatever Your Age
Were all born with an immune system but not every babys immune system is healthy and functions as it should. Some babies and young children can be more prone to picking up bugs, especially when they start nursery or school.
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Everyones immune system changes throughout their life. As you get older, your immune response starts to decline, which means youre more susceptible to infection.25
Good nutrition and some levels of physical activity become even more important for elderly people, to ensure their immune system remains in good working order.
The advice in this article is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP or healthcare professional before trying any supplements, treatments or remedies. Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.
: 18 August 2021
Deep Dive: Taking Care Of Your Immune System
Dr Jenna Macciochi, Immunologist and author of Immunity, The Science of Staying Well, and Holland & Barrett Senior Nutritionist Emily Rollason tell us how:
Many different factors play a role in our immunity, and no two peoples immune systems are the same, says Emily Rollason.
Hereditary factors, environmental impacts, how balanced and nutritious our diet is, hydration status, and lifestyle factors like lack of sleep, stress, smoking and alcohol all impact immunity.
Get plenty of sleep: if you miss out on sleep, your immune system cant release enough protective proteins, called cytokines. Your production of antibodies, which fight infection, also declines.13
Getting a poor nights sleep can really jeopardise our immune system the next day, says Dr Macciochi.
That makes us much more susceptible to picking up germs and it takes us much longer to recover, so its important to prioritise sleep. Its a signal to the immune system that its time for rest, whereas in the day its more about being on standby.
Getting enough rest every night can be the difference between staying healthy or not.
If you are struggling to get the right amount of sleep, your immune system will be weakened and be more exposed to common illnesses.
To ensure you get enough rest every night, you need good sleep hygiene. This involves getting into a routine so that your body can optimise the time given to it to recover.
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How To Support The Immune System With Food
Diet has an important part to play and if you can, you should try to eat some immune-boosting fruits and vegetables every day.
You can take them in liquid form by making juices and smoothies if youll find this easier.
Were looking for a balanced diet, getting a lot of nutrients from different types of foods, says Rollason.
The main nutrient everyone thinks of when we think of immunity is vitamin C, which can be found in fresh fruits and vegetables like bell peppers and oranges.
“Then theres vitamin A, which is in oily fish, liver, dairy and eggs, but can also be found in apricots and green leafy vegetables.
“You get iron from liver, red meat, beans and nuts, while selenium and zinc can be found in nuts and seeds zinc particularly in pumpkin seeds, and selenium in Brazil nuts.
“Try to eat lots of wholegrains, some dairy and colourful fruits and vegetables, and remember that different nutrients come from different coloured foods.
A healthy digestive system is essential to support normal immune system function.
The immune system needs certain nutrients to work effectively and to defend your body against pathogens. So, what gut-friendly foods should you eat?
Strategies To Stay Healthy
So, if you can’t help your immune system by taking an over-the-counter potion or pill, what can you do to cut down on illness this winter? Differences between people who rarely get sick and those who are sick all the time may have more to do with habits than immune function, says Starnbach. Here are some tips that might help.
Clean your hands. While some germs are airborne, more often than not, illness occurs after you touch a contaminated surface, says Starnbach. Most often germs move from your hands into your eyes, nose, or mouth, so also make an effort not to touch your face.
Keep your body in top shape. Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep can help keep your body and your immune system working well.
Manage stress. Research has shown that high stress levels may impair the immune system. So whenever possible, try to be aware of your stress levels and work to lower them when they get too high.
Get vaccinated. Getting vaccinated against the flu and other diseases stimulates the immune system to protect against illness. Vaccines teach the immune system to recognize specific pathogens and prepare them to mount a defense if they are encountered.
The bottom line is that aside from vaccines, there’s really nothing you can take to improve your immune system, so it’s probably best to avoid pills and potions that make those types of claims.
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Exercise: Good Or Bad For Immunity
Regular exercise is one of the pillars of healthy living. It improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight, and protects against a variety of diseases. But does it help to boost your immune system naturally and keep it healthy? Just like a healthy diet, exercise can contribute to general good health and therefore to a healthy immune system.
Maintain A Healthy Diet
As with most things in your body, a healthy diet is key to a strong immune system. This means making sure you eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats.
In addition to providing your immune system the energy it needs, a healthy diet can help ensure you’re getting sufficient amounts of the micronutrients that play a role in maintaining your immune system, including:
- Vitamin B6, found in chicken, salmon, tuna, bananas, green vegetables and potatoes
- Vitamin C, found in citrus fruit, including oranges and strawberries, as well as tomatoes, broccoli and spinach
- Vitamin E, found in almonds, sunflower and safflower oil, sunflower seeds, peanut butter and spinach
Since experts believe that your body absorbs vitamins more efficiently from dietary sources, rather than supplements, the best way to support your immune system is to eat a well-balanced diet.
Vitamin B6 For Immunity
Vitamin B6 is in charge of keeping the immune system strong, making new red blood cells, and transporting oxygen throughout the body. Vitamin B has also been shown to improve migraines. Foods rich in pyridoxine are chicken, salmon, tuna, leafy greens, and chickpeas. Vitamin B6 deficiencies can cause mood changes and reduce antibodies needed to avoid infections. Vitamin B6 is responsible for producing white blood cells and T cells, which regulate immune responses. Vitamin B6 also helps the body make the protein interleukin-2 to direct white blood cell activity.
Safety & Side Effects
Ingesting the right oral immune boosting supplements may be beneficial to your overall health. However, there are a few minor side effects to be aware of. Some common side effects of immune boosting supplements mayinclude:
- Abdominal bloating
Sometimes, when certain vitamins are ingested without food can cause stomach pain. Be sure to read the label to see if you should take an immune supplement with food and to be sure that you do not take more than the recommended amount. Most side effects from vitamin supplements are a result of taking too much at one time.
Certain vitamin and mineral supplements can interact with prescription medications. If you take prescription medicines, or are undergoing prescribed treatment for a condition, consult with your doctor before taking any additional supplements.
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Delta Variant Is Less Deadly But Spreads More Easily
The Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus is now showing up in a majority of cases around the nation. In Washington state, as of Aug. 3, the Department of Health reports 76 percent of new cases were the Delta strain, which is less deadly, but easier to pass on to others. Some news reports indicate it is spread easier than the common cold.
There are new warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , as COVID-19 cases jump nationwide. With a more transmissible virus, how can you try to boost your immunity?
The DOH reports over 69 percent of Washington citizens have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Clark County Public Health reports 62 percent of residents have at least one dose.
Vaccinated individuals can get this strain of the virus, with Senator Lindsay Graham recently announcing he has COVID even after having been vaccinated. From a recent news report: Delta infections among vaccinated likely contagious Lambda variant shows vaccine resistance in lab.
These are often being reported as breakthrough cases. At least 125,000 fully vaccinated Americans have tested positive for Covid and 1,400 of those have died according to news reports.
Some state officials said that they could not be sure the vaccinated individuals had died from COVID-19 or from other causes. But other states directly attribute the cause to COVID-19: 32 deaths in Louisiana, 52 in Washington state, 24 in Georgia, 49 in New Jersey, 169 in Illinois.