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Keep Your Immune System Strong

How do you boost your immune system when you are exposed to hundreds of bacteria, germs, and other pathogens every day? Our immune system function is threatened as is the state of our health and wellbeing by this exposure. Thankfully, our bodies have come to develop immune systems that protect us against the harmful effects of these various pathogens.

While modern science and technology have developed methods to reduce our exposure to these pathogens as well as pharmaceuticals that help us to recover from sickness, there are also a number of natural ways to keep your immune system strong that prevent sickness in the first place.

Exercise, sleep, and diets are hugely important to maintain a strong immune system. If necessary, there are also immune system supplements that can be used when your body needs a little extra help.

How Does The Immune System Work?

As a basic overview, our immune system operates by identifying pathogens: viruses, bacteria or microorganisms that can cause sickness or disease that may lead to symptoms of sickness and infection in our bodies so that it may “kill” or “destroy” these threats. Sounds pretty aggressive, right? Think of the immune system as the “silent killer” of our bodies; if it is functioning properly, it will go completely unnoticed and you will feel completely normal. But, the signs of a weak immune system will appear in the form of sickness or infection, as the body has been unable to otherwise remove the pathogen responsible for the symptoms.

The immune system functions by being able to recognize the difference between the body’s own cells and the cells of other organisms or substances. It can be divided into the Innate Immune System, which defends against generic or non-specific pathogens that we have evolved to recognize and combat, as well as the Adaptive Immune System that fights specific pathogens that can change over time. The Adaptive System learns from exposure to these infectious microbes in order to be able to continue to remove them in the future (1).

There are positive correlations between exercise, sleep, diet, certain supplements, and a healthy immune system through scientific literature is still being developed to understand the true mechanisms behind these relationships!

Avoiding the use of tobacco and chronic consumption of alcohol is a means of preventing the deteriorative effects of these substances on your immune system as well.

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Diet and The Immune System

Ensuring that you have a healthy and balanced diet is very important for maintaining a strong immune system. You can eat a variety of foods to boost the immune system function, however, nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits and vegetables are thought to be most important. Foods with adequate levels of a variety of vitamins and other trace minerals can play a role in boosting immunity.

Carrots, sweet potato, kale, and spinach are great examples of foods containing Vitamin A, while citrus fruits are a great source of Vitamin C (2). Vitamin C and E are both found in foods such as bell peppers or spinach and other dark leafy greens. Common food sources of Vitamin D can include milk or eggs. Zinc, Copper, Iron, and Selenium are found in highest concentrations in cereals, meat and fish products (3).

Studies also show that ingesting adequate calories, protein, complex carbohydrates (avoiding simple sugars), and Omega-3 Fatty acids as well as limiting intake of sodium and saturated fats can help to naturally maintain a healthy immune system.

Immune System Boosters

Our body’s immune system is a complex and dynamic defense system that comes to our rescue at the first sign of exposure to an outside invader. The dynamic nature of the immune system means that all factors that affect health need to be addressed in order for it to function at peak performance. The immune system is very sensitive to nutrient deficiencies. While we always recommend maintaining a healthy diet first, there are a number of natural supplements that have been recommended for use to maintain a healthy immune system.

  • Zinc
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A
  • Elderberry
  • L-Lysine
  • Pantothenic Acid
  • Vitamin D

Zinc

Zinc is a mineral that works synergistically with vitamin A in activating thymic factor, a thymus hormone with vital immune supporting properties. Maintaining optimal zinc levels also helps maintain helper T-cell lymphocyte function, NK cell activity, macrophage function, and antibody production.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is well known for its ability to support immune response. Vitamin C concentrations decline rapidly in the body during periods of stress. Dietary intake is therefore crucial during immune challenges. Vitamin C has been found to be helpful in supporting specific components of the immune system including NK cell activity and lymphocyte function. Vitamin C also provides antioxidant support by protecting cells against reactive oxygen species that are generated during normal inflammatory response.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A helps support mucous membranes. When vitamin A is lacking, mucus-producing cells are replaced by keratin producing cells, and the membranes become tough and more vulnerable to organisms. Vitamin A is a critical immune supporting nutrient. Vitamin A also supports the immune system by stimulating white blood cell function and increasing antibody response.

Elderberry

Black elderberry (Sambucas nigra) has a long history of traditional use among herbalists and is native to Europe, Northern Africa, and Western and Central Asia. Elderberry preparations range from expressed juice to syrup, tea decoction, powdered extract, and powdered extract in the form of lozenges or capsules. The bioactive components of elderberry include the flavonoid anthocyanin. Viracid is standardized to include black elderberry extract with 13% anthocyanins. Black elderberry preparations have also been shown to enhance immune cell killing potential by supporting healthy cytokine production, including IL-8 and IL-10, the cellular pathways used to eliminate foreign invaders.

L-Lysine

L-lysine is an essential amino acid that cannot be synthesized in the body on its own. Lysine must be derived from protein sources in the diet in order for the body to function properly. Many biological functions require lysine including boosting immune defense. A study conducted in China examined the immunological effects of lysine. Of eighty-eight families included in the study, half received wheat flour fortified with 3 g of lysine per kilogram of flour, the other half received wheat flour without fortification. Those given the fortified flour showed improved immune function, versus the placebo group, specifically showing an increase of CD3 T-cells, IgG, IgA, and IgM.

Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5)

Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) is a water-soluble B complex vitamin. D-calcium pantothenate is a heat stable form of B5. About 85% of pantothenic acid in food occurs as a component of coenzyme A (CoA). As a component of CoA, pantothenic acid is essential for the production of energy from carbohydrates, fats and protein. Maintaining optimal pantothenic acid levels is crucial for supporting immune system energy, thymic function and healthy white blood cell levels.

Viracid

Viracid includes a powerful combination of key nutrients and botanical extracts that provide support for immune challenges. Viracid boosts immune defenses by providing nutrients such as L-lysine, vitamins A & C, pantothenic acid, B12, and zinc. Viracid includes the synergistic blend of botanical extracts black elderberry, astragalus, echinacea, and andrographis, all of which have been used traditionally for their clinically effective immune- modulating properties. For more information or to order Viracid visit our Fullscript website here>