Strategies for Building A Health Immune System
- Increase vitamin C and minimize grains and sugar. The phagocytic cells of the immune system require high amounts of vitamin C to work properly. Glucose (sugar) and vitamin C are almost identical. Vitamin C and glucose use the same cell membrane receptors to enter the cell, in other words vitamin C and glucose compete with one another to enter the cell. High blood glucose levels mean that glucose is taking up most of the receptors sites and vitamin C is not being absorbed. The phagocytic cells of the immune system require high amounts of vitamin C to work properly. Vitamin C supplement.
Impact of Vitamin C Deficiency
- Impaired wound healing
- Increased oxidative damage
- Increased incidence and severity of pneumonia and other infections
Impact of Vitamin C supplementation on Immune function
- High doses stimulate phagocytic and T-lymphocytic activity
- Antioxidant properties protect leukocytes and lymphocytes from oxidative stress.
- In high doses, can help severely ill patients in intensive care recovery more quickly.
- Ensure adequate vitamin D levels. A 2015 study demonstrated that vitamin D deficiency contributed to the development of acute respirator distress syndrome (ARDS) and that low vitamin D levels may predispose one to the condition. Additionally, in experimental animal models, vitamin D deficiency resulted in exaggerated alveolar inflammation, epithelial damage, and hypoxia, suggesting that vitamin D is important for optimum respiratory function. Vitamin D supplementation: 5000 IU daily for adults and 1000 IU daily for children. Additionally, Vitamin K taken with Vitamin D helps absorption. Do not take vitamin K if you are on a blood thinner. Vitamin D supplement.
Impact of Vitamin D Deficiencies
- Altered gut microbiota
- Reduced number of lymphocytes
- Impaired immune capabilities of macrophages
- Increases susceptibility of respiratory tract infections
- Increased severity, morbidity and mortality of RTI
- Increased risk of autoimmune diseases (e.g. Type 1 diabetes, MS, RA)
- Impaired innate immunity
- Altered integrity of mucosal epithelium
Impact of Vitamin D Supplementation on Immune Function
- Helps restore immune function of macrophages
- Decreases susceptibility of respiratory tract infections
- Decrease in asthma symptoms
- Selenium is important for both the function of adaptive and innate immune response, adequate selenium is helpful to support immune function and the healthy response to exposure to viruses.
Impact of Selenium Deficiencies
- Suppression of immune function
- Increased Viral virulence
- Increased risk of RTI
Impact of Selenium Supplementation on Immune Function
- Improves cell-mediated immunity
- Enhances immune response to viruses in deficient individuals
- Zinc is another mineral know to support immune function. Zinc supplement.
Impact of Zinc Deficiencies
- Impaired antibody response to T Cell-dependent antigens
- Increased risk of bacterial, viral and fungal infections (particularly diarrhea and pneumonia)
- Increased diarrheal and respiratory morbidity
Impact of Zinc Supplementation on Immune Function
- Beneficial effects in intestinal immune functions
- The average daily consumption of bacteria, live or dead, is a million times less than what was consumed by our Stone Age ancestors. This has important impacts on our immune system for several reasons. Bacteria in the body are important for stimulation of the immune system, prevention of colonization by pathogenic microorganisms and production of nutrients in the mucosa. Additionally, the digestive tract must be able to digest food for proper absorption of nutrients. One of the main functions of bacteria is to aid the breakdown of fiber and complex proteins. A large portion of the body’s immune system is localized in the GI wall and in mesenteric lymph nodes. A constant exposure to anti-biotics also contributes to decrease healthy bacteria in the body. Probiotics can support immune function and have been found to reduce incidence of Upper Respiratory Tract Infection. Probiotic supplements.
- Exercising is one the best ways to reduce stress and improve immune function. To avoid large crowds taking a walk or run outside is a great way to exercise while at the same time getting fresh air and possibly some sunlight to help boost vitamin D.
- Because the majority of our food does not have the same nutrient density as it use too, taking a high quality multivitamin is a good way to help ensure sufficient nutrient intake. Multivitamin supplement.
- Get adequate sleep. Sleep is a time for your body to rest and repair. Making sure you are getting adequate sleep is vital for health, vitality and a strong immune system.
- Get adjusted. Getting adjusted can increase segment mobility and decrease hyperactivity so the sympathetic nervous system by increasing proprioception and decreasing nociception. The spinal joints and connective tissues are loaded with receptors called mechanoreceptors that send signals to the brain about position in space, vibration, balance, coordination, movement, etc. The spinal joints and connective tissues also have receptors called nociceptors. Chiropractic adjustments increase movement in the spine which stimulate the mechanoreceptors to send signals to the brain know as proprioception. Proprioception downregulates nociception which is important because nociception stimulates the stress response via stimulating the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) which can have a negative impact on immune function. Spinal adjustments thereby may increase immune function by decrease sympathetic overstimulation and reducing the stress response.
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- Gombart, A.F., A. Pierre, and S. Maggini, A Review of Micronutrients and the Immune System-Working in Harmony to Reduce the Risk of Infection. Nutrients, 2020. 12(1).
- Martineau, A.R., et al., Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory tract infections: systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data. Bmj, 2017. 356: p. i6583.