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How To Support Your Built-In Defence System?

Written by

Deborah Freudenmann BHSc

We live in a microbial world, which means that we constantly encounter microorganisms that could harm our health. The immune system forms the body’s entire department of defence. Its primary goal is to protect us from invading microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses and parasites. Providing your immune system with all the necessary support can help strengthening these defence mechanisms and prevent your risk of developing several acute and chronic diseases.

With so much fear in the world surrounding microbes, the goal of this article is to regain some trust and respect for the incredible job our body does each and every day. Once we know how the immune system works, we can then address some of the causes of a poor immune system as well as take a few natural supplements!

What is the immune system?

The immune system plays a vital role in protecting our body against infections and several other diseases including those that occur due to inflammation, oxidative stress, and autoimmunity. This marks the need to strengthen our immune system in order to reduce our risk of disease development.

It encompasses a vast variety of cells, antibodies, proteins and chemicals that work together in the same way that a combination of specialised weapons system, army, navy, air force and the like might all be marshalled to fight a war.

What is the immune system supposed to attack?

The answer is this: anything that doesn’t belong. It could be foreign organisms, like viruses, bacteria, fungi or parasites. These are called pathogens. It could be a cell of the body that is infected with a foreign organism – called a pathogen-infected cell. It could also be some other foreign material: toxins, bacterial fragments, cell fragments, protein fragments and even foreign objects like dirt.

Innate and adaptive immunity

The innate and adaptive immunity form the critical lines of defenses against disease-causing agents.

The first line of defense to protect against pathogens involves the non-specific innate immune response. The innate immune response comprises the chemical, physical, and cellular mechanisms that help to attack and destroy pathogens. The purpose of the innate immune system is to prevent the spread of foreign pathogens in the body immediately.

The second line of protective mechanism against pathogens is known as the adaptive immune response. It is also called the acquired immunity or the specific immunity.

The adaptive immune response is highly specific to the pathogens. It is meant to attack the pathogens, though it may sometimes make errors causing the immune cells to destroy the body’s healthy tissues. When this happens, patients may develop autoimmune diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

In short, the innate immune response occurs immediately while the adaptive immune response takes time to develop. However, the effect of the adaptive immune response lasts longer and is highly specific. It is sustained by the memory T cells for several months to even years.

It is important to understand how these immune defense systems are interlinked with all the bodily systems. Let us have a closer look at the different tissues and organs of the body that play a role in supporting the functions of the immune system.

Organ components of the immune system

White blood cells form an integral part of the immune system. These cells serve as the most effective line of defense against infectious pathogens and attack them directly. White blood cells like eosinophils also play a role in regulating the response of the immune system to allergens.

The role of the stomach and intestine in supporting immune system functions can be explored through the mechanisms by which the gut flora regulates the immunological activities. A healthy gut flora containing diverse microorganisms would improve digestion, reduce inflammation, and strengthen immunity significantly.

The tissues of the lymphatic system such as the lymph nodes and lymph glands like adenoids, thymus gland, and spleen also help by draining away toxic metabolites so that they can be easily eliminated from the body.

Similarly, the skin and respiratory system support the elimination of toxins in the form of sweat, and air during exhalation, respectively, thus restoring healthy bodily functions.

Importance of a balanced immune system

The over-reaction of the immune system to internal and external threats may lead to hypersensitivity or allergic response.

At the same time, an under-reaction of the immune system to these threats would reduce the body’s ability to fight disease-causing agents.

Hence, it is important to regulate the functions of the immune system so that it neither underreacts nor overreacts.

Signs of the weak immune system

  • Repeated infections especially in the upper and lower respiratory tract and urinary system
  • Symptoms of allergies like rashes, itching, redness of the skin, breathing difficulties, and swelling of the face
  • Increased risk of autoimmune diseases like arthritis and thyroiditis
  • Vulnerability to develop diseases linked to inflammation and oxidative stress like cancer and diabetes

Root causes of poor immune function

Stress

Mental and physical stress can cause the immune system to overwork making it weaker and less effective.

Poor diet

An inflammatory diet with poor fats, high sugar, food additives and toxins stress the body and cause poor immune function. Lack of essential nutrients in the diet like vitamin C, vitamin D, iron, B vitamins can reduce the efficiency of the immune system putting you at risk of immunological disorders.

Lack of oxygenation

Inadequate supply of oxygen due to reduced circulation, mitochondrial dysfunction and shallow breathing can impede immune function.

Dehydration

Reduced water intake can prevent the body from getting rid of toxic metabolites through urination. The accumulation of these toxins in healthy tissues can affect cellular processes and therefore affecting cellular immunity.

Poor sleep

Poor sleep can disrupt hormonal balance in the body and therefore influences overall immunity. The importance of sleep cannot be understated, as proper rest is vital for a strong immune system. When asleep, T-cells and proteins called cytokines are released, both of which play important roles in a strong immune system. Getting an average of 8 hours of sleep per night, increases your immunity to the common cold by 32%, compared to individuals who sleep 5 hours or less per night.

Lack of sunshine

Lack of exposure to sunlight can prevent vitamin D synthesis in the skin. The deficiency of this nutrient make the immune system weaker.

 

Addressing the above lifestyle factors are imperative to having a strong and active defence system.

Natural immune supporters

Vitamins and Minerals

Essential vitamins like vitamin C and D3 can support the functions of the immune system. These nutrients can enhance the activities of T cells and B cells enabling them to attack infectious pathogens more efficiently.

Minerals like zinc and iron play a role in several immunological activities. The deficiency of these nutrients must be avoided for restoring the functions of the immune cells. Green veggies and fruits offer a rich natural source of minerals and vitamins that can improve your overall health while boosting immunity.

Probiotics

As our gut is an important part of our immune system – a healthy microbiome balance is important to support healthy immune response.

Omega 3 fatty acids

Sources of omega 3 fatty acids like EPA/DHA and olive leaf extract possess strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can support the functions of the immune system. These effects of omega 3 fatty acids would prevent the risk of diseases linked to inflammation and free radical damage.

Glutathione

Glutathione is one of the natural antioxidants that can attack and destroy free radicals released in the body during metabolic processes. This would reduce oxidative stress and prevent the risk of diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, and even cancer.

Curcumin

Curcumin is one of the compounds present in turmeric. It possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can enhance the natural physiological functions of the immune system thus playing a great therapeutic and preventive role in maintaining health.

Ozone

Ozone therapy can activate your immune system and stimulate the mechanisms of the immune cells against viruses and bacteria. It would also reduce inflammation, improve overall circulation and activate the antioxidant pathways.

Hyperthermia

Hyperthermia is an effective treatment against a number of viral and bacterial infections. The body naturally generates a fever in the face of infection as healing mechanism. Clinical research suggests that fever is one of the bodies most effective means to restore its complex regulatory, repair and defence mechanism. Healthy cells survive increased heat environments without lasting damage while the increased metabolism that accompanies the heat can irrevocably harm damaged, infected or mutated (cancer) cells.

Mushrooms

Medicinal mushrooms like Chaga mushroom could produce an immunomodulatory effect and regulate the functions of the immune cells thus reducing the risk of autoimmune diseases and allergies. Beta glucan is a compound found in mushrooms and has been proven to bind with macrophages, activates and increases their ability to identify and destroy foreign organisms.

PEMF

Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy works at the cellular level to provide its benefits. The immune system is a collection or army of cells that play an important role within the body. Like any other type of cell, they can become fatigued and dysfunctional, which is when infections as well as disease can occur. PEMF therapy can recharge your white blood cells and keep them in optimal condition.

These are just a few immune supporting supplements and therapies!

Conclusion

It is possible to strengthen your build-in defence system by ensuring your body receives an adequate supply of essential vitamins and minerals. As well as addressing some key lifestyle habits such as poor diet, stress, sleep, sunshine and dehydration. With a robust immune system, you can prevent the development and progress of a number of diseases. Your immune system does an amazing job – every single minute as we navigate a world where we live in a symbiotic relationship with microbes.

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  • 5 Responses

    1. This is a fantastic report on how our body works. These are all of the issues I am addressing in getting rid of my Leukemia, diabetes, osteoporosis, etc. I am sending this info out to all my friends and family. Thank you! PS I also am working with Spirit on all of these issues and they are in total agreement with this article and want to add Mind Control or Visualization to it.

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