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How can we naturally strengthen our Immune System?

The immune system effectively protects the body from various harmful microorganisms. However, there are times when the immune system becomes weak and unable to function properly.

But no matter how much we try to strengthen our immune system through diet, this is largely possible only through supplements.

 

Vitamin E and C

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that activates the production of cells that are able to find and destroy germs. Foods rich in these vitamins are seeds and oils. Vitamin C stimulates the production of white blood cells and antibodies. It is known to play an important role in reducing the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and certain cancers.

 

Glutathione

It is an antioxidant that helps the cells of the immune system, such as T-cells and B-cells to live longer.

 

Coenzyme Q10

A powerful antioxidant that helps destroy viruses by boosting the immune system.

 

Zinc and selenium

These are the two most important minerals that help boost natural immunity by boosting B-cells. This allows the antibodies to bind to the viruses and destroy them.

 

B-glucan

It is a type of fiber that helps to enhance the function of NK cells.

 

Melatonin

It is a hormone that helps the immune system communicate with the cells of the immune system.

 

Garlic

These are the two most important minerals that help boost natural immunity by boosting B-cells. This allows the antibodies to bind to the viruses and destroy them.

 

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for the production of certain proteins that eliminate microbes (A recent study shows that low levels of vitamin D increase the risk of respiratory infections by 35%). A very large part of the Greek population is deficient in vitamin D and because it is very difficult to absorb it through the diet, it is considered necessary to take it in the form of supplement.

 

Probiotics

Probiotics are good bacteria, such as Lactobacillus, that are part of the normal intestinal and vaginal flora and help maintain the homeostasis of the intestinal flora. These bacteria seem to strengthen the immune system by boosting immune cells.

 

Exercise

Exercise also plays a very important role in strengthening the body’s defenses. Of course, even in this case we must not go to extremes through exhausting exercise, as it can make us more vulnerable.

 

Importance of nutrition

A balanced diet is essential to help our body fight possible “invaders”. We can achieve this by:

  • Reducing carbohydrates and sugar, as overconsumption of carbohydrates and sugar, increases blood glucose levels.
  • Reducing unhealthy, fatty foods: Excess fat in foods, causes inflammation in the body and hardens the walls of arteries.
  • Smoking: Smoking (as well as passive smoking) causes many health problems and also slows down the immune response.

 

Importance of sleep

When we sleep, our body replenishes its natural functions, including the immune system. Chronic sleep deprivation puts us at greater risk for certain diseases, such as hypertension, stroke, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Furthermore, studies have suggested that when we are deprived of sleep, T-cells (cells involved in immunity) decrease and some harmful inflammatory substances (cytokines) increase.

 

Stress management

Scientific studies have shown that people who have been exposed to intense stressful situations report a negative impact on their immune system.

Finally, but no less important, do not forget the regular visits to your doctor. The doctor can identify any health problem that may exist, and will perform the necessary tests, which will vary depending on your age, risk factors, etc.

 

Dr. Nikoleta Koini, M.D.

Doctor of Functional, Preventive, Anti-ageing and Restorative Medicine.
Diplomate and Board Certified in Anti-aging, Preventive, Functional and Regenerative Medicine from A4M (American Academy in Antiaging Medicine).

 

References:

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  2. Gabrielli S, Ortolani C, Del Zotto G, Luchetti F, Canonico B, Buccella F, Artico M, Papa S, Zamai L (2016). “The Memories of NK Cells: Innate-Adaptive Immune Intrinsic Crosstalk”. Journal of Immunology Research. 2016: 1376595. doi:10.1155/2016/1376595. PMC 5204097. PMID 28078307.
  3. Wilcox SM, Arora H, Munro L, Xin J, Fenninger F, Johnson LA, Pfeifer CG, Choi KB, Hou J, Hoodless PA, Jefferies WA (2017). “The role of the innate immune response regulatory gene ABCF1 in mammalian embryogenesis and development”. Plos One. 12 (5): e0175918. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0175918. PMC 5438103. PMID 28542262.
  4. Martineau AR, Jolliffe DA, Hooper RL, Greenberg L, Aloia JF, Bergman P, et al. (February 2017). “Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory tract infections: systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data”. BMJ. 356: i6583. doi:10.1136/bmj.i6583. PMC 5310969. PMID 28202713.
  5. Martineau AR, Jolliffe DA, Greenberg L, Aloia JF, Bergman P, Dubnov-Raz G, et al. (January 2019). “Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory infections: individual participant data meta-analysis”. Health Technology Assessment. 23 (2): 1–44. doi:10.3310/hta23020. PMC 6369419. PMID 30675873.
  6. Pereira M, Dantas Damascena A, Galvão Azevedo LM, de Almeida Oliveira T, da Mota Santana J (November 2020). “Vitamin D deficiency aggravates COVID-19: systematic review and meta-analysis”. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition (Systematic review): 1–9. doi:10.1080/10408398.2020.1841090. PMC 5310969. PMID 33146028.
  7. Taylor DJ, Kelly K, Kohut ML, Song KS (2017). “Is Insomnia a Risk Factor for Decreased Influenza Vaccine Response?”. Behavioral Sleep Medicine. 15 (4): 270–287. doi:10.1080/15402002.2015.1126596. PMC 5554442. PMID 27077395.
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  9. Godwin JW, Pinto AR, Rosenthal NA (January 2017). “Chasing the recipe for a pro-regenerative immune system”. Seminars in Cell & Developmental Biology. Innate immune pathways in wound healing/Peromyscus as a model system. 61: 71–79. doi:10.1016/j.semcdb.2016.08.008. PMC 5338634. PMID 27521522.
  10. Burg M, Gennery AR (2011). “Educational paper: The expanding clinical and immunological spectrum of severe combined immunodeficiency”. Eur J Pediatr. 170 (5): 561–571. doi:10.1007/s00431-011-1452-3. PMC 3078321. PMID 21479529.
  11. Baker MP, Reynolds HM, Lumicisi B, Bryson CJ (October 2010). “Immunogenicity of protein therapeutics: The key causes, consequences and challenges”. Self/Nonself. 1 (4): 314–322. doi:10.4161/self.1.4.13904. PMC 3062386. PMID 21487506.
  12. Koonin EV (February 2017). “Evolution of RNA- and DNA-guided antivirus defense systems in prokaryotes and eukaryotes: common ancestry vs convergence”. Biology Direct. 12 (1): 5. doi:10.1186/s13062-017-0177-2. PMC 5303251. PMID 28187792.

 

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