Now is the Time to Improve Your Immune Health
- 15 November 2021
Bolster Your Defense Against Persistent Threats
With the flu and cold season about to hit full swing, and the lingering pandemic still entrenched across the country, right now is a great time to improve your immune health.
The immune system plays a vital role; It helps protect your body from harmful substances, germs, and cell changes that could make you sick. Various organs, cells, and proteins work together to fight pathogens — like bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi — and remove them from the body.
If your immune system is running smoothly, you’ll barely notice it’s there. But if it stops working properly, because it’s weakened or can’t fight particularly aggressive pathogens, you’ll fall ill. The immune system is activated when it encounters things in the body that it doesn’t recognize as its own — called antigens. When antigens attach to special receptors on immune system cells, processes to fight the perceived invader are triggered in the body.
There are two subsystems within the immune system, known as the innate (non-specific) immune system and the adaptive (specific) immune system. These are closely linked and work together whenever an immune response is triggered. The innate system combats harmful substances and germs that enter the body, for instance through the skin or digestive system. The adaptive system makes antibodies and uses them to target specific pathogens or germs that the body has previously come into contact with.
There are many ways to improve your immune health and strengthen both the innate and adaptive systems. Many of the ways to bolster and boost your immune system require no additional steps or intervention from your doctor and include many of the same general health tips you’ve heard all your life, such as:
- Getting adequate exercise
- Eating a balanced diet
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Getting enough quality sleep
- Actively preventing infection through techniques like hand washing and social distancing
Supplements to Improve Your Immune Health
In addition to the above steps, there are a number of nutrients, vitamins, and other elements that have been proven to aid in fortifying your immune system. Increasing your diet to include more of these nutrients, or taking a formulated supplement containing them, can boost your immune health. Here’s a quick look at the most recognized supplements in this area and what foods can help provide them.
Vitamin C — The gold standard in this area, Vitamin C is known for its potent antioxidant and antiviral effects. Microbial infections cause oxidative stress in the body due to an increase in free radicals; Vitamin C is found to decrease oxidative damage, promoting health and lowering the risk of certain conditions. Citrus fruits and berries are good sources, but you can find good sources in spinach, kale, and bell peppers too.
Vitamin A — Another proven infection-fighter, this vitamin is found in animal foods (meat, dairy, and in particular tuna), and from plant carotenoids. When looking for plant sources, go with dark leafy greens or orange-colored sources like carrots and sweet potatoes.
Vitamin D — Research shows individuals with adequate Vitamin D levels have enhanced immune responses, decreased inflammation, and are less prone to infections. Vitamin D is best absorbed through sunlight — aim for 20 minutes a day — with other sources including milk, salmon, and mackerel.
Zinc — Among many other functions, Zinc supports the immune system, is required for bone growth, and helps with wound healing, eyesight, and brain development. Research has shown a reduced severity of cold symptoms if zinc is taken within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms. Lean meats and poultry, yogurt, crab, and oysters are all good sources.
Selenium — This seems to have a powerful effect on the immune system being important for preventing infections. Animal foods are the best sources, including most forms of seafood.
Probiotics — These are live yeasts and bacteria that are good for you, in particular your digestive system. Probiotics help regulate your gut health and provide a balance between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria in your intestinal tract. Yogurt, cucumbers, and bananas provide the right kind of probiotics
Quercetin — This is a naturally occurring polyphenol and flavonoid best known for its anti-inflammatory and immune-enhancing properties. In addition, some Quercetin-rich foods, like red onions, also help expel mucus and relieve congestion in the lungs. Apples, honey, red grapes, and cherries are also good sources.
Lakeview Pharmacy has Other Tools to Improve Your Immune Health
For more potent and direct methods of boosting your immune system, Lakeview Pharmacy is proud to offer multiple supplements from Ortho Molecular designed to address specific needs. Here are two options to consider when you’re looking to empower your body’s immune response.
Viracid’s synergistic formula significantly boosts immune cell function including antibody response, natural killer (NK) cell activity, thymus hormone secretions, and T-cell activation. Viracid also helps soothe throat irritations and nasal secretions and maintains normal inflammatory balance by increasing antioxidant levels throughout the body.
Viracid provides key nutrients such as L-lysine vitamins A and C, pantothenic acid, B12, and zinc. Viracid includes the synergistic blend of botanical extracts including black elderberry, astragalus, echinacea, and Andrographis, all of which have been used traditionally for their clinically effective immune-modulating properties
Featuring a unique probiotic formula designed to deliver active organisms shown to promote healthy gut microflora, protect intestinal integrity, and boost immune function, Ortho Biotic provides seven proven probiotic strains in every capsule that will adhere to the intestinal tract and deliver results.
Ortho Biotic also supports bowel regularity, better digestion, and micronutrient absorption while helping to maintain gastrointestinal balance.
Lakeview Pharmacy has a long history of relentlessly serving our customers and their interests through a wide range of custom and specialty products. We believe in providing customers and patients with personal service and new solutions to old or reoccurring problems.