What is low immune system?
Low immunity means not active enough and poorly functioning immune system. The main function of the immune system is to protect the body from infections and cancer. Support and strengthen the immune system is perhaps the most important step in providing resistance to disease and reducing susceptibility to colds, flu and cancer. To support the immune system requires a healthy lifestyle, stress management, exercise, diet and proper use of nutritional supplements and medicinal herbs.
If you answer “Yes” to any of the following questions, this means that your immune system needs support:
- You easily catch cold?
- You catch colds more often than twice a year?
- You suffer from a chronic infection?
- You have often herpes or genital herpes?
- You get sick periodically or swollen lymph glands?
- You are sick or have cancer?
The disease is recurrent or chronic infections, even very mild colds, only occurs when a weakened immune system. In such circumstances, occurs a repetitive cycle that makes it difficult to overcome the tendency toward infection: a weakened immune system leads to infection, and the infection damages the immune system, resistance of which is further reduced. The immune system can break this vicious circle.
What causes reduced immunity?
The health of the immune system is strongly influenced by emotional state, stress level, lifestyle, dietary habits and nutritional status. Nutrient deficiency is the most common cause of immune system depression. The vast majority of clinical and experimental studies show that any nutrient deficiency can severely weaken the immune system.
What dietary factors are important in low immunity?
For optimal immunity requires a healthy diet that (1) rich in whole, natural foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, seeds and nuts, (2) low in fat and refined sugar, and (3) adequate but not excessive amount of protein. In addition, for the optimal functioning of the immune system person needs to drink five to six glasses of water 8 oz (240 ml) per day (preferably clean), take a highly active multivitamin & Multimineral Supplement, perform regular exercise program that includes at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise and 5-10 minutes of passive stretching daily to perform the exercises on deep breathing and relaxation every day to play with family and friends and enjoy spending time with them and sleep at least 6-8 hours a day.
One of the food components that are most harmful to our immune system, is sugar. As shown by one study, the ingestion of 100 grams (about 3-1/2 ounces) portions of carbohydrate, such as glucose, fructose, sucrose, honey, and pasteurized orange juice significantly reduced the ability of white blood cells (specifically, neutrophils) to engulf and destroy bacteria. On the contrary, the ingestion of 100 grams of starch no effect was observed. These effects occurred in less than 30 minutes after ingestion of these products and was maintained for more than 5 hours. As a rule, there is at least a 50% reduction of neutrophil activity two hours after a meal. Since neutrophils make up 60-70% of the total number of circulating blood leukocytes, the deterioration of their activity leads to immune suppression.
One of the most important food components that enhance the immune system is the carotenes. Many immunity-boosting properties of carotenes and other antioxidants due to their ability to protect the thymus (thymus) from damage. The thymus gland is the main gland of our immune system. It consists of two soft pinkish-gray lobes, which are similar to the apron just below the thyroid and above the heart. The thymus gland begins to actively develop immediately after birth. During the aging process the thymus gland undergoes a process of shrinkage or involution. The reason for this involution is the extraordinary susceptibility of the thymus to free radicals and oxidative damage caused by stress, drugs, radiation, infection and chronic diseases. In case of damage to the thymus gland in its ability to control the immune system is severely impaired.
The thymus is responsible for many immune system functions, including the production of T-lymphocytes — a particular type of white blood cells. The thymus gland also produces several hormones such as thymosin, thymopoeitin and serum thymic factor. These hormones regulate many immune functions. Low levels of these hormones in the blood leads to suppression of immunity and increased susceptibility to infections. As a rule, the level of thymic hormone is very low in the elderly, in individuals who are prone to infection, patients with cancer and AIDS, and in people exposed to excessive stress. Carotenes and other antioxidants can provide optimal activity of the thymus gland, preventing damage to the thymus by free radicals and oxidation accelerators.
In addition to protecting the thymus gland, carotenes have been shown to improve the function of several types of white blood cells and enhance the antiviral and anticancer properties of our own immune system mediators such as interferon. Simply put, carotene-rich foods and drinks appear to increase immunity.
Among the products with a high content of carotenes include colored vegetables, including dark green, yellow and orange squash, carrots, yams, sweet potatoes, red pepper and tomatoes. In addition, for proper functioning of the immune system, including protection against cancer, it is important inclusion in the diet of vegetables from the cabbage family (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, Kale, Kale and mustard greens, radishes and turnips) are rich in flavonoids are berries, garlic and Jerusalem artichoke.
Yogurt can improve the immune system, especially during its manufacture using a large volume (billions per serving) bacteria Bifidobacterium lactis. Consumption of yoghurt with Bifidobacterium lactis increases the relative content of the General, auxiliary and activated T-lymphocytes and natural killer cells. Other effects include increasing the ability of immune cells to phagocytose or engulf and destroy invaders, as well as the ability to destroy tumors, which have a natural killer cells.
Which dietary supplements should be taken with a low immune system?
Basic supplements. There are three products that I think are crucial to maintain high immunity.
- Highly active composition of multivitamins and minerals
- Vitamin D3: 2000-5000 IU/day
- Fish oil: 1000-3000 mg EPA + DHA per day.
Highly active composition of multivitamins and minerals is the first step in immune system support supplements because it helps to compensate for any shortage of basic nutrients. A deficiency of virtually any nutrient can lead to significant impairments of immune function. However, this is especially true of vitamin C, E, A, B6, B12 and folic acid. Particularly important minerals are zinc, iron and selenium. In addition to mixtures of many nutrients, some specific nutrients are also helpful in increasing immunity. We are talking about vitamins C, E and A.
Vitamin D3 is particularly important for a healthy immune system. People whose vitamin D blood levels below 38 ng/ml, two times more likely to develop upper respiratory infections than people with higher levels of this vitamin. Clinical studies have confirmed the ability of vitamin D to reduce the risk of colds and flu. Recently most medical professionals advocate taking daily doses of vitamin D in the amount of 2,000 to 5,000 IU to achieve optimum level of this vitamin in the body.
Echinacea, as has been demonstrated in over 300 scientific studies, has a significant impact on immune function. However, not all clinical studies have been positive. The contradictory results of these studies, Echinacea is likely due to the absence or insufficient quantity of active compounds. Echinamide® is a patented, proven in clinical conditions the product is guaranteed providing the highest level of the three key active groups of compounds responsible for the effects of Echinacea on the immune system. Follow the instructions on the label.
Astragalus root (Аstragalus membranaceus) is a medicinal drug, traditional Chinese medicine, which is used to treat viral infections, including colds. Clinical studies in China have confirmed that this drug is very effective when used for the prevention of colds. In addition, it was demonstrated that it reduces the duration and severity of symptoms in acute cases treatment of colds, and also increases the white blood cell count in chronic leukopenia (a disease characterized by low level of white blood cells). Animal studies show that Astragalus is probably works by stimulating several factors of the immune system. In particular, it stimulates the production of white blood cells that engulf and destroy invading organisms and cellular debris, and increases the production of interferon (an important natural compound produced by the body to fight viruses). Follow the instructions on the label.
NOTE: Astragalus is one of the main components of the product Anti-V from Natural Factors. This also includes other ingredients: Echinamide®; lomatium (Lomatium dissectum); Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) and licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra). Follow the instructions on the label.
Wellmune is a special beta-glucan preparation from Baker’s yeast. Its efficacy in improving immunity and prevent colds and flu have been proven in several double blind studies. The subjects received daily 500 mg of Wellmune or a placebo for 90 days. According to the results of one of these studies, the group receiving Wellmune, said:
- about absence absences at work or school due to colds, compared with a 1.38 days of absences at work or school in the placebo group;
- the absence of fever cases compared to incidence of 3.50 in the placebo group;
- to improve the quality of life, including increasing the supply of physical energy and improve emotional well-being, which was measured with a questionnaire, medical examination, confirmed during the clinical studies.
Medicinal mushrooms such as Maitake, shiitake, Reishi and Cordyceps, have significant boosts immunity effect. This effect is mostly due to the presence of beta-glucans. Numerous experimental and clinical studies have shown that mushroom beta-glucan activates white blood cells. Follow the instructions on the label.
Probiotics enhance health indicate bacterial products containing these types of bacteria, such as Lactobaccilli and Bifidobacter. These drugs can be valuable AIDS in improving the immunity. Use daily for 6-12 billion colony forming units (COE).
Our mood and attitude to life have a huge impact on the functioning of our immune system. The point is that when we are happy and optimistic, our immune system functions much better. Conversely, when we are depressed, our immune system is usually suppressed. If the person is in a state of considerable stress or depression, he needs to make a conscious effort to strengthen your immune system, in particular, to begin to take nutritional supplements. Immunodepression can cause not only serious stressful situation. However, the more serious stress factor, those greater its effect on the immune system. Negative emotions depress the immune system, while positive emotions strengthen it. In my clinical practice when I meet patients with low immunity, I ask them who their favorite comedian is and then write them a prescription with the recommendation to watch the movie or show, if possible, humorous. The point is that you need to laugh, if you want to have a healthy immune system.
How do I know what the recommendations are?
Reducing the number of colds and other viral infections, shorter bouts of infectious diseases and General high resistance to infections.
This article was written by Dr. Michael Murray, one of the leading authorities in the field of natural medicine. Over the past 35 years, Dr. Murray has been compiling a massive database of original scientific studies of the medical literature. He has personally collected over 65000 articles from the scientific literature that provide convincing evidence of the effectiveness of diet, vitamins, minerals, herbs and other natural ways of maintaining health and treating disease. It is from this constantly expanding database that Dr. Murray provides the answers on health and treatment on the website DoctorMurray.com. Visit the iHerb page of Dr. Murray by clicking here.