When we search for information about how to strengthen immune system, we must consider new challenges that threaten our good health and the protective cells and biological soldiers that are hard at work right now defending you against invaders.
For the most part, your immune system does a great job protecting you against illness and disease. This is not an easy task. There is a constant battle going on inside your body every day as germs, toxins, bacteria, viruses, and serious illness do their best to assault your body. We do lose the battle at times, to common illnesses like the cold and the flu. The flu affects 100 million people every year. Collectively, we catch a billion colds per year. Allergies and asthma rates are on the rise, with 38% of us suffering from allergies. This is twice as much as experts originally thought.
What is the immune system’s plan of attack when there is an invader. The first lines of defense are in the skin and mucous linings of our body. They are like a pre-layer of defense in their attempt to keep foreign intruders out of the body. If an invader does break through, there are cells and substances like chemicals and enzymes that are on attack against any kind of invader. If the cell is infected by a virus, it secretes a substance called interferon which is a remarkable chemical that activates natural killer cells to help block viral replication of cells that are not infected. Many potential illnesses are intercepted during this immune system response.
There are non-specific and specific immune defenses. Non specific defenses are essential to our health because they are like the front line defense that keeps many viruses and infections from making us ill. The intruders that do get by this first line of defense must confront specific immune defense weapons tailored just for them like antibodies and killer cells that help your body recognize and remember and efficiently eliminate all kinds of foreign invaders. An immunization is an example of creating a specific response by recognizing a strain of virus.
Environmental toxins are constantly attacking our bodies. There are new flu strains, like the recent swine flu. Along with that are weakening immunizations that cause frustration to the medical community as well as people trying to protect themselves against serious illness. All of these factors support the need to learn how to strengthen immune system, and to do all we can to build our immune system.
Did you know that some viruses and bacteria can live for between 20 minutes and 2 hours on certain surfaces like door knobs, desks, cafeteria and restaurant tables, and phones. Every time that you shake hands, hold on to a grocery cart, eat at a restaurant, grab a phone, open the door, or take a bus, you are potentially making contact with pathogens that threaten to break through your immune system. One of the most important things that you can do on a daily basis is to wash your hands often and don’t be afraid to tell others to do the same.
Some of the things that do not support a healthy immune system are our stressful lifestyles, poor dietary habits, lack of sleep and lack of exercise. All of these are realities for most of us today, and challenges to our body’s defenses and our aging process. So what are we to do?
Science and research have given us some answers about how to improve immune systems. What can we do to meet our immune building needs? A balanced diet is key because there are different nutrients that our bodies need in various foods. Maintaining good nutrition is very important to having a healthy immune system.
We mentioned hand washing and the main reason why it’s worth mentioning again is that the biggest carrier of germs that can make us sick is our hands. Other ways to keep from spreading illness is to sneeze into your elbow instead of out into the air where there are other people and surfaces, get enough sleep so that the body is in the best position to fight off threats to your good health. Staying home from work when you are sick and away from other people when you are sick help to stop the spread of illness. Finally, exercise helps the body fight whatever comes its way because exercise can be an effective immune builder itself.
How else can our bodies fight the flu, and especially a new strain? We do have strategies like a healthy immune system that will fight off these threats, immunizations, and other anti-viral drugs. However, in regard to the flu, every few years there are new viruses that are created by existing viruses spreading around the world and even combining with each other. Our bodies do not recognize these new strains and it takes time to develop new vaccines that will be effective as we battle the viruses.
Babies and the elderly can be especially vulnerable to the flu. There are outbreaks of diseases that many of us were vaccinated against as a child and can pose a unique challenge to our immune system. The attempt to fight bacterial infections caused by salmonella or e-coli have confirmed the fact that the intestines are a very important part of a healthy immune system. One way we know to build a healthier intestinal tract is to keep a good balance of good bacteria or probiotics living in the gut. Probiotics have various roles in the intestines including helping the body to fight illness and supporting good health by providing the body with the ability to be able to absorb nutrients. Scientists believe that without healthy intestines, our bodies can not absorb the nutrients that we need to be healthy.
Ongoing research about how to strengthen immune system will bring us new discoveries. There is research being done on respiratory viruses that affect adults as well as children. Viral infection of the lung involves a combination of the immune system fighting infection, and the inflammation issue associated with respiratory that can lead to more serious illness. For now, we have concrete ways to support a healthy immune system in our everyday lives, and we have natural supplements like probiotics, natural interferon, multi-vitamins, extra vitamin c, and other immune system vitamins and nutrients that have been proven to build good health including a strong immune system.