The job of microbes is to "decompose" you, literally — to turn your body into fertilizer or compost. The job of the immune system is to prevent your decomposition! (You should help your immune system do its job because the world has enough fertilizer, already.)
These Increase Immune System Strength
Zinc is one of the key nutrients for maintaining good immune function (however, never supplement with just zinc, it has to be balanced with other minerals), especially copper. Zinc has the following actions in regard to immunity. Click to learn more about each:
Vitamin C powers up immune function in numerous ways as follows:
Like other immune cells, natural killer cells’ function declines with aging. Detailed scientific studies show that natural killer cell function improves in the presence of adequate vitamin C, and declines without it.
Diabetes, like aging, impairs the production of lymphocytes and the functioning of T-lymphocytes. However, supplementing diabetic rats with vitamin C pushed lymphocyte production from 57% of that of controls to virtually 100% of control values, essentially creating “non-diabetic” immune cells within a living diabetic body.
Improved function of neutrophils (killer white blood cell) in the presence of adequate vitamin C is so evident that clinicians have begun to use vitamin C at 1,000 mg per day doses for people with chronic granulomatous disease, a disorder in which neutrophils lack proper killing ability once they have ingested bacteria.
A study published in the Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology showed that when human volunteers took an oral dose of 1,000 mg or more of vitamin C, neutrophils performed more vigorously than those of unsupplemented subjects.
Neutrophils (one of the types of white blood cells) are the main immune system cell for fighting bacterial infections. Neutrophils engulf invading organisms, then destroy them with powerful blasts of short-lived oxygen free radicals. Vitamin C supports many aspects of neutrophil function, including aiding in their ability to track and chase down bacterial targets and improving their ability to engulf and kill such targets.
Lymphocytes are immune system cells that produce antibodies (called B-lymphocytes) and coordinate with other immune cells to guide them towards threats needing destruction.. When they detect such an incipient threat, lymphocytes rapidly reproduce in a proliferative response that is enhanced in the presence of vitamin C. In older adults, that proliferation is impaired, but vitamin C treatment restores them to youthful levels of function. Similar enhancements of lymphocyte proliferation have been demonstrated by supplementing aging laboratory animals with vitamin C, which also boosts lymphocytes’ ability to track down threats.
Vitamin C equips lymphocytes and phagocytes to withstand the free radical bursts that they must use to kill invading pathogens. Without the protection of Vitamin C, they would be destroyed by the act of killing an invader.
Antibodies are noncellular components of the immune system that help identify and destroy invading threats and cancerous cells. Vitamin C benefits this portion of the immune system by raising levels of three main classes of antibody immunoglobulins: IgA — which protects against infections mainly on mucosal surfaces, such as the respiratory and digestive tracts, IgG — which provides long-term protection in the bloodstream, and IgM — which is the earliest immunoglobulin to appear in blood in response to threats. Blood levels of antibodies and other protective molecules rose significantly when volunteers took 1,000 mg doses of vitamin C daily for 75 days, demonstrating the effect in humans.
The immune system requires glutathione in order for white blood cells to be created and to function properly. In order for the immune system to respond to invaders quickly, there must be ample supplies of glutathione.
Selenium is one of those essential micro-nutrients that is only noticed when its levels go down. Supplementing a person with selenium who already has adequate levels, doesn't improve immune function, but supplementing selenium in individuals with low levels, significantly boost immune function.
This breast fluid is produced by humans, cows, and other mammals before breast milk is released. Colostrum promotes growth and health in infants and newborn animals. Additionally, the antibodies promote immunity, help fight infections, and improve gut health throughout the life of the offspring. Even for adults, supplementing with colostrum (such as in a freeze dried powder) quickly adds something called passive immunity, IE, the ability to respond quickly to an invader that has already been dealt with by the colostrum provider. It's a great idea.
Alkylglycerols, which are extracted from shark liver oil., significantly boost red and white blood cell production and activity as well as boost the production of antibodies that target pathogens.
How the immune system works
The most important part of warfare of any type is identifying where the enemy is mounting an attack and then striking them powerfully there. That makes antibodies the most important part of the immune system. These targeting molecules are made in the intestines and in white blood cells called B-Lymphocytes (which are made in bone marrow, lymph nodes and spleen). They are specific to each pathogen. Their purpose is to find and "stick" to viruses and other pathogens. By sticking to them they either prevent them from entering into human cells (by locking up the viral components that can break open a cell membrane, or by being a target on those viruses (a homing device) for other white blood cells to come, engulf and destroy them (see white blood cells below).
Antibodies often remain in the body throughout one life... so that once a pathogen is identified earlier in one's life, it is very easy to generate large quantities of antibodies in case of a later infection. This is the concept behind immunizations that allow one's immune system to understand how to fight a future infection from a specific pathogen.
White blood cells are infantry soldiers. They go out to meet pathogens and either prevent them from entering human cells or they engulf them and destroy them via free-radical bursts. There are several types as shown below. White blood cells are stored in several types of tissue throughout the body from which they can be launched quickly. The storage sites include: thymus, spleen, tonsils, lymph nodes, small intestines and adenoids. Additionally, white blood cells are always circulating in the bloodstream, looking for pathogens that should be attacked. They are your first line of defense/offense.
The stomach and gut is designed to protect the rest of the body from pathogens in food or water. First, it secretes gastric juices that can dissolve not only food, but pathogens as well. And because there may not be enough gastric juices to kill all those pathogens, the gut is a large secreter of antibodies (that will target pathogens that get into the blood stream). This targeting brings white blood cells into attack mode in the blood stream.
Peyer’s patches are found in the small intestines and tonsils. They are small masses of lymphatic tissue found throughout the ileum region of the small intestine. Also known as aggregated lymphoid nodules, they form an important part of the immune system by monitoring intestinal bacteria populations and preventing the growth of pathogenic bacteria in the intestines by organizing B cell (anti-body) responses.
Lymph nodes help in filtering toxic wastes via via connecting lymphatic vessels and also they helping by creating and storing white blood cells, both the ones that kill pathogens and the ones that produce targeting antibodies. You can think of them mainly as small production centers and warehouses (distributed throughout the body) that make sure that white blood cells are close to where they may be needed in the future, so that white blood cells can quickly attack and defend the body against intruding pathogens. The tonsils and adenoids can be thought of as "larger lymph nodes".
Bone marrow produces red blood cells, platelets, and immature white blood cells. These Lymphocyte precursors (T Cells) are produced in the marrow, and grow to maturity in the Thymus and play a hugely important part in the body's immune system.
The spleen carries out three important functions as follows:
The thymus's main job is to nurture and help create differentiation in T-lymphocytes – the white blood cells that attack and kill viruses and bacteria. Immature T-cells (pre-cursors) are made in bone marrow and migrate to the thymus gland where they are then programmed into mature T-cells in order to carry out immune responses to attack and destroy invading viruses and cancer cells.
The thymus contains numerous lobules and follicles, within which lymphocytes or white blood cells (T Cells) grow to maturity (after the precursor cells are made in bone marrow). T cells are like infantry soldiers who search out and destroy invaders. They are critical to the adaptive immune system, as the body adapts T cells specifically to each type of foreign invader.
After the age of 40, the Thymus begins to deteriorate and fill with fat, which is why older people are more susceptible to cancer and infectious diseases. To keep the Thymus in good working order, it is very important to maintain high quality nutrition and to consume specifically Vitamin C, Alkylglycerols, Fibroblast growth factors, Arginine and parent Omega Oils. Consuming these helps keep the Thymus young and able to function effectively.
These supplements may be the simplest and most foundational ways to boost your immune health. We recommend them year round (and most especially during the months of August, September and November through April, see graph below):
With the above supplements in your life, your immune system will be able to operate more effectively.
For those who want to go beyond the foundational five supplements and especially for severely immune-compromised people and others who want to have the strongest immune systems possible, here are some additional suggestions:
When you need every immune system boosting advantage, the above supplements are great resources.
Note: greatest number of cases are January through May and again in late August/September. This means that you should be conscientiously consuming nutrients that boost the immune system for a month before those peaks start.
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