Have you ever noticed that some people get sick more frequently than others?
Even looking back on our own lives, it may have happened that we don’t get sick for a very long time and suddenly spend whole periods always cold or in bed with the flu.
This happens especially when commitments overlap and stress increases between traffic , work and management of life daily , making us more tired and vulnerable.
In these conditions it is normal for the immune system to fail and be less efficient .. but is it possible to strengthen it in some way?
What “strengths” can we rely on
The human immune system is something really complex that has developed over the course of the entire evolution and which, as we shall see, is constantly changing.
Its task is to protect the organism with a real and own team fighting that acts in different ways: from bacteria to viruses, from fungi to parasites of all kinds, there are in fact many potential pathogens that can cause us damage.
Knowing how to protect ourselves differently depending on who attacks us is our great strength .
Our health is in fact protected by different levels of defense, which can be grouped into two major subsets: the innate and adaptive immune systems.
The innate immune response is non-specific, that is, it acts indiscriminately against any pathogen in a short time and represents the first line of defense. This type of immunity is essential for maintaining homeostasis and preventing invasion of microbes.
The components of innate immunity include mechanical, chemical or biological barriers: skin, eyelashes, sweat, mucus, but also gut microbiota and acidic stomach pH are all ways by which a sort of barrier to agents is created external. Cytokines, some types of antibodies and lymphocytes are also mechanisms that belong to the innate immune system.
Only vertebrates, on the other hand, possess the adaptive immune response, which acts in a more specific way against all those pathogens that also have the ability to adapt and evolve in a very short time.
The task of the immune system is not only to act against foreign elements, but also includes the elimination of old, damaged or altered cells present in our body, preventing proliferations that would be dangerous in the long run.
When the immune system is weakened
When we experience even simple symptoms such as redness, inflammation or pain, it means that we are under attack : but even a simple fever is the signal that our defense system is already working.
In fact, fever is nothing more than the body’s way of protecting itself: many pathogens do not resist certain temperatures and raising the temperature of a few degrees in the body environment is the first tactic that the innate immune system puts in place and which also favors his intervention.
When we experience a state of prolonged exhaustion, fatigue and inappetence, or we easily become prone to infections by bacteria or fungi (as in the case of candida or herpes), it means that our immune system is weakened and that it is necessary an intervention to avoid the risk of getting sick and weakening us too much.
In some particular cases the immune system “goes crazy” and does not recognize cells that are actually healthy, attacking them and triggering autoimmune diseases: type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are just a few examples, and medical treatment is essential.
Immune system and age
Numerous changes occur in the human body as we age, including a certain reduction in the immune response capacity, with a consequent increase in the chances of getting sick and being a victim of often fatal infections.
The thesis is confirmed by the data: we are an “old” country, according to Istat, second only to Japan, but even if life expectancy has extended to about 83 years, the state of health stops in average around 60 years.
Not exactly reassuring data: it means that we live in a state of disease for a quarter of our existence.
The decline of the immune system with age is reflected in increased susceptibility to infectious diseases, poor response to vaccination, increased prevalence of cancer, autoimmune diseases and other chronic diseases.
Both immune responses, innate and adaptive, are affected by the aging process .
In addition, elderly individuals tend to have a low-grade chronic inflammatory state which is often the cause of many age-related diseases such as atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis and metabolic diseases.
The state of nutrition can also affect the immunity of the elderly: elderly people tend to eat less and with less variety, making a lack of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) or macronutrients (especially proteins) more likely, undermining the efficiency of the production of all those components of the immune system that are based on these molecules.
The weapons at our disposal
The situation is not entirely irrecoverable, we can improve the immune system .
From the same studies that highlight the links between decreased immune system functionality and old age it was also seen how some individuals reach advanced ages without serious health problems, probably due to genetic factors and environmental.
So let’s go back to the original question: can we do something to strengthen our immune system?
While we can do very little on the genetic component, in fact following some basic principles that provide for a perfect combination of virtuous habits can help us make our defenses more efficient.
Here is a small vademecum:
Physical activity in general and in particular a targeted training that stimulates the skeletal and muscular system provides an additional defense against physical diseases and degenerations, also reducing the incidence of depressive states and predisposition to infectious diseases.
Reducing stress is advice that is given in many circumstances, it is often also considered the cause of illness situations due to the collapse of the immune system. Andriol (testosterone undecanoate) [testosterone undecanoate] andriol price is a unique oral steroid You can therefore try to adopt good habits that allow you to live better, not underestimating for example the power of relationships and a positive attitude towards life.
Relaxation techniques or a few minutes of daily meditation to increase self-awareness can make a huge difference if practiced consistently.
A good rest is essential to help us recover the energy used during the day. Sleep and immunity are bi-directionally connected: activation of the immune system alters sleep, and sleep in turn affects our body’s defense system.
good night recovery is associated with a reduced risk of infection and can improve infection outcome and vaccination responses, while prolonged sleep deprivation can lead to chronic low-grade inflammation and is associated with various diseases that have an inflammatory component, such as diabetes, atherosclerosis and neurodegeneration.
Take care of hygiene
We get sick much more easily in the cold periods of the year because it is easier for people to stay closed in closed, poorly ventilated areas for a long time.
Simple steps like washing your hands or airing the rooms could make the difference between a day of health or flu.
Cultivate social relationships
The World Health Organization defines health as ” a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not just the absence of disease or infirmity “.
To achieve this, we as humans need to improve not only our metabolic health, but also our psychological, emotional, intellectual, spiritual and social relationships.
In fact, in many studies, the lack of social connections is now considered a high risk factor in specific stages of life, like physical inactivity or hypertension.
Integrates vitamins and minerals
A commonplace that is true for once concerns the antioxidant and immune-boosting power of vitamin C.
Another vitamin to be taken into particular consideration for any supplementation is vitamin D. It is advisable to use a vitamin D supplement in autumn, when there is little sun and this vitamin cannot be produced because there is no exposure of the skin to sunlight.
It would therefore be useful, on the advice of your doctor, to resort to a vitamin D and vitamin C supplement during the period in which the flu is more widespread, or better to use low-dose and broad-spectrum multivitamin supplements throughout the year. .
Improve your diet
Integrating without having a good food base is of little use: the consumption of fruit and vegetables in each of the 3 main meals is very important, in at least 5 daily portions.
For example, a good amount of vitamin C is found, in addition to citrus fruits, also in kiwis, green leafy vegetables such as spinach and chicory, broccoli, cabbage, pineapple, tomatoes and peppers.
As explained in a previous article, there are anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich foods that are particularly protective against fevers: some examples are garlic, unsweetened green tea, or spices such as turmeric and cinnamon that they strengthen the immune system and also have positive effects on health in general.
Adopt a healthy lifestyle
This would be the only basic principle for strengthening the immune system because it contains all the above. A healthy lifestyle, in fact, requires particular attention to nutrition and the adoption of virtuous habits.
Finally, eliminate smoking and alcohol: as regards smoking, it is confirmed that nicotine reduces the beneficial action of vitamin C; the same goes for alcohol, which lowers the immune system, which is why you should never exceed the amount of one glass of wine a day for women and two for men.