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What Can Go Wrong With Your Immune System?

What Can Go Wrong With Your Immune System?

Have you read horror stories about people having their limbs amputated because they have succumbed to infection from eating contaminated raw fish?

How about the cases of adenovirus?

What do they have in common?

They must have had a weak, under-regulated immune system which could not cope with the infection.

Have you also noticed that some people always seem to be catching the flu almost as soon as they have recovered from the last bout of illness?

And yet others walk around in the pink of health rarely ever missing a workday?

Why?.... Because those who rarely get sick have a stronger, more balanced immune system.

The Immune System Function

A healthy immune system needs to have good communication between its cells to:

  1. Recognise which are foreign “enemy” bodies
  2. Respond to attack these foreign bodies and protect us
  3. Remember these antigens in case of future “attacks”.

When communication between cells is lost, it is like an army without a commander instructing them what to do, or broken traffic lights that confuse motorists on the road.

Chaos in the immune system means the cells do not know what to do and when to do it.

What Can Go Wrong?

Under-active Immune System - When the immune cells do not communicate properly, this could lead to a weakened defence system.

For instance, the body’s Natural Killer (or NK cell) would not be properly activated to fight cells affected by bacteria and viruses. This leads to infection and an increase in health problems.

Over-active Immune System - Alternatively, the immune system may become overly aggressive in general, or may fail to distinguish between your own cells and foreign “enemy” cells. They can mistakenly launch an attack against the body’s own cells or tissues.

The result is called an autoimmune disease. Some forms of arthritis and diabetes are autoimmune diseases.  In other cases, the immune system responds to a seemingly harmless foreign substance such as pollen.

The result is allergy, and this kind of antigen is called an allergen.

How Does Communication Between Cells Become Damaged?

There are a number of causes for cell communication to become damaged. We call them the “PITTS”!

Poor Nutrition deprives our body of the nutrients it needs to build new cells to conduct cellular communication.

Infections place the burden on our immune system over time and weakens the immune response and directly attack our immune system.

Toxins such as metals and chemicals, create free radicals that destroy cells in our body and bind to immune system information pathways which damage our cells’ ability to signal and communicate with each other.

Trauma from radiation creates dangerous free radicals that damage cells and their ability to signal each other. 

Stress causes a release of Cortisol, a hormone produced in our body that suppresses our immune system by attacking and destroying cells that are communicating with each other.

Some specific immune system disorders are found are stated on the National Institute of Allergies & Infectious Diseases website.

Why Is Your Immune System So Important?

Why Is Your Immune System So Important?

Your immune system is central to your health and well-being because it affects every other part of your body. It controls and influences all aspects of your health.

The healthier your immune system is, the better your body can cope with the many toxic burdens it may encounter.

What Is The Immune System?

It is your body’s defence force against infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi, and from the growth of tumour and cancer cells. It is also involved in your body’s response to injury and trauma. Your immune system is made up of tissues, organs and special interdependent cell types.

For instance, Natural Killer cells (or NK cells) are essential in protecting you against daily exposure to viruses and cancer cells that reach your body. A healthy immune system has high NK cell numbers and activity, while chronic illness is associated with low NK cell numbers and activity.

The immune system has the ability to distinguish between your body’s own cells (“self”) and foreign cells (“non-self”). Normally, the body’s immune defences co-exist peacefully with cells that are distinctively “self”. On the other hand, when immune defenders encounter cells or organisms are “foreign,” they quickly launch an attack.

How Does Your Immune System Work to Protect You?

Your immune system seeks out and attacks organisms and substances that invade your body systems and cause disease through a series of steps called the “Immune Response”.

In order to work properly, communication amongst the cells is key. Immune cells communicate by direct physical contact or by releasing chemical messengers.

When “foreign bodies” (or “antigens”) are detected, several types of cells work together to:

  1. Recognise these foreign bodies
  2. Respond by attacking these foreign bodies to protect us
  3. Remember these antigens in case of future “attacks”.

Your immune system stores just a few of each kind of the different cells needed to recognise possible enemies. When an antigen appears, those few matching cells multiply into a full-scale army to attack. After their job is done, they leave guard soldiers behind to watch for future attacks.

If you would like to know more about your immune system we recommend the following link: https://www.niaid.nih.gov/research/immune-system-overview

 

Why Are Antioxidants Needed For A Healthy Body?

Why Are Antioxidants Needed For A Healthy Body?

Many of us may have heard of antioxidants but why are they needed for a healthy body?

Firstly, let’s explain the concept of free radicals.

What are free radicals?

Free radicals are created by oxidation. In excess, they cause damage to the body's cells and DNA, leading to a range of health problems and accelerated ageing.

They are molecules with an electron missing.  In order to fill missing electrons, they seek out other chemical structures in our bodies from where they can 'steal' an electron.  After they ‘acquire’ an electron the chemical structure/tissue from where they ‘stole’ that electron is left seriously damaged.

Free radicals in small and controlled quantities are fine but the problems start when the production of these free radicals increases and then get out of control.

Oxidation is unavoidable. As long as we breathe oxygen there will be oxidation in our body and thus the creation of free radicals will always continue!

In an ideal world with no pollution, perfect diet and no stress the level of free radical activity would be ‘normal’ and they would not be a serious problem. Unfortunately, we don't live in an ideal world.

How wide spread are free radicals?

Free radicals are constantly forming everywhere in the body at an astonishing rate. Bruce Ames, a well-known scientist in the field of antioxidants, estimates that just one cell in the human body is hit about 10,000 times a day by a free radical. If that’s multiplied by the trillions of cells in the body the magnitude of this activity is tremendous. 

How does it happen?

Free radicals are caused by the body’s own natural processes. They are further created by the addition of factors like toxins, radiation or poor digestive function. Disease also tends to create free radicals.

What harm does free radicals do?

Free radicals are bad. They cause cell mutations, damage immune function, cause wrinkles and aging and are a contributing cause of many diseases including cancer, heart disease, arthritis, Alzheimer's, Parkinson’s, and others. Free radical damage is a factor behind almost every known disease, according to some researchers.

Relating to the immune system specifically, free radicals damage immune cells and wipe out cytokine (communication) pathways. The immune system suffers.

The solution to free radicals is antioxidants

When an antioxidant encounters a free radical, it freely gives up an electron of its own which satisfies the free radical and stops the out of control damage.

This makes the antioxidant a free radical because it’s now an electron short. However, the chain reaction is stopped because the newly created free radical made from the antioxidant is very weak and unlikely to do further harm.

Antioxidant Use in Preventing Disease

Are you getting sick more often than you use to? Researchers found that antioxidants can rejuvenate an ageing immune system.

Are you not as “sharp” as you used to be? Antioxidants can prevent and reverse age-related memory loss and memory problems. The brain is particularly vulnerable to free radical damage.

Aches and pains? Antioxidants can relieve symptoms of arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.

Antioxidants regulate genes. They can turn on and off genes that regulate cell growth. This can have a profoundly beneficial effect on people who are at higher risk due to family history.

How do we obtain antioxidants?

Our bodies make some antioxidants and some are traditionally supplied in our diet from fruits and vegetables. However, environmental toxins have increased the need well beyond what our bodies are capable of producing, and even beyond what a diet provides.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) recommends eating 5 one-half cup portions of fruits and vegetables per day.  However, most people don’t even consume that much and children are typically getting even less.

Supplementation may be necessary if you do not get enough antioxidants in your diet.

Blueberries as a good source of antioxidants

Blueberries are known to contain the highest antioxidant levels of all commonly consumed fruits and vegetables.

The main antioxidant compounds in blueberries are called flavonoids. One group of flavonoids, in particular, anthocyanins, is known to be responsible for much of the beneficial health effects.

They have been shown to directly increase antioxidant levels inside the body. This is why antioxidant-rich blueberry fruit extract has been included as an ingredient in Santivia Immune.

 

A diet rich with antioxidants together with a daily regime of Santivia Immune is the perfect combination for good health.