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Autoimmune Disorders: Why is Your Immune System Attacking Itself?

Autoimmune Disorders: Why is Your Immune System Attacking Itself?

Your immune system works hard 24 hours per day defending you from infections caused by foreign invaders such as bacteria, viruses and fungi.

A functioning immune system can recognise foreign bodies from self. However, sometimes the immune system goes awry and starts attacking itself, causing autoimmune disorders.

Some examples of overactive or autoimmune dysfunction are:

Lupus (considered a classic autoimmune disease)

Multiple Sclerosis

Autoimmune Hepatitis


Inflammatory bowel disease

Rheumatoid arthritis

Myasthenia gravis


There are over 80 variants of auto-immune disorders.

What happens when your defence fails and instead attacks you?

We never think that our immune system can cause self-harm. We tend to believe that like the soldiers that defend our country, our immune system is loyal.

However, in auto-immune disorders, the faulty immune system fails to recognise ‘self’ cells. Believing them to be “enemy cells”, the immune system mounts an attack against its own cells.  There is no organ excluded from potential attack.

What causes auto-immune disorders?

Autoimmunity can be caused by defects in almost any part of the immune process.

For years, physicians have noticed that autoimmune diseases frequently follow bacterial or viral infections. Immunologists believe that microbial attack may be one of the key environmental factors that trigger autoimmune disease. Events can arise from infections if the immune system does not eliminate the invading organism quickly and efficiently.

T suppressor cells are thought to be responsible for distinguishing between “self” and foreign tissue and thus prevent autoimmunity. T suppressor cells are supposed to turn off the attack when the invader has been defeated. With virtually all types of autoimmune disorders, there is reduced numbers and activity of T suppressor cells. Thus the attack continues,  and is misdirected against one’s own cells.

In the case of auto-immune diseases, the immune system is in an overstimulated state – in the attack mode. However, in this case, the attack is directed at self. In a properly functioning immune system, the immune system should have returned to a calm balanced state once the invading foreign body had been defeated.  Balance is so important!

 Important Cytokine messenger molecules direct your immune response

Cytokines are cell signalling or messenger molecules that aid cell to cell communication and stimulate the movement of cells towards sites of inflammation, infection and trauma.

They direct the appropriate immune response – attack the invaders by turning on T helper cells, and stop the attack with T suppressor cells. The appropriate cytokines are needed to issue the correct message to the immune cells so they can coordinate and react appropriately.

Unfortunately, cytokines are depleted every day when we are exposed to factors like the “PITTS” (Poor Nutrition, Infection, Trauma Toxins and Stress.) Depleted cytokines mean that your body’s cell to cell communication is damaged and “soldier” cells start to “misfire” at their own cells.

It is therefore imperative to replenish cytokines to ensure good cell communication.

Your immune system needs to be balanced

Your Immune system should not be deficient or underactive, unable to cope with invading organisms.

Nor should it be overactive or overstimulated such that it starts to direct its attack on itself.

When foreign substances such as bacteria invade, an all-out attack should be mounted by your immune system. Once the attack is over, your immune system needs to return to a calm and balanced state.

How does Santivia Immune balance your Immune system?

Santivia Immune helps to up-regulate or boost your immune system when it needs to strongly defend against an attacking organism. And very importantly, it also helps to down-regulate back to a calm balanced state when the attack is over.

It does this by replenishing depleted cytokine communication molecules to ensure good immune cell communication.

Why is Santivia Immune better than many other supplements?

  • There are other immune supplements such as echinacea, cordyceps and plant-based supplements. However, these are stimulants. They can only upregulate or stimulate your immune system upwards in one direction. They are not advised for people with auto-immune disorders. Continuous over usage of these can actually cause auto-immune disorders.

Santivia Immune is safe to use daily and continuously. In fact, this is what is recommended to keep your immune system in tip-top condition.

  • Plant-based supplements do not contain Cytokines and have no effect on immune cell communication.

Santivia Immune replaces lost Immune System communication molecules and contains more than 60 important immune communication peptides and other molecules occurring in natural balance. The importance of these immune communication/information molecules is the subject of hundreds of published, peer-reviewed studies.

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If you have any questions, please do reach out to me.

Wishing you wonderful health,


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6 Harmful Health Effects of Lack Of Sleep

6 Harmful Health Effects of Lack Of Sleep

Most people know that our bodies need sleep to stay healthy. A proper amount of sleep is key to maintaining brain and body function. 

Experts recommend that:

  • Adults should get 7 to 8 hours of sleep.
  • Teenagers need 9 to 10 hours of sleep.
  • School-aged children may need more than 10 hours of sleep.

But how many of us really get this amount of sleep, especially school children with their heavy workload and extra-curricular activities?

According to Professor Mathew Walker, Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, USA, two-thirds of adults in the developed world don’t get the World Health Organisation’s recommended 8 hours of sleep.

As we age the quality and quantity of sleep worsens. This happens because the brain circuitry that controls sleep slowly begins to weaken. By the time we reach 50’s, the average person has lost 50% ability to have restful sleep.

So, how does sleep deprivation really affect our health?

6 Harmful Health Effects of Lack Of Sleep

1. Bad Immune Health

Sleep is very important to immune health. Sleep deprivation harms the immune system, hence we are more likely to fall sick.

A study from the University of Washington in the USA showed that the immune system works best when the body gets enough sleep. Lack of sleep shuts down the movement of white blood cells around the body. These white blood cells fight infection. 

Another sleep study found that when sleep-deprived people were given a vaccine, fewer antibodies were produced. So if these sleep-deprived people are then exposed to a virus, they are more likely to get the virus.

Sleep researchers found that a slight change in our regular circadian sleep rhythm can lead to low-level inflammation. Inflammation can worsen chronic diseases such as allergies and asthma. Inflammation can also lead to a poorer response to infection.

If you are going through a period of sleep deprivation due to perhaps, jet lag, burning the midnight oil studying for an exam, working overtime at work, looking after a fretful baby at night, your immune system has likely been weakened. The probability of falling sick with flu and other infections increases. At these times, please take extra care of your immune system.

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2. Risk of Heart Disease

Sleep affects processes that keep your heart and blood vessels healthy, including your blood sugar, blood pressure and inflammation levels. It also plays a vital role in your body’s ability to heal and repair the blood vessels and heart.

People who don’t sleep enough are more likely to get cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke.

3. Weight Gain

Sleep affects hormones, leptin and ghrelin, which control feelings of hunger and fullness. When you lack sleep, your brain reduces leptin which tells you that you've had enough to eat and raises ghrelin, which stimulates your appetite.

Sleep deprivation can also contribute to weight gain by making you feel too tired to exercise. It also prompts your body to release higher levels of insulin after you eat. Insulin controls your blood sugar level. Higher insulin levels promote fat storage and increases the risk of diabetes.

4. Poor Decision-making

Poor decision-making are directly linked to lack of sufficient rest. It is during sleep that the repair of our brain and bodily functions take place. Sleep deprivation makes your brain exhausted which affects its ability to retain new information, concentrate and problem solve.

5. Low Moods

People who don't get enough sleep are more likely to feel moody, emotional and quick tempered. Prolonged sleep deprivation can also lead to anxiety and depression.

6. Growth Inhibition

Interrupted sleep can affect growth hormone production, especially in children and adolescents. These hormones help build muscle mass and repair cells and tissues. 

Many times all you need is a good night's sleep. You'll feel like a new person in the morning. So instead of staying up late to cram in more work or solve that problem, get to sleep early and you'll be way more efficient in the morning once well rested.

May the Zzzzz's be with you!


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7 Ways To Strengthen A Senior's Immunity

7 Ways To Strengthen A Senior's Immunity

Ageing immune systems decline in effectiveness because we produce less immune cells and less active. As our ageing cells multiply there are more errors, DNA damage and free radicals abound.

Seniors are also more likely to have inflammatory diseases and cancer. In fact, the statistics for cancer are alarming:

1 in 2 people will have cancer in their lifetime.

Not a pretty prospect! But steps can definitely be taken to strengthen the immunity of our senior loved ones.....Prevention Is Key!

Here Are 7 Ways To Strengthen Immunity

1. Good Quality Sleep

One of the best things for our immune systems is good quality sleep. Sleeping helps reduce stress and inflammation.

A cup of chamomile tea after dinner or 3-5 drops of lavender oil in an oil diffuser near the bed is known to promote relaxation and sleep.  

2. Positive Thoughts

Stress has been linked to a number of illnesses. Whether it’s social stress or isolation, stress can suppress seniors’ immune systems, making us more susceptible to viruses and infections.

It's important that seniors keep positive thoughts to combat stress. Seniors, we need to celebrate our value! We bring wisdom and invaluable life experiences and insight to share.

Have you seen the Robert De Niro movie "The Intern"? If not, go watch it.

Seniors need to surround themselves with positive people who lift them up and make them happy.  See retirement as a new venture - it's time to do the activities we have always wanted to do when we were busy making a living.

3. A Youthful Outlook

I love seeing more and more seniors doing activities like dance and even learning how to use the internet! My father was in his 70s when he bought his own computer and learnt how to use it to email his grandchildren.

It's never too late to learn a new skill. Some of the great philosophers, artists, scientists and writers accomplished their greatest work after 80 years of age!

We are only old when we think "old". The secret of youth is joy, inner peace and laughter! Go have a conversation or play with a child, you'll feel youthful instantly! Feeling youthful and having purpose is great for the immune system.

4. A Suitable Exercise Routine

Regular physical activity promotes circulation and heart health, and relaxes the body and mind. Walks, tai chi, dance classes and other forms of exercise help boost seniors’ immune system performance and ward off infections. I've come across a  senior's gym which is a great place to make new friends while working out.

5. Stay Hydrated

Seniors may tend to thirst less than younger people but they need at least 8 glasses of fluid a day to keep mucous membranes moist, which lowers the chances of flu or colds. 

6. Take An Immune Regulating Supplement 

Older people also have chronic diseases and are often taking prescription drugs such as high blood pressure tablets, which are chemicals and may adversely impact the immune system.

Santivia Immune regulates and thus strengthens the immune system. It also contains potent superfood blueberry extract, which natural antioxidants neutralise free radicals.

An additional plus point for seniors is that blueberries improve brain function and memory and have benefits for the heart!

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7. Eat A Healthy Diet

I know many seniors who have become lax in their diet and do not consume a varied diet. They may be missing important micronutrients needed for a competent immune system.

A low-fat, low sugar diet of whole grains, lean proteins with loads of fruits and vegetables is key. The more colourful the fruits and vegetables, the better. Limit oily foods and eating out too much as it's hard to determine the salt and sugar content unless its home cooked.

Please share these 7 tips with all the seniors you know :)

Wishing you good health and youthful vitality,


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