… by making lifestyle changes to boost and produce a near-perfect immune response“– Paul Ebeling
The 1st line of defense is to choose a healthy lifestyle. Following general good-health guidelines is the single best step you can take toward naturally keeping your immune system working properly.
Every part of our body, including your immune system, functions better when protected from environmental assaults and bolstered by healthy-living strategies such as the following:
- Do not smoke.
- Maintain an eating plan high in fruits, nuts and vegetables.
- Exercise regularly.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
- Get good rest and sleep.
- Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently
- Work to minimize stress.
Attempting to boost the cells of our immune system is especially complicated because there are so many different kinds of cells in the immune system that respond to so many different microbes in so many ways.
The Big Q: Which cells should we boost, and to what number?
The Big A: So far, scientists do not know the answer. What is known is that the body is continually generating immune cells. Certainly, it produces many more lymphocytes than it can possibly use. The extra cells remove themselves through a natural process of cell death called apoptosis some before they see any action, some after the battle is won. No one knows how many cells or what the best mix of cells the immune system needs to function at its optimum level.
While some people age healthily, compared with younger people, the elderly are more likely to contract infectious diseases and, even more importantly, more likely to die from them.
Respiratory infections, including, influenza, the COVID-19 virus and particularly pneumonia are a leading cause of death in people over 65 anni worldwide.
No one knows for sure why this happens, but some scientists observe that this increased risk correlates with a decrease in T cells, possibly from the thymus atrophying with age and producing fewer T cells to fight off infection.
Whether this decrease in thymus function explains the drop in T cells or whether other changes play a role is not fully understood.
Others are interested in whether the bone marrow becomes less efficient at producing the stem cells that give rise to the cells of the immune system.
There a connection between nutrition and immunity in the elderly. A form of malnutrition that is surprisingly common even in affluent countries is known as “micronutrient malnutrition.”
Micronutrient malnutrition, in which a person is deficient in some essential vitamins and trace minerals that are obtained from or supplemented by diet, can happen in the elderly.
Older people tend to eat less and often have less variety in their their eating plan. An important Question is whether supplements may help older people maintain a healthier immune system. Older people should discuss this question with their doctor.
Regular exercise is one of the pillars of healthy living. It improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight, and protects against a variety of diseases. And just like a healthy eating plan, exercise contributes to general good health and therefore to a healthy immune system.
Eat healthy, Be healthy, Live lively