Many people take vitamins on a daily basis, but have you ever considered what you might need in an immune support supplement? After all, the immune system is the body’s natural defense against infection. The complex network of cells, tissues, and organs work in unison to stop outside substances from invading the body. “Natural Killer” Cells kill adverse foreign matter without any direction from other cells. “Helper T” Cells identify invaders and mark them to be destroyed by other immune cells. Macrophage cells are present in both innate and adaptive immune systems; they engulf and digest microorganisms. After the invading cells are destroyed, phagocyte cells are activated by your innate immune system to remove cell debris. To facilitate each unique cell and its special role in the immune system, we recommend these qualities in an immune support supplement:
Vitamin C is required for the growth and repair of all your body’s tissues. In addition, it has several major functions.
- Helping in collagen creation, which makes skin, scar tissue, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels.
- Healing wounds.
- Repairing and maintaining cartilage, bones and teeth.
- As an antioxidant vitamin, helping to prevent damaging free radicals.
- Activating neutrophils, the most prevalent white blood cells that are your body’s frontline defense.
- Increasing production of lymphocytes, the white blood cells important in antibody production and the coordination of the cellular immune functions.
Zinc is crucial for normal development and function of cells such as neutrophils and natural killer cells. If a body lacks Zinc, the development of adaptive immunity is affected because the growth and other functions of Th cells are inhibited. Zinc also plays a role in
- Cell division
- Cell growth
- Healing wounds
- Breaking down carbohydrates
- Helping to maintain lymphocyte function.
Your body’s defense system receives the purest help from natural extracts. Some of the important ingredients to look for include:
- Elderberry fruit extract, which contains natural antioxidants called flavonoids to protect the cells from free radical damage as well as anthocyanines, which stimulate the immune system by supporting the production of cytokines.
- Astragalus root extract, which supports the cytotoxicity and activity of your cells and macrophages while increasing T-cell activity.
- Echinacea extract, which supports phagocytic activity of macrophages, thus keeping the immune system alert to any potential pathogens and helping to eliminate free radicals.
- Reishi Mushroom has antioxidant properties by eliminating hydroxyl free radicals and creates an antiviral effect by inducing interferon production.
- Aloe barbadensis maintains the production of T-lymphocyte cells, plus supports phagocytosis.
- Larch tree arabinogalactans supports NK cell cytotoxicity and increases the release of gamma interferon.
Look for Arthrospira platensis extracts that have been proven to have the strongest ability (at least 1,000 times greater) to balance and support the human immune system when compared to other known botanical immune stimulation extracts.
Make sure the supplement you choose is proven through clinical tests. Without a clinical test backing up the results, you can’t be sure if what you’re reading is science or marketing. If you would like information on an immune supplement’s role in complete health, find out more here.