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Boosting Immune System Performance

“The strength of Your System Is What Makes the Difference Between Who Get’s Sick and Who Doesn’t”!

The strength of our immune system is what makes the difference between who gets sick and who doesn't. The one with the immune system functioning below base-line normal has an increased risk of getting sick," says Woodson Merrell, MD, director of integrative medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. (source: article on Boosting Immune System).

Is It Possible To Strengthen Immune Response?

Doctors say yes. And the secrets lie in understanding a little about how the immune system works and how you can strengthen it to protect against disease.

What is An Immune System?

An immune system is an interconnected set of biological structures and processes within your body that protects against disease by identifying and destroying pathogens and tumor cells. In essence, the immune system is a network of cells and organs that cooperate to defend you against disease. The problem is foreign proteins that enter your  body. If they bypass by your protection mechanisms, action can be taken. With the right combination of diet and exercise, your body can create an army of additional immune cell forces or antibodies designed to combat these proteins.

Antibodies are proteins which can distinguish between normal cells and foreign invading cells. These antibodies work as part of the immune system to destroy abnormal or foreign cells.

Boosting Immune System Effectiveness

"The most important thing you can do for your immune system is to achieve lifestyle balance and adopt the fundamentals of healthy living. This will give your immune system what it needs to function at optimal capacity," says Dr Merrell.

Like most systems of the body, proper functioning of the immune system is dependent on good nutrition. It has been long known that severe malnutrition leads to immunodeficiency. Over eating is also associated with diseases such as diabetes and obesity which are known to adversely affect immune function. More moderate malnutrition, as well as certain specific trace mineral and nutrient deficiencies, can also compromise the immune response.  So it is important to achieve a balanced diet with correct meal portions.

There is also a view that if you drink too much it also adversely affects your immune response.

Moderate exercise is known to increase the strength of your immune system.  A brisk walk of around 30 minutes three or four times a week is optimal.  Apparently, too much exercise weakens your immunity to disease, so finding the right balance in your exercise program is important too.

It Is Too Hard to Achieve Balance – Can Supplements Help?

There are specific foods, like certain types of mushrooms for example, that are known to help.  These have been used in Chinese medicine for many years.  Today we see new products entering the market designed specifically for boosting immune system performance.  The outbreak of new strains of influenza has prompted some manufacturers to design supplements for just that purpose.  Do they work?  Well, according to the manufacturers they do and because many use natural ingredients, there is little chance of a negative response.

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