How to Boost your Immune System
Today’s article will summarize how you can help boost your immune system for yourself and those around you by doing one simple thing.
The Immune System Reality
Your immune system is a complex interconnected system of cells and proteins that defend and protect your body against harmful pathogens (i.e. bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc). This complex network of systems typically has two main categories.
- Innate immune system – our first line of defense that sends out macrophages and neutrophils to take care of the pathogen
- Adaptive immune system – our second line of defense that is better described as the sharpshooters that kick in to create antibodies. The antibodies keep a record of every germ/pathogen it has ever defeated, so if it enters the body again, it is recognized and destroyed quickly.
AND… did you know that YOU and I are actually an ecosystem of viruses, cells, and bacteria? Believe it or not, our bodies contain more viruses than cells!
- 6 trillion human cells
- 60 trillion bacteria
- 380 trillion viruses and
- a small number of fungi
That’s a fun fact for sure, but also very relevant to this year’s pandemic.
When you step back and look at the big picture, it’s obviously not viruses or bacteria that ultimately kill us. It is actually a weakened and/or a dysfunctional immune system that is the problem. In a nutshell, the body overreacts to the virus by overproducing cytokines. Cytokines are signaling molecules, which create inflammation. When the immune system is in a dysfunctional state it reacts by creating an excessive amount of inflammation. It is this irrational amount of inflammation that is harmful and causes the body to attack its own cells, tissue, and organs. In the case of the Coronavirus, the increased concentration of pro-inflammatory cytokines injures the lining of the lungs, often leading to pneumonia. People who are immunocompromised are at a higher risk because their immune systems are weakened.
Think about it, it’s the same virus, yet people are experiencing different levels of sickness from it. The determining factor is how efficient and strong the immune system is.
The Real Solution: A Resilient Immune System
No matter the virus or illness, the solution is a strong and efficient immune system. Although there are many things you can do to boost your immune system, one important thing tops my list. The importance of this ONE thing is not merely my opinion. It is EXTREMELY well-researched with over 84,000 papers in PubMed and over 1,000 systematic reviews. It’s my goal to share the best, most cost-effective ways you can boost your immune system. A strong immune system couldn’t be more important, especially during this time,
Vitamin D: A Proven Immune Booster
Vitamin D deficiency leads to a weakened immune system and vitamin D is essential to healthy immune function. Period.
Vitamin D is more than just a vitamin, it is a hormone that has a cascade of benefits on the immune system with powerful effects on antimicrobial activity. Through multiple mechanisms of action, Vitamin D can decrease the risk of infections while also being a potent immune system booster. These mechanisms include promoting the effect of antimicrobial peptides in macrophages (white blood cells that are involved in the first line of immune system defense). Vitamin D is also essential in order to induce cathelicidins and defensins which can reduce viral replication rates. It also decreases the concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines, as well as increases the concentration of anti-inflammatory cytokines.
A most recent systematic review on vitamin D concluded that vitamin D protected against acute respiratory infections, that it increased survival in ICU patients, that it is very safe, and the subjects who experienced the greatest benefits were those who were deficient.
The Power of Vitamin D
The bottom line is that you have an opportunity to take control of your own life and overcome your fear by understanding that your immune system is intended to be strong. There are many positive things you can do, however at the top of the list is Vitamin D. Not only does it have a powerful effect, but it is also a cost-effective solution to boost your immune system in this time of crisis.
I also want to point out that quality and formulation does matter. It is important that you get the most bioavailable form of Vitamin D, which is D3 also known as cholecalciferol.
With that being said, at LivingYoung Center, we wanted to make sure this solution is even more cost-effective, a 25,000IU vitatmin injection is only $35 each or purchase a vial for at home administration for only $150 (10 injections).