STOP Trying to “Boost” Your Immune System!! MAINTAIN Your Immune System Instead
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Our immune system is dependent on the binding of cells together. In scientific terms, this is called an immunological synapse. An infected cell which is invaded by a virus starts to display part of the virus – peptide – on a receptor on its surface. Every T cell has a receptor specific for certain peptide. The T cell binds to an infected cell only in the presence of the displayed peptide. This bondage between T cell and virally infected cell is called the immunological synapse. It is crucial for the immunological response as this cellular “handshake” activates the T cell. Upon activation T cells start to secrete two special proteins granzymes and perforin. Perforins makes holes into the infected cells and granzymes enter the cell through these holes and induce apoptosis – the cellular death. It might sound strange that the goal of our immune cell is to kill another cell.
Continuous Moderate Exercise but Not Heavy Bouts of Exercise
Anaerobic training decreased level of circulating glutamine. Glutamine is a crucial source of energy for immune cells and low glutamine is associated with immune-compromising effects. At the beginning of an infection, immune cells need to rapidly proliferate and decreased glutamine results in lower proliferation. Further, low glutamine level impairs the release of certain cytokines, communication chemicals of the immune system.
Stress Reduction – Meditation
Stress A study published in BioMed Central Public Health assessed 5404 responders. It reported that higher scores in self-reported stress measures are associated with more influenza-like infections.
Why “boosting” the immune system is not an optimal phrase is easily shown by results from a huge meta-analysis of the effect of vitamin D supplementation on prevention of respiratory infection published in The British Journal of Medicine. While supplementing people with vitamin D levels below 25 nmol/L shows a very strong protective effect against respiratory infection, in a group with levels above 25 the protective effect is milder.
Vitamin A deficiency is associated with a breakdown of a gut barrier and decreased production of mucous. Foreign particles like LPS can get through such a compromised barrier and induce low-grade chronic inflammation. Further, vitamin A deficiency leads to decreased activity of natural killer (NK) cells. Do you remember T cells shaking hands with virally induced cells to destroy them? These T cells are called cytotoxic T cells and they are part of the adaptive immune system and it takes them time to proliferate.
In a study published in the American Journal of Physiology, zinc deficiency also decreases NK cells activity, the proliferation of immune cells and secretion of cytokine IL2