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Our immune systems are responsible for fighting illness and infection. It is your body’s natural form of defence and will try to get rid of anything foreign or unfamiliar, working to destroy bacteria, parasites and viruses. In order to lower your risk of illness, it’s important to keep your immune system strong and healthy by feeding it the vitamins and minerals that it requires.
How do I care for my immune system?
The immune system is a clever system in our bodies that fights anything it doesn’t recognise, such as viruses, bacteria and parasites. Unfortunately, this can also include blood transfusions and organ transplants, if they are not matched carefully. Sometimes the immune system can go wrong too, where it starts to recognise your own cells as foreign entities, and in turn tries to destroy them. This is what occurs in autoimmune diseases although most people simply need to focus on keeping their immune system strong.
Vitamin A is an important part of the immune system as it contributes to the development and growth of the cells involved. Because of this, it’s known as an anti-inflammatory vitamin and it’s been proven to have a calming effect on many infectious diseases.
This vitamin is possibly the most important in relation to your immune system as it’s an antioxidant. This means that it protects cells from damage and neutralises harmful substances before they can cause any ruin. Vitamin C also plays an important part in producing white blood cells and not having enough can actually make you more prone to getting ill. Because your body can’t produce or store this vitamin, it’s important you keep levels up daily.
A quiet contributor rather than the main star, vitamin B6 helps to regulate normal function of the immune system and it’s usually only through a deficiency that you will notice its importance. If you’re not getting enough vitamin B6 then you could notice a weakened immune system and an increased number of illnesses.
Like vitamin C, vitamin E is another powerful antioxidant that safeguards your cells against harmful substances and keeps your immune system healthy. It’s quite unique though as it’s one of the only fat-soluble antioxidants, meaning that it can get to certain parts of cells that other types can’t, and it aids cell reproduction too.
Although vitamin D is primarily hailed for its importance in bone health, it also plays a role in the immune system. Receptors to this vitamin are present in pretty much all cells of the immune system, so that it can enhance the function of them.
Zinc is utilised in various parts of the body, including the immune system, and helps to regulate function and development of cells. Zinc also protects cells from damage, and is necessary alongside certain antioxidants.
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