Causes of Decreased Immune System in Adults | Vitamines and Foods to Increase Immunity

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Our immune system is a protective spacesuit in which we manage to drift through the “sea” of surrounding pathogens. The question of how to raise immunity and how, arises at the moments when the world once again finds itself face to face with a new problem, which cannot be dealt with with the available means. However, not everyone understands what the immune system is, its structure, principles of functioning and what is really needed to maintain it.

 

Last Updated: January 3, 2022 (A few hours ago…)

Causes of Decreased Immunity in Adults | Vitamines and Foods to Increase Immunity

 

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The immune system is a vast network of cells, channels, and tissues that are located throughout the body. They are constantly looking for foreign elements, dead, “faulty” cells. As soon as the “enemy” is detected, the attack is launched; what is especially important: a properly functioning system is able to distinguish body tissue from foreign.

The defense system keeps track of every microbe it has ever defeated. This means that if the pathogen enters the body again, it can recognize it and quickly destroy it. But we are constantly fighting the flu and colds. This is because these diseases are caused by different viruses or different strains of the same type of virus.

 

 

 

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What is immunity

What is the immune system made of? The lymphatic system is a complex pattern of vessels and nodes located throughout the body.

Leukocytes – cells produced by the bone marrow are part of the lymphatic system. They travel through the blood and tissues throughout the body and trigger an immune attack when needed.

Antibodies help the body fight germs as well as toxins that germs produce.

The spleen filters blood, removes germs, destroys old or damaged red blood cells.

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The bone marrow produces red and white blood cells, which are needed to carry oxygen and fight infection.

The thymus filters and controls blood levels and also produces T-lymphocytes.

Source: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/immunology-and-microbiology/immunity

Everyone’s immune system is different, but adults tend to be stronger. This is due to the fact that by this time a person is exposed to a large number of pathogens, which helps to strengthen the immune system.

Once antibodies have been produced, copies of them remain in the body. And, if the same antigen appears again, it will be possible to deal with it faster. This is why in some diseases, such as chickenpox, the body has antibodies that destroy the virus when it appears.

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Causes of Decreased Immunity in Adults | Vitamines and Foods to Increase Immunity

 

Causes of decreased immunity

With age, many of the body’s functions become less efficient. The immune system is no exception. But besides age, there are many other factors. Moreover, some of them have become so firmly embedded in human life that they are no longer perceived as a potential threat to immunity.

Lack of sleep is one of the most common causes of a weakened immune system. Sometimes it is enough to get enough sleep regularly, and then the question of how to strengthen the immune system will disappear by itself.

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An unhealthy lifestyle is a broad term that includes a lack of physical activity, lack of fresh air, and the use of refined foods and alcohol.

Medicines can be the culprit in the weakening of the defense system. These include chemotherapy drugs and corticosteroids, which are prescribed for inflammation.

An immune system disorder is any condition in which there is no adequate response to an attack by pathogens. A person may be born with a weak defense system or acquire a disease that weakens it, such as AIDS or leukemia.

 

Immune Disorders

The types of immune disorders fall into three categories:

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Causes of Decreased Immunity in Adults | Vitamines and Foods to Increase Immunity

 

Immunodeficiencies

They occur when one or more parts of the immune system are not functioning. Immunodeficiency is caused by a variety of reasons, including age, obesity, malnutrition, and alcoholism. An example of acquired immunodeficiency is AIDS.

 

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Autoimmune diseases

Conditions in which the immune system mistakenly perceives healthy cells as foreign pathogens and begins to fight them. Examples of autoimmune diseases: celiac disease, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis.

 

Overactive immune system

The defense system reacts overly actively, damaging healthy tissue. This happens with allergic diseases, which include asthma and eczema.

 

Causes of Decreased Immunity in Adults | Vitamines and Foods to Increase Immunity

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How to understand that immunity is weakened

The consequences of a weakened immune system can be quite sad – first of all, it is the body’s inability to resist. What are the signs of weak immunity? In addition to frequent colds, people with weak immunity often suffer from digestive problems: constipation, gas formation, indigestion, diarrhea, and acidity. This is no coincidence, since approximately 70 percent of the immune system resides in the gastrointestinal tract, which is home to both beneficial bacteria and immune-supporting microorganisms.

Slow healing wounds are another sign of a weak system. Usually, the body sends nutrient-rich blood to the damaged area to help tissues regenerate. However, with weak immunity, the skin will not regenerate as quickly as in healthy people.

Infectious diseases can be an indicator of weak immunity. For example, if pneumonia develops more than once a year; or feels tired all the time even with enough sleep.

 

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What foods increase immunity

The immune system is often compared to a well-armed army. In order for all units to function fully, a constant supply of the necessary nutrients from food is required.

 

Causes of Decreased Immunity in Adults | Vitamines and Foods to Increase Immunity

 

Vegetables and fruits

The best nutrition for the immune system is minimally processed plant foods. All nutrients are best obtained from vegetables and fruits, rather than from a jar of vitamins. Although supplementation is helpful in some cases, for example, to provide a supply of vitamin D, which is found in a limited number of foods.

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Vitamins C, beta-carotene, and some B vitamins are very useful for raising immunity. Many fruits and vegetables also contain polyphenols, antioxidants that are broken down in food and contribute to the development of healthy intestinal bacteria. These compounds are also found in other plant products: extra virgin olive oil, legumes.

 

Whole grains

This type of plant food supplies the defense system with folate, magnesium, selenium, and iron. Research has shown that whole grains can help reduce inflammation, which leads to the development of many diseases, including type II diabetes.

 

Healthy fats

All types of nuts, seeds, avocados, olives help to regulate the inflammatory process in the body. Healthy fats are suppliers of selenium, vitamin E, zinc, iron, magnesium, which can help boost immunity.

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Causes of Decreased Immunity in Adults | Vitamines and Foods to Increase Immunity

 

Vegetable proteins

Legumes are whole foods and contain storage-stable plant proteins that provide the immune system with nutrients, including fiber, magnesium, and iron. Other forms of vegetable protein are found in tofu and edamame (unripe soybeans).

 

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Fermented foods

Yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha, kimchi provide the intestines with beneficial bacteria, which improves immunity well. Supplementing probiotics like those found in fermented foods can help prevent upper respiratory infections and shorten recovery times by a few days, according to research.

 

 

The role of vitamins in the formation of immunity

Vitamins perform a variety of functions, such as enhancing the immune response to pathogens. The quality and quantity of vitamins in the body contributes to the systemic immune processes by regulating the formation of T-lymphocytes, antibodies and cytokines. They enhance the barrier function of the skin epithelium, are necessary for the production of antibodies, and help to raise the immunity of an adult.

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Vitamin A

Clinical trials have shown that vitamin A deficiency increases overall morbidity and mortality. Vitamin A, acting through its active metabolite, retinoic acid, is recognized today as an important factor in the normal development and regulation of the immune system. It is found in sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, broccoli, bell peppers, mangoes, apricots, pumpkin, and tomatoes.

 

Vitamin C

Affects several components of the immune system at once, supports antibacterial activity, the work of leukocytes. This vitamin is an antioxidant that protects immune cells during the inflammatory process, maintains the integrity of tissues, participates in the formation of skin, epithelial and endothelial barriers. Vitamin C activates vitamin B, folic acid, reduces the severity of allergic reactions, helps fight infections, and improves immunity after illness. Contained in guava, bell peppers, oranges, strawberries, papaya, broccoli, pineapple, potatoes, kiwi, Brussels sprouts, mango, lemon, grapefruit.

 

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Vitamin D

Promotes bone health, enhances the absorption of calcium in the small intestine, improves collagen mineralization. Vitamin D is called the sun vitamin because the sun is one of the best sources of its formation. Vitamin is found in mushrooms, oranges, cereals. It is useful to periodically take a course of vitamin D.

 

Vitamin E

This powerful fat-soluble antioxidant is active against free radicals and maintains cellular integrity during inflammation. Sources of vitamin E: sunflower seeds, almonds, peanuts, vegetable oils, avocado, spinach, Swiss chard, pumpkin, beets.

 

 

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How to raise immunity in an adult

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The immune system is complex, because it has to constantly fight to protect the body. However, if you put your lifestyle and food habits in order, then it is not at all difficult to raise immunity at home.

 

Healthy eating

This is the key to a strong defense system. Eat more vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, plant proteins, healthy fats. The immune system needs vitamins and minerals, it is best to get them from fresh products.

 

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Regular physical activity

It not only helps to tone muscles, but to reduce the effects of stress, it also supports the immune system. Exercise improves general circulation, which facilitates the movement of immune cells and boosts a person’s immunity.

 

Water

Lymph, which carries immune cells to fight infection, is largely water. Dehydration slows down the movement of lymph, leading to disruption of its work.

 

Dream

If the body does not get enough rest during sleep, then the likelihood of suffering from exposure to viruses increases. This is because some cells of the immune system are produced during sleep.

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Stress

Has a devastating effect on health in general. During times of stress, especially chronic stress, the body forms a stress response that suppresses the immune system, increasing the likelihood of getting sick.

 

 

What herbs raise immunity

Herbs have helped a person since ancient times, but even today, when the shelves of pharmacies are filled with immunostimulating drugs, herbs do not give up their positions and are as effective as many years ago. Do you want to raise immunity with folk remedies without side effects and unwanted consequences? Then take herbs that boost immunity.

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Plants used in Ayurveda and Chinese medicine perfectly solve the issue of strengthening the immune system. Here are just a few of them: ginger, tulsi (basil dosage form), aloe vera, echinacea, rosemary, mint, cumin, turmeric.

The immune system is not that difficult to maintain. Until now, the most effective ways to raise the immunity of a woman and a man are a healthy lifestyle, control of the psycho-emotional state, regular physical activity, and conscious eating. Sometimes such methods seem so simple that people doubt their effectiveness, and therefore ignore. Every time you deny yourself proper sleep or skip yoga class, snack on a fried pie, or clash with someone, the immune system spends energy on recovery. Its resources may not be enough to withstand a real threat during the season of colds or the next wave of a pandemic.

 

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