Do you know that your body has the ability to fight disease-causing pathogens? This ability of the human body is attributed to its immune system, which is an integrated network of organs, tissues, cells and cell products, like antibodies. In most cases, the immune system attacks the invading organisms and protects the body from illnesses; but in some cases, problems with the system itself may lead to diseases. However, a weak immune system cannot protect the body, which may succumb to the attack of the invading pathogens.
Most people do not recognize the importance of the immune system till they get affected by some serious illness, which further weakens the system, thereby making the person vulnerable to diseases. They do nothing to improve and maintain this system, which fights with disease-causing agents, like bacteria, fungi and parasites, almost every day. The following vitamins are essential for the immune system to stay healthy.
Vitamin A is considered as the backbone of a healthy immune system. This vitamin helps the body in making enzymes, which can kill pathogens. It can also strengthen the organs and make them capable of fighting pathogens. Vitamin A is beneficial for keeping the mucous membranes (inner lining of nose, throat, and other internal cavities) soft and moist, so that the germs that try to enter the body, get trapped and expelled properly. This is one of the most vital vitamins to boost the immune system.
B vitamins are essential for the body as they are suppliers of energy. This energy can vitalize the immune system too. According to some studies, a regular intake of vitamin B6 increased the count of white blood cells in women. White blood cells are among the major components of the immune system, and they fight foreign materials as well as disease-causing agents. Folate and vitamin B12 are also found to be good for this bodily system.
Vitamin C has an active role in invigorating the cells which are responsible for killing the germs entering the body. This vitamin is also involved in the production of interferon, a protein meant for killing viruses in the body. Vitamin C is beneficial for increasing the level of glutathione (a tripeptide), which is useful for the immune system.
Vitamin E produces an immune protein called interleukin-2, which induces multiplication of white blood cells, on the event of invasion by germs. The white blood cells fight the germs and prevent diseases. The FDA has also approved the use of Interleukin-2 for treating some types of cancers. Hence, vitamin E is also vital for the immune system.
Apart from preventing illnesses, a healthy immune system can also shorten the recovery period, in case of contraction of any disease. You can boost and maintain your immune system by adopting a balanced diet, which is rich in the vitamins and other nutrients. Another important factor is proper hygiene and a healthy lifestyle.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.