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Boost Your Immunity - Keeping The Immune System On The Go

A strong effective immune system prevents illness and allergies, helps you to fight off infection and enables you to recover from injury and illness quickly. There are several nutritional elements that will keep it strong and functioning well.

Factors that adversely influence the immune system are:

How to boost your immune system

Adequate nutrition gives your immune system a boost in its fighting power. Immune boosters work in many ways. They:

There are several vitamins and minerals that are able to assist your immune system. These vitamins and minerals include:

Vitamin C

Vitamin C tops the list of immune boosters for many reasons. Vitamin C:

Vitamin C also reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by:

Vitamin C intake lowers the rates of various cancers including colon, prostate, and breast cancer.

Dose

Take 250 to 500 mg two or three times daily to boost the immune system.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an important antioxidant and immune booster. Vitamin E:

Dose

Take 400 to 600 IUs daily to boost your immune system.

Vitamin A and beta-carotene

Vitamin A and beta-carotene boost the immune system in a number of ways. They:

Dose

Take 5,000 to 10,000 IUs vitamin A and 25,000 to 50,000 IUs beta-carotene daily.

Vitamin A does have toxic effects so you need to keep to the recommended doses.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 can assist in keeping the immune system functioning effectively and may help in the prevention of cancers and the growth of tumors.

Dose

Take 25 to 50 mg daily as a part of a vitamin B complex.

Zinc

This valuable mineral:

Dose

Take 25 mg daily to improve your immune functioning.

Selenium

Selenium boosts the immune system largely through its antioxidant effects and can protect the integrity of the cells thus improving their overall functioning.

Dose

Take 50 to 200 mcg daily, in conjunction with vitamin E, to boost your immune function.

Summary

What else you can do to help improve your immune functioning

An important and remarkable effect on the immune system is that of refined carbohydrates, such as sucrose and glucose. These have a depressant effect on the immune system within one hour of eating them.

Alcohol, because it depletes the body of B vitamins and zinc, may, if taken in significant amounts, have a suppressant effect on immunity.

Cigarette smokers tend to have an increased number of white blood cells. This might suggest that they have an improved resistance to infection, but the high level of white blood cells is in fact a sign of a mild, chronic chest infection (smokers are particularly prone to chest infections, such as, bronchitis and pneumonia). Smokers do not respond as well as non-smokers when immunized against influenza.

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References

Bland, J. 1996, Contemporary Nutrition. J & B Associates.

Davies, S. and A. Stewart., 1997, Nutritional Medicine. Pan.

Holden, S., Hudson, K., Tilman, J. & D. Wolf, 2003, The Ultimate Guide to Health from Nature. Asrolog Publication.

Pressman, A. and S. Buff, 2000, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Vitamins and Minerals. (2nd Ed.) Alpha Books.

Soothill, R. 1996, The Choice Guide to Vitamins and Minerals. A Choice Book Publication.

Sullivan, K. 2002, Vitamins and Minerals: A Practical Approach to a Health Diet and Safe Supplementation. Harper Collins.

Wu, L. 2004, Increase your Immunity. Glow, Issue 1 2004.

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The immune system is the defence against substances that could harm the body. These substances include bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. It also protects the body against cells that could cause it harm such as virus infected or cancer cells.

The immune system generally protects the body by producing antibodies which kill the invading organism or neutralize the toxins.