The antioxidant and immune systems?
How are they related? How do they protect the body?
Important questions indeed.
Our Defense Systems
The antioxidant system protects the body at the cellular level against the onslaught of free radicals from within AND also outside of the cell.
Whether produced by the body or via supplementation, antioxidants are the cell protectors―they protect the structural integrity of cells and tissues in other words.
The immune system, on the other hand, guards our body against infections. And surprisingly, free radicals are one of the “ammunition” used by our immune armies against these invaders. That is why when you fall sick the level of free radicals in your body will also increase.
Free Radicals Everywhere
While free radicals are generated as by-products during normal cellular metabolism in our day to day body functions, they are also produced during emotional stress, strenuous exercise, and even as a result of aging itself.
Exposure to cigarette smoke; alcohol consumption; metabolism of most medications, (bad) fatty and sugary foods; exposure to radiation; pollutants in our air, water and food; excessive sunlight―all can increase the level of free radicals in our body.
Antioxidant Deficiency: An SOS Call!
Drawn to the cell membrane like a magnet, free radicals could wreck havoc on healthy cells (they can even damage the DNA of the cell) if they are able to break through this barrier.
Other devastating consequences could result if there are insufficient antioxidants to neutralize these hungry radicals.
Biomedical advances have led researchers to concur with the view that the root cause of a whopping 80 to 90 percent of all degenerative diseases involve free radical activities!
To add insult to injury, your immune system too would spiral out of control leaving your feeble body at its most vulnerable.
Now ask yourself, why certain people don’t get sick while others get infected the moment a few flu bugs pay them a visit?
Another important question: What do a system stuffed with free radicals and an awry immune system have in common? They burn!
Put stress and depression into the equation, you’ll get a “raging inferno”.
Inflammation Process: The Layman’s Guide is a simplified guide to help you understand and get to know the players involved and their fiery arsenals!
Interestingly, the nutrients needed to boost our antioxidant and immune systems are almost identical.
Perfect examples are the active compounds of two bitter liver herbs: andrographolide and silymarins.
In fact, the antioxidant and the immune systems are so closely intertwined that many experts have agreed that “an enhanced antioxidant system improves immunity activities” as well.
In a review article “Physiological Role of Antioxidants in the Immune System” published in the Journal of Dairy Science, the author states “the functions of the human immune system depend on the intake of micronutrients, which can act as antioxidants.”
The author of another article published in the Annals of Clinical and Laboratory Science Journal too sings in the same tune:
“Antioxidant supplementation essentially reverses several age-associated immune deficiencies, resulting in … elevated numbers of total lymphocytes and T-cell subsets … increased killer cell activity, augmented antibody response to antigen stimulation, decreased lipid peroxidation …”
The Bottom Line
Both the antioxidant and immune systems work hand in glove to prevent the onset of degenerative diseases. Providing our body with quality nutritional supplements is your best chance to build a healthy and active antioxidant immune system.
For those who are new to health supplements, the following statement may be news to you.
Nutritional supplementation is not about diseases―it’s about health. It’s about protecting your health, or regaining it if you’ve lost it. And there’s no better time to prevent against “dis-eases” than when you’re still “at ease” with your body.
Help it to heal itself.
I hope this is starting to make sense.