The immunity checklist
Your immune system is the body’s first line of defense against harmful bacteria and viruses. Now more than ever, it is important to have strong immunity, especially when it comes to fighting off potential infections. Having robust immunity is dependent upon the practice of good habits, such as the consumption of a healthy, balanced diet, and regular exercise, and is weakened by negative lifestyle practices. Have a look at the checklist below and ask yourself:
- Do you frequently go through bouts of cold and/or flu?
- Do you suffer from a disease, such as diabetes?
- Do you struggle with maintaining a healthy weight?
- Do you lead a stressful lifestyle?
- Do you experience irregular sleep patterns?
- Do you smoke?
- Do you drink alcohol excessively?
If you answered yes to one (or several) of these questions, chances are that your immune health may be somewhat subpar. In that regard, let’s take a look at the 6 potential signs of a weakened immune system and the steps you can take to boost your immunity against potential infections.
- Stress: You may notice that you can sometimes become unwell after you have completed a big project or undergone a strong emotional experience. This happens because your body secretes cortisol (a stress hormone) which affects the skin’s ability to keep out certain bacteria, viruses and fungi. Prolonged stress can also affect the development of immune cells in your body, and inhibit their ability to fight off infections1.
- Frequent infections: Experiencing frequent and multiple bouts of a cold or flu annually can be a sign of weakened immunity. When you get the flu, your immunity kicks into overdrive, causing heatiness and a fever when fighting off an infection. At the same time, your throat can hurt as a result of the cells that line the airway causing inflammation because it is trying to stop the virus from spreading. If you do go through multiple infections in a year, it will cause your immunity to put a great strain on your body, as it needs to produce antibodies at an accelerated rate on a frequent basis.
- Tiredness and fatigue: If you are feeling tired - irrespective of how many hours of sleep you get every night- it could be a sign of a weakened immunity2. Poor sleep affects the skin's regenerative abilities, which might make the healing of wounds, or the fighting of infections, more difficult.
- Drastic changes in bodyweight: If your weight is not proportionate to your height (i.e. you are overweight/obese or underweight), it could indicate a compromised immunity. When you are overweight3,the higher amount of fat cells can cause an increased secretion of certain chemicals by immune cells, resulting in chronic inflammation that can affect the body’s ability to absorb key nutrients. Alternatively, if you are underweight and suffer a nutritional deficiency, your immunity is almost certainly weakened, your bones may be more fragile, and you may feel tired all the time4. And neither of these extremes are good for your immune health.
- Wounds take longer to heal5: Minor injuries that seem to be taking longer than usual to heal could indicate a weakened immunity. The reason for this prolonged healing process could be attributed to chronic inflammation (or even age) as our immune system weakens when we grow older.
- Tummy problems: If the balance between good and bad bacteria in your stomach becomes lopsided , it can cause your immunity to go into overdrive. This in turn can lead to diarrhoea, constipation and gas. Often, this is caused by low levels of the “good” bacteria found in our digestive systems.
What you can do to combat weakened immune system
Even if you’ve noticed any of the above signs of weakened immunity, it’s not all doom and gloom. If you are looking for ways to boost your immunity, you would be happy to know that there are simple steps you can take to help your weakened immunity6. Start forming good immune health habits now by following a few of the simple rules below!
- To avoid infections, wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water, or using an alcohol-based gel. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet containing lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. This will help to provide your body with an intake of the essential vitamins and minerals needed for healthy immune function. You can also take a vitamin and mineral supplement that can help you restore the levels of healthy micronutrients in your body7.
- Exercise regularly to reduce stress and improve circulation, which are both important factors for healthy immune function.
- Get quality sleep. Give yourself 8 hours of sleep every night and watch your body recover faster.
- Reduce stress. If you find that regular exercise and good sleep hygiene aren’t enough to reduce your stress levels, you can try to incorporate relaxation practices such as meditation or yoga.
- Morey JN, Boggero IA, Scott AB, Segerstrom SC, Current Directions in stress and Human Immune Function, Curr Opin Psychol. 2015 Oct 1; 5: 13–17.
- Natelson BH, Haghighi MH, Ponzio NM, Evidence for the Presence of Immune Dysfunction in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Clin Diagn Lab Immunol. 2002 Jul; 9(4): 747–752.
- Andersen CJ, Murphy KE, Fernandez ML, Impact of Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome on Immunity, ADVANCES IN NUTRITION, Volume 7, Issue 1, January 2016, Pages 66–75, https://doi.org/10.3945/an.115.010207
- https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-weight/advice-for- underweight-adults/
- Ellis S, Lin EJ, Tartar D, Immunology of Wound Healing, Current Dermatology Reports 7(6), September 2018
- How to prevent infections. Harvard Medical School, 2016. (Accessed 10/02/2020, at https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying- healthy/how-to-prevent-infections.)
- Gombart AF, Pierre A, Maggini S. A Review of Micronutrients and the Immune System-Working in Harmony to Reduce the Risk of Infection. Nutrients 2020;12.
How Vitamins & Minerals
Help to Support
Your body is equipped with powerful natural defenses and your immune system has many ways of dealing with daily immunity challenges such as pollution, weather changes, being in crowded places; and unhealthy lifestyle, such as poor diet and smoking. The human body’s immune system is made up of three main defense mechanisms - physical barriers (skin and mucosa), cellular barriers (white blood cells) and antibodies. Nutrients such as vitamins and minerals are essential to the health and function of this complex network.
Living in a fast-paced world that includes on-the-go fast food and pre-cooked meals, it can sometimes be challenging to consume an adequate amount of fruits and vegetables daily, which in turn can help to provide your body with the essential vitamins and minerals it needs to fully support bodily functions. What’s worse, an inadequate intake of vitamins and minerals can instead negatively affect your immune system, and damage your health.
Redoxon® for a Healthier Immunity
You need to look after your immunity. Even though it may not feel like it, your body works 24 hours a day to ensure optimal immunity.
Just as a plant needs water and sunlight, your body needs regular nourishment to support the body’s defense systems.
Combined with a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical exercise and a healthy diet, supplements like Redoxon® provide the foundation
to support your immunity, all-year round.
Over 85 Years of Vitamin C Expertise
In 1934, we pioneered the world’s first vitamin C supplement, and we’ve been helping people all over the world to support their immunity and stay healthy ever since.
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*Bayer (South East Asia) Pte Ltd calculation based in part on data reported by NielsenIQ through its Retail Index Service for the Multivitamin for the 52-weeks period ending December 2022, for the Total Modern Trade Singapore Market. (Copyright © 2023, NielsenIQ.)
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