What is the immune system?
It is common knowledge that a strong immune system offers protection against viruses and diseases, while a weak one makes you more susceptible to catching a cold or worse. But what exactly is it and how does it work? Let’s take an in-depth look at immunity!
The definition of immunity
Simply put, immunity is your body’s ability to resist toxins, infections and other harmful substances or microorganisms with the use of sensitized white blood cells or specific antibodies. Think of it as a protection system – this is how your body defends itself. If it wasn’t for the immune system, various bacteria, viruses and even fungi could attack or infect your body at will. Thanks to immunity, that’s not the case.
Different types of immunity
There are 4 types of immunity – 3 natural and an additional one:
- Innate immunity – the one we are born with. This is our innate immune system. It varies in strength; some people are born with a strong immune system, while some are born with a weak immune system.
- Adaptive immunity – also called “acquired immunity”. The adaptive immune system protects us based on its past “experience”. This is why, after being infected with something and getting better, we are no longer (at least for some time) susceptible to the same infection.
- Passive immunity – temporary immunity, also called “borrowed immunity”. This is an immunity which we gain from another person, i.e. a child borrowing temporary immunity from the mother through her breast milk.
- Immunizations – we can be made immune to something – typically through the administration of a vaccine.
The purpose and functions of the immune system
The main function of the immune system is to protect you from harmful microorganisms that may cause infections. However, it doesn’t stop at prevention – if you do get sick, it is your immune system that is your body’s first line of defence. It will fight the infection and act to minimize the damage done to your body. A healthy immune system will be able to fight off most infections. A weakened immune system means your illness can last longer, and symptoms may be more severe.
How to bolster your immune system
A healthy lifestyle is the best immune booster. It’s always a good idea to ensure you look after your immune system on a daily basis. Below you will find a few tips on how to keep your immune system healthy and strong through everyday activities1. Remember that if you think your immunity might be weakened, you should always consult your doctor.
- Eat a balanced diet, including lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. A healthy diet will provide essential vitamins and minerals your immune system needs to function properly.
- If you are not sure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals in your diet, consider adding a supplement that can help strengthen your immune system2.
- Get regular exercise3. This will help reduce stress, which negatively affects immunity, and improve blood circulation, allowing white blood cells to reach any cells affected by disease.
- Take steps to reduce stress. If you find you are under persistent stress, you can try meditation techniques or yoga.
- Get quality sleep. Rest allows your body to regenerate and helps your immune system to work adequately.
- Maintain a healthy weight. People who are overweight have weakened immune function, which can make them more at risk of catching illnesses.4
- Get proactive to avoid infection. Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly, avoid sharing personal items if sharing space with an infected person and make sure any meat you eat is properly cooked.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking tobacco is harmful to your immune system and can make it less effective at fighting diseases.
- Limit alcohol consumption. Alcohol can damage your immune response.
- 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.
- Nieman DC, Wentz LM, The Compelling Link Between Physical Activity and the Body’s Defense System, Journal of Sport and Health Science, vol 8, issue 3, May 2019, p 201-217
- 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
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.
Today, our range of innovative supplements helps to support your immunity everyday.
*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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