Is Our Immune System Getting Enough Immune Boosters to Protect Us?

how to boost and support immune system natural immunity

Did you know that over 70% of our immune system actually locates in our digestive tract?

Did you know that men’s and women’s immune systems age differently, contributing to men being more prone to infections and women to autoimmune diseases?

Is our immune system strong and robust like a stone wall? Or is it weak like a piece of paper? Always feeling tired? Constantly getting sick? Finding it difficult to digest food? If this sound familiar, your immune system could be compromised (immune compromised). Being immune compromised means the immune system’s natural defense against illness and infection is not as strong as it should be.

Wouldn’t it be great if we can understand a bit more about what our immune system needs for natural immunity and make small changes to boost its strength and capability? Read on to find out more…

Signs of a compromised immune system

What are some of the signs that act as warnings from our immune system for us to pay more attention to its functioning and how we can help provide the necessary immune support and immune boosters?

signs of a compromised immune system

Constantly bothered by colds and infections

A couple of colds and infections here and there a year is normal for a healthy adult. The body normally manages to heal itself within a week to 10 days. Our immune system needs about 3 to 4 days to generate the appropriate antibodies to battle germs and infections.

If we seem to catch every single illness from everyone and everywhere and if it seems to take our body extra long to heal and get back on track, this is a clear signal that our immune system is compromised and struggling. Some additional immunity support and boosters will be beneficial to improve our general health condition.

American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology suggests that signs of a compromised immune system in relation to illnesses and infections include having more than the following every year:

• 4 episodes of ear infections

• 2 episodes of pneumonia

• Chronic sinusitis or 3 episodes of bacterial sinusitis

• Two rounds of antibiotics needed

Feel the toll of poor digestion?

Did you know that over 70% of our immune system actually locates in our digestive tract? [1] Our digestive tract is the inner surface of our body that comes in direct contact with the environment, the food we eat and the toxins we are exposed to. The integrity of our gut lining and the beneficial bacteria living there help defend us from harmful germs, and inflammatory foods and protect us from autoimmune diseases. [2]

Frequent and hard-to-resolve gut issues, such as indigestion, bloating, and stomach discomfort, can be a sign that our gut is compromised therefore affecting the function of our overall immune responses.

Wounds seem to take forever to heal

When our skin is damaged, the healing process is similar to our immune system’s fight again germs. With the help of immune cells, nutrient-rich blood is delivered to the damaged site to protect and heal the wound. When our body is well fueled with immune-supportive nutrients, this is delivered to the wound site to assist healing. [3] A slow-healing wound is a good warning sign of a compromised immune system.

Constantly feeling tired

It is especially a warning sign if you are just feeling tired all the time even though you seem to get the appropriate sleep. Our immune system is dynamically related to our energy level. Our body automatically tries to conserve and redirect our energy to aid our immune system to boost its function when it is compromised. [4]

What lifestyle habits can contribute to a compromised immune system?

Poor nutrition and eating habits

Nutrition is one of the critical factors in the healthy functions of our immune system. [5,6,7] Please refer to Gold Health’s article about nutrition and healthy eating as we age: Essential nutrients for maintaining health and well-being as we age. Are we getting enough? Let’s discussion from two opposite aspects of how our eating habits can affect our natural immunity:

diet eating habit contribute to immuno compromised

Fruits, Vegetables, Whole Grains and Nuts

On the other hand, these healthy foods add vital nutrients to our bloodstreams, such as vitamins, minerals, trace elements and other beneficial compounds. These can be circulated around our body and used by our immune system to produce necessary cells. They also maintain our vital life force energy to sustain the immune system and other key functions of our body. Key nutrients that act as immune boosters are discussed in more detail in the following sections.

Gold Health’s Super Senior Multi XP natural supplement can assist in filling the gaps of our nutrition needs. This formulation is specifically designed for NZ adults as we age considering their needs and the soil quality of New Zealand.

Processed Foods, Empty Carbohydrates, Saturated Fats, Sugars and Salts

These what we call “unhealthy” choices not only will not bring the essential nutrients our immune system needs to help defend our body against unwanted intruders but they are also related to excessive weight gain, which is then associated with lowered immune responses to various infections and illnesses. Gaining excessive weight can reduce our body’s ability to generate an adequate quantity and quality of white blood cells, therefore compromising our immune functions. [8]

Lack of sleep

Research has found that the length and quality of sleep are associated with a strong immune system. This is mainly supported by the findings that during sleep the function of our immune cell, T cell, enhances therefore producing high levels of immune communicator compound to facilitate immune cell communication in fighting against pathogens. [9] The interactions among immune cells and components are especially active during sleep, which in turn increases our immune system’s capability to deal with intruders and enhance its memory to recognize and respond appropriately during the same or next illness episode.

natural sleep contribute the immuno compromised

Gold Health’s Sleep Pack natural supplements have been supporting our senior’s sleep for decades. It contains the perfect combination of:

Super Sleep for Seniors – herbal remedy supporting mind relaxation

Super Magnesium Cramp Support – organic magnesium salt complex supporting muscle relaxation

Stress and Traumas

stress and traumas contribute the immuno compromised

Stress can resemble chronic inflammation in its effects on our immune system. When we are stressed, our body releases hormones that trigger a fight-or-flight response. This tricks our body to think that we are in danger, therefore redistributing vital energy to deal with perceived physical danger. Normal energy that goes to support seemingly less important functions such as digestion and immunity is reduced. As a vital life-preserving mechanism, when we are stressed over a longer period of time, this can have a significant negative effect on our other critical body functions, such as immunity and digestion. [10,11]

Stress is also associated with increased risks of autoimmune diseases, where our immune system can not accurately distinguish our own organs or tissues from outside intruders. [12]

Stress can further impact our quality of sleep and healthy eating habits.

Tragic life events can cause emotional trauma, which acts in a similar way as stress in its contribution to a compromised immune system. [13]

Drinking and Smoking

Both smoking and drinking add toxins to the body that needs energy to remove, therefore taking away vital energy from normal functions such as immune responses. The immune system also needs to exert extra effort in mending the damages that smoking and drinking can cause.

We are all too familiar with how smoking is bad for our lungs. It also compromises the integrity of our respiratory tract and reduces the quality of air we have access to, making smokers more susceptible to respiratory infections. [14]

alcohol and smoking contribute the immuno compromised

When our body tries to break down alcohol, the process produces compounds that affect our lungs’ natural ability to resist germs. Excessive alcohol also negatively affects the immune system’s process of breaking down intruders. [15]

Not exercising enough or exercising too much

exercise contribute the immuno compromised

Keeping active and sweating can increase our blood flow, therefore getting our key immune system cells to circulate faster. So that they can get to their job faster before their little enemies could multiply too wildly and do much damage. [16]

Exercising also helps our body to release happiness hormones to help enhance our mood and reduce our stress. A sedentary lifestyle is associated with chronic conditions and inflammation. [17]

Exercise can bring many benefits to our health. But remember to balance it out with adequate resting and sleep, so we don’t stress out our body and its immune system. [18]

How ageing can affect our immune system function?

Aging not only leads to grey hairs and wrinkled skin and slowed movement, but many internal organs and functions are also affected by aging, which can in turn influence our health and life quality as we age.

Our natural Immunity and immune system function is a complex matter. Despite many efforts in research and study, our understanding of its mechanism and processes are limited. [19]

how aging can affect our immune system natural immunity

Aging can affect our immune system in many ways including but not limited to: [19]

• reduced immune cell production

• Slowed communication among immune cells

• decreased movement of our immune cells

• reduced ability to produce specific antibodies

• decreased capability of our immune cells to kill bacteria and viruses

• compromised cell memory to effectively eliminate similar germs

• increased risk of unresolved immune responses triggering chronic inflammation

These factors lead to age-related changes in the immune system as follows:

• slower detection and response

• weaker defense against foreign intruders

• long Healing processes

• Autoimmune diseases – our immune system is less capable to distinguish between health and unhealthy tissues

• increase rate of infections and illnesses

• chronic inflammation-related health conditions [20]

Interestingly, men’s and women’s immune systems age differently in the changes observed in different immune cells. Men with more predominant reduced activities in certain immune cells are more prone to infectious diseases, while women with the weakening functions of other types of cells are more prone to autoimmune diseases. [21]

Key immune boosters and immune supports

Nutrition is closely linked to the healthy functions of our immune system. One of the major causes of immune compromise is chronic malnutrition. Even marginal deficiencies in key nutrients can contribute to chronic illnesses. [22]

vitamin A as an natural immune booster

Vitamin A

Vitamin A helps boost and support the immune system through its beneficial effects on the skin and tissues lining our mouth, respiratory and digestive tracts. The health and integrity of these surfaces are our first line of defence when coming into contact with bacteria and viruses. [23]

Studies show that vitamin A can assist in antibody production, extended lifespan of immune cells, and enhanced communication among these cells. [24] Vitamin A natural supplement can have beneficial effects in the prevention and recovery of a variety of infections, such as diarrhea, measles, HIV and malaria. [25]

Vitamin A is known as an anti-inflammation vitamin due to its critical role in boosting immune function. [23] It is also crucial for maintaining healthy vision. Gold Health XTR-Vision eye health natural supplement is specially designed for seniors with aging eyes.

Foods that are rich in vitamin A as an immune booster include vegetables and fruits typically in orange or red colour, such as sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, butternut squash, spinach, broccoli and other dark green leafy vegetables.

vitamin B as an natural immune booster

Vitamin B Complex

The vitamin B group are critical in their involvement in DNA and protein generation and energy product. Therefore, they are crucial in all healthy functions of our body cells including the immune cells. Vitamin B has shown positive effects on immune cell regulation, thus potentially can influence the development of cancer. [26]

Our body cannot make most B vitamins, therefore has to rely on intake and absorption from food sources. The B group vitamins can be found in dairy products, grains, beans, meets and eggs.

Vitamin B group of vitamins, especially vitamin B12 tend to be deficient in older adults. This is due to the reduced dietary intake of these essential nutrients and the compromised absorption as we age.

Gold Health senior supplement range provides the following two key vitamin B natural products:

XTR-B Plus High Potency Vitamin B Complex – a comprehensive range of B group vitamins

Gold Health Vitamin B12 with NZ Kelp and Acacia Fibre – activated vitamin B12 specifically

vitamin c as an natural immune booster

Vitamin C

Vitamin C facilitates the production of antibodies and white blood cells. [28] Then as a potent antioxidant that can help repair the damage of tissues and cells under oxidative stresses, it also protects immune cells such as antibodies and white blood cells. [29] helps with circulation, therefore, helping immune cells to reach their most-needed destinations quicker. [27]

Vitamin C-rich foods include many fruits and vegetables, especially red and orange-coloured ones, such as strawberries, papaya, bell peppers and tomatoes and citrus fruits, such as oranges and grapefruit. Other good sources include kale, spinach and brussels sprouts.

Studies have found that vitamin C natural supplements can help the prevention and treatment of many types of infections including respiratory infections such as pneumonia. [27, 30]

Gold Health XTR Supper C 1300 natural supplement contains a very high level of an easily absorbed form of vitamin C, Ester-Plex, with natural vitamin C-rich cofactors, such as the Acerola Cherry, Citrus Bioflavonoids, Rosehips and Camu Camu.

vitamin D as an natural immune booster

Vitamin D

Being one of the most important and potent nutrients for immune boosting and support, vitamin D assists immune functional proteins to kill bacteria and viruses. Vitamin D can attach to several types of immune cells to facilitate their function in recognizing and responding to bacteria and viruses. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of infections and autoimmune diseases. [31]

Known as the sunshine vitamin, the best natural source of vitamin D is sunshine. But we also get limited amounts from some oily fish, such as salmon.

Gold Health’s Super Vitamin D3 natural supplement contains easily absorbed vitamin D3 in soy oil.

vitamin E as an natural immune booster

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a powerful natural antioxidant. It is involved in nearly 200 different biological processes in our body. It helps maintain cell integrity through protection and repair from damage by free radicals. Vitamin E is also crucial in cell communication. Both of these functions are essential for a strong immune system. [32]

Vitamin E can be found in some seeds and nuts such as sunflower seeds, almonds and hazelnuts and some nut butters.

Iron as an natural immune booster

Iron

Iron is a critical component of enzymes in healthy immune functions. It can help increase immune cell lifespan and speed up their process of maturation. It also helps our body to bring oxygen to our cells. This is especially important for our immune cells when energy is needed to fight off intruders. [33]

Food sources include red meat, nuts, beans, oysters, mussels, broccoli and kale.

selenium as an natural immune booster

Selenium

Selenium is a potent immune booster and supporter. It can combine with certain types of proteins to regulate the balance of our cells and tissues. Selenium has been shown to have infection-prevention effects. Its benefits have been especially supported by studies focusing on immunity in seniors. [34]

Many foods have a small amount of selenium, such as grains, nuts, meats, liver, cottage cheese and some seafood such as tuna, halibut, and sardines.

zinc as an natural immune booster

Zinc

Zinc can boost immune response and support wound recovery due to its critical role in cell generation. Lots of proteins in our body depend on zinc to function properly. Zinc has been shown to have protective effects against blindness in macular degeneration and common colds. Zinc natural supplements can help decrease oxidative stress and inflammatory factors. [35]

Zinc is rich in whole grains, seeds, nuts, beans, lean meats, oysters, crab, and dairy products. New Zealand soil has a low level of zinc.

The Gold Health Super Senior Multi XP natural supplement has all the above key nutrients in one of the most comprehensive multivitamin formulations.

Special foods:

blueberries as an natural immune booster

Blueberries

Blueberries contain high levels of flavonoids, which is powerful in their antioxidant effects. Blueberries have a special protective effect on the immune system located in our respiratory tracts. Studies show that flavonoids and a flavonoid-rich diet can reduce the risk of respiratory infections, colds and flu. [36]

ginger as an natural immune booster

Ginger

Ginger also has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, therefore supporting and boosting our immune system functions. It is also proven to have positive effects on inflammation, digestion, and some types of cancer. [38]

Gold Health Turmeric XTR 28,000 natural supplement also contains ginger.

turmeric as an natural immune booster

Turmeric

The key component in turmeric, curcumin, has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits on our body. When curcumin is combined with black pepper, its bioavailability can be increased by 2000% [37]

Gold Health Turmeric XTR 28,000 natural supplement is carefully designed to contain high potency of curcumin combined with black pepper.

garlic as an natural immune booster

Garlic

Garlic has been used as a home remedy for common colds and illnesses for centuries in many cultures. Studies have shown the protective effects of garlic supplements against the risk of catching a cold, with the placebo group having twice as many cold episodes as the garlic supplement group. [39]

For a comprehensive review of the benefits of aged black garlic, please refer to “8 ways how aged black garlic can support our health as we age

Gold Health Aged Black Garlic with NZ Horopito is a potent garlic natural supplement without the unpleasant aspects of garlicky smell and taste.

3 other aspects to support natural immunity

other lifestyle tips to support and boost natural immunity

Reduce Toxins that compromise our Immune system

Responsible Alcohol Intake

Excessive alcohol needs our body’s effort to detoxify, taking away vital energy to defend and heal. Research has shown that even casual alcohol intake can affect many aspects of our organs, functions and systems leading to a higher risk of getting sick and slower recovery when sick. [40]

Quit Smoking

Smoking not only adds to our body’s burden in detoxification but also affects the formation and activities of our immune system cells, weakening our ability to defend ourselves. [41]

Get active

Exercise

Moderate exercises can help speed up our circulation, helping our immune system cells travel and get onto their jobs faster. They also have the added benefit of enhancing our mood to support and boost our immune responses. [42]

Enjoy Nature

We can always take advantage of the natural immune booster vitamin D generated with the assistance of sunshine. Enjoying nature also helps relax our minds, encourages being active, and improves our sleep. [43]

Gold Health’s Super Vitamin D3 natural supplement can certainly help support our immune system for winter and lifestyles with limited sun exposure.

Rest and Relaxation

Getting Good Quality Sleep

We all know that when our muscles and mind rest, our immune system never stopped working. In fact, it is the best time for it to heal and repair damages. Quality restful sleep is a natural immunity booster in itself. [44]

Gold Health has two hero supplement products supporting sleep naturally:

Super Magnesium Cramp and Sleep Support – muscle relaxation

Gold Health Super Sleep Herbal Remedy – mind relaxation

Relax Our Mind

Worries and anxiety cause our bodies to produce hormones that put us in survival mode. Under such circumstances, we are immune compromised by default to make sure our survival first and foremost. Relaxation can act as a strong effective immune booster. [45]

Meeting a friend, getting a hug, laughing and joking are all good ways to relax our mind, show our body some love, and boost and support our immune system.

Gold Health Immune Support Vitmains and Supplements

References:

1.     Nature Exposure and Its Effects on Immune System Functioning: A Systematic Review

2.     Interaction between microbiota and immunity in health and disease

3.     Immune Regulation of Skin Wound Healing: Mechanisms and Novel Therapeutic Targets

4.     Stress, Energy, and Immunity

5.     Diet and Immune Function

6.     Nutrition and immunity: an overview

7.     Nutrition and immunity: lessons for COVID-19

8.     The Impact of Obesity and Lifestyle on the Immune System and Susceptibility to Infections Such as COVID-19

9.     Gαs-coupled receptor signalling and sleep regulate integrin activation of human antigen-specific T cells

10.  Stress and Immunity

11.  Current Directions in Stress and Human Immune Function

12.  Effects of stress on immune function: the good, the bad, and the beautiful

13.  Resilience and immunity

14.  The effect of smoking on chronic inflammation, immune function and blood cell composition

15.  Focus On: Alcohol and the Immune System

16.  Physical exercise as a tool to help the immune system against COVID-19: an integrative review of the current literature

17.  Physical Inactivity, Sedentary Behavior and Chronic Diseases

18.  Overtraining, excessive exercise, and altered immunity: is this a T helper-1 versus T helper-2 lymphocyte response?

19.  Innate and adaptive immunosenescence

20.  Age and Age-Related Diseases: Role of Inflammation Triggers and Cytokines

21.  Sexual-dimorphism in human immune system aging

22.  Mechanisms of nutrient modulation of the immune response

23.  Role of Vitamin A in the Immune System

24.  Vitamin A, Infection, and Immune Function

25.  Effects of Vitamin A Supplementation on Immune Responses and Correlation with Clinical Outcomes

26.  B Vitamins and Their Role in Immune Regulation and Cancer

27.  Vitamin C and Immune Function

28.  Technical advance: ascorbic acid induces development of double-positive T cells from human hematopoietic stem cells in the absence of stromal cells

29.  Modulation of UV-light-induced skin inflammation by d-alpha-tocopherol and l-ascorbic acid: a clinical study using solar simulated radiation

30.  Vitamin C for preventing and treating pneumonia

31.  Vitamin D and the Immune System

32.  Regulatory role of vitamin E in the immune system and inflammation

33.  Role of iron in immunity and its relation with infections

34.  The influence of selenium on immune responses

35.  Zinc in Human Health: Effect of Zinc on Immune Cells

36.  Effect of Flavonoids on Upper Respiratory Tract Infections and Immune Function

37.  Ginger on Human Health: A Comprehensive Systematic Review of 109 Randomized Controlled Trials

38.  Opposing Effects of Alcohol on the Immune System

39.  Prevention and treatment of the common cold: making sense of the evidence

40.  Alcohol and the Immune System

41.  Impacts of cigarette smoking on immune responsiveness

42.  The compelling link between physical activity and the body's defence system

43.  Nature Exposure and Its Effects on Immune System Functioning: A Systematic Review

44.  Sleep and immune function

45.  Psychological Stress and the Human Immune System: A Meta-Analytic Study of 30 Years of Inquiry