The Role of Nutritional Supplements in Immune Health

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Good health cannot exist independently from a strong immune system. Every minute of every day, this complex system is under constant attack from pollution, germs, viruses or stress.
A weakened immune system is susceptible not only to colds, flu and infections, but also to more serious health conditions. Various factors can negatively impact immune health such as alcohol,
sugar consumption, lack of sleep and a nutrient poor diet.

The immune system relies on several primary organs such as the bone marrow and the thymus gland, along with the lymphatic system which plays an integral role. Together these structures
provide the appropriate environment for immune cell development.

When the body encounters a suspected pathogen the immune system has two key types of response: innate and adaptive.
Innate immunity is the first line of defence and consists of the physical and chemical barriers to infection; plus the action of certain immune cells. This is designed to block the entry and spread of pathogens. This part of the immune system provides immediate but non-specific responses, i.e. its protective mechanisms are the same regardless of the type of pathogen encountered. The innate immune system is functional at birth.

The adaptive immune system is the second line of defence and involves specific responses made by the immune system to di›erent pathogens. This response is tailored to an individual threat.
The adaptive, or acquired immune system, develops as we interact with our environment.

Fortunately, nature has provided a wide array of agents which support immune health and strengthening the immune system through good nutrition is one key way to support overall
health. Some foods and nutrients contain key compounds that have been shown in research to support various components of the immune system.