The immune system is a host defense system comprising many biological structures and processes within an organism that protects against disease.
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Humans evolved on a planet with a 24-hour cycle of light and dark, and our bodies are set up to work in partnership with sunlight. One of the most obvious examples of this is the production of vitamin D in the skin in response to UVB exposure. This daily dose of vitamin D can help to strengthen our bones and teeth, but it also has an effect on our immune cells. Vitamin D enables the macrophages in our lungs – a first line of defence against respiratory infections – to spew out an antimicrobial peptide called cathelicidin, killing bacteria and viruses directly. It also tweaks the activity of other immune cells, such as B and T cells, which orchestrate longer-term responses. People with low levels of vitamin D are at greater risk of viral respiratory tract infections such as influenza.
How staying indoors affects your immune system By Linda Geddes, BBC (21 May 2020)Doing everything you can to keep your immune system strong can feel like a lot of work. Committing to an exercise routine, good sleep habits, taking supplements, stress management and good nutrition is no small feat, but well worth your time and effort when it comes to staying well. But what if all your valiant efforts could be undone... just by eating one certain food? ...According to nutrition studies and health experts, you might want to rethink your sugar habit.
Doctors warn that sugar can temporarily weaken your immune system, Mercey Livingston, CNET, (9 June 2020)Move Your Body. Movement is a key component of your overall health, including your immune system. When you get your heart pumping, even briefly, your circulatory system brings more blood to your muscles, of course, but it can also help in delivering more white cells throughout the body, which detect pathogens and fight infection.... Get Enough Sleep... Getting enough of it is vital for a well-functioning immune system. Sleep seems to enhance a specific white blood cell response in the body, mainly the T cells, and this helps fight off infection in the body... Practice Mindfulness... stress suppresses your immune system... it’s been shown that meditation and mindfulness can improve one’s response to stress, and, in turn, promote immune function... Spend Time in Nature. We all know that going out in the sun and getting some of that Vitamin D is good for us. Being outside and in nature is also helpful for a variety of reasons beyond that... Vote I really believe voting is crucial to our health... failures of political leadership helped accelerate the early spread of coronavirus. Doing your civic duty and electing competent, thoughtful leaders is one of the best ways to protect yourself and others from preventable illness
Boost Your Immune System With These Five Practices, By Joe Holder, Gentlemen's Quarterly, (19 June 2020)While families are taking steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it may be the right time to educate children on healthy eating and routines... some foods and habits that can help strengthen your kid’s immune system 1. Add foods high in vitamin C... 2. Make chicken soup a year-round option... 3. Lower sugar intake... 4. Incorporate essential oils... 5. Make sure they get enough sleep... 6. Encourage daily exercise... 7. Teach proper handwashing...
7 tips to help strengthen your child’s immune system, Gisselle Bances,Yahoo Life (7 July 2020)We experience stress when the brain senses danger and triggers the “fight or flight” mode, preparing the muscles, heart and lungs to get you out of harm’s way. “Stress works to increase certain hormones, particularly cortisol, which ask the immune system to stand down so they can do the temporary job of addressing the existential threat,” explains Dr. Rachel Franklin... But when stress is chronic, it hurts immunity. “If allowed to circulate, stress hormones make the immune system sluggish when faced with a challenge,” Franklin says.
7 Best Immunity Boosters"Focus on a healthy lifestyle to optimize your immunity. by Heidi Godman, US News and World Report (7 July 2020)Obesity increases inflammation. Chronic inflammation and chronic disease make the immune response less effective,” says Dr. Heidi Zapata... Smoking and heavy drinking are very harmful to immunity. “Excessive alcohol consumption that leads to liver issues will affect the immune system. In people with cirrhosis and liver disease, I’d in many ways consider them immunocompromised,” “There’s nothing worse you could do for your immune system than smoke... While your immune system should be on patrol looking for something it needs to fight, you’ve instead sent it to your lungs, sinus passages, mouth and throat to fight the poison you just ingested. Your immune system can’t fight battles on multiple fronts and do it effectively,” Franklin says. Changing these habits are among the best immune boosters.
7 Best Immunity Boosters"Focus on a healthy lifestyle to optimize your immunity. by Heidi Godman, US News and World Report (7 July 2020)
== Also see ==
Social determinants of health