Order By Phone: 1-800-645-1899
Enter keyword or Item #

McAfee Secure sites help keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud, spyware, spam, viruses and online scams

Brands
Products A-Z
Departments
Vitamins & Supplements
Herbal Supplements
Children's Supplements
Personal Care
Natural Grocery
Herbal Teas/Throat Drops
Buy 1 Get 1 Free
Resource Center
Nutritionist
Vita Blog
RSS Feed
Reference Library
Contact Us
About Us


Follow us on

Join our mailing list for exciting new products and promotions.

Please enter your Email address.






Website Content Protection
Healthnotes Index:

Immune Function

The immune system is a complex network of tissues, organs, cells, and chemicals that protects the body from infection and illness. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
Immune Function: Main Image

About This Condition

The immune system is an intricate network of specialized tissues, organs, cells, and chemicals. The lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow, thymus gland, and tonsils all play a role, as do lymphocytes (specialized white blood cells), antibodies, and interferon.

Two types of immunity protect the body: innate and adaptive. Innate immunity is present at birth and provides the first barrier against microorganisms. The skin, mucus secretions, and the acidity of the stomach are examples of innate immunity that act as barriers to keep unwanted germs away from more vulnerable tissues.

Adaptive immunity is the second barrier to infection. It is acquired later in life, such as after an immunization or successfully fighting off an infection. The adaptive immune system retains a memory of all the invaders it has faced. This is why people usually get the measles only once, although they may be repeatedly exposed to the disease. Unfortunately some bugs—such as the viruses that cause the common cold—“disguise” themselves and must be fought off time and again by the immune system.

Symptoms

Symptoms of decreased immune function include frequent colds and flus, recurring parasitic infections, initially mild infections that become serious, opportunistic infections (infections by organisms that are usually well controlled by a healthy immune system, such as toxoplasmosis, cryptococcosis, and cytomegalovirus), and cancer.

Healthy Lifestyle Tips

Both excessive thinness and severe obesity are associated with impaired immune responses.1 Obesity increases the risk of infection, at least in hospitalized patients, according to preliminary research.2 However, these effects may not occur with mild to moderate obesity in otherwise healthy people, and attempts to lose weight through dietary restriction may actually be harmful to the immune system.3 The detrimental effects of both appear to be offset when people regularly perform aerobic exercise.4, 5

The effects of exercise on immune function depend on many factors, including frequency and intensity of exercise.6 Regular moderate physical activity has positive effects, at least on some measures of immunity, and has been shown to reduce risk of upper respiratory infection. However, very intense and prolonged exercise, such as running a marathon or overtraining, can, in the short term, actually increase the risk of developing infections.7 The positive effects of moderate exercise on immunity may also partly explain the apparent reduced susceptibility to cancer of physically active people.8

Holistic Options

The immune system is suppressed during times of stress. Chronic mental and emotional stress can reduce immune function, but whether this effect is sufficient to increase the risk of infection or cancer is less clear.9, 10 Nevertheless, immune function has been increased by stress-reducing techniques such as relaxation exercises, biofeedback, and other approaches,11, 12 although not all studies have shown a significant effect.13

Copyright © 2014 Aisle7. All rights reserved. Aisle7.com

Learn more about Aisle7, the company.

Learn more about the authors of Aisle7 products.

The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.



 
your cart is currently empty



Official PayPal Seal Solgar Approved Etailer BizRate Customer Certified (GOLD) Site

Please note that KosherVitamins.com does not process orders from Friday evening to Saturday evening.

The products and the claims made about specific products on or through this site have not been evaluated by KosherVitamins.com or the United States Food and Drug Administration and are not approved to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. You should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.
© 1999-2014 Kosher Vitamins Express. All Rights Reserved.
Report a bug on KosherVitamins.com