Five Strategies to Slow Down Immune Aging
Want to skip the flu and colds this year? You can, if you boost your specific immunity! Specific immunity provides protection from a particular threat by activating lymphocytes and antibodies. In specific immunity, immune responses are tailor-made to maximally eliminate disease-causing organisms called pathogens. Specific immunity also includes the development of immunological memory, in which each pathogen encountered by the immune system is remembered. Each clone of lymphocytes protects from one type of bacteria or virus, for example, but does not protect from other bacteria or viruses. Unfortunately, as they age, the lymphocytes become less efficient. Below are five strategies by which you may boost your specific immunity.
Vitamin D Level in Normal Limits
Certain white blood cells contain antibiotic-like compounds called antimicrobial peptides. Active vitamin D increases the activity of these antimicrobial compounds. Nutritional epidemiologists estimate that 50% of the population in North America and Western Europe are either deficient or have insufficient amounts of this vitamin, which is necessary for optimal efficiency for your tailor-made immune cells.
Daily Moderate Exercise
Moderate exercise increases antibody production, improves T-lymphocyte function in the elderly, and slows down the aging of the immune system. This means that by engaging in moderate exercise, even older people can develop an increased resistance to viral infections and may even lower their risk of cancer. Exercise also helps to balance the immune components which discourage inflammation, allergies, and autoimmune conditions in the elderly.
Wise calorie-restriction, vitamin E, and folic acid slow down the aging of the specific immune system. A high fat diet slows antibody production and suppresses the immune system in general. However, severe restriction of fats actually suppresses the immune system. Eat nuts, olives, avocados, or flaxseed daily to protect you from inflammatory problems and obtain your vitamin E. Cold-pressed virgin extract olive oil is one of the best oils to use. Use oils sparingly.
To ensure you get enough folic acid, enjoy at least one cup of green leafy vegetables each day. Legumes provide substantial amounts of folic acid, while citrus fruits have a fair amount. Zinc is also necessary for the production of lymphocytes and antibodies. Good dietary sources of zinc include lentils, spinach, broccoli, seeds, and nuts.
Abstain From Immune Suppressors
Alcohol decreases the efficiency of all immune cells, including lymphocytes. Two drinks per day will reduce antibody production by 66%. This immune depression lasts several days, even after the alcohol has left the system. Caffeine reduces the antibody-making lymphocytes; tobacco suppresses virus-fighting T-lymphocytes. Although obesity impairs antibody production and the ability of killer-T-lymphocytes to attack viruses and cancer cells, gradual weight loss combined with resistant exercise improves immune performance.
Get Enough Sleep
Why? During deep sleep growth hormone production is increased. This valuable hormone improves the production of special troops of T-lymphocytes and bolsters antibody response.
If you develop frequent infections, please inform your primary doctor. Certain factors–immune-suppressants, diabetes, HIV, and certain autoimmune diseases–increase one’s risk for infection. Consider how a tailor-made lifestyle stay at Wildwood Lifestyle Center, with its fine hydrotherapy and vegetarian cuisine, could help you.
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Disclaimer: The information in this article is educational and general in nature. Neither Wildwood Lifestyle Center, its entities, nor author intend this article as a substitute for medical diagnosis, counsel, or treatment by a qualified health professional.