The immune system is made up of several organs including your spleen, tonsils, bone marrow, and lymph nodes. These organs make and release lymphocytes, which are white blood cells classified as B cells and T cells. B and T cells fight invaders called antigens. Examples of antigens are bacteria, viruses, cancer cells, or bodily fluids from a sick person. B cells release antibodies specific to the disease your body detects. T cells kill off the cells in your body that are being attacked by disease.
Factors that weaken the immune system
- Adrenal dysfunction causes lowered resistance to all forms of
stress and leads to immune resistance. It can be caused by chronic stress which seems to be the number one zapper.
- Alcohol can reduce the number and activity of white blood cells.
- Food allergies cause the immune system to "ramp up" and become overstimulated, and chronic immune challenges from food allergies may overwhelm sIgA reserves. Research has shown that allergic foods an cause a 50-percent drop in a person's while blood cell count. Daily intake of allergic foods can inflame intestinal cells, causing white blood cells to die and release digestive enzymes into surrounding tissues that cause intestinal impermeability.
- Hypothyroid can reduce the speed and effectiveness of enzymes associated with supporting the immune system.
- Being overweight causes a reduction in bacteria-killing white blood cells.
- Heavy metals, including cadmium, lead, and mercury inhibit the formation of antibodies.
- Pesticides and other toxins can overwhelm the immune system.
- Acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, and corticosteroids decrease antibody production.
- Inadequate rest suppresses natural killer cell activity.
- Candida overgrowth may allow toxins to be released directly into the body. These toxins cause the immune system to become overstimulated.
- Severe trauma causes vitamin, mineral, and other essential nutrients to become deficient.
- Chronic antibiotic use causes an overgrowth of Candida.
Boosting your immune system
- Coenzyme 10 a potent antioxidant and aids in metabolic reactions including the formation of ATP, the molecule the body uses to produce energy.
- DHEA has been shown in preliminary studies to improve symptoms in some patients with CFS/ME.
- Essential Fatty Acids have direct antiviral effects and are lethal at surprisingly low concentrations to many viruses.
- Thymus Extract has been proven to be one of the best immune-boosting agents for treating CFS/ME.
- Zinc is important to keep T cell numbers up to fight infection
- Antioxidants help prevent free radical damage.
- Astragalus membranaceus is a Chines her used to treat a wide variety of viral infections.
- Selenium supplementation shows an increase in the ability of white blood cells to target invaders.
- Echinacea is one of the most popular herbal medicines. It is thought to stimulate the immune system.
- Goldenseal is an herb that has been shown to be a potent immune stimulater. It increases blood flow to the spleen.
- MGN-3, an extract of rice bran is a nutritional supplement that show immune boosting potential.