DR. S.V. SINGH, OMBUDSPERSON - E-mail ID: ombudsperson@santosh.ac.in

What does the immune system do?

The human body is constantly defended by its immune system, which is made up of a complex network of cells, systems, and chemicals, against pathogens like viruses, bacteria, toxins, and other invaders.

Signs of Weakened Immune System and its causing factors?

When the immune system is weakened or compromised, it becomes less effective in fighting off these invaders, which can lead to illness and disease. Therefore, maintaining a healthy immune system is crucial for overall health and well-being.      

  1. Frequent infections can be a sign of a weakened immune system, which can be caused by factors such as stress, poor nutrition, lack of sleep, or certain medical conditions. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional. Ignoring symptoms and self-diagnosing can lead to further complications and delay in receiving proper medical care.       
  2. Slow wound healing may be a sign of weakened immune system and can be caused by various factors such as age, poor nutrition, chronic diseases like diabetes, and certain medications. It is important to seek medical attention if you notice that your wounds are not healing properly.    
  3. It is important to take care of your physical and mental health to boost your immune system and reduce stress levels. Incorporating regular exercise, healthy eating habits, and stress-reducing activities into your daily routine can make a significant difference.      

How does one boost immunity?

The key to keeping your immune system strong is the key to staying healthy all year long. Maintaining a healthy immune system protects you from illness and infection. Additionally, practicing good hygiene such as washing hands frequently and avoiding close contact with sick individuals can also help prevent illness.           

The most effective ways to strengthen your immune system are to adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes eating nutrient-dense foods, getting enough rest and exercise, and getting enough sleep.

Additionally, studies have shown that taking particular vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other substances can help boost immune function and possibly offer some level of illness protection.

Vitamins and Minerals for boosting immunity

  • Vitamin D:
  1. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient important for the health and functioning of your immune system.
  2. Vitamin D boosts the pathogen-fighting abilities of monocytes and macrophages, two types of white blood cells crucial to immune defence, and reduces inflammation, which encourages immune response.
  • Food sources of Vitamin D: Fish, Egg yolks, Mushrooms, Vitamin D fortified foods like Cow’s Milk, Soy Milk, fortified cereals
  • Zinc:
  1. ​Zinc is essential for immune cell growth and communication, as well as for the inflammatory response. Additionally, zinc specifically protects the body's tissue barriers and aids in preventing the entry of foreign pathogens.
  2. Food sources of Zinc:  Meat, Legumes like chickpeas, lentils, and beans, and seeds like pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, nuts like almonds, cashews, peanuts, milk and milk products like cheese and paneer, eggs, whole grains
  • Vitamin C:
  1. Vitamin C helps immune cells function properly and improves their capacity to fight infection. Additionally, it is essential for cellular death, which removes dated cells and replaces them with fresh ones to maintain the health of your immune system Additionally, vitamin C serves as a potent antioxidant, preventing damage brought on by oxidative stress, which develops when reactive molecules known as free radicals build up.
  2. Food sources of Vitamin C: Indian gooseberries (Amla), Citrus fruits like oranges and sweet lime, guavas, kiwis, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, papaya,
  • Other functional foods and herbs:
  1. functional foods like garlic, spices like turmeric, herbs like Tulsi are known to better and boost immune function due to their antioxidant and medicinal effects.Strong antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects are provided by garlic. It has been demonstrated that it improves immune function by activating defence-related white blood cells like NK cells and macrophages. Additionally, studies have shown that garlic may have a beneficial effect on heart health by reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels.The primary active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin. Animal studies show that it has potent anti-inflammatory properties and may enhance immune function.Other Indian herbs like Giloy, Ashwagandha, Tulsi, Mulethi and Ginger. These herbs are known for their medicinal properties and have been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. They are believed to boost immunity, reduce inflammation, and promote overall health and well-being.