The immune system is your body’s main defense mechanism. Think of it as a rapid-response team of cells that identify the presence of a foreign molecule and respond in stages to remove the molecule. A healthy immune system is key to your overall well-being. When it comes to nutritional supplements that may support immune health, you may initially think of antioxidants – the free radical scavengers of the body that promote cellular health.
Supplements can support immune health in several ways. Often times, nutritional supplements provide antioxidant protection, supporting the immune system by promoting cell health. Mineral supplements, such as copper and iron, support red and white blood cell maturation. Blood cells are an important component of the adaptive immune system.
While Isotonix® OPC-3® is our favorite nutritional supplement for delivering powerful antioxidants that act as free radical scavengers, there are a wide range of other products containing vitamins, enzymes and minerals that have been shown to support immune health.
That’s why we're sharing this amazing article from our parent company Market America | SHOP.COM: discussing how the immune system works, and sharing 14 resources- including vitamins and nutrients- that can play an important role in supporting a healthy immune system.
What is the Immune System?
The immune system is a complex network of cells that work together to protect the body from foreign molecules. Foreign molecules may include microbes, which are tiny living organisms like bacteria and fungi, which are not classified as living organisms. Microbes may lead to problems and the strength of your immune system depends on its ability to distinguish between molecules that belong to your body and those that are foreign.
How Does the Immune System Work?
Physical barriers, such as the skin and mucous membranes that line openings to the body, protect us from a majority of foreign molecules. The immune system is triggered when foreign molecules invade those physical barriers. There are two parts of the immune system – the innate immune system, which provides an immediate response to molecules that have breached the physical barriers and the adaptive immune system, which is activated by the first response.
The Innate Immune System
Molecules that successfully enter your body immediately trigger the innate immune system. Your body is able to identify that these molecules do not belong to you and this causes a chemical reaction wherein immune cells rush to destroy and remove the foreign molecule. This is called the body’s inflammatory response and may be physically recognizable by redness, swelling or heat.
The inflammatory response is, well, complemented by the complement system. The complement system is a cascade of proteins that bind to the surface of foreign molecules and support the body’s normal ability to remove these foreign molecules.
The next line of defense within the innate immune system is the activation of leukocytes, or white blood cells. There are several distinct types of white blood cells but they all work together to identify foreign molecules and eliminate them either through direct contact or by engulfing them.
The Adaptive Immune System
The innate immune system is non-specific; that is, it produces the same immune response for every foreign molecule. The adaptive immune system, however, is triggered when the initial immune response fails and is highly specific to each foreign molecule. The adaptive immune response recognizes each foreign molecule and tailors its response specifically to those molecules and to cells that are impacted by those molecules. Even more interesting is that the adaptive immune system “remembers” these specific responses, so that your body can respond faster the next time you encounter the same foreign molecule.
The cells of the adaptive immune system are called lymphocytes and they’re derived from stem cells in the bone marrow. The two major types of lymphocytes are B cells and T cells. According to the National Human Genome Research Institute, B-cells are activated when they encounter foreign molecules and T cells fight foreign molecules. and also produce cytokines, which B cells essentially act to recognize specific foreign molecules and help T cells respond appropriately.
The Benefits of Isotonix® Supplements for Immune Health*
Isotonix features a range of dietary supplements with ingredients that may promote a healthy immune system. Isotonix products are the world’s most advanced nutraceuticals. The nutrients found in Isotonix supplements are introduced into the body via the isotonic delivery system.*
Isotonic, or “same pressure,” refers to a solution that has the same chemical resemblance as the body’s own fluids, such as blood, plasma and tears. All bodily fluids share a common osmotic pressure and an isotonic solution bears the same pressure as well. When mixed with water, the Isotonix brand nutritional supplements are delivered in an isotonic solution, making absorption of nutrients highly efficient while delivering maximum results.
The below ingredients have all been shown to benefit the immune system and are found in numerous Isotonix products.
Certain vitamins, nutrients and other sources have been shown to support the body’s antioxidant defense, which is essential to a healthy immune system. Antioxidants promote cellular health by neutralizing free radicals, which in turn, promotes a well-functioning immune system. Some immune supporting vitamins include:
1. Vitamin A.
Vitamin A possesses a range of beneficial qualities and it also supports the body’s antioxidant defense and immune system. Isotonix Multivitamin, contains 10,000 IU (international units) of Vitamin A.*
2. B Vitamins.
The benefits of B vitamins, specifically those contained in Isotonix Acai Advanced Energy and Antioxidant Formula, include immune system support. The Acai Advanced Energy and Antioxidant Formula contains vitamins B5, B6, B12, folic acid and niacinamide.*
3. Vitamin C.
Vitamin C has been heralded as one of the best immune system supporters and antioxidants available today. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that combats free radicals, which supports the immune system. Vitamin C supports the immune system by supporting normal immune cell function and overall immune system maintenance. The body does not produce this vitamin on its own, making dietary supplements like Isotonix Vitamin C great for people looking to experience the health benefits of vitamin C. Vitamin C is also found in the Isotonix line’s Multivitamin, Multi-Mineral, Immune, Peak Performance Blend, Acai Advanced Energy and Antioxidant Formula and Maximum ORAC Formula*
4. Vitamin D3.
Vitamin D3, as found in Isotonix Vitamin D with K2 and Isotonix Peak Performance Blend, is thought to support immune health by supporting normal immune modulation; it promotes the body’s normal regulation of T cell function – T cells, as mentioned above, are direct fighters of foreign molecules and by producing cytokines, help activate other parts of the immune system. Isotonix Multivitamin, Multi-Mineral and OPC-3® Beauty Blend nutritional supplements also contain vitamin D3. Vitamin D also aids in the body’s absorption of calcium, which is another immune-supporting nutrient.*
5. Vitamin E.
Vitamin E is linked to heart health, the enhancement of immune system function and the support of normal healing. When combined with the benefits of CoQ10, as in Isotonix Coenzyme Q10 nutritional supplement, vitamin E and CoQ10 have an antioxidant effect. Vitamin E is found in the Isotonix line’s Multivitamin, Maximum ORAC Formula and OPC-3 Beauty Blend*
Copper is found in Isotonix® Multivitamin, Multi-Mineral and Acai Advanced Energy and Antioxidant Formula products. It may have some antioxidant properties and supports normal immune function. Copper also supports normal red and white blood cell maturation and white blood cells are a principal component of the adaptive immune system.*
In addition to supporting skeletal health and cardiovascular health, calcium also aids in the maintenance of immune function. Calcium is an essential mineral with a wide range of benefits and Isotonix Calcium PLUS combines this ingredient with the immune-supporting benefits of vitamin C. Calcium is also contained in Isotonix Multivitamin, Multi-Mineral and OPC-3 Beauty Blend nutritional supplements.*
Zinc is an essential trace mineral and may carry a wide range of health benefits. As found in Isotonix Multivitamin, Multi-Mineral, and Immune products, our Immune Plus and Prostate Defense capsules, zinc may support healing and the immune system and may assist in cellular repair and energy production.*
Iron is a primary component of hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that transports oxygen throughout the body. It has been found to help increase oxygen transport, which in turn, supports the immune system. Iron is found in Isotonix Multi-Mineral, and another form, Iron Phosphate, is found in Isotonix Multivitamin with Iron.*
Selenium is an immune supporting nutrient found both in Isotonix line’s Multivitamin and Multi-Mineral products. It supports the antioxidant effect of vitamin E, and as a component of the antioxidant enzyme known as glutathione peroxidase, plays a direct role in the body’s ability to protect against free radicals.*
Bromelain is a mixture of enzymes found in the stems of pineapples. Isotonix Bromelain Plus supports the body’s normal inflammatory response, which is a key function of the immune system. It has also been shown to support the body’s normal healing process.*
12. Fruit Extracts
Isotonix Maximum ORAC Formula contains a powerful blend of fruit extracts that contain antioxidants. ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity, which is a measurement of the antioxidant capacities of certain foods. In this case, the Maximum ORAC Formula contains extracts from fruits that have high-performing antioxidant properties. Of these ingredients, elderberry and black currant extracts are shown to support the immune system. Isotonix Maximum ORAC Formula also contains vitamins C and E.*
Certain enzymes, which are substances produced by the body to catalyze a biochemical reaction, may support a healthy immune system. Isotonix® Digestive Enzymes with Probiotics blends different enzymes to support a healthy digestive tract, help maintain healthy cholesterol levels and support healthy immune functions. Isotonix Digestive Enzymes with Probiotics is available in both bottle and packet forms.
Isotonix Immune supplement contains Wellmune®ⱡ, a natural yeast beta glucan that supports immune cells. When ingested, immune cells in the gastrointestinal tract transport Wellmune to the immune organs throughout the body. Wellmune supports the activity of neutrophils, the most abundant immune cells in the body and primes them for their normal activity in the body, including promoting immune health. It also supports the activity of phagocytic cells, which engulf and destroy foreign molecules. Isotonix Immune also contains vitamin C and Zinc.*
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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product(s) is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
ⱡWellmune WGP is the registered trademark of Biothera, Inc.
“What is the Immune System?” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 03 Jan. 2017, https://www.vaccines.gov/basics/prevention/immune_system/index.html.
Janeway C.A. Jr., Travers P., Walport M., et al. “The complement system and innate immunity.” Immunobiology: The Immune System in Health and Disease. 5th Edition, Garland Science. Web. 03 Jan 2017, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK27100/.
Zimmerman, Kim Ann. “Immune System: Diseases, Disorders & Function.” LiveScience, 11 Mar. 2016. Web. 03 Jan. 2017, http://www.livescience.com/26579-immune-system.html.