Boosting the immune system with micronutrients and water
Today I have decided to present this article here to contribute my quota to the present day concerns of the ongoing scourge of coronavirus all over the world.
Human beings are equipped with a system of cells that are capable of defending them against invading microorganisms. Known as the IMMUNE SYSTEM, when performing optimally, it has the capacity to prevent any disease from taking place in the human body. In fact, it has been confirmed that all human beings are exposed to pathogens, including cancer cells on a daily basis.
The difference between those who contract cancer, for instance and those who do not is the immune system. An immune system that is compromised may be unable to defend against cancer or any other disease for that matter. As we go on in this article, I shall be discussing how to boost the immune system so as to perform perfectly and defend against all kinds of diseases. However, before I do that, I will like to give a brief explanation of what the immune system means.
Components of the immune system
There are two aspects of the human immune system and these are the specific and non-specific immune defense systems.
The non-specific or innate immune system
This comprises the first line of defense, which is the skin or mucous membrane. These two defend the inner structures against invading pathogens. When the skin and mucous membranes are intact, pathogens are kept at bay, but when there is a breach, such as a cut in the skin, pathogens can get into the deeper structures.
On arrival at the deeper structures, there is another line of defense, which is made up of macrophages [phagocytes]. Under normal circumstances, these macrophages, which are white blood cells, quickly attack the pathogens, envelope them and neutralize them with enzymes and toxins. The phagocytes, being non-specific may not be able to differentiate between a normal cell and an invading pathogen and so will have to depend on another group of cells to help identify which cell is a pathogen. This takes us to the specific immune defense system.
The specific immune system
This system is made up of specific cells that are targeted at specific pathogens. It is complementary to the phagocytes of the non-specific system.
The cells of the specific immune systems are lymphocytes [also white blood cells] of two different types, the T-cells and B-cells. The first type of the T-cells known as the T-helper cells, attach themselves to the phagocytes and helps to determine if the cell or particle the phagocyte has enveloped is a normal cell or an invading organism. If the particle is found to be a pathogen, it will secrete hormones [cytokines], which signals the start of the immune response.
A phagocyte that requires the assistance of a T-helper cell is known as an antigen-presenting cell, which carries an antigen specific to a T-cell. This combination sets in motion different aspects of the immune response. More T-helper cells and phagocytes are called up and the B-cells are activated to begin to grow to maturity. Mature B-cells divide into many plasma cells, some of which are able to destroy the pathogens in the circulation with the enzymes they produce while some return to the lymph nodes to produce antibodies, which will be available if the same specific antigens return.
Also activated during the specific immune response are the killer T cells or natural killer cells, which are capable of secreting destructive enzymes and toxins that can destroy any foreign invader or an abnormally growing or mutant cancer cell.
More often than not, the immune response I have just described takes place in the blood circulation and is capable of containing what would have been an infection. However, there are times when this response takes place in the tissues or an organ. When this happens, the toxins, enzymes and the general reaction, known as inflammation may destroy surrounding tissues not initially involved in the immune response. To avoid the destruction of the surrounding tissues, there is another type of T cell that is released. Known as T-suppressor cell, its function is to calm down the immune response after the invading pathogens would have been destroyed. They control the immune response and ensure that the inflammatory response does not affect the surrounding tissues. Affecting the surrounding tissues is what makes inflammation dangerous and if not checked can lead to more serious cases, such as cancer. This is what happens in conditions that are referred to as autoimmune diseases. In these diseases, the immune system does not recognize the normal cells in the immediate vicinity of the cells where inflammation is taking place.
The various aspects of the immune response, both the specific and non-specific, together with the inflammatory reaction are supported and influenced by micronutrients. The same micronutrients that make up the antioxidants that neutralize the free radicals have also been found to enhance the body’s immune system.
Boosting a depressed immune system with micronutrients and water
Having given a brief back ground information about the composition and workings of the immune system, we can now discuss how to boost the immune system with micronutrients and water.
The immune system and water
Water is the most abundant nutrient in nature, yet it is the most deficient nutrient in the human body, simply because we do not drink enough of it. It has been found out that lack of water is the most significant and commonest cause of immune system suppression. In a state of dehydration, histamine is the first of the neurotransmitters released in order to redistribute water to the five vital organs. Excess histamine as in a state of dehydration suppresses the production of white blood cells in the bone marrow. The white blood cells as we have seen, are the main components of the immune system cells; the lymphocytes.
Furthermore, the bone marrow is the main site of production of the white blood cells. Suppressing their production in the bone marrow will definitely lead to a suppression of the immune system. Moreover, histamine causes increased production of a chemical known as vasopressin. Vasopressin is a well-known immune system suppressor. Apart from this, excess histamine in the body blocks the production of interferon, an important anticancer chemical. All these negative effects of dehydration on the immune system to suppress it can be avoided by simply drinking sufficient amount of water (alkaline water), daily. In other words, an adequately hydrated body will boost the immune system. Water is a known immune system booster.