There are many factors that can lead to a suppressed and weakened immune system such as environmental toxins, stress, lack of sleep, aging, and certain nutrient deficiencies. A suppressed immune system can result in sickness and poor health and shows up as the flu, cold, earaches, abdominal pain, aches, pains, and fatigue. The good news is there is something we can do to counter these stressors and support and strengthen our immune system. One of the most important and powerful players of our immune system is our Natural Killer cells. These immune cells not only protect us against infections and tumors, but they are part of our first line of defense and have memory as well. Natural killer cells are also a bridge between our innate and adaptive immune system. Nutrients such as Alpha Lipoic Acid, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin D, and the probiotics Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria enhance Natural Killer cell function.
Another reason our immune system can become suppressed and weakened is from poor detoxification, free radicals, and chronic inflammation. The detoxification pathways of our liver must properly be supported with nutrients such as B vitamins, folic acid, glutathione, branched chain amino acids, and phospholipids. Free radicals are produced in this process and must be counteracted by antioxidants and botanicals such as vitamins A, C, E, CoQ10, Milk Thistle, copper, zinc, and manganese.
One of the most important aspects of immune system functioning is having adequate 25 OH, serum vitamin D levels. Vitamin D stimulates innate immunity and modulates adaptive immunity, which means not only does vitamin D strengthen the immune system, but it also protects against autoimmunity as well. Knowing your nutrient status and any specific deficiencies can be one of the most important steps you take in supporting and strengthening your immune system and protecting yourself from sickness and poor health.