In getting to know our immune system, I think we’ll see it’s a pretty fascinating mechanism. There are essentially two parts to it. It is partly comprised of what we call the innate response. This part of our immune system is comprised of physical barriers that help prevent pathogen entry. It acts quickly, but its response is limited in that it is not specific to any antigen. This response is complemented by what we call the adaptive response. This response acts more slowly, but repeated infection with the same pathogen will eventually generate a rigorous, fast antigen-specific response.
We don’t stop here, though. The next logical question is, how do we support the optimal function of this system that is so vital to our health? There are several vitamins, minerals, and even supplements like Omega 3 that support a healthy immune system, but to make things simple, the emphasis is generally on Vitamin C & Vitamin D. So, moving forward, let’s make sure we have both :-).
- Murphy, K.; Weaver, C. Janeway’s Immunobiology, 9th ed.; Taylor & Francis: Philadelphia, PA, USA, 2017; pp. 1–35.
- Carr, A.C.; Maggini, S. Vitamin C and immune function. Nutrients 2017, 9, 1211.
- Gombart, A.F. The vitamin D–antimicrobial peptide pathway and its role in protection against infection. Future Microbiol. 2009, 4, 1151.
- Greiller, C.; Martineau, A. Modulation of the immune response to respiratory viruses by vitamin D. Nutrients 2015, 7, 4240–4270.
- Calder, Philip C., et al. “Optimal nutritional status for a well-functioning immune system is an important factor to protect against viral infections.” Nutrients 12.4 (2020): 1181.