I’ll share with you here what science has to say about strengthening your immune system:
1. Maintaining a high immune system is vital for good health, especially the cognitive and motor functions that make you perform better in everyday life.
2. Influenza viruses do their damage primarily through the production of inflammation-producing molecules in your lungs, brain and other vital organs.
3. These viruses have undergone selective genetic mutations that make them resistant to anti-viral drugs that are available.
4. When these viruses get into your lungs and other vital organs, the virus can produce the same damage that it does in a primary infection.
5. Your body’s response is to produce anti-viral antibodies that you then can use against the same viruses that are creating the damage.
6. These antibodies are then stored in your body’s CD4 T cells. These immune cells are present in large numbers in the brain and throughout your body. (Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “What You Can Do,” accessed 7/19/15)
7. When anti-viral antibodies in your body come in contact with a virus that caused a primary infection, the immune response prompts
your body to develop a defense against that virus. An immune response means that the body would launch the antibodies toward that specific type of virus.
When the anti-virus antibodies come into contact with a virus that is caused by a secondary infection, your body may not be able to produce these antibodies. Your body can however, still mount a strong response to protect itself against any future threat to your health.
The exact way your body mounts a response to an infection varies widely between individuals. But the three main principles that determine whether you will fight off a specific infection are: your age, the type of virus and the amount of exposure to it.
Anti-viral Immunity Type
Most people are born with at least one active form of anti-viral antibody that is known as an anti-viral immune response (A/Vi). Some people have many copies of the antibodies,
and this is known as polycythemia vera. All people are born with a small amount of antibodies in the body. Some of these antibodies can become active once they have travelled to the mouth of an infected person. One of the ways to get anti-viral immunity is for an infected person to touch the mouth of an uninfected person, for example, by shaking hands.
The exact number of active anti-viral antibodies is different for each person. Because of this, some people do not develop any antibodies at all, while others develop up to 300 anti-viral antibodies. There are many different types of immune system, for example antibodies against an array of different antigens. Some people have high levels of antibodies, which can cause them to develop antibodies against non-viral pathogens, and some people have low levels of antibodies, which can cause them to develop antibodies against viruses. An antibody is a protein molecule that is manufactured in the body. The antibodies can react to the proteins (viruses and other pathogens) or other substances (the material on which the virus or other pathogens are produced). When the immune system begins to detect a given antigen (that is, any protein) in the body, it will produce a specific antibody. Antibodies are naturally produced during the immune system’s natural attack on the organism they are tasked to protect, and it is the body’s strong response to that antigen that keeps it alive and active and ready to fight the pathogen that first began it all. Antibodies are helpful, so it is critical to identify them and build antibodies as early in life as possible, or as soon as possible after we are born.