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Health and Nutrition with Nature's Sunshine

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

HEALTHY IMMUNE SYSTEM

 

Immune System Pack

 

The best defense is a healthy immune system.

Protecting the body from outside invaders requires a veritable army of defenders. A healthy immune system—or defense team—includes lymph nodes, antibodies and specialized white blood cells that work non-stop to fend off attacking microorganisms. Lymph nodes produce immune cells that defend the body. Lymph fluid passes through the nodes and flushes out the invaders and destroys them. Fresh immune cells are then circulated throughout the body and sent where they are needed most via lymph vessels. Stress, poor diet, insomnia, dehydration, attitude, sedentary living and environment all affect immune health.

Facts about a healthy immune system:

The lymphatic system is a one-way duct system that moves by osmotic pressure, so it only moves if you move. You can support your lymph system with:

  • Exercise
  • Massage
  • Any movement

The Immune System pack

This pack provides targeted support for the immune system. It contains cello packets with the following supplements:

 VS-C® TCM

This proprietary Chinese formula helps create an environment inhospitable to foreign invaders.

Elderberry D3fense

Combines the benefits of elderberry fruit, vitamin D3, olive leaf extract and echinacea to support the immune system.

Immune Stimulator

Stimulates the body's natural defenses to repel unfriendly invaders when under attack. Delivers immunoglobulin proteins to the intestinal tract to help combat foreign invaders.

AM packets contain 1 VS-C TCM capsule, 1 Elderberry D3fense capsule and 1 Immune Stimulator capsule.

PM packets contain 1 Elderberry D3fense capsule and 1 Immune Stimulator capsule.


something for everyone

With over 600 products, Nature's Sunshine has something to fit just about every health need. Our 475 unique formulas give you more choices than any other company. We skillfully combine the right herbs and nutrients in special blends to maximize potency and ensure safety.

Boosting Immune Health

 

With the cold and flu season upon us, good nutrition is vital to boosting your immune system. Immunity involves a complex network of specialized cells and organs that evolved to defend the body against attacks by foreign invaders such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and other parasites. The two basic kinds or types of immunity are termed innate and acquired. Innate immunity, also known as genetic or species immunity, represents a wide range of immune protective factors that a person is born with. In contrast, acquired immunity becomes part of the host defenses by means other than heredity. Within this category, immune protection can be acquired naturally or artificially. Natural acquired immunity is developed through recovery from a specific infectious disease, while artificial acquired immunity occurs when the host receives a vaccine or antitoxin. This category can be further subdivided by using the terms active (the host actively produces antibodies in response to a solution of antigens such as those in a vaccine) and passive (the host passively accepts preformed antibodies present in products such as an antitoxin). When our immune system malfunctions, the consequences can range from microbial infections to cancer.

Many nutritional supplement ingredients are readily available and can help improve immune system health. Some of the more popular and scientifically substantiated ingredients include:

  1. Echinacea has been shown to stimulate the immune system by increasing the activity of certain immune cells and by promoting the release of cytokines (cellular communication and regulatory molecules) from these immune cells.#
  2. Elderberry contains flavonoid derivatives called anthocyanidins that appear to have immunomodulatory effects. These compounds in elderberry extract have been found to bind to viruses and block their ability to invade host cells.# In this way, elderberry is thought to reduce the severity of viral flu symptoms.
  3. Scientific studies on ingredients such as zinc, Korean ginseng, Vitamin C, beta-glucans and arabinogalactans all enhance and improve the effectiveness of the immune system by increasing the protective activity of certain immune cells. Macrophages, neutrophils, NK (natural killer) cells and T-cells (T-lymphocytes) are responsible for attacking and neutralizing foreign, disease-causing microbes. Without the proper functioning of these immune cells, infectious diseases such as colds and the flu usually occur more frequently, are more severe, and have a longer duration.
  4. Another promising avenue for natural immune support is vitamin D3. Studies now indicate that vitamin D, once only recognized for supporting bone health, may be a key nutritional component in enhancing immune function.

The following overviews of some recent studies tout the immune system benefits of vitamin D:

  • A recent study showed that vitamin D signals the immune system to fight infections. Scientists discovered that T cells—white blood cells that are like soldiers who search out and destroy the targeted invaders—require vitamin D to function. The study author explains, "When a T cell is exposed to a foreign pathogen, it extends a signaling device or 'antenna' known as a vitamin D receptor, with which it searches for vitamin D. This means the T cell must have vitamin D or activation of the cell will cease. If the T cells cannot find enough vitamin D in the blood, they won't even begin to mobilize." From this study, researchers realize how crucial vitamin D is for activating the immune system. The finding could have significant implications in the fight against global epidemics. Nearly half of the world's population has sub-optimal levels of vitamin D, a problem that's getting worse as people spend more time indoors.
  • Researchers theorized that the flu season occurs in winter months because of the lack of direct sunlight, and subsequent lower levels of protective vitamin D produced in the body. Their research indicates that influenza epidemics, and possibly even the common cold, are brought on by seasonal deficiencies in antimicrobial peptides, resulting from winter-time deficiencies in vitamin D.
  •  In a study of Japanese schoolchildren, vitamin D supplements taken during the winter and early spring helped prevent seasonal flu. The study found that children receiving 1,200 IU of vitamin D daily were 58 percent less likely to catch influenza A.
  • People with higher blood levels of vitamin D had a 50 percent reduction in the risk of developing acute respiratory tract infections than those with lower blood levels. Additionally, of those with high vitamin D blood levels who did develop infections, there was a marked reduction in the number of days they were ill. Researchers concluded, "Maintenance of a [sufficient] 25-hydroxyvitamin D serum concentration should significantly reduce the incidence of acute viral respiratory tract infections and the burden of illness caused thereby, at least during the fall and winter in temperate zones."

References:

1. Echinacea. Pharmacist's Letter/Prescriber's Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. 8th ed. Stockton, CA: Therapeutic Research Faculty; 2010. p. 605.

2. Elderberry. Pharmacist's Letter/Prescriber's Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. 8th ed. Stockton, CA: Therapeutic Research Faculty; 2010. p. 615.

3. Von Essen MR, et al. Vitamin D controls T cell antigen receptor signaling and activation of human T cells. Nature Immunology. 2010; 11(4):344-349. 4.

4.  Cannell JJ, Vieth R, Umhau JC, et al. Epidemic influenza and vitamin D. Epidemiology and Infection. 2006; 134:1129-1140.

5. Urashima M, et al. Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2010; 91(5):1255-60.

6.Sabetta JR, DePetrillo P, Cipriani RJ. Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and the Incidence of Acute Viral Respiratory Tract Infections in Healthy Adults. PLoS One. 2010; 5(6):e11088.


immune health

The body's immune system is our only defense against the constant bombardment of disease. Its power is our life source. Without it, our bodies would succumb to the inescapable harmful elements of the environment. That's why it's important we do all that we can to help strengthen our immune systems.

Immune Health

 

We need to arm ourselves against the harmful ailments attacking our bodies every day. Our biggest defense against outside invaders is the immune system. Failing to keep this system fortified puts us at risk for bacteria, viruses and diseases we'd all rather do without. Don't let your guard down—help your body support a healthy immune system.

The Importance of Immune Health


Zinc

  • The importance of Zinc:
    • Zinc is among the best immune system boosters available. This element increases the production of white blood cells and other important antibodies. Zinc also has the ability to directly kill bacteria and viruses by poisoning the invaders and then quickly triggering the body's white blood cells to join the site of infection.
  • Sources of Zinc

Vitamin D

  • The importance of vitamin D
    • It's proven that our immune system's T cells remain completely dormant without the presence of vitamin D. These T cells play a significant role in activating other white blood cells that fight off infections. T cells also kill tumor cells, virally infected cells and even parasites. And thanks to vitamin D, we benefit from all of these important immune system functions.
  • Sources of vitamin D: 

Echinacea

Elderberry

  • The importance of elderberry
    • For thousands of years, the elderberry has been recognized as a health promoter by many cultures. Today, science recognizes its ability to powerfully enhance the immune system as it contains a high concentration of anthocyanins, boosting the production of the protein cytokine. This small protein acts as a messenger within our immune system. Its presence greatly enhances the immune system's response to disease.
  • Sources of Elderberry:
    • Foods.
      • Elderberries are commonly eaten in Europe. You might find elderberries in jellies, desserts and other berry dishes.
    • Elderberry Supplements

Garlic

  • The importance of garlic
    • This flavorful member of the onion family stimulates the production of disease-fighting white blood cells and antibodies. Garlic is also clinically proven to rid the body of harmful parasites in the intestines and free radicals in the bloodstream. It is even known to improve heart health as it helps keep platelets from clogging blood vessels.
  • Sources of garlic


immune system supplements

Sometimes your immune system could use some extra help. That's when immune supplements can help boost the immune system and lay a foundation of good health.

Winter Wellbeing

 

Keep your Immune System strong until Spring.

 With the start of winter upon us, it's important to keep the immune system functioning at its peak to fight seasonal colds and flu. Experts agree that diet, sleep and exercise all help keep the immune system functioning at its peak.

Getting enough sleep can keep your body's defenses strong, as can a diet of fresh, nutritious foods—especially those high in vitamin C. Exercise can also help boost your immune system: Studies show that people who exercise regularly report fewer colds than their sedentary peers.

Boost immunity with a supplement.

Sometimes, though, your immune system could use some extra help. That's when immune supplements can help boost the immune system and lay a foundation of good health.

Immune Stimulator is a unique blend of natural ingredients that support and boost the immune system and promote the functions used in the body's natural repair of DNA. It contains compounds that maintain the body's natural defense mechanisms, including:

  • Beta glucans, which trigger an increase in the production of macrophages, T-cells, natural killer cells and cytokines.
  • Arabinogalactan, to stimulate natural killer cells and macrophage activity.
  • Colostrum, the first milk produced by mammals, which is rich in immune-enhancing transfer factors.
  • Reishi and maitake mushroom, believed to help support immunity by increasing the activity of natural killer cells and macrophages.
  • Cordyceps, a prized, energizing nutrient from China that promotes the integrity of DNA and increases T-cell and B-cell activity.

 Fuel for your immune system

Immune Stimulator offers your immune system a complete package of protection. During times of stress, or when you can't eat as well as you'd like or exercise as much as you'd like, take Immune Stimulator daily to strengthen your immune system and help prevent unwanted attacks.

immune system health

Many immune system supplement ingredients are effective in supporting immune system health.

Immune Health and the Gut

 

If you have done some reading on immune system health lately, you know that immune system support involves a complex network of specialized cells and organs that evolved to defend the body against attacks by foreign invaders such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and other parasites. The two basic kinds or types of immunity are termed innate and acquired.

Innate immunity, also known as genetic or species immunity, represents a wide range of immune protective factors that a person is born with.

In contrast, acquired immunity becomes part of the host defenses by means other than heredity. Within this category, immune system support can be acquired naturally or artificially. Natural acquired immune system support is developed through the recovery from a specific infectious disease while artificial acquired immune system support occurs when the host receives a vaccine or antitoxin. This category can be further subdivided by using the terms active (the host actively produces antibodies in response to a solution of antigens such as those in a vaccine) and passive (the host passively accepts preformed antibodies present in products such as an antitoxin). When our immune system malfunctions, the consequences can range from microbial infections to cancer.

Many immune system supplement ingredients are effective in supporting immune system health. Some of the more popular and scientifically substantiated ingredients for immune health include:

  1. Echinacea has been shown to stimulate the immune system by increasing the activity of certain immune system cells1 and by promoting the release of cytokines (cellular communication and regulatory molecules) from these immune system cells (1).
  2. Elderberry contains flavonoid derivatives called anthocyanidins that appear to have immunomodulatory effects. These compounds in elderberry extract have been found to bind to viruses and block their ability to invade host cells (2). In this way, elderberry is thought to reduce the severity of viral flu symptoms.
  3. Vitamin D3 has been known for quite some time as being important in supporting bone health. However, recently Vitamin D3 has also been shown to be a key component in strengthening the immune system. Sophisticated experiments have demonstrated that Vitamin D3 is essential for the activation of immune system cells needed to seek out and destroy infectious invading microbes (3). Without this activation, infections such as influenza and the common cold appear to be more severe and longer lasting.
  4. Scientific studies on ingredients such as zinc, Korean ginseng, Vitamin C, beta-glucans and arabinogalactans show that all of these enhance and improve the effectiveness of a healthy immune system by increasing the protective activity of certain immune system cells. Macrophages, neutrophils, NK (natural killer) cells and T-cells (T-lymphocytes) are responsible for attacking and neutralizing foreign, disease-causing microbes. Without the proper function of these immune system cells, infectious diseases such as colds and the flu usually occur more frequently, are more severe, and have a longer duration.

As a pharmacy student and during my graduate school days, I was always interested in the concepts of immunology. However, back in those days, the association of immune function and the gut was either not mentioned or was discussed very superficially. Now that we understand how important a properly functioning gut is to a healthy immune system, I'm fascinated by reading the many excellent scientific papers on this topic. A particularly intriguing aspect focuses on how gut bacteria may influence various disease processes while being involved with their beneficial role in digestion and metabolism. In a previous Hot Topic paper, I described how the "Western diet"—high in fats and simple sugars—can reshape the gut microbial community (microbiome) and predispose humans to obesity and all of the health problems that accompany the obese state. Dietary fibers escape host digestion, but resident microbes in the distal gut (large intestine) metabolize these indigestible leftovers to yield short-chain fatty acids such as acetic, propionic and butyric acids. Not only do these acids contribute about 10% to our daily energy supply but they also impact immune system health. Gut microbe-generated acetate interacts with immune cells to quiet an overactive immune system while propionic acid appears to promote the acquired immune system response by acting on T-lymphocytes (4). Butyric acid is known to serve as an important energy source for gut endothelial cells thereby enhancing innate immune system strength.

We're all familiar with the benefits of the polyphenolic antioxidants. Recently, it has been found that the well-known ellagic acid, present primarily in berries and nuts, is metabolized by gut microbes to a class of compounds known as the urolithins. Specific urolithins are thought to reduce inflammation and thus protect against cancer (5).

We have focused on a few important aspects of gut health as they relate to a properly functioning, strong immune system. However, keep in mind that our gut microbes have long been known to be part of other processes such as food digestion and the production of essential micronutrients. On the downside, our gut bacteria can be directly linked to medical conditions such as obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes and cancer. Therefore, I believe that it's imperative that we continue toward a better understanding of this huge population of microbes that live in our gastrointestinal tract and other parts of our body. Another way of looking at this situation is that we are outnumbered. Believe it or not, the vast majority of cells that make up the human body are microbial cells.

Created by Dr. William J. Keller

References:

  1. Echinacea. Pharmacist's Letter/Prescriber's Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. 8th ed. Stockton, CA: Therapeutic Research Faculty; 2010. p. 605.
  2. Elderberry. Pharmacist's Letter/Prescriber's Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. 8th ed. Stockton, CA: Therapeutic Research Faculty; 2010. p. 615.
  3. Von Essen MR, et al. Vitamin D controls T cell antigen receptor signaling and activation of human T cells. Nature Immunology. 2010; 11(4):344-349.
  4. Fukuda S, et al. Bifidobacteria can protect from enteropathogenic infection through production of acetate. Nature. 2011 Jan 27;469(7331):543-547.
  5. González-Sarrías A, et al. NF-kappaB-dependent anti-inflammatory activity of urolithins, gut microbiota ellagic acid-derived metabolites, in human colonic fibroblasts. British Journal of Nutrition. 2010 Aug;104(4):503-12.

Browse more immune health products.

(for these and other products)
 
Share the Health,
Karen Herrmann-Doolan, NSP District Manager 
Nature's Sunshine Herb Specialist 
Natural Health Educator 
C: (817) 225-8392
 
Visit my Nature's Sunshine Online Store:
www.mynsp.com/herbsplus  
Learn about the Body Systems 
www.herbsplus4health.com
Check out my Health & Nutrition Blog!
 
 

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