The first thing that comes to mind when we talk about the immune system is of course cold and flu. For those who know a little more about the subject, the immune system also refers to allergies, inflammation, certain skin problems, vaccines and cancer prevention. The immune system is responsible for the inflammatory reactions, beneficial or not, involved in a large number of health problems including joint problems (see the text on joint pain).
Throughout our lives, the immune system is constantly changing. Since it has to defend us against infections from the outside world, it spends part of our early childhood learning what is “self” and “not self”. It must distinguish what is part of our body and what is not so that we do not react against our own organs and tissues. Unfortunately, it can happen that it malfunctions and attacks certain parts of our body such as the muscles (myopathy), organs (Lupus), peripheral nerves (peripheral neuropathy), the envelope of nerves (multiple sclerosis), joints (rheumatoid arthritis) or cells of the pancreas (type 1 diabetes). This is called autoimmune disease.
As we age, the incidence of these diseases increases because the immune system tends to go out of whack. An important facet of aging is the steady increase in systemic mild inflammation which is known as “inflammaging” for “inflammation-aging”. It is the production of molecules that stimulate inflammation (pro-inflammatory molecules) by aging cells. This process is present at more or less important levels for all aging people. It interferes with the proper functioning of the human body and facilitates the development of a large number of diseases. Good news: the effectiveness of the immune system, as well as the level of systemic inflammation, is directly related to our lifestyle.
In order to maintain a good immune system it is important to:
- sleep well,
- manage stress well,
- eat well and
- exercise regularly.
For food, it is possible to reduce the consumption of so-called “pro-inflammatory” foods (red meat, dairy products and refined sugars) and to increase the consumption of so-called “anti-inflammatory” foods (fishy fat, olive oil, whole grains, vegetables, nuts, seafood, probiotics). These so-called “anti-inflammatory” foods are also rich in zinc and magnesium, two minerals essential for the proper functioning of the immune system as we age.
Vitoli Immunity is a complete formula that contains three high-quality plant extracts (echinacea, astragalus and olive) in addition to zinc and vitamin D3. It is advisable to use it every 2 weeks, to stop and start again if necessary. Its use is particularly useful for periods of risk such as autumn or spring, and cold and flu situations to reduce symptoms and/or the periods of illness. Here are the claims allowed by Health Canada:
- Used in Herbal Medicine to help maintain a healthy immune system.
- Helps relieve symptoms and shorten the duration of respiratory tract infections.
- Provides antioxidants.
Let us know if you have any questions, it’s always a pleasure to help.
Relevant references :
- Rea IM et al. 2018. Age and Age-Related Diseases: Role of Inflammation Triggers and Cytokines. Front Immunol. (2018)
- Olivieri F et al. 2018. Cellular Senescence and Inflammaging in Age-Related Diseases. Mediators Inflamm. (2018)
- Goldberg et Dixit, 2015. Drivers of age-related inflammation and strategies for healthspan extension. Immunol Rev. 2015
- Mejías-Peña et al, 2017. Impact of resistance training on the autophagy-inflammation-apoptosis crosstalk in elderly subjects. Aging (Albany NY). 2017