The immune system in the human body is an amazingly intricate system. The most amazing part of all? It is an innate system that we don’t have to oversee or monitor at all (just like all of the other life sustaining activities going on in our body at any given moment). Luckily, we don’t need to spend all our energy thinking about how we should be breathing, if our heart is pumping enough blood, and what to do about pathogens we come in contact with regularly. The immune system is there for us behind the scenes, monitoring and protecting to keep us as healthy as possible.
How We Influence Our Immune System
There are many daily decisions and actions that we partake in that can either make or break our complex immune system. If you think your immune system needs a boost, you may not even realize that you are affecting it with your normal daily routine. While your body ultimately knows what it needs to do to fight invaders and keep your health optimized, it could always use a little support. With the right awareness of how the system works and what supports it to work at its best, you can optimize your body’s natural pathogen fighting system.
What is the Immune System?
The immune system is our body’s own built in system for preventing, detecting, and launching attacks on pathogens that we come in contact with on a daily basis₁. The immune system is a vast system of specific cells, organs, proteins, circulatory systems, and more. They work together to keep your entire system working optimally. It has the capability to identify invaders as “non-self” particles and launch a full attack to get rid of them and keep the body healthy. Without the immune system, our body would be susceptible to everything we come in contact with each day.
Pathogens that the body may come in contact with include bacteria, viruses, mold, fungus, cancer cells, and parasites. If we can’t manage these pathogens properly, eventually we will become very sick.
How Does Immunity Work?
Our first line of defense against disease is the skin and mucous membranes in areas like our nose and mouth. If a pathogen manages to get past these, it is now up to our white blood cells to detect and initiate an immune response.
Areas like the spleen, bone marrow, and thymus store white blood cells just in case these cells need to be sent in bulk to a problem area for attack. Then, other specialized cells will help literally “eat” the invaders while others keep a memory of this specific pathogen for the next time it tries to sneak into the body.
The good news is this sophisticated chain of events is what helps us build stronger immunity against pathogens that we commonly come in contact with. This is why some diseases have effective vaccines and adults tend to deal with less sickness than children do. Pretty cool!
Natural Ways to Boost Your Immunity
Of course, it is important that the immune system does its job properly. Otherwise, disease, cancer, and less optimized cellular function will occur resulting in sickness, a decreased quality of life, unnecessary medical expenses, and possibly even death. Ultimately, a poorly functioning immune system can leave you feeling tired, run down, and emotionally exhausted, making it hard to live the life you want.
Here are some natural ways to boost your immune system to prevent illness₂:
- Stress management. Take time to relax, wind down, and manage your time more effectively. Quick fixes include limiting screen time, conversation with a loved one, sex, deep breathing, and meditation.
- Nutrition optimization. Focus on whole nutrient rich foods such as fruits and vegetables. Plus, minimize your intake of packaged and processed food items.
- Taking supplements. Choose supplements that support and promote immunity optimization such as probiotics, vitamin A, D, C, and E. Additionally, herb extracts such as turmeric extract are a great way to boost many of your body’s own natural functions.
- Exercise regularly. Shoot for 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week at a minimum. With proper weight management, improved circulation and a boosted overall sense of well-being, your immune system can run more smoothly.
- Alcohol and tobacco. These both can drastically affect your natural immune system processes. Make a decision to quit smoking and drinking for your health.
- Sleep quality and quantity. Sleep enough to feel well rested (typically 7 to 9 hours). Plus, practice good sleep habits such as a consistent bedtime and minimizing light and noise in your room.
- Hygiene. Wash your hands regularly with non-antibiotic soap, regularly wipe down possibly contaminated surfaces, and thoroughly cook your meats.
How Turmeric Extract Boosts Your Immunity
Curcumin, a component of turmeric, has been used in many traditional cultures for its healing properties. Turmeric has been shown to help modulate the efficiency of immune system cells such as white blood cells.₃
Specifically, the curcumin in Turmeric Extract can reduce IL2 production. IL2 is an interleukin cell that promotes the activation of T cells. T cells play a central role in the immune system by regulating the activity of white blood cells and fighting viruses. As mentioned above, white blood cells are the main cells of the immune system that combat diseases, and infections in the body.
Don’t worry, there won’t be a test at the end of this article. The immune is a complex system involving multiple pathways. The information above is an example of just one pathway, but curcumin modulates various pathways to exhibit a positive effect on the immune system. The benefits of curcumin/turmeric extract are well documented in the literature and you can read more about microbiology of curcumin in a research database like PubMed.
Additionally, curcumin has been shown to boost the body’s own antibody abilities that help the body remember and launch future attacks on familiar pathogens. Lastly, research demonstrates the positive effects turmeric has on inflammatory markers for injuries like low back pain, nerve pain, and arthritis₄.
Being able to reduce overall inflammation in the body can reduce the amount of energy required for normal body functions. Thus, giving the immune system more “resources” for doing its job well.
How to Choose a Turmeric Supplement
If you decide a turmeric supplement is right for you, it is important to find an effective turmeric extract. For the most potency and potential benefits, start by choosing turmeric extract over powder (powder is what you find in the cooking aisle at the grocery store). When looking for a high potency turmeric extract supplement to purchase, it should contain at least 500 mgs of curcuminoids (the extract) for proper effectiveness and dosage. You don’t want a capsule full of just turmeric powder, so pay close attention to labeling. Additionally, make sure the supplement is tested for lead because lead was discovered in many popular turmeric products and i ncreased levels of lead intake be toxic to your brain and nerves.
The bioavailability of a supplement can also make a difference for the way the body processes and absorbs it as well. Watch for ingredients like BioPerine and black pepper to optimize your body’s ability to properly absorb and get all the benefits from a turmeric supplement.
Active Atoms 15x Turmeric Extract contains 750 mgs of Turmeric Extract in ONE capsule which is 15x stronger than many turmeric brands. We send our turmeric to an independent lab for lead testing regularly and our formula contains BioPerine to enhance the absorption of curcumin by your body making it the best turmeric supplement on the market.
There are many ways to boost the amazing built in system that is our immune system. Curcuminoids, or turmeric extract, is just another great tool for optimizing your immune function. Plus, it packs a lot of other great benefits such as decreased inflammation, improved digestion, and better brain function. When combined with other healthy lifestyle factors such as nutrition, exercise, sleep, and stress management, you can rest assured that your immune system is firing on all cylinders.
If you are currently facing an immunological disease or are taking medications, always talk to your doctor before trying any supplements or making any radical lifestyle changes. What are you waiting for? Boost your immune system and have the peace of mind that your body will be able to fight whatever comes it’s way as best it possibly can.
About the author: Juliana Tamayo is a Licensed Nutritionist, currently working on becoming a Registered Dietitian (RD). She has experience writing research papers and covering topics such as health, nutrition, wellness, alternative healing, science, technology, and education. She also has experience coaching and counseling clients are looking to have better control of their nutrition and life.