The Immunity Troops To Protect Against Virus Invasion
COVID-19, flu and cold have similarities in their symptoms, which are hard to distinguish. The common symptoms in these 3 viral infections are fever, tiredness, cough and body aches. Symptoms which are unique to COVID-19 are shortness of breath and loss of sense of smell or taste. If we have runny nose or itchy eyes, it does not mean we have COVID-19. Not all symptoms are equal as they are caused by different strains of viruses. Regardless, our immune system is our best bet to combat any of these respiration viruses and bacterias. It is therefore important to build our immunity while we are trying to adapt ourselves to the new norm in this pandemic.
Vitamin C and the Body’s First Line Immune Defense
Vitamin C is an essential vitamin for immunity, and it is not able to be produced by our body internally. We need to get it from food or supplements, the convenient way. Vitamin C has been linked to many impressive health benefits. We usually grab a bottle of vitamin C from a pharmacy when we need to boost our immunity especially during a cold and flu season, or to expedite the healing of a wound when we have an injury. A person with low immunity is more susceptible to infections. A healthy immune system helps to defend the body against harmful pathogens and it is also the key to regulate inflammation in our body.
The first line of defense in our body is called the innate immune system which immediately protects our body from harmful pathogens. When any foreign invaders breach our body’s defense system, our innate immunity will be alerted. It immediately prevents the movement and spread of the foreign pathogens throughout the body. The innate immune system quickly recognizes the site of where a pathogen invades and neutralizes the pathogen as soon as possible.
Its additional antioxidant property makes it extremely beneficial in clearing free radicals used by the immune cells to deactivate the pathogen but at the same time cause inflammation and harm to our body if it is not properly modulated. Thus, vitamin C is necessary for the immune system to mount and sustain an adequate response against pathogens, whilst avoiding excessive damage to the host. Thirdly, vitamin C plays an essential role in the skin’s defense system. It assists in the formation of collagen, the most important protein in preserving the integrity of the skin barrier. Inadequate amounts of vitamin C leads to a weak collagen layer that can cause the inner skin to be damaged easily, increasing the risk of pathogen invasion into the body. In short, vitamin C boosts immunity by helping the white blood cells to function more effectively while strengthening the skin's defense system.
Double Up Your Immunity With Zinc
Zinc is a mineral with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It works synergistically with vitamin C. Deficiency of zinc is shown to impair the immune cells to clear-off the pathogens and generate ROS. Zinc is effective in fighting colds by preventing the rhinovirus (the virus that causes cold) from multiplying. It prevents the rhinovirus adhering to the mucous membranes of the throat and nose. Additionally, it inhibits the growth and stops the reproduction of this pathogen.
Consuming zinc along with vitamin C enhances the benefits in promoting a healthy immune system. Vitamin C and zinc complement each other in enhancing the immune function. Together they modulate the host resistance to reduce the risk, severity and duration of infections. It is well-known that vitamin C and zinc are better and more quickly absorbed in an effervescent formulation leading to better efficacy, as compared to capsules or tablets. Some ingredients in an effervescent formulation are able to buffer the acidity of vitamin C, which makes it less irritating to the stomach. Vitamin C and zinc in effervescent form is convenient and tasty. It is easy for people who do not prefer swallowing tablets.
Vitamin C encourages the production of white blood cells such as macrophages and neutrophils. These immune cells engulf and kill the microbes with ROS free radicals. While these free radicals are important to ward-off the pathogens, excessive production of them may cause some side effects, such as fever, sore throat, coughing or more seriously, lung damage such as pneumonia. Besides helping the body to mak more vitamin C, it has a strong antioxidant property to protect the host tissue from this excessive oxidative damage.
Having a good immune system also means having high quality immune cells that are always alert and ready to fight any invaders. Recently, one of the hottest news in immune science is about beta glucan, particularly from baker’s yeast which has been proven to activate our immune cells. Beta glucan is a group of complex carbohydrates
(fibres) called polysaccharides and is found in the cell walls of certain plants and foods. As our body does not produce this type of fiber on its own, beta glucans are available only by consuming these foods or when consumed through functional foods, beverages and supplements that have been fortified with this nutritional ingredient. There are many types of beta glucans that have different benefits based on their chemical structure. 1-3, 1-6 yeast beta glucan is the best documented and most effective natural nutrient to activate the innate immune system.
Wellmune®, a beta 1,3-1,6 glucan, is patented for its extraction process from a proprietary strain of baker’s yeast. Wellmune® enhances the immune system because it primes the neutrophils, our first line immune comrade, which are the most abundant immune cells in the body. Wellmune® proactively activates our immune system to move more quickly to recognize and kill the foreign invaders without over-stimulating it. An activated innate immune system can prevent sickness because it is ready to work, to kill foreign pathogens like viruses and bacteria faster. Wellmune®, works differently from vitamin C. It works exclusively to wake up the immune cells, “train” them to react more quickly when a pathogen is detected. It has a rapid onset of action and improvement can be seen as fast as 3 days. Wellmune® relieves symptoms related to cold such as cough, throat discomfort, runny nose and sneezing, up to 71%, performs much better than placebo in all human clinical trials. Regular supplementation of Wellmune® will aid in building a well-equipped and active immune cell that safeguard the body against any foreign invaders.
Specialized Baker’s Yeast – Shaping an Active Immune System
Andrographis paniculata – The Rapid Immune Booster
As much as possible, we will try to minimize our exposure to respiratory viruses as they can make us feel unwell, leading to sick days, low productivity or even lung complications such as pneumonia and death, in some very serious cases. Unfortunately, there is no cure for viral infections and antibiotics do not work on viral infections as they are prescribed to fight bacterial infections. Usually, when we catch a cold or flu, the doctors will prescribe medications that will ease the symptoms. For instance, paracetamol for fever, antihistamines for runny nose and sneezing, cough mixture for cough and lozenges to soothe the sore throat.
A popular eastern herb, Andrographis paniculata commonly known as ‘King of Bitters’ is a wonder herb that has anti inflammatory, antiviral and antibacterial properties that help to prevent or relieve cold /flu symptoms. Decades of research has led to the development of AP-Bio™, a fast-acting Andrographis paniculata extract. AP-Bio™ is clinically proven to boost the immune systems and relieve all cold symptoms fast in a double blind randomised human clinical trial.
Andrographis leaves have immunostimulatory and anti-inflammatory properties. AP-Bio™, with its strong and powerful anti-inflammatory ability, is proven to reduce the inflammatory side effects created by immune cells when fighting with pathogens. The inflammatory symptoms are fever, sore throat, coughing and aches. AP-Bio™ is proven to reduce the severity of common cold symptoms, and helps the patients to recover faster.
Not only does Andrographis reduce the severity of the common cold, it can also prevent the onset of a cold in healthy individuals. So, when you feel you are going to be down a cold or flu, go for AP-Bio™ immediately! Act fast, suffer less.
Arming the Immune System
The immune system is our body’s defense system that comprises immune cells and many processes within the body to protect against harmful pathogens. That is why when our immune system is busy fighting pathogens, we can feel tired, achy, overheating and swelling at the glands. We can actively strengthen our immunity and natural defenses by practicing good lifestyle habits and boosting it with the right supplements. Rest more, stress less, eat well and sleep peacefully. Do the right thing to our body, and your immune cells will certainly thank you for that. Stay healthy and Be Well.