10 things that can wreak havoc on your immune system

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The immune system is your body’s natural defense system. It’s a complex network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to protect your body against invaders such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, which can cause infection or disease. A compromised immune system can affect your body’s ability to defend against illnesses. There are several factors that can weaken your immune system, including poor nutrition, unhealthy habits and medical conditions. Here we have listed 10 things that suppress your immune system. Also Read – Coronavirus diet: DIY immunity concoctions may have adverse effects on your health

Poor Sleep

Your body releases cytokines, proteins that mediate communication among immune and non-immune cells, only during sleep. Lack of sleep may decrease production of these protective proteins and weaken your immune system. This, in turn, can make you more likely to catch infections as well as take longer time to recover. In addition, poor sleep can reduce production of infection-fighting antibodies and cells. So, you need to get enough sleep to be able to fight infectious diseases, including Covid-19. Also Read – T-cell therapy could be a better option for prevention or treatment of COVID-19

Stress

Stress can have a tremendous impact on your immune system, making you more susceptible to infections and diseases. The stress hormone corticosteroid can lower the number of lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that play an important role in your immune system. When people are stressed, they are likely to indulge in unhealthy behavioral, such as drinking and smoking. This causes an indirect effect on the immune system. High stress levels also can cause depression and anxiety, which can lead to higher levels of inflammation. Also Read – Coronavirus Diet: Bolster your immune system with these 6 healthy drinks

Vitamin D deficiency

Also called sunshine vitamin, this nutrient is essential for strong bones and healthy blood cells. But vitamin D is also needed for the proper functioning of t cells, b cells and dendritic cells which are all key to immune function. Sunlight is the key source of vitamin D. Try to get some sunlight daily. Dietary sources of vitamin include eggs, fatty fish, and fortified foods like milk and cereal.

Certain Medications

Some drugs target immune cells specifically to treat immunological diseases, like allergies, arthritis, lupus, IBS. Use of these drugs suppress, or reduce, the strength of the body’s immune system. Antirejection drugs – drugs used to make the body less likely to reject a transplanted organ – can also suppress your immune system.

Eating less Fruits and Veggies

Fruits and vegetables are packed with nutrients—like beta-carotene, vitamins A, C, and E, and zinc—that can boost immune function. Plant-based foods are also rich in fiber, which helps lower your body fat percentage, thereby strengthening your immune response.

High-Fat Diet

High-fat diets can impair the immune system by decreasing the function of T-lymphocytes. Too much high-fat foods (fast foods, whipped cream, fatty meats, fried foods, fatty snacks, processed meats, desserts) may alter the gut microbiota that aid in immunity. Also,hHigh-fat diets can increase risk of obesity, which can make you more prone to infections.

Smoking

Nicotine in cigarettes and other tobacco products can weaken your immunity and thus your body’s ability to fight germs. Vaping is not an exception. Researchers have found that the vaping can damage vital immune system cells, at least under laboratory conditions.

Alcohol

The World Health Organization (WHO) has advised people to cut back on drinking during the pandemic, stating that alcohol can compromises the body’s immune system and increases the risk of experiencing complications from COVID-19. Drinking too much can also put you at risk for liver diseases and some cancers. Experts recommend limiting your alcohol intake to one drink a day for women and two drinks for men.

Lack of Exercise

Exercise helps improve blood flow around your body, which allows the germ-fighting cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity (walking, biking, yoga, swimming, or other low impact workouts) for three days a week.

Less Sex

Sexually active people may take fewer sick days because they are known to have stronger immune system. A study found that people who had frequent sex (one to two times a week) had more germ-fighting substance called immunoglobulin A (IgA) in their saliva than people who had infrequent sex (less than once a week). But overdoing it can backfire. Research revealed that couples who had sex more than twice a week had lower levels of IgA than those who had no sex at all.

Published : January 3, 2021 8:00 pm | Updated:January 3, 2021 8:00 pm




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