Are supplements that boost the immune system always good for you?

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Are supplements that boost the immune system always good for you?

There is no scientific evidence showing that taking food supplements prevents the onset of diseases

The immune system works around the clock to protect us from bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites that could cause disease. It consists of an extremely complex network of cells and molecules (such as antibodies) that researchers from all over the world are studying intensively, but there is still a lot to understand. This is why there are numerous myths about the immune system and commercial enterprises have exploited them. Many supplements on the market claim to increase the activity of the immune system. But the concept of increasing immunity actually makes little sense scientifically. In fact, increasing the number of cells in the body or the amount of antibodies, for example, may not necessarily be good. As the name suggests, the immune system is made up of a set of cells and molecules whose functions and interconnections are very complex Which cells or molecules should be increased?
Science has so far given no answers. There is some evidence that various micronutrient deficiencies - for example, deficiencies in zinc, selenium, iron, copper, folic acid, and vitamins A, B6, C, and E - alter immune responses. It is therefore not false to claim that the components contained in many supplements are important or fundamental for the immune system, but it is false to claim that taken in addition to a balanced diet they will improve immune efficiency. Many herbal preparations claim to "support" immunity or otherwise improve the health of the immune system.Demonstrating whether a herb - or any other substance - can improve immunity is still a very complicated question. Scientists don't know, for example, if a herb that appears to raise blood antibody levels is actually doing something beneficial for general immunity: allergies, for example, are linked to high production of antibodies to components. completely harmless to our health like pollen. Nobody knows how many cells or what the best mix of cells the immune system needs to function at its optimum level.
For now, there are no scientifically proven direct links between lifestyle and enhanced immune function. Researchers are exploring the effects of diet, exercise, age, psychological stress and other factors on the immune response in both animals and humans. Meanwhile, follow general lifestyle guidelines healthy is the best choice for keeping the immune system healthy and strong. Every part of the body, including the immune system, functions best when protected from environmental aggression and supported by healthy living strategies such as these: do not smoke, consume fruits and vegetables regularly, exercise, get enough sleep, wash your hands often, and so on.

1. Calder PC. Feeding the immune system. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society. 2013; 72: 299-309

2. Ueland PM, McCAnn A, Midttun O, Ulvik A. Inflammation, vitamin B6 and related pathways. Molecular Aspects of Medicine. 2017; 53: 10-27

3. Carr AC, Maggini S. Vitamin C and Immune Function. Nutrients. 2017; 3: 9

4. Harvard Health Publishing. Harvard Medical School. How to boost your immune system 2017

5. Lasselin J, Alvarez-Salas E, Grigoleit JS. Well-being and immune response: a multi-system perspective. Current Opinion in Pharmacology. 2016; 29: 34-41

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