The immune system - natural immune products (part 3)

Common causes of human disease are bacteria, viruses and molds, which enter the body by unwanted route. Another reason associated with many diseases is chronic inflammation. The human immune system has a variety of mechanisms to fight pathogens, but it sometimes requires support through supplementation or, in severe cases, treatment (e.g. antibiotics). Speaking of strengthening immunity, it is worth considering natural products that, according to scientific research, significantly improve its operation, at the same time (as befits nature), do not have negative effects.

Antioxidants, antioxidants - what are they?

By definition, these are chemical compounds that are able to prevent the oxidation of other substances. In the human body, their role is reduced to neutralizing free radicals, which in the immune reaction, apart from eliminating threats, may cause negative effects, especially when they are present in excess. The simplest antioxidants are vitamins A, C, E; minerals: zinc and selenium and products of plant origin that constitute the defense mechanisms of plants, including: lycopene (tomatoes), betanin (red beets), anthocyanins (black currant, chokeberry), beta-carotene (carrots). Currently, the recommended addition of vegetables and fruits to each meal (4-5 servings a day) ensures an adequate daily supply of antioxidants.

Reishi (Ganoderma Lucidum)

It occurs on all continents, but in Europe in small numbers, with the status of potentially endangered. In eastern medicine, it is considered a medicinal mushroom. The active substances are polysaccharides that act on various body functions. The studies showed an increase in the production of lymphocytes and NK cells (natural killer), which may reduce the incidence of disease in people taking this product. In addition, if you get sick, recovery should be faster as the body's defense response will be stronger.

Shiitake (Lentinula Edodes)

Another Eastern medicine mushroom that can significantly affect the immune system. Shiitake has vitamins in its composition, but its strength is due to other substances. Lentinan contained in this fungus has an anti-cancer effect, and also increases the production and activity of macrophages, lymphocytes and NK cells and LAK. All of these immune cells work to our advantage. In the light of research, Shiitake extract seems to be a good method of anti-cancer prophylaxis and may have a positive effect on overall immunity.

Turmeric - curcumin

Turmeric is a popular plant that contains curcumin - the basic active substance. It has the ability to increase the body's antioxidant potential. The research showed an increase in natural antioxidant enzymes (catalase, SOD, glutathione) after the use of curcumin, which may have a positive effect on the body and eliminate free radicals. The ability to reduce inflammation has also been noticed, it may be indirectly related to the increase in the production of antioxidants. Additionally, in some studies, other positive effects were observed: fatigue reduction, blood pressure reduction, analgesic effect. It can also be used as a support in the treatment of depression.

Black pepper - piperine

Pepper as one of the most popular spices in the world is also used in herbal medicine. Currently, the most popular use for the piperine contained in it is to support weight loss by increasing the body temperature. Although it is not a product that alone (ie without an appropriate diet) can significantly reduce body weight, dietary supplements from the group of "fat burners" are very popular. However, it is worth taking advantage of the real benefits of pepper: increasing the bioavailability of curcumin by up to 2000% (and thus increasing its effect described above), antibiotic action against some bacteria, reducing inflammation.


One of the flagship products recommended by everyone to support immunity. Although it is associated with the fight against colds, a wide effect on the cardiovascular system can be observed among scientific studies. Garlic can lower the level of "bad" LDL cholesterol and increase the level of "good" HDL, and may reduce total cholesterol in the blood. It is important in some diseases, e.g. atherosclerosis or ischemic heart disease. In terms of standard immunity support, an increase in the number of lymphocytes has been noted in studies on groups of people consuming garlic, and it also has antioxidant properties. Garlic contains alliin, it is a substance that, after appropriate changes, has a strong antibiotic effect. When garlic is crushed, alliin changes into allicin under the influence of the enzyme allinase, and that's what she fights bacteria. Therefore, it is worth bearing in mind this fact when consuming garlic - the strongest effect will be left after crushing for some time.

Supporting the immune system is important to maintaining good health. In a state of physiological equilibrium, the body can use its mechanisms to defend itself, but today's lifestyle and environment are not conducive to maintaining health and the fully proper functioning of all systems in the human body. Substances found in foods or supplements (in a concentrated form) can be a good way to support immunity, both in pathological conditions and in prophylaxis.


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Oral supplementation of turmeric attenuates proteinuria, transforming growth factor-β and interleukin-8 levels in patients with overt type 2 diabetic nephropathy: a randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled study. Khajehdehi P1, Pakfetrat M, Javidnia K, Azad F, Malekmakan L, Nasab MH, Dehghanzadeh G. Scand J Urol Nephrol. 2011 Nov;45(5):365-70. doi: 10.3109/00365599.2011.585622. Epub 2011 May 31.

Supplementation with aged garlic extract improves both NK and γδ-T cell function and reduces the severity of cold and flu symptoms: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled nutrition intervention. Nantz MP1, Rowe CA, Muller CE, Creasy RA, Stanilka JM, Percival SS. Clin Nutr. 2012 Jun;31(3):337-44. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2011.11.019. Epub 2012 Jan 24.

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Opublikowany dnia 20.03.2019 Damian Samólnik 1969

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