Immunity involves a complex network of specialized cells and organs that have evolved to defend the body against attacks by foreign invaders such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and other parasites. When our immune system malfunctions, the consequences can range from microbial infections such as colds, flu and other viruses, to cancer.
The two basic types of immunity are termed innate and acquired. Innate immunity known as genetic or species immunity, represents the immune protective factors that a person is born with. Acquired Immunity becomes part of the host's defenses by means other than heredity. Acquired immunity can be acquired naturally through recovery from a specific infectious disease or artificially when a host receives a vaccine or antitoxin.
Many nutritional supplement ingredients are effective in supporting immune system health. Some of the popular and scientifically substantiated ingredients include:
Echinacea: stimulates the immune system by increasing the activity of certain immune cells and by promoting the release of cytokines from these immune cells;
Elderberry: has been found to bind to viruses and block their ability to invade host cells;
Vitamin D3 : is a key component in enhancing the immune cells to seek out and destroy infectious invading microbes;