'Top 10 Ways to Boost Your Immune System'If you see any rendition of these words – run. The prevalence of "health fraud" has increased drastically since the start of the COVID pandemic, with companies receiving warnings for issuing statements and claims unsupported by science and misleading, especially in the nutrition and supplement sector (list of companies who were issued warnings located here). There are dietary strategies and supplementation that can support immunity. Our immune system is a multi-layered defense system. On the frontline are our physical barriers such as our skin, mouth, eyes, and gastrointestinal tract. These physical barriers are then followed by the inflammatory response – think hand-to-hand combat - and make up our innate immunity. Next is our highly-specialized forces equipped with the necessary weaponry to target specific threats - our acquired immunity. These branches of our innate and acquired immune system work together to resist infection and illness; however, a recent publication by Neil Walsh has introduced the concept of 'tolerance' and also provides the basis for the nutrition strategies that support our immune system. Calling to action all branches of your immune system is very costly – think high energy or caloric needs, redirect resources away from vital functions, and damage tissues that can occur. Not every threat requires a full-scale response and can be, well, tolerated. Tolerance is the ability to control infection at a non-damaging level. (1) When it comes to nutrition, deficiencies in energy and nutrient intake can impair immune resistance and increase illness risk. There are specific nutrition strategies that can enhance our 'tolerance', often reducing the incidence, shortening the duration, and decreasing the severity of symptoms. (1)
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