Immunity boosters and their importance, The human body comes in contact with various microbes such as viruses and bacteria every day and needs something to fend off the diseases that might be caused by them. The body for this reason has the immune system and the function of the immune system is to prevent or limit infection. The immune system distinguishes between the healthy and the unhealthy cells and when the system recognizes these signals, it responds to address them, in turn preventing the disease. If the immune system does not respond, then it leads to something like an infection. The immune cells are present in different parts of the body but all of them come from the precursors in the bone marrow and develop into mature cells. These cells are present in the skin, bloodstream, thymus, etc. The body has two parts of the immune system- the innate immune system which a person is born with and the adaptive immune system which develops when the body is exposed to microbes.
However, there are certain times when the body fails to fend off the germs and it successfully invades and leads to sickness. Therefore, to prevent this from happening and making sure that the immune system of the body works properly, there is a need to keep the immune system healthy. There are various ways of doing so like timely sleep, a less stressful life, and immunity boosters like herbs, and other foods. These immunity boosters help in increasing the adaptive immunity of the body.
There are various reasons why immunity boosters like medicinal herbs are important for humans. As the body starts to age, the production of immune cells in the bone marrow, where the immune cells come from, starts to diminish, and hence the elderly do not respond to immune challenges as well as the younger people. Plus, for the immune system to function properly, and for the bone marrow to keep producing the B and T cells, the body needs various nutrients like vitamins, minerals, etc. Moreover, there are many environmental toxins like smoke and other particles in the air, drinking, etc which dampen the immune system’s functioning. According to a World Health Organization report, more than 39% of the world’s adults are overweight and this is also a factor for depressing the immune system of the body.
Even the current pandemic has taught us that when it comes to unprecedented diseases and mutations of those, we need to protect ourselves beginning right from within our body by strengthening the immune system. Apart from the usual working of the immune system, there is a need for boosting its efficiency.
For all the above-mentioned factors, there is a need for immunity boosters. These immunity boosters help in strengthening or enhancing the natural defenses of the body. There are various immunity boosters like Ayurvedic concoction, fruit juices, vitamin pills, medicinal herbs, etc.
However, one very important thing about immunity boosters is that they are useful only if the person has a deficiency of that particular nutrient needed for the immune system to work. Immunology experts have said that it is not possible for a healthy adult who does not have deficiencies of any nutrients to improve their immunity. Ram Vishwakarma from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research’s Indian Institute of Integrative medicine said that claims of the advertisements that consuming these will boost your immunity is irrational. Also, immunologist Satyajit Roy has said that saying that a person has low immunity would be implying that these cells are not being produced in enough number in the body which is not true for most healthy adults.
However, opposing views have been given by Nobel laureate, Linus Pauling who advocated the consumption of vitamins for boosting immunity. However, this theory has been brought into question by further research. But even if it cannot increase the immunity of a healthy person, if a person has a deficiency of any nutrients, then the immunity boosters will definitely help.
The issue is that the typical Indian diet is high-salt, high-sugar with low fiber intake. And a large number of Indians have a lower intake of vitamins and other micronutrients which are needed for the body. Especially with the factors for depressing immunity given above being so common, many people need these extra boosters for their immunity.
And hence it is important for people especially in such testing times when even going outside the house is a risk for their health, to take these immunity boosters to keep their health in check. Dr. Bhuvaneswari Shankar wrote for the Hindu in which she said that foods rich in antioxidants and minerals should be consumed to improve immunity.
Recently, the government launched a mega plantation drive that included plating saplings of medicinal plants to help boost the immunity of the people. Various plants like Amla, Amrud, Arjun, Jamun, Neem, Tulsi, and others were planted as part of this drive which the AYUSH mantralaya claims will boost the immunity of people. The government has also issued advisories on herbal and non-herbal concoctions that boost immunity.
Conclusion: In conclusion, the human body comes in contact with a lot of things that tend to depress the immune system. The immunity boosters like supplements, garlic, tea catechins, etc help us gain nutrients quicker and hence help in keeping the body healthy and helping the immune system. However, the research on this topic is still inconclusive and there are still questions about whether the immunity can be boosted of a healthy person who has no deficiencies. Nevertheless, medicinal herbs certainly help us improve our health, and as there is no harm in taking them, and with a possibility of boosting immunity, it is helpful for us to take these especially in these testing times.