Preparations for strengthening the immune system

What is immunity?

Until recently, the achievements of modern medicine did not give cause for excitement. Antibiotics, vaccines, vaccinations – it seemed that all infections were under human control. But the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that infectious diseases have not ceased to be a threat. Interest in immunity has recently increased so much, as if the main goal of all mankind was to find an answer to the question: “How to strengthen immunity? How to protect yourself from infection?”.

The year of the beginning of modern immunology is considered to be 1786. It was then that the village doctor Edward Jenner noticed that milkmaids who had been ill with the cowpox virus were not susceptible to the smallpox virus, which was deadly at that time. Jenner revealed a relationship: women have formed a defense that protects them from contracting a more serious disease.

Preparations for strengthening the immune system

Over the next centuries, science has moved far ahead in the study of our immune system.

Immunity is our body’s defense system against something alien, dangerous to us. The defense reaction begins from the moment the enemy “agent” is recognized, then it is removed and the negative traces of this infection are eliminated in the body.

In the structure of immunity, there are 2 types: congenital and acquired. Innate immunity acts immediately. His soldiers: phagocytes, interferons, inflammatory mediators. As soon as the enemy is spotted, its destruction occurs. Acquired immunity is more complicated. When an enemy is detected, the body forms an immune response, creates specialized cells against this infectious agent, and only then eliminates it. This type of immunity allows you to remember the infection and react much faster next time. Thus, in the memory of acquired immunity there is a whole list of our “enemies”. Moreover, each person has an individual list.
Special organs are responsible for the production of cells involved in the protection of the body. These are the thymus gland (or thymus) and bone marrow. In them, the maturation and selection of cells takes place. And the launch of these processes is helped by lymph nodes located in the area of large joints (shoulder, elbow, knee, hip) and in the neck. They, connected by lymphatic vessels, serve as filters for antigens, delaying them and activating protective reactions.

Also, immunity depends on the intestinal microflora. It is believed that 70% of the immune system is located there. The task of this area is to recognize dangerous particles entering through the oral cavity and neutralize them, and to skip the less dangerous ones further so that the body reacts to them and develops protective cells.

Thus, immunity is the totality of all organs and cells in the body that recognize and destroy foreign substances. Represented by completely different cells and organs, the immune system acts as a single defense mechanism, constantly strengthening and improving under the influence of external factors.

Why do we still get sick? If the immune system is constantly on guard, why do some bacteria or viruses cause us to develop the disease?

Because we live surrounded by microbes and it is impossible to completely isolate ourselves from them. But it’s not necessary! After all, there are not only “bad”, but also “good” bacteria. And in small quantities, they are like a free vaccine – they only increase our defenses. Therefore, sterilizing everything around and constantly drinking antibiotics is completely unnecessary and even harmful. In order to prevent infection, it is enough to maintain your immune system and wash your hands thoroughly. We cannot influence the actions of infected people, but we can adjust our lifestyle and increase our level of protection.

Now, when most countries are talking about the introduction of quarantine, when we are forced to stay at home, we need to think about preventive measures and health maintenance. Against the background of isolation, the usual regime is disrupted, the sleep schedule is knocked down, physical activity is almost at zero, and bad habits in the diet, on the contrary, take up. A lot of sweets, alcohol, an excessive amount of food – all this in the long term negatively affects the immune system and the state of the body as a whole.

Signs of reduced immunity?

Sometimes the immune system becomes inhibited. He does not begin to distinguish infections in the body so well, does not react so sharply to them — a disease occurs.

And sometimes, on the contrary— it is too active — it begins to attack not only alien enemy cells, but also harmless cells of the native organism. In such cases, they talk about autoimmune processes, these include: gluten intolerance, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, Hashimoto’s autoimmune thyroiditis.
Let’s analyze in more detail the first situation when the body’s defenses are reduced. What should I pay attention to?

  1. Frequent respiratory viral diseases and bacterial infections;
  2.  Lung lesions on the background of respiratory diseases with a prolonged and severe course (infection from the upper parts quickly descends into the lower parts of the respiratory system and damages the lung tissue);
  3. Frequent pustular inflammation of the skin. The skin is a barrier organ, it resists the penetration of infection inside. But with a decrease in immunity, the infection begins to develop, penetrating from the surface layers of the skin into deeper ones. Frequent boils, inflammation of the eyelids (barley), abscesses — all these are signs of weakening of the body’s defenses;
  4. Fungal lesions of nails, skin, mucous membranes. With the development of fungal diseases, dynamic equilibrium most often occurs. That is, the fungus seeks to penetrate deep into the body, but cannot, and the immune system tries to suppress and reject the infection, but also cannot do it. In this case, the process becomes chronic and can take years;
  5. Recurrent diseases of the ENT organs (for example, frequent inflammation of the throat or rhinitis) and organs of the genitourinary system (inflammation of the bladder, inflammation of the kidneys);
  6. Long-term healing of wound surfaces. With small injuries, complete wound healing occurs within 14 days. In cases of immunodeficiency, healing is much slower, and the most dangerous thing is that bacterial infection may occur and the development of purulent complications.
    With reduced immunity, patients experience weakness, mood deterioration, drowsiness, chronic fatigue, decreased mobility and frequent headaches.

There are also factors that in most cases reveal a deficiency of immunity. These include chronic stress, lack of sleep, old age, menopause in women and even the time of year. It has been revealed that during the cold period, the frequency of diseases increases, so it is not superfluous to maintain the immune forces of the body by outside forces.

How to strengthen the immune system?

Strengthening of immunity should take place in a complex way. Strengthening measures include:
1) Lifestyle and nutrition correction;
2) Receiving funds to maintain and strengthen immunity.

Lifestyle consists of several factors: physical activity, emotional state, sleep, nutrition and the absence of bad habits.

Preparations for strengthening the immune system

Moderate physical activity is important at any age. With their help, we maintain a normal body weight. And a normal body weight is the basis of a strong immune system. Aerobic exercise: light running, walking, cycling – reduce the risk of seasonal diseases by almost half. There are studies proving the positive effect of physical activity on the intestinal microflora. But it is she who is one of the main links in the immune system. After a month of constant physical activity, bacteria accumulate in the intestine, which produce substances that strengthen the immune system. Also, sports cause the renewal of immune cells, which have greater protective activity, unlike old cells.

Emotional state directly affects our immune system. With a prolonged predominance of any emotional reaction, the immune system is depleted, weakens. Constant stress, prolonged aggression or anger, depression and even prolonged social isolation cause exacerbation of chronic diseases and increase the risk of acquiring new diseases. And vice versa – positive emotions and hobbies (meditation, needlework, watching funny and kind movies) allow the body to cope with infections faster.

Sleep is an important process during which the information received during the day is processed, cells are renewed and the body’s strength is replenished. With a lack of sleep, the immune system weakens, and the rate of reaction to the causative agent of the disease slows down. Sometimes such a slowdown is enough for the development of a complete clinical picture of the disease and the occurrence of complications in the body. The amount of sleep should be at least 7-8 hours. With a disease, a person does not accidentally feel increased drowsiness, because this is a great way to restore strength.

Food. The most important thing in nutrition is maintaining balance. Many people understand the harm of excessive nutrition — too much trans fats, fast food, sweet and flour reduce the defenses. But a lack of nutrition also negatively affects a person. Food is a source of building material for the cells of our body. And the quality of this material depends on us. It is important to have a balanced diet and sufficient water content in the diet.

Alcohol and smoking have a detrimental effect on the immune system. The restoration of immunity implies a complete or almost complete rejection of these bad habits.

In addition to all these important aspects of healthy immunity, it is necessary to understand that medicine does not stand still. Scientific communities constantly prove or refute the activity of certain substances in relation to immunity. To get to the market, a pharmaceutical drug undergoes clinical trials, in which it proves its safety and positive effect on the immune system. A group of such active substances refers to immunostimulants (immunomodulators).

Types of immunostimulants:

  • Homeopathic remedies;
  • Natural preparations;
  • Medicines based on bacteria;
  • Interferon-based medications;
  • Vitamins to protect the immune system (Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin D);
  • Funds based on the thymus gland;

Homeopathic medicines

Treatment with homeopathic medicines is referred to as alternative medicine. The effect of such medicines is more complex, gentle, natural, these medicines are usually sold over-the-counter. It is important to understand that a complete rejection of traditional methods of treatment in favor of homeopathy is not safe. Such remedies can only be considered in complex treatment.

Aflubin

A natural complex preparation for the prevention and treatment of viral diseases. It contains three active plant components – gentian, aconite and bryony. According to the manufacturer’s research, it has an immunomodulatory effect and is able to reduce inflammatory processes in the body. Antiviral activity is also observed when taking the drug.

The drug is available in the form of tablets and drops. In the prevention of acute respiratory viral infections and influenza, adults and children from 12 years of age are recommended 1 tablet or 10 drops of the drug 2 times a day for 3 weeks. Children under 12 years of age — 1-2 tablets or 5 drops 2 times a day. The reception should be carried out 30 minutes before a meal or 1 hour after it.

Preparations of natural origin

According to WHO estimates, about 80% of the world’s population uses herbal preparations as medicine. Many people with mild and moderate diseases prefer to resort to herbal remedies as a more useful and environmentally friendly way to fight infection. Herbal teas, infusions and decoctions help not only in maintaining immunity, but also in restoring strength after illness.

Spirulina-VAL

Spirulina is a blue-green algae containing a huge variety of trace elements. The uniqueness of spirulina is that it contains beta-carotene (Vitamin A) and phycocyanins. Phycocyanin is a powerful natural immunostimulant and antioxidant. It has a positive effect on bone marrow stem cells, cells involved in the destruction of antibodies (macrophages) and the thymus gland, and also reduces the amount of free radicals, which prevents the development of cancer. It has a positive effect on the intestinal microflora, hair and skin condition.
It is recommended to take 2 tablets 3 times a day with meals. The drug is approved for use in children. Since spirulina is a freshwater algae, the iodine content in Spirulina-VAL is not much. But people with increased thyroid function should consult with their doctor before use.

Echinacea

At the moment, there are many studies claiming the high effectiveness of echinacea as an immunostimulator. The active compounds of polysaccharides, essential oils and flavonoids contained in the plant stimulate the production of leukocytes and immunoglobulins, as well as accelerate their movement and activity in the focus of infection. Echinacea is available in the form of solutions, tinctures, tablets or capsules. The manufacturer recommends taking capsules 1 a day for 2-3 weeks, as the effect is cumulative.

Echinacea also has contraindications: people with hypersensitivity to the components of the drug, as well as those suffering from autoimmune diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis) should refrain from taking echinacea and consider other options for maintaining immunity.

A combination of extracts from the nervous tissue of squid, nucleic acids and fucoidan from brown seaweed, developed by Far Eastern scientists. Fucoidan blocks the penetration of the virus into the cell, preventing its further reproduction, and peptides from the nervous tissue of Far Eastern squid contribute to increased absorption of pathogenic microorganisms by cells of the immune system and contribute to an increase in the number of antibodies.

Nucleic acids of marine origin activate the mechanism of natural restoration of immunity and help to increase the body’s resistance.
It is recommended to take a course of 1 capsule 1 time a day from the age of 18. Since the product is made from marine components, people with thyroid diseases should first consult with an endocrinologist.

Drugs based on bacteria (bacterial lysates).

Bacterial lysates are fragments of bacterial cells that have lost their viability, but still have immune activity. The first such drugs appeared in the 70s of the XX century. Over the past time, there have been many convincing studies proving their clinical effectiveness. The purpose of such drugs is not only to activate the immune system, to destroy the infection, but also to reduce the severity of the inflammatory reaction, i.e., to reduce the symptoms of colds and alleviate the patient’s condition. In the presence of a focus of chronic infection, therapy with bacterial lysates allows this focus to be completely eliminated.
The inclusion of bacterial immunomodulators in therapy (especially respiratory infections) reduces the need for anti-inflammatory and antibacterial drugs, which has a positive effect on the whole body.

Broncho-munal

One of the most popular drugs in the group of bacterial lysates. The composition of the drug includes components of 8 bacteria. These are strains that are most often the causative agent of respiratory tract infection. Once inside the body, the drug affects the intestinal mucosa, where the cells of the immune response are concentrated. Then these active cells are sent to the tissues of the respiratory tract, where they realize their protective functions. In addition, the drug increases the production of other immune cells (cytokines and interferons), which generally increases the body’s defenses.

The drug can be used in both adults and children from 6 months. It is available in the form of capsules in a dosage of 7 mg (for adults) and 3.5 mg (for children). Contraindication: pregnancy and lactation. Dosage — 1 capsule a day in the morning, 1 hour before meals. For prevention, the duration of admission is 10 days, then a break of 20 days. During the illness, the drug is taken until the symptoms disappear, but not less than 10 days.

Ismigen

Ismigen, as well as all bacterial lysates, activates several links of immunity at once. This is both local immunity and systemic. Activates phagocytosis (i.e. absorption of infectious cells by the body), increases the number of immune cells, increases the concentration of immunoglobulins. As a result of treatment, the duration of the active period of respiratory infection is reduced, the symptoms of fever and cough are relieved, and the need for antibacterial drugs is reduced. In case of recurrent respiratory tract diseases (chronic bronchitis), the drug prevents exacerbation, helping to avoid the manifestation of clinical symptoms of the disease.

Preparations for strengthening the immune system
The product is available in the form of tablets, which are placed under the tongue in the morning on an empty stomach, until complete resorption. 1 tablet a day for 10 days is enough to achieve the effect. It is used both in children from 3 years old and in adulthood. A contraindication is pregnancy and lactation, as well as individual intolerance to the components of the drug.

Interferon-based medications

Interferons and interferon inducers (i.e. drugs that provoke the production of interferon in the body) can be attributed to drugs with a pronounced immunomodulatory effect. Although the drugs in this group are more antiviral, the interferon molecule is part of the immune system that affects all parts of the immune system. Interferon stimulates the work of the bone marrow, activates macrophages and other specific cells of the immune system. Studies show that after the introduction of interferon inducers into the body, the formation of a general (non-specific) protection of the body occurs, which can be kept at a high level for weeks, unlike interferon produced in the body (it loses its activity much earlier).

Interferon inducers do not cause antigenic activity (i.e. they do not activate the drug rejection reaction). Even a single administration of such drugs causes prolonged production of interferon.

Cycloferon

A low molecular weight interferon inducer with high biological activity. The drug is able to retain and strengthen its own antiviral immunity. Cycloferon has a high safety profile, which allows it to be used in people with chronic diseases.

The drug is available in the form of ointment, tablets and injections. When taking tablets, it is enough to take one 1 time a day, in the morning, 1 hour before meals. Admission to children is allowed from the age of 4. The drug is prescribed according to a special scheme, the reception lasts about 3 weeks. Cycloferon is more often used in the treatment of acute respiratory viral infections, but its use is also permissible in prevention, especially when contact with an infected person has been detected.

Amixin

The problem of antiviral drugs is the suppressive effect on the immune system. Amixin is one of the few drugs in this group that not only has a detrimental effect on a wide range of viruses, but also stimulates the body’s immune defense. There are a number of studies proving that against the background of preventive administration of the drug, the incidence of ARVI decreased 3.6 times! If the reception was carried out for therapeutic purposes, then the duration of the disease was less, as well as the frequency of complications against the background of ARVI. The active ingredient of Amixin is tilorone, which was synthesized in the 70s of the twentieth century. Amixin is available in the form of tablets. Admission is allowed for children from 7 years old and adults. As a prevention of influenza and SARS, only 1 tablet per week is used for 6 weeks.

Vitamins to strengthen the immune system.

Trace elements are substances contained in the body in small amounts, but extremely important for the normal functioning of all organs, including the immune system. These include 13 essential vitamins and about 20 minerals. Their lack can lead to various diseases related to metabolism. Vitamin C, A and D deficiency have a particularly negative effect on the immune system.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is found in almost all fruits and vegetables to a greater or lesser extent. It acts as an antioxidant and participates in the production of antibody cells, in the process of reproduction of macrophages, enhances their activity and mobility. Thanks to chemist Linus Pauling, who received the Nobel Prize, taking high doses of vitamin C has become so popular that it is still the first vitamin recommended for colds. But an excess of vitamin is just as negative as its deficiency. Therefore, for a positive effect from taking it, you should focus on the average daily doses, namely 65-90 mg per day, depending on age.

Vitamin A

A trace element that supports vision, growth and development of the body. It stabilizes the immune system, protecting it from infections, as it has a positive effect on the health of the skin, mucous membranes, respiratory system, stomach and intestines. That is, he takes part in building a barrier for infections. It is important to understand that high dosages of retinol (vitamin A of animal origin) also have a negative effect if the person who uses it has a dependence on smoking. Therefore, when taking high doses of vitamin A, a doctor’s consultation is necessary.

Vitamin D

It has long been known that vitamin D helps strengthen bone tissue, but relatively recently scientific studies have confirmed the benefits of vitamin D in relation to immunity. Vitamin D is produced in the skin under the influence of sunlight. Our latitudes in autumn and winter do not allow us to get the right portion of sunlight. At the moment, some doctors are of the opinion that it is preferable to avoid sun exposure due to harmful ultraviolet radiation, and therefore vitamin D should be taken all year round, simply adjusting the dose for the spring-summer period. Sunlight also accelerates the movement of certain types of immune cells through the body, which increases the speed of reaction to the causative agent of the disease.
With a high content of vitamin D, it is easier for the body to fight diseases such as multiple sclerosis, asthma, cardiovascular diseases, cancer. It helps to maintain the barrier functions of our skin, intestines and lungs, helps to suppress excessive immune response in the body, preventing the development of autoimmune diseases.

An overdose of vitamin D is also undesirable. It can lead to a significant increase in the level of calcium in the blood. Therefore, it should be taken in consultation with a doctor and not exceeding the doses indicated in the instructions for use.

For example, the drug Aquadetrim is recommended up to 2 drops per day for preventive purposes.
Preparations of the thymus gland (thymus).

The thymus is a small organ in which the cells of the immune system mature. In humans, the thymus develops before puberty, then with age it undergoes reverse development. In old age, it is barely distinguishable from the surrounding tissues.

Thymalin

It is a highly purified extract from the thymus gland of calves, which helps to restore the immune response, stimulates the production of immune cells, regeneration and hematopoiesis processes. This drug is used intramuscularly in the form of injections. For preventive purposes, it is prescribed for adults 5-10 mg daily, for children from 6 months 1-5 mg daily for 3-5 days.

Polyoxidonium

The drug has a complex action, therefore it differs somewhat from the above groups. The uniqueness of the drug is in its activity. It is able to fight not only viruses, but also fungal and bacterial diseases. It is suitable for patients with high allergenic sensitivity, as it does not contain plant components and bacterial DNA components. Polyoxidonium is recommended for active inflammation, to reduce the symptoms of intoxication and for the prevention of acute respiratory viral infections in frequently ill patients. The form of release of the drug: lyophilizate, suppositories, tablets. Lyophilizate is used in children from 6 months, suppositories and tablets are allowed for use in children from 3 years old.

The immune system is responsible for all areas of our health, both physical and emotional. In order for our defense to be in constant readiness, it needs help. Immune health is the state of the whole organism, achieved not only by taking medications, but also by lifestyle, and even thinking. It is in our hands to help immunity today so that it protects us tomorrow. Be healthy!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *