The Immune System
With a strong immune system, colds don't affect us, or they
last for only a few days. With a weak immune system, you end
up with more colds, and colds that drag on for weeks.
According to Darshan Kelley and Adrianne Bendich, writing in
the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (June 1996.
63:6), "...chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease,
cancer, and arthritis also have their roots in disorders of
the immune system; the course of several of these can be
altered by nutritional interventions."
Yes. Although to some this sounds
odd, especially in a society that holds up surgery as the
solution to health questions, nutrition does play a role in
disease. As Ranjit Kumar Chandra, one of the leading experts
in immunology and nutrition, notes, "It is now generally
accepted that nutrition is an important determinant of immune
responses." What Chandra believes is simple: What a person
eats affects his or her ability to resist disease.
How exactly does diet affect immunity? It is acknowledged
that a variety of nutrients will beef up individual components
of the immune system. Let's take a look.
Nutrients and the Immune
Beta carotene/Vitamin A: Beta
carotene has been shown to increase natural killer cells in
the elderly and to play a role in directing the immune system
to kill cancerous cells. Vitamin A aids in the efficient
production of T cells and aids the kidney in filtering and
removing immunological debris from the blood; is necessary for
the production of bacteria-fighting chemicals in ears, saliva,
and sweat; and stimulates the activity of T and B cells in
fighting infection. Your body turns beta carotene into vitamin
Vitamin B complex: Affects all aspects of the immune
system, increases antibody response, keeps the thymus active,
maintains the body's ability to destroy bacteria, and keeps
cellular immune responses efficient.
Vitamin C: Helps the thymus make T cells and
stimulates other white blood cells to kill bacteria. It is
important for the production of interferon, a substance that
battles viruses. A vitamin C deficiency can show up in
decreased activity of bacteria-eating cells and slowed
Vitamin E: Stimulates antibody production and speeds
up T cell reactions.
Potassium and copper: provide energy to drive
biochemical reaction in lymphoid cells.
Iron: Affects lymph nodes, energizes T cells, and is
essential in the process by which white blood cells kill
Zinc: Affects helper and suppressor T cell
The AIM Products and the
Immune SystemAIM has a number of products that
can help maintain a healthy immune system, and thus help you
take responsibility for your health maintenance.
Garden Trio, which combines BarleyLife, Just Carrots,
and RediBeets, is the premier product for health
provides a wide spectrum of vitamins and minerals, including
those important to the immune system. Although these are not
found in the Food and Drug Administration's Recommended Daily
Allowances (RDA) quantities, they work together to help the
body help itself.
According to Eugene Wagner, Ph.D., at the Center for
Medical Education, Ball State University, subjects taking
Barleygreen in a small trial "exhibited statistically
significant increases in the percentage of their circulating
leukocytes that were neutrophils and in total complement
levels . . ." The author goes on to say that, "It would be
premature to draw any definite conclusions from this pilot
study. However, one could hypothesize that the statistically
significant increases in the percent neutrophils and
circulating complement levels, both components of non-specific
immune defense in the nutritionally supplement group could
reflect a more efficient first line of defense."
A serving of JustCarrots
provides up to 360 percent of the RDA for vitamin A as beta
carotene, and beta carotene is a proven immune booster.
According to Richard Passwater, Ph.D., in his book, Beta
Carotene and Other Carotenoids, beta carotene
supplementation has been shown to enhance some, but not all,
aspects of cell-mediated immunity in healthy older men, and
taking beta carotene daily could improve the ratio of T cells
in healthy nonsmoking men. A recent study has shown that beta
carotene may increase natural killer cells in older men.
provides traces of folic acid, another important maintenance
vitamin. Folic acid is considered essential for pregnant women
because of evidence that the risk of spina bifida and other
neural tube defect in newborn infants drops if mothers take
more folic acid before and during pregnancy. However, the
benefit of folic acid to decreasing the risk of cardiovascular
disease may be even greater. This is because folic acid works
to convert the amino acid homocysteine to a harmless form.
Homocysteine is linked to heart problems.
Garlic is also a proven immune booster, and Bear
Paw Garlic brings you some of these properties.
According to Dallas Clouatre, Ph.D., A. ursinum, which
is used for Bear Paw Garlic, fights free radicals and
activates macrophages, important constituents of the immune
And of course, antioxidants are very important in
maintaining health. Antioxidants combat free radicals. which
are renegade molecules that many health practitioners say are
linked to disease.