Before we discuss the benefits of antioxidants let’s have a quick biology refresher. As you may recall, our blood contains both red and white blood cells. Red blood cells primarily carry oxygen and collect carbon dioxide through the use of haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is an iron-containing protein that gives red blood cells their colour and facilitates transportation of oxygen from the lungs to tissues and carbon dioxide from tissues to the lungs to be exhaled. White blood cells are the cells of the immune system that are involved in protecting the body against both infectious disease and foreign invaders.
Fortifying your white blood cells and supporting your red blood cells will help your fight off viruses faster and may even help guard you from getting sick in the first place! While there are many nutrients that help fortify these white blood cells, let’s take a closer look at antioxidants. Antioxidants are substances that can prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals, unstable molecules that the body produces as a reaction to environmental and other pressures.
Antioxidants are found to be some of the best immune boosters around and until more recently have been given very little thought to by the average person. Antioxidants like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Carotenoids all play a vital role on boosting our immune system.
Vitamin A will increase the number of lymphocyte white blood cells in your body.
These cells attack and kill foreign invaders. Your body does produce some vitamin A, but it is recommended to supplement this vitamin and add to your immune fighting capabilities.
Vitamin C improves your immune system by increasing your body’s production of white blood cells and antibodies that fight viruses and bacteria. It also increases the levels of interferon, the antibody that coats the surfaces of your cells and stops viruses from entering them to begin with.
Vitamin E naturally stimulates the production of what are known as “killer cells.” These are cells that seek out and kill off germ cells. Vitamin E also improves the production of B-cells. These are cells from your immune system that produce antibodies that will kill bacteria. Vitamin E supplements may actually reverse the decline in immune system response that is often seen in the elderly. The Harvard School of Public Health studied about 87,000 nurses and found that vitamin E supplements cut the risk of heart attacks by an incredible 50 percent!*
Carotenoids Beta-carotene will increase the number of natural killer cells, T-cells, combined with being a powerful antioxidant that cleans up those nasty free radicals that cause our bodies so much damage and premature aging.
Antioxidants are said to help neutralise free radicals in our bodies, and this is thought to boost overall health. While antioxidants are found in many fruits and vegetables it is not always about what we consume but rather what our bodies absorb. Immune Boost combines vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and antioxidants to support your immune system and keep it fighting strong. Find out more about Immune Boost and all the benefits here.