Skip to main content

Oils by Jo

Please call 07770 302504  |  jo@oilsbyjo.co.uk

Understanding the Immune System

By Jo Hunt
Friday, January 19, 2018

What is Your Immune System?

With the responsibility of protecting your body from illness and disease, your immune system is one of the most important components of your overall health.

This complex network of cells, tissues, and organs works together to fight off fungi, bacteria, parasites, and other microbes while maintaining healthy tissue. While we are just beginning to understand how this intricate communication works, modern science has helped us identify lifestyle behaviors that support its proper function.

The immune system isn’t a single entity, but a collection of structures and processes that protect us against disease or other potentially dangerous foreign bodies. The main components of the immune system are the lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow, lymphocytes, thymus, and leuokocytes. Lymph nodes are the bean-shaped structures that store and help transport the cells that fight infection. The spleen contains the white blood cells, assists with blood circulation, and helps dispose of old and damaged cells. Bone marrow, the yellow tissue inside bones, produces white blood cells. The two types of lymphocytes, B and T-cells, are the white blood cells that actually defend the body against bacteria, toxins, and infections. The thymus is the leaf-shaped organ where the T-cells mature. Lastly, leuokocytes are another type of white blood cell, responsible for identifying and eliminating pathogens. We are exposed to countless potentially harmful microbes on a day-to-day basis, when functioning properly, the immune system distinguishes these threats from our healthy tissue and attacks them.

Nutrition: While there is no specific food, nutrient, or supplement that has been proven to directly improve the immune system on its own, its function depends on the vitamins and minerals provided by a balanced diet of whole fruits, vegetables, grains, and lean proteins. Malnourishment and micronutrient deficiencies can result in altered immune responses and increased risk for illness. In particular, in vitro studies have demonstrated that deficiencies of minerals zinc, selenium, and iron and vitamins A, B6, C, and E may be correlated with altered immune responses. Supplementing your diet with specific vitamins, minerals, and probiotics may build up and fortify the immune system. Microplex VMz food nutrient complex is rich in vitamin D3, which has been shown to support a healthy immune system. PB Assist + probiotic defence formula contains six strains of microogranisms which support the healthy functioning of the immune system by maintaining balance and proliferation of beneficial bacteria.* Additionally, some essential oils such as Oregano may help maintain a healthy immune system when taken internally. Add 2–3 drops to a veggie capsule or try doTERRA On Guard + softgels for daily immune support. Taken daily, along with a healthy balanced diet, these supplements can be your first line of defence in preserving immune system health.

Exercise: While recent research has shown that failure to exercise can temporarily decrease healthy immune response and make you more susceptible to illness, exercise contributes to overall health and well-being, subsequently contributing to the maintenance of a healthy immune system. It is believed that regular exercise may also directly promote immune system health by promoting improved circulation, allowing the components of the immune system to move freely and do their job more effectively. The natural support of energy production and healthy circulation provided by taking Mito2Max energy and stamina complex can help you make physical activity a part of your daily life, contributing to a healthy immune system.

Sleep: Both quantity and quality of sleep are important for maintaining a healthy immune system. The effectiveness of rest is dependent on the circadian biological clock, which regulates the timing of periods of sleepiness and wakefulness throughout the day. It is important that we get enough sleep and that we follow a consistent schedule of activity and rest periods. If we are sleep deprived, our T-cells, lymphocytes that play a central role in cell-mediated immunity, decrease the presence of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Furthermore, sleep influences the interaction between antigens, any substance that the body must produce antibodies to fight off, and T helper cells such as interleukin-12, in a process known as immunological memory. In one study, researchers found that the length and quality of sleep the previous night affected the production of antigenspecific T-cells in response to a hepatitis A vaccination. With each interruption in your sleep pattern comes a decrease in your body’s ability to respond to the intruders it needs to fight off to stay healthy. Put a few drops of Lavender in the diffuser and enjoy its relaxing aroma as you hit the sheets. A peaceful environment can promote a restful night’s sleep to keep that immune system ticking.

Healthy lifestyle behaviours not only influence how you look and feel, but your body’s ability to ward off harmful invaders. Support your immune system by cleaning up that diet, adding some immune-supporting supplements and oils to your daily routine, getting up off the couch, and getting into a consistent sleeping pattern.

Here is a link for some further information on the immune system https://www.doterra.com/US/en/immune-support-presentation

Is your immune system ready for winter?Our immune system is an especially important part of overall health.

It is especially important to be mindful of our immune system during transitional times of the year, for instance, the beginning of a new school year when exposure to environmental threats increases. Many lifestyle factors can also weaken our immune system, including stress, lack of sleep, exposure to toxicity, and poor nutrition. Managing each of these areas and adopting a model of consistency that actively supports the immune system is an excellent way to maintain health throughout the year.

Although the physiologic functioning of the immune system is complex, it can be broken down into two main parts–fixed and mobile immunity. Fixed immunity serves as the body’s first line of defense against potential threats by preventing harmful elements from ever entering circulation. This type of immunity is composed of the various protective barriers that exist between the delicate internal environment of the body and the outside environment, (for example, the lungs, gastrointestinal tract, and skin). We also have mobile immunity that is activated if the body does become infected. Specialized immune cells quickly congregate at the site of infection to initiate the healing process. The combined work of both aspects of immunity is critical for staying healthy.

Take proactive measures to enhance the body’s ability to protect itself.

Supporting our immune system can be easily achieved. We should focus on simple approaches that are easy to implement and easy to share with others. Among the greatest benefits of essential oils is that they are simple to apply and offer consistent benefits. Here are steps that can be used to support both fixed and mobile immunity and, in turn, maximize the health of your family during colder months.

Build Healthy Intestinal Flora: The gastrointestinal (GI) system plays a key role in fixed immunity. If health of the GI tract is compromised, so is the immune system. A probiotic supplement such as doTERRA PB Assist is an excellent way to populate the GI tract with beneficial microflora, thus enhancing immunity.* It’s important to use a probiotic supplement that bypasses the strong acidic environment of the stomach and releases the bacteria into the intestines where it will have the most substantial effect. Using innovative encapsulation technology, PB Assist+ delivers a combination of live bacteria strains and a fructo-oligosaccharide prebiotic directly into the intestines, helping to populate the GI tract with helpful microflora while also optimizing colony adhesion and growth. This product is best used daily, but is especially important during periods when the immune system is vulnerable.

Diffuse Essential Oils Regularly:Scientific study demonstrates that diffusion of essential oils can purify and cleanse the air, providing added protection when the seasonal threats are high. I recommend diffusing essential oils every day. Lemon and doTERRA On Guard Protective Blend contain powerful cleansing properties that purify the air we breathe, delivering positive effects on the immune system.

Use Essential Oils to Clean Surfaces: Frequently touched surfaces such as door knobs, keyboards,  phones, and shopping trolley’s can be more harmful during certain times of the year. Cleaning these surfaces often is an important part of minimizing exposure to harmful particles. The doTERRA On Guard cleaning products are a highly effective way to clean surfaces while preventing exposure to toxins. I also suggest using Lemon, Grapefruit, Wild Orange, Purify Cleansing Blend, or the doTERRA On Guard Protective Blend.

Our immunity is limited to its own ability to function properly. It is important to both minimize exposure to elements that may harm our immune system and to take proactive, consistent measures to enhance the body’s ability to protect itself. By developing a daily routine and integrating these tips into a model of consistency, we can easily and effectively keep our families healthy throughout all seasons of the year.