The word immunity has unfortunately become an all-too-common term in our vocabulary, and for good reason. When the pandemic hit, many of the major drug companies created vaccines that offered us “immunity” against this specific virus. Yet, few of us understand that almost all these vaccines work based upon their activating our own built-in systems of defense. It is our very own immunity to these viruses that can make the difference between illness and health. To help clarify what each of us can do to protect ourselves and our loved ones, Pamela Wartian Smith, MD has written Max Your Immunity. Here is a complete guide to understanding and maximizing your natural defenses against various infectious diseases.
Max Your Immunity is divided into three parts. Part One explains how our innate and adaptive immunity systems work. Our innate immunity system is based on our built-in barriers designed to fight or separate us from infectious agents. Our adaptive immunity, also called acquired immunity, is composed of lymphocyte cells that are triggered when a specific pathogen enters the body. These cells learn to identify the invading pathogens and hunt them down. In this section, each component in both systems are clearly identified and explained. Part Two provides ten important things that you can do to increase and strengthen all of these components. And Part Three provides specific nutritional plans to increase your body’s immunity to help defend against the most common health disorders.
By simply having a clear understanding of how our internal defenses work and what we can do to increase our immunity, we can play an important role in maintaining good health. Max Your Immunity can help show you what you need to know to protect yourself and your family.
Pamela Wartian Smith, MD, MPH, MS, is a diplomate of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Physicians and past co-director of the Master's Program in Medical Sciences, with a concentration in Metabolic and Nutritional Medicine, at the Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida. An authority on the subjects of wellness and functional medicine, she is also the founder of the Fellowship in Anti-Aging, Regenerative, and Functional Medicine. Dr. Smith is the best-selling author of ten books, including What You Must Know About Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & So Much More; What You Must Know About Women's Hormones; and What You Must Know About Memory Loss.
How Your Immune System Works
1. What Makes Up Your Immune System?, 5
2. What Is an Autoimmune Disease?, 17
3. How Is Your Immune System Measured?, 23
4. Does Your Immune System Change With Age?, 27
Lifestyle Changes to Strengthen Your Immunity
5. Alcohol: Moderation Is the Key to Health, 33
6. Exercise: Whether You Like It or Not, 38
7. Your Gut: A Healthy Gut Equals a Healthy Immune System, 54
8. Inflammation: Its Effect on the Immune System, 86
9. Sleep: Get a Good Night’s Sleep, 110
10. Smoking: How It Affects the Immune System, 123
11. Stress: Manage Your Stress, 129
12. Sugar: Minimize Your Intake for Healthy Eating, 138
13. Thyroid: Optimize Its Function, 146
14. Water: Stay Hydrated, 164
Herbal and Nutritional Therapies for Immune Building
Olive Leaf Extract, 189
Vitamin A, 208
Vitamin D, 210
Beta Glucans, 217
THERAPIES THAT DECREASE INFLAMMATION
Aloe Vera, 226
American Skullcap, 227
Cayenne Pepper, 229
Chinese Skullcap, 232
Fish Oil, 236
Green Tea, 238
N-Acetyl Cysteine, 240
White Willow Bark Extract, 252
About the Author, 264
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Chapter 1: What Makes Up Your Immune System?
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Chapter 2: What Is An Autoimmune Disease?
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Chapter 3: How Is Your Immune System Measured?
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Chapter 4: Does Your Immune System Change With Age?
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Chapter 5: Alcohol
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Chapter 6: Exercise
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Introduction Most people have become more interested in their health and even specifically in their immune system with the advent of the COVID-19 virus into the world. How can you build your immune system so that you do not develop this or other infectious diseases? If you do catch COVID19, how do you maximize your immune system so that hopefully you do not have as severe a case of this potentially lethal illness? The immune system is composed of specific cells and organs that ward off invaders. Normally it does a wonderful job of keeping you healthy and preventing infections and illnesses by guarding the body against everyday germs and microbes. Unlike many other parts of your body, where cells of various functions are located in areas that can be easily defined, the distribution of immune cells into various organs is more complicated. A great deal of research has recently focused on understanding the individual cell types within the immune system and identifying interacting cells and the messengers they use to communicate. In this book, Max Your Immunity, you will learn proven therapies to increase your body’s ability to fight off disease. In addition, you will discover how to restore and increase your immunity without developing an overactive immune system. Part 1 of this book discusses the role your immune system plays. How does the immune system work? What are the innate and adaptive parts of the immune system? What are T cells, B cells, natural killer cells, and other cell lines you may not have heard of? What is an autoimmune disease? How is your immune system measured? Does you immune system change with age? All of these questions will be discussed at length in this section of the book. It may surprise you that currently the number-one cause of disease in the United States and most industrialized countries is your immune system trying to protect you. It is all about balance. An overactive immune system leads to an autoimmune disease process. An underactive immune system leads to an increase in infection rate and risk of developing cancer. Furthermore, a varietyof changes are observed in the immune system, which translate into less effective innate and adaptive immune responses and increased susceptibility to infections. The capability to cope with infectious agents and cancer cells resides not only in adaptive immune responses against specific antigens, mediated by T and B lymphocytes, but also in innate immune reactions. Moreover, an age-related decline in immune functions, referred to as immunosenescence, is partially responsible for the increased prevalence and severity of infectious diseases, and the low efficacy of vaccination in older individuals. In short, this section of the book provides a comprehensive reference map defining the organization and balance of the immune system. Part 2 examines lifestyle changes and other considerations that can strengthen your immunity; from managing your stress, to optimizing gastrointestinal health, to minimizing sugar intake and alcohol intake, and a great deal more. Many of the ten keys discussed in this section can be employed on your own without a healthcare provider’s input. It is always best, however, to keep your doctor, or other healthcare professional, updated on changes in diet and other factors that you may implement to help heal and build your immune system. Part 3 reviews herbal and nutritional therapies for building immunity. Research has shown repeatedly that nutritional deficiencies or inadequacies can cause your immune system not to function perfectly. Insufficient intake of micronutrients occurs for many reasons. In addition, new studies have shown that for certain nutrients higher doses may be needed to optimize immune functions, including improving immune defense and resistance to infection. Likewise, many of these nutrients and herbal remedies help to maintain or improve immune function through different modalities of action; for example, inhibition of pro-inflammatory mediators, alteration of antigen-presenting cell function, anti-inflammatory action, modulation of cell-mediated immunity, as well as communication between the innate and adaptive immune systems. To be specific, micronutrient deficiencies suppress immune functions by affecting the innate T cell-mediated immune response and adaptive antibody response, which leads to an imbalance of the immune system. This increases your susceptibility to infections, along with an escalation in morbidity and mortality. Consequently, adequate intake of vitamins and minerals are required for the immune system to function efficiently. Last, extensive sources of scientific studies, academic papers, and books have been used in writing Max Your Immunity. Therefore, you can review the medical literature on your own and also give a copy of this book to your healthcare provider in order to aid all in the worthwhile goal of optimizing your immune system.