By : Komal Thakur (Pharmacist, Naturopath, Health & Fitness Enthusiast)
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Innate vs Acquired immunity

The most over used word right now is immunity. Another over used and unwanted work right now is Covid. Mix the two and you get a lecture on “Covid Immunity”. I just noticed that when I type this, my word doc highlights Covid as a spelling error. I am very happy that word has not accepted it as a “spelling”, and just like that we should not accept it in our lives either. I object to accepting this virus, by ensuring my safety against it. Let it not take any more lives, and let it leave this planet for good.

 

In this blog I am going to explain immunity in a very simple language. Basically there are two types of immunity as you would have guessed- Innate and Acquired. As the names suggest, one you are already born with and the other is acquired in many different ways.

 

Innate immunity system is just like your hereditary characteristics. The dominant genes get passed on to the next generations. If you have green eyes you will not be able to change that, you are born with it. If you are born with a certain hair colour, it is a part of you. Just like that, innate immunity system has been passed on to you. What does this innate immunity system do exactly? This is your primary defense mechanism when it comes to immunity. Here your body is able to fight a number of pathogens even if your body has never been exposed to them ever before. Thank your parents for fighting those infections and passing that immunity on to you. What is the biggest part of this immune system? Your skin. Skin is the largest organ and skin is the first barrier that fights these pathogens at the surface level. The intermediary barrier is your gut lining or your mucous lining. Several pathogens are killed in your nasal cavity or in your oral cavity before they can even enter your blood stream. Post entry of any pathogen into your body the antigen antibody action takes place with the help of the immunity cells which are basically proteins. These cells have the memory from having fought these infections in your family lineage and they are all set to fight the pathogen away. Innate immune system is like the bouncer at the gate of a club, it allows only what’s necessary and kicks out the rest. What happens when the innate immunity isn’t able to defend a particular pathogen? Well the second line of defense which is the acquired immune system comes into picture.

 

Acquired immunity is something that your body has acquired on its own after coming in contact with a new pathogen that the body has never come in contact before or has not been stopped by the innate system. Covid can be an example, but it’s an extreme case here. There are several newer pathogens that your body encounters every day and your body is perfectly capable of fighting them the first time itself. You may notice inflammation or high fever after an infection, this is nothing but your body preparing to fight the new pathogen. Since your body has no previous memory a lot of immunity cells are destroyed in the process. This is the very reason that during an infection the white blood cell count rises massively, the production of these cells boosts to enable the system to fight these infections. A vaccine usually has this similar mechanism of action. It introduces the pathogen, weakened, dead or alive into your body preparing your body to develop the required immunity so when the real live pathogen tries to infect you, the immunity has already been acquired and your body is ready to fight it. Speaking about vaccines, in case you have not yet taken the Covid-19 vaccine, please go ahead and take one. A single infected person is a threat to the entire world, as we have already seen it.

 

Can immune system be developed or improved? It is a very tricky question. Keeping your body healthy and fit is the only way to achieve immunity. However, things do go wrong with the immune system, like allergies or auto immune disorders. How do you restore your immune system back?

First and foremost, the thing that will definitely give you immunity, with a 100% guarantee is – VACCINES. That is the whole purpose of the vaccine. Hence, all the essential vaccines for fatal and highly infectious diseases should be taken without a second thought.

 

The next best way to improve your immune system is by eating a balanced diet and keeping your weight in check. Why is keeping your weight in check so important? Most of the diseases and hormonal imbalances occur when your weight is not in check. Whatever the weight you need to ensure that it is not giving way to any other health issues. There is no perfect or an ideal weight but keeping your health in check is extremely important.

 

Sometimes it becomes very difficult to keep all your vitamins, minerals and essential macronutrients in check. Excess of pill popping in Covid has become a norm. Ideally all the additional supplements will be kicked out of your body anyways so why waste time taking them unless there is a known deficiency that reflects in your blood reports.

 

It is best to avoid taking vitamin and mineral supplements and switch to a trusted healthier alternative to keep all the essential nutrients balanced without over burdening your body. While most protein supplements available are just full of protein which your body may not even need, a trusted brand GRD is safe for children, adults and geriatric population equally. One spoon of GRD powder or 2-3 GRD diskettes everyday will take care of your immunity. While your immunity may not need a boost as it will function on its own in its own brilliant way, let GRD: The Superior Protein help protect and maintain it. With a wide variety of flavors to choose from, this can keep your family’s health intact.

 

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