The miracle of your immune system (Part 1)
There are two main parts to your immune system: the Non-Specific (Innate) and Specific (Adaptive) immune responses.

Non-Specific Immunity
These include barriers like your skin, sinuses and mucous membrane and cells (phagocytes) that literally ‘eat’ pathogens that come through the barriers. Natural Killer cells attack anything that is not genetically marked as self (you!)

With a viral attack like Covid 19, the Non-Specific system launches into full gear with inflammation which starts to make life uncomfortable for the virus and unfortunately uncomfortable for the infected person. However, this is just a holding pattern till our Specific immune system kicks into gear and our B cells start making antibodies that our T cells can identify. Those that are immunised have the advantage of vaccine- generated antibodies. More on this next edition.

Nutrients have a significant impact on our initial immune responses to attack. Vitamin D benefits most immune cells and helps them to do their job protecting you from pathogens like viruses. Vitamin D also influences the effectiveness of virus-killing compounds. I generally recommend 1000-2000IU daily in summer and 2000-4000IU in winter. Our Non-Specific immunity is also affected by micronutrients including zinc, selenium, iron, copper, manganese that help make potent antioxidant enzymes to defend against viral attack.

Polyphenol antioxidants such as OPC, Curcumin and those in green tea, beta-carotene, vitamins A, C, and E, and folic acid are also very important. They protect immune cells against the infection so they can do their job. Secondly these stimulate our natural killer cells, the most potent aspect of our Non-Specific immunity.

What does this mean?
Those concerned about their immunity should supplement with vitamin D and a good multi formula that has the trace minerals and antioxidants that help our immune system cope with infection. Try 3 months of Cell-eXtra and see what you have been missing!

John Arts (B.Soc.Sci, Dip Tch, Adv.Dip.Nut.Med.) is a nutritional medicine practitioner and founder of Abundant Health. If you have questions or need help you can contact John 0800 423559.  You can email John at

Please note that the health advice given through this column is for general educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any health problem. © John Arts 2021

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