The Immune System (Part 2)

Let’s say a virus has penetrated your Non-Specific immune defenses (see last edition) and starts to infect cells. Sitting, waiting for such attack is your Specific Immune system that is able to create a devastating attack against the virus.

However, this part of your immune system has a significant shortcoming. Initially, it does not recognise the attacker and needs to be ‘trained’ to identify and attack the virus. Antibodies are proteins made by the immune B cells that bind to an invader marking it for destruction by T cells.

Natural immunity is based on the immune system’s ability (activated B cells) to produce antibodies that will both fight a current infection and a return of the same pathogen. Artificial immunity is from vaccines that trigger B cells to make antibodies to provoke a rapid T cell response against a first infection against a virus. This means your immune system is already primed, waiting for exposure and can launch a much faster, more aggressive response against the virus.

Last edition we saw that our Non-Specific immunity is greatly influenced by nutrients. The same is true for our Specific immunity. Vitamin D acts like a master commander of your immune defenses. Dr Anthony Fauci, who leads the US health Covid response recommends supplementing with 4000IU of vitamin D daily to help immune responses.

It is also important to make sure you have optimal levels of antioxidants, vitamins and trace minerals especially selenium and zinc. These help prevent damage from both the infection and the immune responses. Many of these are antioxidants which protect the immune system and also help prevent unwanted inflammation. Minerals such as selenium and zinc are very important.

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 2022

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