Member of the Turkish National Allergy and Clinical Immunology Association, Assoc. Dr. Dilara Kocacık Uygun talked about the effects of antioxidants on the immune system. As temperatures dropped, flu infections gradually began to show themselves. Those who want to strengthen their immunity turn to supplements during the transition season. Antioxidants are also friends of our immune system. Member of the Turkish National Allergy and Clinical Immunology Association, Assoc. Dr. Dilara Kocacık Uygun said, “Antioxidants, which protect our body from infections, microbes and other disease-causing factors, support the immune system and make the body more resistant to diseases. Therefore, eating foods rich in antioxidants such as zinc, selenium and vitamin E will strengthen immunity.” she said.
The immune system protects the person against environmental threats and ensures a healthy life. Antioxidants also help the immune system fight against environmental threats.
Immune system: The body's soldiers
Assoc. Dr. Uygun stated that the immune system is a complex system that protects the body from infections, microbes and other disease-causing factors and said:
“At birth, our immune system is immature. It improves with age, exposure to infections and a balanced diet, and consists of two main components: the innate immune system and the acquired immune system. The innate immune system is an innate defense system. Physical barriers such as our skin, mucosal (slimy) secretions, and certain cells (neutrophils, macrophages) protect our body from microbes. The acquired immune system is a system that develops later. “When our body encounters an infection or with protective vaccines, it creates special immune responses, and this makes our body more effective against the same microbes in the future, allowing us to recover easily.”
Protector of the body against harmful substances: Antioxidants
Nutrition plays a key role in the development, maintenance and optimal functioning of immune cells. Reminding that the nutrients taken with food play an important role in ensuring the proper functioning of the immune system, Uygun said, “Antioxidants are compounds that protect the body against the negative effects of harmful molecules known as free radicals. "They play an important role in preventing cell damage that may occur through free radicals," he said, listing some important antioxidants:
“Zinc: An essential trace element and required for various cellular functions; In particular, it plays an important role in maintaining the oxidative-antioxidative balance. Selenium: Contributes to the normal function of the immune system. It plays a role in many functions in our body. Vitamin C: It is a powerful antioxidant. It also supports the health of immune system cells. Vitamin E: Protects cell membranes from the damage of free radicals and strengthens the immune system. Beta-Carotene: Contributes to the production of vitamin A in our body and supports the immune system.”
Stating that antioxidants support the immune system and make the body more resistant to diseases, Uygun said, “Immune cells help reduce inflammation. "In addition, antioxidants can neutralize harmful substances such as free radicals that may occur when the immune system fights against infections, preventing damage to cells." He concluded his words as follows:
“A healthy lifestyle is one of the best ways to support the immune system and antioxidant levels. Balanced and natural nutrition, regular exercise, good sleep and avoiding stress strengthen our immune system and help protect us from diseases. As a result, the immune system and antioxidants are important for maintaining your body's health. A healthy life is the key to healthy immunity and healthy generations. “