Strengthens the immune system
Strengthening the immune system is a popular topic, especially in the cold season. Cough, runny nose, sore throat and high temperature are very common now. This is known as flu-like infections caused by viruses. Already in the 19th Century, the famous French physiologist Bernard made the decisive pronouncement; “The germ is nothing, the terrain is everything!” This brought him into conflict with the famous Louis Pasteur, one of the pioneers of microbiology. Allegedly, Pasteur conceded to his adversary just before his death. The fact that certain bacteria cause certain diseases, of course, is now beyond dispute. However, it is not equally clear that every person who comes into contact with a specific germ, will inevitably be ill with the corresponding infection. But this, in turn, means that our lifestyles do have an impact on whether we fall ill or not.
How can we strengthen our immune system?
Very important and underestimated its effectiveness: stress reduction or assisting the organism in adapting to stress. This is not always easy, in particular in the hectic holiday season, but even a few minutes of deliberated relaxation can reduce the stress parameters significantly.
Moderates body training. Extreme energy up to a limit has a counterproductive influence on the immune system, while a targeted, well-structured training strengthens the immune system.
Fight oxidative stress. Ideally, in a healthy organism, the constantly occurring oxidants, i.e. the so-called free radicals, and antioxidants are in equilibrium. But stress, modern life style and also poor nutrition often move this balance toward “oxidative stress”. So, an adequate supply of antioxidants is of great importance. These include some vitamins, especially C and E. With vitamin E, however, it is very important that it is natural vitamin E, containing the various components. Pure, synthetically-produced vitamin E usually contains only alpha-tocopherol, which is not sufficient as an antioxidant. Secondary plant substances: these are mostly the dyes which are only formed in ripeness. Unfortunately, fruit and vegetables may only ripen in nature. They are often harvested prematurely, then stored at length in cold storage and ripened artificially when needed. This of course has a negative influence on the content of antioxidants. The peptide glutathione, which is composed of three amino acids, is an essential main material in the antioxidant system of the organism.
Amino acids are important not only as a precursor of glutathione, but for the immune system. Each amino acid has important functions in the immune response to invading germs. They activate the leukocytes, also called white blood cells, responsible for the immune defenses and promote the formation of antibodies, which, in turn, are built up again from amino acids. It has long been known that a protein or amino acid starvation, but also an imbalance of amino acids, affects the function of the immune system and increases the likelihood of infections.
Therefore, it is very important for athletes to be adequately supplemented with amino acids. In addition to the positive effect on the muscles, they also strengthen the immune system that is highly stressed by intensive training.
By the way: we speak of coughs, sniffles and sore throats often as a cold. However, it is scientifically demonstrated that cold, fresh air does not increase the susceptibility to colds!