You hear it referenced all the time – the immune system. But what is it, and why should you care? The human immune system is a complex interconnected network of organs, cells and molecules that protect our bodies from being invaded by countless pathogens every day. The National Library of Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), defines the immune system as “The body’s system for protecting itself from viruses and bacteria or any foreign substances.” When our immune system isn’t working properly, it leaves our body at risk1. So, it makes sense that taking care of our immune system should be a priority, right?
However, ask a neighbor or family member about how to keep your immune system functioning at its peak, and you are likely to hear something about drinking orange juice, getting rest…or you might just get a blank stare back in return. One of the reasons is that there is so much conflicting and inaccurate information floating around that we just don’t know what to believe.
Scroll your social stream or visit any search engine and you’ll see ad after ad promoting the next quick fix or easy tip to make you healthy, wealthy and wise. You can’t throw a stone without hitting a celebrity promoting some tip or product. And then there’s the pharmaceutical industry, spending 3.5 to 6 billion dollars in 2018 to advertise to you via TV and social media that wants us to take their pill or get their shot…and keep on doing it over and over again2.
What are we to believe and what is important when it comes to keeping our bodies strong and fighting each and every day?
Let’s look at the top three misconceptions about our immune systems and see if we can shed some light on this misunderstood subject.
MISCONCEPTION #1: Drugs, particularly antibiotics, are the first line of defense.
If our immune system gets compromised, it is highly likely a doctor will prescribe medication, probably antibiotics, to help get us well. This is troubling because antibiotics don’t work on viral infections, and are not likely to work on some of the more common bacterial infections like sinus infections and bronchitis3. For example, an antibiotic is an appropriate treatment for strep throat, which is caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pyogenes. But it’s not the right treatment for most sore throats, which are caused by viruses4. Antibiotics, in small quantities, may have their place in medicine, but there is a real danger in their overuse. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 3 antibiotic prescriptions are unnecessary5. In addition to concern about overuse creating resistance, new research seems to suggest that antibiotics can be counterproductive and actually weaken our immune system6. Antibiotics can also increase severe diarrhea cases in youngsters, upset sensitive flora in the gut and can teach good bacteria to go bad through horizontal gene transfer7.
According to Harvard Health, your diet and a healthy lifestyle have a lot to do with keeping your immune system running at peak performance8. Think about it this way: if the human body must rely only on drugs to keep the immune system functioning properly, how did our ancestors manage to keep their immune systems humming along before the invention of these drugs?
MISCONCEPTION #2: Your gut health has nothing to do with immunity.
Many of us were raised to believe that what we touched or to whom we were exposed would impact our immune system more than the food we ate. The truth is, now we know that what we eat is directly tied to our gut health, and our gut plays a vital role in our immunity9.
Not all bacteria in our body is bad. Our gut has 300 to 500 different kinds of bacteria that help digest our food and help keep us well10. This good bacteria is also beneficial for overall immunity by enhancing your natural killer (white blood) immune cells11. Your gut also contains 70% of the cells that make up your immune system12. With so much of your immune system located in your gut, how can it not be critical to your well-being?
Could your immune system be running on empty? Find out by reading 7 Signs You Have A Weakened Immune System.
MISCONCEPTION #3: You can make up for poor life choices by loading up on vitamins and supplements.
We are always looking for the proverbial genie in a bottle to make us healthy. However, no genie can completely make up for a poor diet, not getting enough rest or other unhealthy lifestyle choices. While vitamins and supplements have their place in our diet, they should not replace a healthy diet completely13. After all, they are called dietary supplements because their intention is to supplement the diet – they aren’t dietary replacements! It’s important to also get your nutrients from the food you eat because nutrients and other elements in whole foods are usually more balanced and tend to be more biologically active and able to withstand digestion14.
What does all of this mean for you?
So, maybe you’re someone who does try to make good food choices and you do try and stay active with exercise. What else can you do when you find yourself looking for additional ways to provide support for your immune system, especially in the more challenging fall and winter months of the year?
Sovereign Silver’s Bio-Active Silver Hydrosol™ is an effective way to help maintain proper immune function* on a daily basis and at times when you need short or long-term immune support.
Silver has been used for more than 2,000 years to help safeguard human health. It is a natural element found in whole grains, edible and medicinal mushrooms, mammalian milk, spring water, sea water and tap water.
Non-GMO, gluten and allergen-free, Sovereign Silver has been used to support the immune health* of people just like you for nearly 20 years and is the #1- selling silver brand in North America.
For more information on the power of silver, please read Silver – History’s Best-Kept Natural Secret for Immune Support.