Your Immune System

Your Immune System Articles

Do I need a shingles vaccine booster?

The shingles vaccine becomes less effective over time, but currently there is no approved booster shot available. To ensure protection at the time of greatest risk, people should get the vaccine at age 60 or older. (Locked) More »

Sniffing out sinus relief

Chronic sinusitis strikes when inflammation leads to swelling within the lining of the sinuses. This can interfere with normal drainage, cause mucus buildup, and make it hard to breathe through the nose. Over-the-counter treatments and home remedies can often control the problem, although surgery is sometimes needed for severe cases. (Locked) More »

Teaching T cells to fight cancer

Immunotherapy, one of the fastest-growing cancer treatments, helps the immune system better target and kill cancer cells by focusing only on the cancerous cells while sparing the healthy ones. One of the most innovative immunology therapies is chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy, which is custom-made for individuals and their specific cancer. It can be an alternative for people who are resistant to chemotherapy, or diseases that don’t respond well to the treatment. (Locked) More »

Fighting inflammation at the meal table

Gut bacteria, which are influenced by an individual’s diet, play a role in inflammation. An eating plan based on unprocessed plant-based foods—fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains—is linked to lower levels of inflammation. More »

Surviving the flu season

Even if the flu shot isn’t a perfect match for the virus, vaccination still lowers the chance of getting influenza and reduces symptoms for those who do. Fluzone High Dose and Fluad are more effective for people 65 and older. (Locked) More »

Can gut bacteria improve your health?

About 100 trillion bacteria, both good and bad, live inside your digestive system. This population is known collectively as the gut microbiota. Emerging research suggests certain species and strains of gut bacteria can help prevent or treat diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, and heart disease, as well as help improve mood by lowering levels of stress and anxiety. A balanced, healthy diet that includes high-fiber and fermented foods can help your gut bacteria system thrive. (Locked) More »

The best foods for vitamins and minerals

Vitamins and minerals are as essential for living as air and water. Not only do they keep your body healthy and functional, they protect you from a variety of diseases. Vitamins and minerals get thrown together, but they are quite different. Vitamins are organic substances produced by plants or animals. They often are called "essential" because they are not synthesized in the body (except for vitamin D) and therefore must come from food. More »

What can you do to improve your immune system?

Your immune system is on the job around the clock to protect you from infectious bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites that cause disease, suffering, and death. The immune system is an extremely complex network of cells and molecules that researchers are still working to understand. Because there is so much about immune function that remains unknown, immune system myths abound and commercial enterprise have exploited them. The following are three common immune system myths. Immune system myth #1: The more active your immune system is, the healthier you will be. More »

Micronutrients have major impact on health

To maintain your brain, muscle, bone, nerves, skin, blood circulation, and immune system, your body requires a steady supply of many different raw materials—both macronutrients and micronutrients. You need large amounts of macronutrients—proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. And while you only need a small number of micronutrients—vitamins and minerals—failing to get even those small quantities virtually guarantees disease. Nearly 30 vitamins and minerals that your body cannot manufacture in sufficient amounts on its own are called "essential micronutrients." British sailors learned centuries ago that living for months without fresh fruits or vegetables—the main sources of vitamin C—caused the bleeding gums and listlessness of scurvy, a disease that often proved fatal. Even today in many low-income countries, people frequently suffer from a variety of nutrient-deficiency diseases. True vitamin and mineral deficiencies—in which the lack of a single nutrient leads directly to a specific ailment—are rare in the United States because our extensive supply of inexpensive food, and the fortification of many common foods with some key nutrients. However, eating less than optimal amounts of important vitamins, minerals, and other compounds can still contribute to a number of major illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and osteoporosis. Hence, concern about "insufficiency"—a controversial topic—is a major driver of both the U.S. dietary guidelines and the mass marketing of over-the-counter supplements. More »