Which vitamins and minerals support your immunity?
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has, after thorough research, recognized that the following vitamins and minerals have an effective supporting effect on the immune system:
Vit A - Vit B6 - Vit B9 - Vit B12 - Vit C - Vit D - Iron - Copper - Selenium - Zinc.
The great advantage of spirulina is that, besides a lot of other elements, it contains all these essential vitamins and minerals. This way you can provide your body with the necessary raw materials for a healthy immune system in one go.
Functioning of the immune system
The immune system is the combination of all mechanisms that protect our body against invaders and foreign substances. It works in three different ways. There is the physical barrier, the general immune system and the specific immune system. The physical barrier is the most obvious. That is your skin, your mucous membranes, your nose hairs that literally keep intruders out in a physical way.
General immune system
This system targets all pathogens in your body. Macrophages play the leading role here. They form a first line of defense in the bloodstream by attacking and destroying all foreign microorganisms they encounter. The process of absorption and destruction of foreign micro-organisms, is called phagocytosis.
Specific immune system
This system focuses on one specific type of pathogen and creates specific immune cells for it. The system also has a memory. With a second attack from the same micro-organism, the body can react faster and better and the enemy is eliminated faster.
Here, the main white blood cells are B lymphocytes, T lymphocytes and natural killer cells (NK cells). B lymphocytes have special receptors: antibodies. These recognize the antigens that are on the outside of pathogens. Each specific antibody fits one specific antigen. If they match, the immune system can react very quickly and very specifically. For example, the binding will stop the intruder (for example a virus) from multiplying and will signal the macrophages to destroy the intruder.
T lymphocytes assist in the activation of the B lymphocytes through certain substances called cytokines. Natural killer cells play a role in the clearing of the body's cells that are infected by viruses. Natural killer cells also attack their own cells that show abnormal growth patterns (cancer cells).
Effect of spirulina on the immune system
Several studies show that spirulina has a beneficial effect on macrophages and the phagocytosis process. It increases the activity of NK cells and the production of lymphocytes and antibodies. Spirulina contains very specific cell wall polysaccharides (complex chains of sugar molecules) that have a clear immune-stimulating effect. Phycocyanin (a unique antioxidant from spirulina) is also thought to play an important role in this.
Antiviral effects of spirulina
Several studies confirm the inhibitory effect of spirulina on viruses. For example, an antiviral effect has clearly been demonstrated against enveloped viruses. This type of virus is surrounded by a membrane similar to the human membrane. This allows these viruses to trick our specific immune system. Examples of these viruses are herpes simplex, the flu virus, the cytomegalovirus (CMV) and even HIV-1. The sulfur containing polysaccharide, Calcium Spirulan, that can be extracted from spirulina inhibits the replication of viruses in several ways and stimulates the immune response.
Antioxidant power reduces the effect of viruses
New studies show that viruses cause increased oxidative stress, which weakens the body and gives the viruses free rein. Powerful antioxidants such as phycocyanin, which is abundant in spirulina, can prevent this and make it difficult for the virus to spread.
Thanks to its natural richness, spirulina provides all the vitamins and minerals necessary to maintain the immune system. Its unique palette of antioxidants and polysaccharides also reduce the reproduction capacity of viruses and assist in preventing viruses to weaken our immune system. A daily serving of spirulina in combination with a varied diet, drinking enough water and enough exercise ensures an alert immune system.
Scientific references immune system
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