Vitamins and Their Role in Boosting Immunity

By | January 27, 2012

Vitamins are considered to be necessary for effective body functions. One of their significant functions is to boost immunity. It has been revealed from several studies that intake of vitamin rich foods will ensure immunity.

Vitamin A plays an important role in enhancing body immunity against infections. It increases the lymphocytic responses against disease causing antigens and even enhances the activities of white blood cells. Moisture in mucus membrane is maintained by this vitamin and hence, ensures better immunity. Therefore, vitamin A provides a double core protection where it prevents entry of germs into the body and also helps fight the infection when the germs enter the body.

Vitamin B also helps in boosting immunity. In particular, vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12 are essential for enhancing immune responses. Decreased levels of vitamin B6 causes decreased production of lymphocytes, a type of white blood cells that are needed for fighting infections. Its deficiency even causes shrinkage of the critical immune system organ, the thymus. Another B vitamin, vitamin B12 governs cell division and cell growth. So, inadequate amounts of this vitamin impairs multiplication and maturity of white blood cells. Apart from these, folic acid or vitamin B9 also helps in development and maintenance of immune system.

Vitamin C is required for white blood cells to fight infections. It is known from many studies that depleted levels of this vitamin causes inflammation or microbial challenges. Coming to vitamin D – it activates T-cells (specific immune cells) which help fight infection and chronic diseases. Last but not the least, vitamin E, which is a potent antioxidant, modulates immune functions. It helps in maturation of T-cells.

Hence, with these specific functions of vitamins in boosting immunity, it is essential to include vitamin-rich foods in your diet. Intake of proper dosage of specific vitamin supplements under your physician’s guidance is also helpful.

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