Just as every other system in the body does, the immune system changes with age. This is a relatively new discovery because human life expectancy has risen so much in the last 100 years. In 1900 the life expectancy was approximately 45 years, now it is ~80. So current science is seizing the opportunity to study aging health and the way it affects immune system health.
Immune system aging makes it harder for the body to distinguish between normal proteins and foreign proteins. As a result, aging increases the chances of developing an autoimmune disorder, such as diabetes or Lupus.
The immune function slows down in aging people as well. This is the reason why older people contract infectious diseases such as pneumonia more easily than young people. It may also be the reason why cancer is more common in older people.
Another thing that affects immune health in late life, and makes aging people more prone to disease, is the fact that the body produces fewer white blood cells. White blood cells are what respond to foreign threats in the body. With less of them, the body is less able to remember and defend itself against foreign proteins.
There are a couple of ways older persons can help their aging immune system.
Immune vitamins and immune supplements have as ingredients vitamins and minerals that aid the immune system to do its job. These include, but are not limited to: Echinacea, garlic, astragalus, immune vitamin c, vitamin a, vitamin b complex, iron, zinc, magnesium, selenium and probiotics.
There are many different immune system supplements, so before settling on one, be sure to read the ingredients of the immune vitamin or immune supplement. Make sure it has everything you do want in it and nothing that you don’t. Whether you are getting it for yourself or for someone else, this is the most important part of getting immune system vitamins.
Immune system nutrition is also very important. A good immune diet includes immune foods such as oily fish, raw fruits and vegetables, seeds, and lots of water. The ideal immune system diet is low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
Exercise is also key for immune system support. It is no secret that being in good physical shape slows the aging process. Being stronger physically means that your immune health will be better as well.
Through a good immune system supplement, the proper immune system diet, and enough exercise the effects of immune system aging can be reduced. All of these steps support the immune system, giving it what it needs to function correctly. This is especially important for those whose immune system was compromised in the first place.