As the fear of Coronavirus is spreading faster than the virus itself, it is important to note some statistics – out of the 135 thousand cases detected, almost 70 thousand have already recovered from it, 54 thousand are mildly infected and are under quarantine, and 5 thousand have died. Therefore what nobody seems to be noticing is that a vast majority of the infected people are only mildly ill or have recovered fully from the disease. This seems to indicate that a strong or well developed immune system may be the reason why people are able to fight the infection and emerge largely unscathed.
The reason why we are talking about the immune system today is that outbreaks of infectious diseases are inevitable because of a host of factors like changing climate, human behaviour, ecological factors etc. and medications to tackle these infections may not be developed in time as the disease progresses, so it is logical to think that rather than relying on medications to treat the illness, it would be better to defeat it beforehand (prevention is, of course, better than cure!).
As we go through our lives we interact with millions of microorganisms and toxins all of which can harm our body significantly if our immune system is not able to provide a line of defense. Even the most common of colds could be harmful to our respiratory system if not for the complex combination of organs and cells that make up our immune system. The immune system keeps improving as we grow older because it keeps fighting against antigens we interact with and builds up resistance against it.
While the immune system keeps improving throughout our life it is also essential that we take steps to keep it strong. Unhealthy habits and deficiencies impact the immune system making it difficult for it to fight off disease-causing bacteria, viruses and toxins. Studies have shown that deficiency of vitamin D which is the most common deficiency in India can significantly impact the immune system causing infection in the respiratory system.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, distinct from other vitamins, in a way that it is derived mainly from exposure to sunlight. Most people know that vitamin D impacts bone and muscle health, however, research has shown that it is also associated with cancer, diabetes, cardiac, and gastrointestinal diseases and its impact on a variety of other organs and diseases is still being explored. Research has also shown that a deficiency of vitamin D can adversely impact the immune system and make us susceptible to infection especially those of the respiratory system like flu, colds, bronchitis and pneumonia. Studies have also confirmed that daily or weekly doses of vitamin D can help people effectively fight off respiratory infections.
This is because one of vitamin D’s primary roles is to keep your immune system strong so you’re able to fight off viruses and bacteria that adversely affect the respiratory organs.
All these researches prove that as pathogens evolve and mutate, our body needs to be prepared for the fight. While having medications that help in dealing with such outbreaks is great, having no or limited need for medications would be ideal. Maintaining an active and hygienic lifestyle, nutritious and healthy food habits, enough exposure to sunlight can help us fortify our immune systems to the extent where it is able to fight off all kinds of infectious diseases particularly pertaining to the respiratory system.
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