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Lifelong Immunity - Vitamins C, E and probiotics boost immunity

Vitamins C and E increase immune cell function

Could vitamins C and E be the fountain of youth? In this study, doctors took blood samples of several types of immune white blood cells (WBC) in 22 older men and women who took 500 mg of vitamin C with or without 298 IU of vitamin E. Doctors then compared WBC in 30 younger men and women, average age 35, who didn’t take the supplements.

After three months, in both the vitamin C and C-plus-E groups, the function of WBC that heal tissue damage and resolve infection—called neutrophils—improved nearly to the level of the younger adults. A second type of WBC—lymphocytes—also had greater function, creating a similar level of natural immune killer T-cell activity as the younger group. Levels of free radicals—which cause oxidative damage—were lower with vitamin C, and lower yet with C plus E. Six months and after the end of the study, free radical levels were still lower than before the study.

Reference: Experimental Gerontology; 2020, Vol. 142, 111118

Probiotics improve lung immune function in kids

Young children are often susceptible to upper respiratory infection—the common cold. In this study, doctors gave 21 healthy children, aged 13 to 36 months, lactobacillus acidophilus plus bifidobacterium animalis at five-billion colony-forming units per day.

Before the study, and after 30 days, doctors took blood samples of a type of immune cell that is particularly susceptible to viral infection, and exposed the cells to a respiratory virus-like molecule. After probiotics, the immune response of these cells was more balanced and significantly less inflammatory than before.

Reference: Beneficial Microbes; 2021, Vo. 12, No. 1, 85-93


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