My seven-year-old son plays outdoor a lot. As a mother, one of my biggest concerns is his exposure to germs that freely circulate in the air we breathe. Moreover, he is a fussy eater, which has hit his immune system, making him fall sick often. He looks healthy but I sense that he has a weak resistance to diseases.
When I took my kid to a paediatrician, he told me that the cause of him falling sick often is lack of immunity. He went onto to explain that poor immunity is due to his failure to take the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of key immunity nutrients. But what is immunity and how is it connected to the nutrients we take?
What Is Immunity?
Immunity is the body’s defence against harmful pathogens. These are like bodyguards – patrolling the body and scanning for any foreign pathogens. Whenever they stumble upon a foreign pathogen they mount an attack to destroy it and then retain their formula for success for future use. This memory of the ability to fight a pathogen is what is referred as immunity.
The defences of the body are complex and they provide protection against foreign biological agents through the interplay of cells, tissues and organs (1). Foreign pathogens can be anything that your child encounters in his daily life viz. bacteria, virus and even fungi.
However, we need not be scared of them because the body’s bodyguard a.k.a. the immune system ensures that they are kept under check by developing sophisticated layers of immunity:
- Innate immunity
- Adaptive immunity
The Types Of Immunity:
Let’s see what do these layers of immune system offer in terms of protection:
Innate immunity: is the first line of defence of your body and includes physical barriers such as skin and bodily secretions — skin, saliva, mucus in the nose, tears in the eyes and acid in the stomach (2).
Adaptive immunity: This protects your child against specific pathogens through the recognition of molecules called antigens that are present on the surface of the pathogen. Simply said, it is like a key-maker. It makes the keys (antibodies) for the keyholes (antigens) and then enters to destroy them. Just like a key-maker, an immune system requires time to make antibodies (keys) for specific antigens (keyholes) (3).
How Does The Immune System Work?
Skin is one of the first to fight against foreign bodies entering the body (4). Mucus, saliva and tears also flush out the bad bacteria.
But if a virus manages to escape the first line of defence, then another layer, comprising the white blood cells (leukocytes), takes over the charge. This layer is called the complement system.
Meanwhile, the B-cells and T-cells (5) of the adaptive immune system take up specialized defence. While the B-cells restrict the spread of the foreign bodies, the T-cells search and attack the antigens. T-cells are so good at this that they are referred to as killer T cells.
Since we now understand immunity, let us see what happens if the immune system is weakened or when it falters.
What Happens If The Immune System Is Weak?
A problem with the immune system can lead to several disorders and situations. Here are some of the most common conditions that you face when the immune system is not working up to the mark:
- Primary Immunodeficiency (PI) disorders: These diseases weaken the immune system and make the child vulnerable to frequent problems such as bronchitis, sinusitis or ear infections. PI disorders occur due to a low count of or dysfunctional white blood cells. The problem is hereditary, and sometimes lies dormant in the child until he grows up (6).
- Hypersensitivity: Hypersensitive immune system leads to allergies as the body attacks harmless antigens (7). Allergies can occur among children to food items such as nuts and milk or substances in the air like pollen.
- Autoimmune diseases: It is a like a glitch in the system that causes the immune system to attack the healthy cells within the body. Autoimmune diseases can affect several parts of the body, each with their very own symptoms. Genetics is said to play a primary role with other infections and environmental factors playing influencers in the manifestation of an autoimmune disease (8). A few examples of autoimmune diseases are type-1 diabetes (juvenile diabetes), arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.
- Sepsis: During an infection, T-cells release an inflammatory protein called cytokines. These are like messengers that inform other cells of the body that a pathogen has entered the body and your cooperation is needed for its elimination. Cells then react to this message. However sometimes they may do it so overenthusiastically that they cause severe inflammation in various tissues of the body (9).
- Cancer of the immune system: When the immune system abnormally piles the number of cells without any regulation then it leads to cancer. For instance, the abnormal growth of lymphocytes causes lymphoma, which is a type of cancer (10). Just like any other cancer, this is determined by various lifestyle, genetic and environmental factors.
During infancy, your child’s immune system is not fully developed. It takes times to get used to the environment and turn robust.
As a parent, you are responsible for proper development of your children’s immune system. Moreover, you would not want them to face any health problems, even if it is a common cold, due to a weak immune system. Would you?
Precisely for this reason, I have made every attempt to boost my son’s immunity system after that visit to the doctor.
How To Keep The Immune System Healthy?
I made my son continue to play outdoors, but then took a few steps to build his immune system:
- Keep his environs clean, and make him wear clean clothes.
- Wash his hands and feet when he returns home, and wash his hands before and after he eats something.
- Have some physical activity every day.
- Have a balanced diet with enough nutrients to keep him healthy.
Even while taking all the above measures, I searched for a supplement, which will support his immune system and make sure my efforts did not go waste.
This is where Cipla’s ActivKidsImmuno Boosters came as a boon. ActivKidsImmuno Boosters are bite-sized chocolate bars, to which children can’t say no. They provide the RDA of micronutrients such as vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, B12, C, D3 and iron, and zinc.
ActivKidsImmuno Boosters help strengthen your child’s immune system in more than one way:
- It provides enough strength to the immune system to fight the pathogens.
- Helps in the formation of immune cells.
- Strengthens skin defence system, and helps in blood formation.
- Protects the cells from damage.
But if you are worried that these choco-bites will add unnecessary sugar to your child’s body or damage their teeth, let’s tell you that the supplements contribute less than 1% the total daily calorie requirement from sugar.
I give one choco-bite daily to my son and have seen a significant improvement in his resistance against pathogens. He does not fall sick as often he did before. This has significantly improved his attendance at school. This one small tasty treat takes care of his health and my happiness too!
Convinced about the supplements and keen to buy them? You can buy them here. This small step will go a long way in securing your child’s immune system.