“The immune system is the most dynamic system of our organism. It is something that begins to develop from the first weeks after conception. From birth onwards it continues to grow, to acquire information and to modulate many responses, not only that towards viruses and bacteria but also everything related to situations of chronic inflammation. This is why our immune system constantly continues to change, because it interfaces with the external environment which also includes everything that we introduce into our body from the outside. It is clear that nutrition plays a fundamental role in immunological modulation and in the process of chronic inflammation which is then modulated by our immune system. The latter can be a great ally in helping to extinguish inflammatory processes but if inflammation over time protracts, the immune system is no longer able to modulate it properly and this contributes to the development of chronic inflammatory diseases and leads to premature cell aging “. Thus Ginevra Menghi, specialist in Allergology and Clinical Immunology, speaking on the occasion of the webinar “Stress from a new normal: how to support the immune system in the post-pandemic?” organized with the support of Boiron.
The meeting – moderated by Federico Luperi, Innovation and New Media Director of the time.news Group – was also attended by Antonio Benedetti, President of the Italian Federation of Digestive System Diseases (Fismad) and Director of the Gastroenterology Clinic of the Riuniti hospitals – Marche Polytechnic University. Among the topics covered: How is the immune system built? Is there a way to support our defense systems strained by new forms of stress from the pandemic and already under pressure from seasonal climate change and exposure to flu and cold viruses?
“We must take care of our immune system – recommends Menghi – by adopting a healthy lifestyle through a diet that includes micro and macronutrients essential for the macrobiota, which is one of the main actors within our immune system, and the activity daily physics avoiding a sedentary lifestyle. Studies show that after 10 minutes a child runs outdoors, their production of secretory IgA increases, the antibodies that line our respiratory mucous membranes that serve as the first line of defense against viruses and bacteria. So having a lifestyle that includes hours spent outdoors is also of fundamental importance from an immunological point of view “.
According to the expert, we can help the immune system, “for example – explains Menghi – by reducing the chronic inflammation that comes from work, from a wrong lifestyle and from the chronic psycho-physical stress to which all of us are subjected. our immune system, it is necessary to use immunomodulating therapies. We must not stimulate it excessively but only give it what it might need. Let’s take the example of vitamin D: even in Italy we tend to be deficient in the winter months, because we lead a life inside closed environments: more than 70% of women have this problem. However, vitamin D has a fundamental immunomodulating action, so providing the right amounts of vitamin D to the immune system is certainly positive “.
“Then there are prebiotics and probiotics”, it has been seen that “over the years the variety of the intestinal microbiota of each of us tends to reduce – underlines Menghi – so we can integrate in a specific way, based on the age and style of life, of probiotics that certainly have a fundamental immunomodulating action. Also important is the integration with micronutrients such as zinc and selenium, of which we tend to be deficient, which have a proven antioxidant and immunomodulating action. In most cases it can be useful to do two cycles (one in autumn and the other in spring). This type of therapy should be studied according to the patient’s lifestyle “.
Finally, the use of homeopathic products: “In the immunological field we are literally bombarded by patients who ask us for treatments that are as natural as possible. They range from homeopathy to supplements to phytotherapy. I believe that common sense is needed. Certainly homeopathy, thanks to its gentle mechanism of action, it can in some cases be a weapon to help modulate our immune system “, he concludes.