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This content is intended as general information. We encourage you to explore the full Puritan’s Pride’s® Immune Health offerings for product-specific benefits.
People have been practicing traditional medicine for thousands of years. There are many different systems of traditional practices that have been shaped by the environment where each first evolved such as Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda.
Throughout all of these systems the unifying philosophy is a holistic approach to wellness.8 Today, herbal supplements are the most popular and frequently used complementary health approach used by adults in the US.9 In places outside the US, traditional wellness practices are still used routinely in primary care, making up around 70% of global health care.9
The power of plants comes from phytonutrients. These compounds occur naturally in plants to help protect the plants but they can also have health-promoting properties for humans.
There are thousands of different phytonutrients with different effects on systems in the human body. Many botanicals contain phytonutrients that have immunomodulatory properties and can be used to support the immune system.*
Echinacea is a flowering herb that grows wild in the Midwestern and Eastern States. This perennial produces purple, daisy-like flowers that are also referred to as purple coneflowers. Echinacea has been used by Native Americans of the Great Plains for centuries to support immune health.* Its use also dates back to the American Eclectics in the early part of the twentieth century. Phytonutrients found within Echinacea are believe to activate the immune system.* This traditional herb has become one of the world’s leading herbs for immune support for good reason.* It can be taken any time of the year to support the body’s natural defenses.*
Elder is a flowering shrub native to most of Europe. It produces dark purple berries roughly the size of blueberries. Both the flowers and berries of the Elder plant have a long history of traditional use. Early settlers of the Americas brought their traditional practices to the New World and quickly discovered a subspecies now called American Elder.10 Native Americans had also already established a long tradition of using Elderberry for its health-promoting properties.10 Today we know elderberries contain beneficial phytonutrients called flavonoids. This traditional herb can be used to support immune health any time of year.*
Andrographis is a leafy plant native to South Asia that has an extremely bitter taste. It has long been used as an herb in Ayurvedic health practices for supporting the immune system.*
Trusted for centuries, Andrographis can now be found in one of our convenient tablets. You’ll get the benefits for immune health without the bitterness.* Our formula is standardized for the active components, including andrographolide, that deliver these benefits. Andrographis also helps support healthy nasal passages, and is sometimes referred to as "Indian Echinacea" due to it being native to India and its similar benefits as Echinacea for immune health.* Our high-quality products are manufactured in the USA from the purest sources around the world, so you can rest easy that you’re getting the best that the globe has to offer.
Every day, your body is bombarded by foreign substances from the outside world. Credit card pin pads, bathroom faucets, cell phones, literally everything you touch is covered in tiny microorganisms. Not all microorganisms are bad, in fact there are trillions of bacteria found in and on the human body which cause no harm, or in some cases are even beneficial to human health.
However, there are also less favorable microorganisms found in the environment. The main function of your immune system is to protect you from external threats and keep you healthy.
Think of your immune system as your body’s security team, trained to recognize and remove any threats while protecting your body’s peaceful residents.
The first line of defense is to restrict the entry of unwanted foreign materials. The skin creates an excellent physical barrier but unwanted guests may still be inhaled or ingested. The acidity of stomach acid, mucosal membranes, and the presence of antibodies in saliva and tears all further help to prevent the entry of these substances into the body.
Physical barriers keep pathogens from entering the body – e.g. skin, mucosa layer of GI tract, antibodies in saliva, pH of stomach
If substances get through the exclusion barrier, they need to be recognized as non-self
Elimination only of unwanted threats, not self or friendly bacteria
Immune memories allow for fast recognition and elimination of repeat offenders
If a non-beneficial microorganism is able to pass through your body’s first line of defense, it must be recognized by your immune system. Recognition is an important feature of your patrolling security team. Without it, your immune system would attack non-threatening foreign substances and even your own cells. Undesirable substances are recognized by white blood cells that send messages akin to sounding an alarm, drawing more white blood cells to the area. There are many different types of white blood cells, also called leukocytes, that all work together to orchestrate the appropriate immune response. The elements of the immune system discussed thus far are all considered part of the innate response.
Characterized as being fast and non-specific, the innate immune system responds within minutes or hours.1 Once the innate immune system has identified a threat, it seeks to eliminate it. The various white blood cells of the innate immune system each fight these threats in their own unique ways. Some will trigger an inflammatory response while others will deal with it directly by engulfing it or releasing toxic chemicals. Since the innate immune response is non-specific, the response is generally the same regardless of whether the same pathogen is encountered numerous times.
The body’s second line of defense is the adaptive immune response. This response takes days or even weeks to develop, but it is highly specific. Unlike the innate immune system which simply recognizes objects as good or bad, the adaptive immune system precisely identifies each foreign substance and develops a customized response. These unwanted guests are identified by the presence of antigens – which are like name tags calling out what kind of substance it is. Highly specialized white blood cells called B cells produce antibodies that fit together with the foreign substances antigens like puzzle pieces. The antibody-antigen complex signals to other immune cells that this complex needs to be destroyed.
Another type of cell of the adaptive immune system is T cells. T cells do not produce antibodies but when they recognize an antigen, some types of T cells will directly attack the foreign invader. Other types of T cells will regulate the responses of other types of immune cells. The most amazing part about the adaptive immune system is its capacity to remember the appropriate response for foreign substance through memory cells. These immune memories develop throughout your life and are readily activated when they are needed again.
Your immune system is always patrolling your body to keep you at your best, but you need to keep your immune system healthy too. Every day you need to provide your immune system with the energy and nutrients it needs to function optimally.
AGE: The immune response starts to weaken around age 60 and continues to weaken with age.2
SLEEP: Important immune proteins called cytokines are released while we sleep. Sleep deprivation leads to decreased immune function as well as increased recovery times.3
STRESS: Both physical and emotional stress can negatively impact the immune system. The stress hormone cortisol has been shown to decrease white blood cell numbers.7
SMOKING: Smoking causes dysfunction of white blood cells involved in both innate and adaptive immunity.5 It is estimated that 1.1 billion people in the world are smokers.6
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: Regular moderate-intensity exercise achieved on a near-daily basis is associated with better immune health with age. More than 80% of U.S. adults are not meeting guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities.4
NUTRITION: The immune system needs proper nutrients to function optimally. There are a number of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that are widely recognized for their role in supporting immune health.*
Because the immune system is such a complex system, there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to supporting immune health. The various different types of white blood cells, immune proteins, and tissues and organs all have different nutrient requirements. Taking a single nutrient for immune health may assist in supporting one of these aspects of immune health, but if you are lacking other nutrients in your diet, then you may be falling short in getting total immune support.*
The immune system works year-round to keep you healthy no matter what the season. Depending on location and lifestyle factors, vitamin D status may be higher in the summer to better support certain aspects of immune health.* Winter weather conditions such as dry air may also affect immune health. It is still important to support your immune health every day throughout the year for optimal functioning.
The immune system should not be “boosted” beyond normal, optimal functioning. In fact, many autoimmune diseases are characterized by an overactive immune system that starts attacking its own cells. There are however lifestyle changes that you can make to help support normal functioning of the immune system. These include getting adequate sleep, engaging in regular physical activity, managing stress, eating a balanced diet and getting adequate amounts of immune supporting nutrients.
The immune system is a complex network of organs, cells, tissues and proteins found throughout the body. It includes the thymus, spleen, bone marrow, skin, tonsils and Peyer’s patches in the intestines. The lymph system allows white blood cells of the immune system to patrol the entire body looking for foreign invaders.
|Serving Size 2 Tablets|
|Servings Per Container 30|
|Amount Per Serving||% Daily Value|
|Andrographis Extract||1,000 mg **|
|(Andrographis paniculata) (whole plant)|
|(Standardized to contain 10% Andrographolides)|
|**Daily Value not established.|
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