Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that keeps multiple body systems functioning. Several immune cells need vitamin C to perform their task, especially phagocytes (a category of white blood cells that is capable of engulfing and absorbing bacteria and other small cells) and t-cells (a type of white blood cell that is of key importance to the immune system and is part of the body’s immune response to specific pathogens). Vitamin C accumulates in phagocytic cells, specifically neutrophils (these are the first immune cells to be recruited and are the most abundant white blood cell), and can enhance phagocytosis (the process in which a white blood cell engulfs a bacteria or virus), generation of reactive oxygen species, and ultimately microbial killing. This is why a vitamin C deficiency results in a reduced resistance against certain pathogens. Not only does our body need vitamin C for the immune system. It also supports heart & vascular health, supports collagen synthesis, supports a healthy metabolism, helps protect against free radical damage, supports healthy hormone production, & even supports brain health by aiding in the production of neurotransmitters. Now not all vitamin C's are created equal. Some can cause digestive upset or are not well absorbed and flushed out of the body so it can not be utilized for all these functions listed above. Reacta-C is a complex that features a gentle form of vitamin C (strontium calcium ascorbate with L-theronate) enriched with bioflavonoids (herperidin, rutin & acerola cherry) to aid in absorption of that super antioxidant. This blend also includes Indole 3 Carbinol which is found naturally in cruciferous vegetables and is a potent antioxidant that also helps support healthy immune function. Not only that but Solaray makes a Reacta-C with elderberry so then you are not only getting all the immune support vitamin C has to offer, but you can also get all the great anti-viral properties elderberry has to offer. This is a great product to help defend you against the cold and flu season coming up.
Vitamin D3 is an essential vitamin for multiple body functions. One in particular is our immune system. Vitamin D also can modulate the innate (defensive, fights any foreign invader, contain phagocytes, leukocytes, & dendritic cells) and adaptive (fights only specific infection, has a 1-2 week response time, composed of B cells & T cells) immune responses. Our immune cells (B cells, T cells, and antigen presenting cells) contain a vitamin D receptor as well as the fact that these immunologic cells are all capable of synthesizing the active vitamin D metabolite. Deficiency in vitamin D is associated with increased autoimmunity as well as increased susceptibility. Research has found that people with vitamin D deficiency seem to have an increased susceptibility to infection. One study in Finland took 800 military recruits and separated the men by vitamin D levels. The recruits with lower vitamin D levels lost significantly more days from active duty due to secondary upper respiratory infections than recruits with higher vitamin D levels. The beneficial effects of vitamin D on protective immunity are due in part to its effects on the innate immune system. One of the main pieces of the innate immune puzzle is that macrophages, which are the white blood cells that engulf viruses and bacteria once detected in our body, are armed with vitamin D dependent antimicrobial responses. If we are deficient in vitamin D, our macrophages cannot do their job properly since they do not have enough of the substance do so. Vitamin D not only helps our defensive immune system, but it also aids in our adaptive immune system. This can be beneficial for those who suffer with autoimmune diseases. There have been many studies of vitamin D status in lupus patients from across the globe. Deficiency of vitamin D is extremely common in lupus patients. Often more than 50% of lupus patients with deficient levels and severe deficiency is not uncommon. Disease activity has also been shown to correlate with vitamin D. Similar correlations between low levels of vitamin D and disease activity and severity have been observed in other autoimmune diseases such as MS and RA. Overall vitamin D is essential for our immune system to function properly and since we live in an area where our sun exposure is extremely limited in the cold and flu season months it is even more important that we take a supplement during these months. If you want to know how much vitamin D your body needs on a daily, it is 27 times your body weight. So if you weigh 170 pounds you need 4590 IUs of vitamin D a day.
Zinc is an essential trace mineral that our nervous system, reproductive system and immune systems use to function. Zinc is very important for our immune system and wound healing. New research suggests that zinc helps control infections by gently tapping the brakes on the immune response in a way that prevents out of control inflammation that can be damaging and even deadly for some. Scientists determined in human cell culture that a protein lures zinc into key cells that are first responders against infection. The zinc also interacts with a process that is vital to the fight against infection, whether it is bacterial or viral, and by doing so helps balance the immune response. When a pathogen is recognized, a series of molecules wake up from dormancy to create a process that activates the innate immune response. A major part of this process involves a highly active protein that is known to play an important role in the immune response to infection. Once it is activated and enters the nucleus of a cell a gene is expressed that produces a zinc transporter. The transporter then rapidly mobilizes to the cell’s wall, where it can then shuttle zinc from the bloodstream into the cell. After cell entry the zinc is then directed to and binds to a different protein. When this happens it halts any further activity in that process. The impact on the immune system of this feedback between the cells and zinc is that it prevents excessive inflammation which can be damaging to cells and the body. Your white blood cells also use zinc to kill bacteria and viruses by shooting it at the pathogens. So not only does zinc help support our immune system but it helps it function better by helping to regulate the amount of inflammation sent to the area. The more inflammation the slower the healing process or recovery of the illness.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.