Our immune response changes through neonatal, infant, and adult life. When we reach old age, it declines significantly and may fluctuate during particular life periods like pregnancy. These changes are associated with risks of infections, malignancy, and autoimmune diseases.
More than 1600 genes are involved in immune responses, yet the immune system is quite immature at birth. Then, in adulthood, the protection gets better, and with old age, it declines.
Maintaining a healthy weight, eating fruits and vegetables, and getting enough sleep are the essential things to do to keep your first line of defense strong. Healthy-living strategies do not always work well in the case of the elderly. That is why it is said that their immune system is weaker.
They might have problems with getting adequate sleep, so to improve that, they can buy zopiclone to provide a restful night. They can also boost the immune system by exercising regularly and taking steps to avoid infection (by cooking food thoroughly and washing their hands often).
This article will provide you with the knowledge about how our immune system changes during our life, when it’s the strongest, and why that is.
Immunity Declining With Age
The strong immune system aims to protect the body against many diseases by identifying and eliminating pathogens and cancer cells.
Each pathogen (the causative agent of the disease, such as a virus or bacterium) is caught by an innate immune system that provides an immediate response. If the pathogens successfully avoid innate responses, vertebrates have another protective layer – the adaptive immune system. Here, the immune system improves its response to infection through improved recognition of a pathogen that has already been eliminated. This forms an immune memory, crucial in organizing faster and stronger attacks.
Unfortunately, our health is strongly impacted by aging. The immune system undergoes significant changes, and the response speed drops. The remodeling process of immunity as age advances predisposes to a higher risk of infections and increased inflammation, possibly contributing to dementia, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease.
However, older people’s immunity can be improved in many ways, for example, by digesting nutrient supplements that have been proved to reduce illness and improve overall health. Minimizing stress, exercising regularly, and getting quality sleep also contributes to bolstering immune system responses.
The human immune system changes in different stages of development:
Saying that young people have a stronger immune system than adults isn’t true. Their immunity isn’t as efficient as adults, so they are prone to viral infection and, unfortunately, need more time to recover from it.
To help develop children’s protective and strong immune systems, they need to have an adequate dietary intake of vitamins and minerals. Vitamins such as A, C, E support the kid’s immune system and should be considered your child’s obligatory recommendation.
The young child’s immune system is at risk of many bacteria, viruses, and parasites. However, it is protected against a lot of infectious diseases since their first days in the world. A mother that has experienced some conditions before is transferring passive IgG antibodies in her milk. Besides, the risk of illness is reduced thanks to vaccinations that stimulate immunological memory.
Adult age is the moment in a person’s life when their immune system is fully developed and the strongest. Earlier vaccines and past diseases make the immune memory grow, and those events trigger immune cells (T cells and B cells).
Immune responses vary in every single adult. Even with monozygotic twins, the levels of the immune cells in the body can be different. In almost all cases, an adult’s immunity will be more effective than a child’s immunity.
However, there is a period in a woman’s life when her immunity is reduced. It is pregnancy. While pregnant, women need to take extra care of themselves as they are at risk of getting infections. Pregnant women can also experience the remissions of autoimmune diseases.
Older people have more problems in recovering from respiratory infections like influenza compared with youngsters. Their immune response capability decreases, which is caused by a drop in T cell levels. T cell is a type of lymphocyte responsible for the cellular immune response. They are responsible for the destruction of cells infected by microorganisms and for the destruction of cancer cells.
This is why the elderly have to take care of their immune system more. Some studies show a connection between diet and immunity in the elderly. This group of the population tends to eat less, therefore, providing fewer nutrients to their bodies. Vitamins and minerals from supplements may help them get back to shape and be resistant to infections.
The elderly, compared with young people, are more likely to contract infectious diseases because their immune system doesn’t work the way it used to. It is also visible in older people’s responses to vaccines, which are less effective and don’t protect them as well as they protect children.
Fortunately, many natural methods help to improve the immune system. There is a connection between not smoking, the right nutrition, drinking alcohol moderately, and immunity. A healthy lifestyle is beneficial to strengthen immunity on every stage of life. So, make sure that your diet provides you with all the micro and macronutrients you need – it will make you immune and strong in all the years to come!