vitamin enhances resistance to infection by increasing phagocytic
cell migration and lymphocyte proliferation. It also enhances
responsiveness to antigenic stimuli. Deficiencies have been shown to
decrease lymphocyte activation, lower lysozyme and complement levels
(both important chemicals of the immune system), impair secretory IgA
production (especially important in the intestinal tract) and
decrease T-cell dependent antibody responses.
appears to selectively increase T-4 cells, reacts with free radicals
and free oxygen to help prevent genetic and cell wall damage,
increases tumor necrosis factor, increases activity of macrophage and
natural killer (NK) cells. This changes into vitamin A as the body
suggests that supplementation with Vitamin A may reverse
post-operative immunosuppression as well as boosting immune responses
in the elderly, persons with parasitic infections and persons with
high exposure to ultraviolet light.
B. et alReversal of post-operative immunosuppression in man by
vitamin A. Surg Gynacol Obstet 149:688-92, 1979).
MM . Vitamin A as an immunomodulating agent. Clin Pharm. 12 (7)
B2: Deficiency results in decreased ability to produce
antibodies. This vitamin may be depleted by certain drugs.
B5: Deficiency results in atrophy and loss of function of thymus
B6: Deficiency inhibits cell-mediated immune functions and
antibody production, atrophy of spleen and thymus. Folic Acid:
Deficiency impairs lymphocyte function and decreases antibody
B12: B12 is required for proper lymphocyte function and the
production of DNA and amino acids (protein).
R, Theron A, Effects of B-Complex vitamins on cellular and hormonal
immune functions in vitro and in vivo. Int J Vita Nut Res 24:7-84,
blood cells use Vitamin C to combat infections, and in the face of
inflammation or microbial challenge, levels of Vitamin C are
depleted. Animals — with the exception of guinea pigs — have the
ability to manufacture extra Vitamin C in their livers to replete
their stores — but humans and their distant rodent relatives lack
the crucial enzyme that synthesizes C. Thus, when confronted by
stress, we need additional outside sources of Vitamin C.
whether vitamin C can alter the function of the immune system and
provide increased protection from viral infection, Susan Ritter, MD,
PhD candidate, and Gailen D. Marshall, Jr., MD, PhD, both from the
University of Texas Health Science Center, studied the white blood
cells of 12 patients before and after each patient took one gram of
vitamin C daily for two weeks. Researchers then analyzed the immune
cell types present in the blood as well as the ability of these cells
to make antiviral compounds.
The number of NK
cells (a cell that protects against viruses) in the peripheral blood
increased after two weeks of supplementation with Vitamin C. While
the number of T cells (also active in antiviral immunity) remained
the same, they were more activated following vitamin C
supplementation. The T cells also produced significantly more
interferon-gama (an antiviral compound) and less interleukin-4 and
interleukin-10 (both of which are associated with allergic disease)
after two weeks of supplementation with vitamin C.
concluded that this data suggests an increase in antiviral immunity
after two weeks of 1g/day vitamin C supplementation and the possible
use of vitamin C to modulate the immune system in people.
Ritter, MD, PhD, Gailen D. Marshall, Jr., MD, PhD, Vitamin C
Effect on Immune System: Study presented at the 60th Anniversary
Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
vitamin increases resistance to infection, increases antibody levels,
stimulates B-lymphocytes and promotes T-4 activity and protects
vitamins A, C and B-complex from destruction. It is a free radical
scavenger and will protect all cell membranes and genetic material
from damage from free radicals.
a 1997 study, Meydani, et al gave healthy elderly subjects 60 mg,
200mg or 800 mg Vitamin E for 235 days in a double-blind study. While
immunoglobulin levels and levels of T and B cells were unaffected,
certain clinically relevant indices of cell-mediated immunity
improved at the 200 mg dosage level. This suggests that the elderly
may benefit from higher levels of Vitamin E than those usually
SN et al. Vitamin E supplementation and in vivo immune
response in healthy elderly subjects. JAMA 277 (17) 1380-6, 1997).