There are always parents complaining: [My children are often ill, is their immunity too poor? Can you eat some what to enhance your immunity? ]
Is immunity what? Which kind of situation is really poor immunity?
Is immunity what?
The exact term “immunity” should be called “immune system function”. It is a sophisticated network composed of a series of immune cells (such as lymphocytes, etc.), tissues, organs (such as thymus, spleen, etc.) and immune molecules (such as complements, antibodies, etc.).
Under normal circumstances, the [members] of this network work together to fight against [illegal invaders] such as pathogenic microorganisms, which is the main work of the immune system.
Why are infants more likely to get sick than adults?
When the baby is in the mother’s belly, the environment is almost sterile.
At the time of birth, the baby’s immune organs and immune cells are quite mature, but because they have not been exposed to antigens such as viruses and bacteria, the immune system cannot accurately identify these [invaders], and the [memory] of the immune system has not yet been established, so the immune function is not perfect.
Immunity is constantly maturing and strengthening in the process of the struggle between the human body and various external pathogenic factors. Therefore, it is a normal phenomenon that infants are prone to illness.
Why do older children often get sick?
Simply put, there are two reasons. First, the immune system is not strong enough to remove pathogens in time. Second, pathogens have continuously mutated and evolved and learned many ways to escape and survive.
In addition, due to the different genetic backgrounds of different children, the ability of the immune system is also different, which is why different children have the same disease, some people will have symptoms, while others have no obvious symptoms.
Children seldom get sick at home, and they suffer from minor diseases as soon as they go to kindergartens or schools. This is not necessarily caused by the low function of the children’s immune system. It is probably due to the large number of children in kindergartens or schools, which leads to cross-infection during activities together.
How’s immune system is weak?
For this problem, we can indirectly judge by the number of respiratory tract infections suffered by children within one year.
When the following conditions occur, it indicates that the child’s immune system function may be weak:
- For children under 2 years old, the upper respiratory tract infection generally exceeds 7 times/year, or the lower respiratory tract infection exceeds 2 times/year; 2 ~ 5 children, upper respiratory tract infection more than 6 times/year, or lower respiratory tract infection more than 2 times/year; For children under 14 years old, upper respiratory tract infection exceeds 5 times/year, or lower respiratory tract infection exceeds 2 times/year.
Several Mistakes in Improving Immunity
1. There are many drugs that claim to [enhance immunity]. Are they effective?
A: Healthy children eat it is invalid.
Among the drugs, there is a kind of called [immune enhancer], such as thymosin, interferon, etc., which is only suitable for people with low immune function, such as patients with immunodeficiency disease, chronic infectious disease or tumor.
The human body will maintain a dynamic balance through various mechanisms. This state is called [steady state]. Once the [steady state] changes, there will be problems.
The immune system is no exception. Too strong an immune function will lead to autoimmune diseases. At this time, the immune system will attack normal human tissues. Low immune function leads to people’s susceptibility to diseases. At this time, the immune system cannot effectively defend against pathogenic microorganisms.
Therefore, for children with normal immune function, taking immune enhancers has no effect, because the human body will maintain the stability of immune function.
2. Can protein powder for children enhance immunity?
A: No, and it may be harmful.
First of all, the protein purity of protein powder is too high, which is easy to increase the burden on liver and kidney when eating. Secondly, excessive intake of protein in infants can increase the differentiation of adipocytes in the body, which is the basis of obesity in adults. In addition, there is no clear evidence for the claim that protein powder can improve children’s immunity, and of course it cannot be used as a substitute for dairy products.
3. Some parents even give their children C balls (gamma globulin), calf spleen extract and amino acids to improve immunity. Is this desirable?
A: Not desirable.
Gamma globulin is a blood product with strict restrictions on its use and all risks related to blood transfusion. Calf spleen extract is easy to cause allergic reaction; Amino acids are not necessary either. Normal diet provides enough amino acids and it is useless to supplement more.
Is there any way to enhance immune function?
In the real sense, low immune function means that children suffer from primary or secondary immune deficiency diseases, and such children must receive regular treatment.
For infants and young children who do not suffer from immune deficiency, seemingly [immune function is low], but in fact it is often an [illusion]. The main reason may be that the [immune memory] of the child has not yet been established and there are too many opportunities to contact the source of infection in kindergarten or other environments.
So, how to [exercise] the immune system and make [illusion] disappear?
It is suggested that parents should start from the following five aspects when raising their children:
Balanced diet with sufficient nutrition;
Ensure adequate sleep and regular life;
Take proper exercise;
Develop good hygiene habits.
Responsible Editor: BruceLi