Understanding Immunity

How the immune system works + how to maintain and support healthy immune system function.

The body’s immune system is an amazing, complex thing. It’s a system made up of organs, tissues, cells, and our body’s very own chemical messengers. 

The system’s primary function is to defend the body against infection. It is able to recognise when harmful microbes including bacteria and viruses penetrate the body and then mounts an immune response in an effort to help the body fight off an infection. 

When invasive pathogens (such as bacteria, viruses or other microorganisms) are detected in the body, white blood cells are produced to swarm the infection, create antibodies to fight it, and aid other aspects of the immune response. 


The human immune system

From the time we are very young, we are are exposed to a wide range of pathogens (sometimes called microbes) that attempt to invade and replicate within our bodies. 

In order to counter these invasive microbes, our immune systems develop a series of robust defences.

Physical barriers, such as the skin, as well as biochemical barriers, such as antibodies and immune cells, are designed to repel and target invasive pathogens and help repair any damage that is caused. 

Our immune systems function across a number of fronts and performance can be affected by a range of factors including our stress levels, how well rested we are, the quality of our diets and whether we’re exercising regularly.


Components of the immune system

The immune system is made up of different organs and tissues located all around the body. The different tissues play various roles in detecting pathogens and communicate to work as a whole to protect the body.


Bone marrow: creates white blood cells/ immune cells.

Thymus: a gland where immune cells mature.

Lymphatic system: a network of vessels where immune cells travel between the bloodstream and different parts of the body.

Skin: physical barrier against invasive pathogens.

Mucous membranes: protect orifices including the nose and mouth that are exposed to external pathogens.

Spleen: controls levels of white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets.


Support immune health naturally

Prioritise high quality sleep: getting enough high-quality sleep is a cornerstone of good immune system health. Inadequate levels, or poor-quality sleep may increase one’s susceptibility to getting sick, while natural immunity may be boosted by getting adequate rest. 

On average, adults require seven-eight hours sleep per night, while children and teenagers require eight-ten hours or more.

Eat a healthy, nutrient-rich diet: eating a balanced, healthy, and varied diet high in antioxidant-rich foods may improve one’s immune system health. Antioxidants can help reduce systemic inflammation in the body by combatting free radicals. 

It’s a good idea to include plenty of different coloured fruits and vegetables, leafy greens, legumes, nuts, and seeds in your diet. 

Healthy fats such as omega-3s, avocado and olive oil may also help reduce inflammation in the body.

Get regular exercise: engaging in regular, moderate exercise such as walking, hiking, jogging, cycling, or swimming can help to reduce inflammation in the body and can help immune cells to regenerate more regularly.

Reduce sugar & simple carbohydrate intake: foods high in sugars and other simple carbohydrates may disproportionately increase inflammation in the body and when consumed in high levels can contribute to higher bodyfat levels and obesity. 

Consuming higher levels of sugar and simple carbohydrates can contribute significantly to the development of obesity, and other more serious health conditions all of which can reduce immune system health.

Stay well-hydrated: drinking plenty of water daily, particularly when exercising or in hot conditions, can help to reduce the risk of dehydration. 

Dehydration can decrease mental and physical performance and put added strain on organs including the kidneys and heart. These stressors can temporarily reduce one’s immune system strength.

Explore nutritional & herbal supplements: certain vitamins and herbal supplements have shown utility in supporting immune system health when combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle. 

Popular choices include vitamin C, vitamin D, elderberry, echinacea and zinc. 


Sambucol Black Elderberry Cold & Flu


Sambucol Black Elderberry Cold & Flu is available in the original formula liquid, a kids formula liquid and original formula capsules, all containing concentrated black elderberries, which may help reduce the length of common cold. 

Sambucol Black Elderberry Cold & Flu may help reduce the severity of cold and flu symptoms including congestion, cough, sore throat, and fatigue.


Sambucol Black Elderberry Immune Defence


Sambucol Immune Defence is available as an everyday immune support liquid, in original formulation and high strength capsules, lozenges and kid’s gummies.

Formulated with highly concentrated black elderberries, zinc, and vitamin C to support immune system health and function.


Sambucol Cold & Flu + Cough & Sambucol Black Elderberry Cough Kids Liquids


Sambucol Cold & Flu + Cough and Sambucol Black Elderberry Cough Kids formulations contain concentrated black elderberries to support immune system function and ivy leaf extract to soothe coughs, clear chest congestion, thin and loosen mucous.


Sambucol Black Elderberry Immune Defence Lozenge 


Sambucol Black Elderberry Immune Defence Lozenges  contain black elderberry, zinc, vitamin C and honey –convenient on the go immune support.


Sambucol Black Elderberry Kids Soothing Throat Pops


Blended with unique black elderberries rich in antioxidants and the natural soothing comfort of honey to coat the throat and help put your child at ease.


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