Think about your immune system as being an army, and it’s fighting infection.
The immune system is essential to keeping us alive. Without it, the body would have no defense against viruses, bacteria, parasites, and other harmful agents. When everything is working as it should in the immune system, you won’t even notice it. Yet, when it becomes weakened or can’t fight especially powerful germs, that’s when things go awry.
Luckily, there are many things you can do to boost your immune system. But first, it’s important to understand how all the elements of the immune system work together.
There are a few key players in the immune system which work to keep us healthy. These include different cells, organs, tissues, and proteins. Each of the following has an important role in fighting off disease:
The main roles of the immune system:
When the body encounters something that it doesn’t recognize, the immune system responds. These foreign substances are called antigens. Viruses, bacteria, and fungi all have antigens. The first time the body comes into contact with an, special processes begin to fight it. The innate portion of the immune system uses cells such as natural killer cells to attack the invader. Many components of the immune system contain these cells. 
Next, the adaptive portion of the immune system creates antibodies. This allows the body to fight any germs which it has already encountered any time they reappear. The same response kicks in when you get a vaccine. Your body receives a small dose of the illness so it can create antibodies.
Naturally, the new illnesses which your body doesn’t yet have antibodies for pose the greatest threat. Yet, there are still ways to keep your immune system healthy so it can work its best.
From taking the best possible care of your body to maintaining good hygiene, here are a few simple things you can do to give your immune system the best chance of fighting off disease.
The threat of new illnesses can be overwhelming. Yet, your body already has nature’s best defense against disease, the immune system. Plus, there’s still plenty you can do to stay in control of your health. By following the simple tips above, you can give your body the best chance of staying healthy. Here at Cenegenics®, we prime the immune system for peak performance by taking a highly scientific approach to fine-tuning the body at the cellular level.
About the Contributor
Rudy Inaba Global Director of Nutrition & Exercise
Rudy Inaba is Cenegenics’ Global Director of Nutrition & Exercise. He is a recognized fitness and sports nutrition consultant with nearly 15 years of experience in clinical exercise physiology and lifestyle management. After pursuing his Master of Science in Clinical Exercise Physiology at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Rudy joined Cenegenics where he leads 20 clinical locations nationwide in their advancements in kinesiology, nutritional biochemistry, and their analyses of industry research & market trending.
This guide was produced with contributions from the following key resources:
The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation
The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 1: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy
The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation
The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 2: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy
Jeffrey Park Leake, M.D., CPT
Dr. Jeffrey Park Leake is a Partner and Director of Education at Cenegenics Elite Health specializing in age management and wellness. Having trained hundreds of physicians worldwide, Dr. Leake is also the Director of Education for the Clinical Strategies for Healthy Aging course at AMM Educational Foundation.
Todd David Greenberg, M.D., CSCS
Dr. Todd Greenberg is a practicing physician with a broad range of expertise, including wellness, exercise, sports injuries, and MRI of sports injuries. He is a Radiology Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington.
 Overview of the Immune System. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Derived from: https://www.niaid.nih.gov/research/immune-system-overview
 How does the immune system work? InformedHealth.org. Derived from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279364/
 Sleep deprivation effect on the immune system mirrors physical stress. National Sleep Foundation. Derived from: https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/sleep-deprivation-effect-immune-system-mirrors-physical-stress
 Evaluation of immune response after moderate and overtraining exercise in wistar rat. Zahra Gholamnezhad, Abolfazl Khajavi Rad, Mohammad Hossein Boskabady, Mahmoud Hosseini, and Mojtaba Sankian. National Institutes of Health. Derived from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3938879/
 The immune system and overtraining in athletes: clinical implications. AC Hackney and Koltun KJ. National Institute of Health. Derived from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23540172