Health & Fit Common Virus Could Strengthen Immune System: Study

16:40  03 july  2018
16:40  03 july  2018 Source:   newsweek.com

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  Common Virus Could Strengthen Immune System: Study © Hero Images/Getty Images The research suggests the immune system could be stronger in older age than previously thought.

Scientists have identified a virus that appears to strengthen, not weaken, the immune system, in a study that gives hope for one day boosting our body's defenses as we grow older. 

Evidence suggests that as we age, our immune system weakens and struggles to fight off new infections. So researchers at the University of Arizona wanted to find a way to boost the immune system in older adults.

In a study of mice, the team were surprised to find a virus known as cytomegalovirus (CMV) appeared to strengthen the body’s defenses. Not only that, it seemed to kick into action important white blood cells that fight disease.

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common variable immune deficiency, human immunodeficiency virus /acquired immune deficient Several studies indicate that elderberry has the power to boost the immune system , especially Myrrh strengthens the immune system with its antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal properties.

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More than half of all people carry CMV, which is generally caught at a young age, the authors of the study published in the journal PNASnoted. And as there is no cure, carriers are stuck with it for life.

"CMV doesn't usually cause outward symptoms, but we still have to live with it every day since there's no cure," Dr. Megan Smithey, an author of the study at the University of Arizona, explained in a statement. "Our immune system always will be busy in the background dealing with this virus."

To investigate the long-term effect constantly fighting a virus has on the body, researchers infected mice with CMV. The team then gave mice with and without CMV listeria.

"We assumed it would make mice more vulnerable to other infections because it was using up resources and keeping the immune system busy," Dr. Smithey said.

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Fortunately, there are ways you can strengthen your immune system . For instance, psychological stress raises the risk for the common cold and other viruses . Less often, chronic stress can promote a hyper-reactive immune system and aggravate conditions such as allergies, asthma and autoimmune

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Instead, the researchers found the immune systems of the mice with CMV were stronger than those without.

Dr. Smithey said: "We were completely surprised; we expected these mice to be worse off. But they had a more robust, effective response to the infection."

What’s more, the mice who had been infected with CMV had t-cells—white blood cells that play a key role in our immunity—almost as diverse as young mice. This hits back at the widely held idea that t-cell diversity lessens as the body ages, the authors suggested. 

Dr. Janko Nikolich-Zugich, co-director or the University of Arizona Center on Aging and chairman of the Department of Immunobiology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, said in a statement: "Different types of t-cells respond to different types of infections; the more diverse t-cells you have, the more likely you'll be able to fight off infections."

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There are a number of things you can do to boost your immune system . Learn know how to strengthen immune system and help you avoid some common illnesses. There are studies showing that having low Vitamin D levels correlate with a greater risk of respiratory infection.

Learn about some common and many uncommon ways to strengthen your immune system naturally. It may also help prevent more serious illnesses like catching the swine flu H1N1 virus or cancer. The elimination of sugar from your diet can also strengthen /improve the immune system .

The researchers believe their results paint a different picture: that t-cells are diverse, and CMV could have the ability to activate them. 

"It's as if CMV is issuing a signal that gets the best defenses out onto the field,” said Dr. Nikolich-Zugich.

"This shows that the ability to generate a good immune response exists in old age—and CMV, or the body's response to CMV, can help harness that ability," Dr. Smithey added.

The authors believe their results suggest older immune systems are stronger than previously thought.

In their next study, the team will investigate why CMV appears to have this effect on the body.

Gallery: 50 Easy Habits That Help You Live Longer, According to Science (Reader's Digest) Go for a jog: Among all the things you can do to achieve longevity, one of the most critical is to exercise. Aerobic activity, like running, is crucial for getting your blood pumping and your heart working. A recent study showed that a one-hour run adds seven hours to your life, up to four hours per week. People who run have a 25 to 40 percent reduced risk of early death, and live about three years longer, the study says. Of course, people who run are often healthier in general, but running appears to have its own health benefits. 'Running helps burn off or keep blood sugars normal, which is important because they keep your kidneys, eyes, nerves and blood vessels healthy,' says Jennifer Kuca Hopper, MS, an exercise physiologist and director of employee wellness, worklife, and fitness at Piedmont Healthcare. Running also regulates blood pressure, increases lung capacity, reduces stress, and increases bone density, she says. This is the science behind why running makes you live longer. 50 Easy Habits That Help You Live Longer, According to Science

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