Immunomodulators in Day to Day Life: A Review
Abhijeet M. Ingle,
Amit Kumar Verma,
There are ongoing trends of immunomodulation to combat a vast
range of human and animal diseases including the incurable diseases like viral
diseases, cancers, autoimmune diseases and inflammatory conditions. Animate
as well as non-animate factors, surrounding us are interacting with our immune
system. A balanced diet should contain all essential components from energy
to vitamin and trace minerals. Each of these constituent has a very special
effect on the immune system starting from their development to active role in
immunity therefore, the outcome of their deficiency often ends in disease. Edible
items which we consume like various vegetables, spices, herbs, fruits etc.,
are also equally responsible in manipulation of our system either in positive
or negative way. Water has biggest share in our body and acts as the main medium
to support the activities of the different system of body without exception
of immune system. Proper environmental temperature is essential to maintain
bodys functions and experiments carried out regarding the effect of temperature
suggest that extremes of the temperature are often cause immunosuppression directly
by acting on the cells of immunity or indirectly through inducing stress and
thereby increasing production of catecholamine which are potent anti-immune
molecules. Various pathogenic as well as non-pathogenic bacteria cause immune
suppression and immune potentiation, respectively. Proper exercise hold a prime
position in the healthy life as it supports immunity and keeps disease away.
The present review deals with all these immunomodulators having both positive
and negative impact on the health status of an individual.
to cite this article:
Mahima, Abhijeet M. Ingle, Amit Kumar Verma, Ruchi Tiwari, K. Karthik, Sandip Chakraborty, Rajib Deb, S. Rajagunalan, Rajesh Rathore and Kuldeep Dhama, 2013. Immunomodulators in Day to Day Life: A Review. Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences, 16: 826-843.
Received: December 04, 2012;
Accepted: February 19, 2013;
Published: April 15, 2013
Since a long time, the pathogens of humans and animals are coexisting but the
development in economies and changing global scenario are creating the risk
of new diseases and enhancing the old known diseases. Due to change in the structure
of human and animal population, the prevalence of zoonotic diseases like salmonellosis
(Verma et al., 2007, 2011a,
b), brucellosis (Kumar et al.,
2009), campylobacter (Kumar et al., 2012a-c),
Arcobacter infection (Patyal et al., 2011),
swine flu (Pawaiya et al., 2009; Dhama
et al., 2012), leptospirosis (Verma et al.,
2012a, b) etc. are increasing day by day. Apart
from zoonotic diseases certain animal diseases causes direct and/or indirect
economic losses to livestock industry for examples such as foot-and-mouth disease
(Verma et al., 2008a, b),
calf diarrhea (Dhama et al., 2009, 2011;
Malik et al., 2012; Hansa
et al., 2012), mycoplasma infection (Kumar et
al., 2011, 2012c; Jain
et al., 2012) and canine parvovirus (Singh et
al., 2013). In poultry too some of the diseases like chicken infectious
anemia (Dhama et al., 2002; Bhatt
et al., 2011), avian tuberculosis (Dhama et
al., 2011a, b), avian influenza (Dhama
et al., 2005), fowl adenoviral infection (Gowthaman
et al., 2012), mareks disease (Singh et
al., 2012) poses a major threat to poultry industry (Dhama
et al., 2008). In modern days, there are ongoing trends of immunomodulation
to combat with a vast range of human and animal diseases including the incurable
diseases like viral diseases, cancers, autoimmune diseases and inflammatory
conditions (Pirofski and Casadevall 2006; Actis
et al., 2008; Hart et al., 2012; Mahima
and Mudgal, 2012; Mahima et al., 2012a,
b; Yao et al., 2013).
Immune system acts as a protecting shield, which protect the body from various
pathogenic microbes like bacteria, virus, fungi and some free radicals. So in
a healthy body, the immunity has to be in perfect condition. There are variety
of the factors around us those are constantly manipulating our immune system
at large or silently. These factors surround us all the time or encounter occasionally
but definitely leave a mark on our health in the form of either suppression
or stimulation of our defense system. This may either plunge us to disease or
save from the same. From the wake at morning to sleep at night and from birth
till end of life, we are constantly being bombarded with these animate as well
as inanimate objects. No living being can escape their beneficial or the ill
effect. Perhaps the health is an example of the perfect balance between these
two forces acting in opposite direction on the animals, an imbalance in this
generally leads to the condition we know it by the name disease (Fig.
As mentioned, both living as well as non living objects can act as an immunomodulators.
The inanimate objects include food derived microparticles like aluminium silicate
and titanium dioxide (Becker et al., 2012; Wischke
et al., 2012) our very next environmental factors such as air, radiation,
temperature, pressure, water, food, toxins and the most important the stress
generated in the body of an individual by complex interaction of these factors
which again manipulate our immune system (Bengmark, 2012).
The living objects includes various infectious agents namely, bacteria, viruses,
parasites, fungi, protozoa, different plants.
Factors encountering with animals in daily life such as:
||Temperature, pressure, humidity and pollution, constituting environment
Food: It is well said that we are what we eat. The food,
we eat consists mainly of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and mineral
(Mahima et al., 2012a). A proper combination
of these substances is very essential to maintain the health of the individual
and to prevent the illness. Too much is always bad as too little, same is applicable
for the consumption of these food ingredients.
Fat and immunity: The amount of fat deposited in body tissues is a mirror
of calorie intake of the individual in the form of carbohydrates or fats. It
has the potential for manipulation of the immune response as fatty acids may
be metabolized as a powerful biological mediators those play an important role
as immunomodulator (Calder and Field, 2002). Foods containing
essential fatty acids may foster a healthy immune system (Pond,
2005). Two major classes of the PUFA are found in the diet namely n-6 and
n-3. Linoleic acid is precursor of the n-6 and found in the oils of plant origin,
corn and soybean. Inside body linoleic acid is converted to arachidonic acid
in plasma membrane of immune cells therefore their amount in the plasma membrane
is important as they are precursors of the prostaglandins and leukotrines which
plays an important role during inflammation by enhancing it. On contrary long-chain
n-3 PUFAs diverts immune system toward non inflammation by decreasing production
of n-6 products either directly competing for enzyme or indirectly acting at
the gene expression level to downregulate the expression of inflammation favoring
gene (Calder, 2001). Thus, n-6 PUFA are inflammatory
in action opposite to their n-3 counterpart. It suggests that diet rich in n-3
PUFA decreases the inflammation by increasing the membrane levels of the eicosapentanoic
acid and docosahexanoic acid at expense of arachidonic acid (Mantzioris
et al., 2000). The enzyme is common for the both these fatty acids.
So it has been advised that one should eat more n-3 PUFA during inflammation
associated with the autoimmunity and neoplastic conditions. But excessive intake
of the n-3 PUFA may also lead to the immune-suppression therefore proper balance
is equally important (Benzoni et al., 2012; Pae
et al., 2012).
Proteins: Amino acids are the building blocks of the body. They are
engaged in variety of the body functions, of those one important is the immune
function. Antibodies are primarily protein in nature therefore proper functioning
of this machinery balanced intake is very important. Among various amino acids,
arginine is important for the oxygen dependant killing in the phagocytic cells
(Duff and Daly, 2002). Arginine is direct precursor of
the nitric oxide, a potent killer chemical in phagosomes. Glutamine is essential
for the activation of the immune system and proper functioning of the macrophages
and lymphocytes during the inflammation as it has been observed that the consumption
of the glutamine is higher during the inflammation in these cells. It is also
required for the cell division, secretion of antibodies and cytokines (Calder
and Field, 2002). Both low and high protein:carbohydrate ratios in the diet
of pregnant animal leads to significant impact on the offspring defense system
(Tuchscherer et al., 2012).
Vitamins-the vital part of life: Casimir Funk discovered these vital
molecules. Vitamins are essential for the normal functioning of the bodys
defense system by taking part in various immune functions. The common vitamin
taking part in hosts defence mechanism are as follows:
Vitamin A: Vitamin-A, known as anti-infective vitamin, is a very important
vitamin required for normal functioning of both innate and adaptive wings of
immune system. Retinol, its active form is essential for the maintenance of
the epithelial barrier which is an important hurdle for the infectious agent
during entry to produce disease. Deficiency of vitamin A leads to degenerative
changes in these epithelial cells, squamous cell metaplasia and decrease in
number of goblet cells and mucous secreting cells in the gut epithelium (Quadro
et al., 2000). It is required for proliferation of T cells via action
of IL2 and boosts cytotoxicity of T cells towards infected and transformed cells
in body (Dennert and Lotan, 1978; Ertesvag
et al., 2002). Vitamin A metabolises to other substances and interact
with their specific receptors located on the B cells to delay its apoptosis
thereby maintaining the proper antibody titre during the infection (Lomo
et al., 1998). Deficiency also causes inhibition of activity of the
natural killer cells, phagocytosis and effective oxidative bursts. It causes
the increased production of the IL-12 and TNF-alpha which subsequently activate
the macrophages which may promote the inflammation process (Semba
et al., 1998). Vitamin A is important to maintain the normal Ab mediated
response. A study in retinol deficient rats has shown that vitamin A is essential
to maintain the normal antibody production to take care of bacterial invaders
(Pasatiempo et al., 1990). Molecular studies
regarding the cytokine production have shown that the vitamin A up-regulates
the expression of IL-10 while inhibits the pro-inflammatory cytokines such as
IL-12 and TNF alpha suggesting the role directing the inflammation in body (Wang
et al., 2007). Its deficiency results in the abnormal production
of these cytokines and subsequent suppression of the Th-2 response which make
animal vulnerable for the attack of extracellular pathogens (Kim,
2011; DePaolo et al., 2011).
Vitamin B complex: A study has been carried out on the pregnant rats
by inducing vitamin B deficiency resulted with the abnormality in the development
of lymphoid organs such as spleen and thymus in their offspring, indicating
role in development of these vital organs as well as reduction in circulating
lymphocyte (Dhur et al., 1991). The deficiency
also causes decreased number of plasma cell, lymphocyte proliferation, CT cell
activity etc., resulting in lowered DTH response (Fawzi
et al., 1999).
Vitamin C: It is found in high concentration in the activated neutrophils
(Washko et al., 1993) and promotes their function
(Guerra et al., 2012). It protects the body
against various infectious pathogens by acting as a potent antioxidant and improving
the functioning of immune system (Puertollano et al.,
2011). It is essential during the respiratory burst in phagocytes to protect
the host cell from generated free radicals. Diet lacking sufficient quantity
causes impaired phagocytosis as well as free radical injury to host cells. The
condition changes after the administration of the ascorbic acid as increased
sensitivity of B cells towards the mitogen, proper DTH and inhibition of T cell
apoptosis (Hartel et al., 2007). Dietary supplementation
of vitamin C improves the immune function of juvenile cobia, Rachycentron canadum
(Zhou et al., 2012).
Vitamin D: Many immune cells have been identified with presence of the
specific receptors for the vitamin D suggesting a strong evidence of its role
in immune action (Yu et al., 1991). It has a
potent action as an immunosuppressant when mice are challenged with autoimmune
encephalomyelitis (Deluca and Cantorna, 2001). Inhibition
of T and B lymphocyte proliferation, reducing toxic potency of natural killer
cells, down regulation of IL2, IL12 and TNF gamma are some of known actions
of the vitamin D and it inhances IL4, IL5 and IgA response (Akbar
and Zacharek, 2011). It also plays important role in activating the peripheral
blood monocytes after BCG vaccination in bovines (Dhama
et al., 1999).
Vitamin E: This anti ageing vitamin protects against free radical attack
on the cell membrane having lipid bilayer. Food supplemented with adequate vitamin
E increases the Th cell activity and DTH response of skin (Meydani
et al., 1990; Pekmezci, 2011). It is responsible
for the stimulation of NK cells towards infections and shows addictive effect
on supplementing with ascorbic acid especially in phagocytosis (De
la Fuente et al., 1998; Hughes, 2002). It
is one of the important antioxidant, which protects the body from various microbes
including bacteria, viruses or parasites (Puertollano et
Minerals: Minerals as like vitamins play a key role in immune modulation.
Their actions in the body are somewhat complex in nature. Important minerals
manipulating the immune systems are:
Copper: Neutropenia is a usual outcome in copper deficiency in infants
while in case of adults it causes thymic hypoplasia, splenomegaly along with
anaemia. In adult humans failure of the MNC proliferation in peripheral blood
is seen. Copper is essential for the secretion of IL 2 which is important for
the proliferation of the T cells therefore deficiency results in the lymphopenia
(Percival, 1998), making it valuable for healthy immune
system (White et al., 2009). In cattle, deficiency
causes disturbed plasma cells causing drop in antibody production and decreased
interferon and TNF-alpha production by MNC (Spears, 2000).
Excessive copper administration is found to be linked with reduced proliferative
response to the concanavalin A in mice. Increase in copper levels in the serum
are associated with lymphocyte inhibition to mitogens suppression leading to
suppressed immunity, as is revealed by ex vivo study (Pocino
et al., 1991).
Iodine: In vitro, it works with the myeloperoxidase in the phagocytic
cells to kill the bacteria and it stimulates IgG synthesis by the humans B lymphocytes.
Its deficiency is generally reported with the increased risk for immunodeficiency
and cancers by antioxidant mechanism (Venturi et al.,
2000). Excessive intake of iodine is associated with the hypo or hyperthyroidism
which is characterizes by impaired natural killer cell activity (Wenzel
et al., 1998). The antigen presentation activity of macrophages is
increased with increase in iodine concentration in rats (Zhao
et al., 2008), thus making iodine inducing factor in thyroid autoimmunity.
Iron: Reduced serum iron level is an important phase during the acute
phase reaction to slow down the growth of the iron loving bacteria this is a
protective mechanism of body but only for certain period abnormally prolonged
lowered state of serum leads to multiple negative effects such as reduced mitogen
stimulation, abnormal DTH, less cytokine production as well as degeneration
in many lymphoid organs (Food and Nutrition Board Institute
of Medicin, 2001; Cherayil, 2011). It will cause
alteration in the DTH, cytotoxic activity of neutrophils and macrophages. The
effects of iron deficiency on immune system reflect the multiple roles of iron
in the mitochondria during the energy generation and the respiratory burst and
its functions as a component of numerous enzymes such as NO synthatase, COX,
lipoxynase and catalase (Weiss, 2004).
Magnesium: Magnesium is as essential element having potent role in variety
of metabolic reactions in cell. Chronic deficiency in lab animals is found to
be responsible for thymic atrophy, reduced overall immune response as well as
induction of malignancy and increased risk for anaphylactic shock. Its relation
with shock is supported by activity of calcium and magnesium. These two minerals
cause degranulation of mast cells releasing histamine, thereby causing shock
(Ashkenazy et al., 1990; Malpuech-Brugere
et al., 1999; Sampson, 1999).
Selenium: Selenium is one of the most important trace elements having
potent antioxidant activity and improves the immune defence of body to fight
against various microbes (Chaudhary et al., 2010;
Puertollano et al., 2011; Mahima
et al., 2012a). Selenium being important part of glutathione peroxidase
one of the free radical scavenger of cell functions to protect cells from these
unwanted highly reactive by-products of cellular oxidation (Huang
et al., 2012). Diet deficient in selenium causes reduced response
of lymphocytes towards mitogen, impaired chemotaxis of macrophages, abnormal
redox status of the cell and poor antigen recognition and presentation by the
macrophages leading to autoimmune thyroid diseases (Prabhu
et al., 2002; Zhao et al., 2008;
Ren et al., 2012).
Zinc: Zinc is probably only one mineral taking part in number of metabolic
reactions in body including immune function. It is evident that less amount
of zinc is the root cause of increased susceptibility to a variety of pathogens
(Fraker et al., 2000; Prasad,
Immunomodulators around us: Apart from these basic food constituents
the various other materials added in our food commonly or occasionally during
cooking or processing including fruits and vegetables also affect the immune
system in either positive or negative way. Such food items include the plants,
fruits, vegetables and spices (Table 1, 2).
Water: Water is otherwise called as life. It flushes toxins from the
body and allows all the defence systems viz., skin, blood, mucous and saliva
to function smoothly, discouraging flu and other infections from entering the
body. It takes active participation in the immune functions too.
|| Commonly used food ingredients
|| Indigenous herbs with immunomodulatory effects
Studies have shown properly hydrated individuals show less fluctuation in immune
cell number when exposed to the environmental stressors and harsh physical activity
compared to their dehydrated counterpart (Mitchell et
al., 2002; Penkman et al., 2008). Adequate
nutrition is required to boost the immune system and in this regard, water is
indispensable because of the reason that it helps to digest the food (www.fitday.com).
Drinking adequate water oxygenates the blood and thereby cells, allows kidneys
to function properly to remove toxins from the body. Urinary tract infections
are generally associated with the dehydrated individuals as oligouric state
is mainly responsible for pathogens to establish in urinary tract due to impaired
flushing action of urine (Beetz, 2003). The retained
waste products in our body show detrimental effect on the immunity by plunging
body to the stress. As water is the basic fluid component of the blood and lymph.
These two body fluids are very much essential for the circulation of the immune
cells as well as for providing nutrients and removing waste from the cell.
Temperature: The extreme temperature inhibits formation of T and B cells
and suppresses phagocytic action of leukocyte (Kadymov
and Aleskerov, 1988). Increase in the level of serum corticosteroid due
to rise in temperature may suppress the cell proliferation factor or interleukin
(Santin et al., 2003). Temperature stress also
causes decrease in the production of the antibodies. The reason has been mentioned
that increased secretion of the inflammatory cytokines causes hypothalamus to
secrete the stress hormone releasing factors which in turn stimulates adrenals
to secrete the corticosteroids which inhibit the B cells to synthesize and secrete
antibody production and secretion. Also many biological agents contaminate our
surrounding areas which include gamut of creatures from size of nanometers to
several meters. The common bacterial agents manipulating our immunity are various
Gram negative/positive as well as acid fast bacteria. Of this type mainly two
different streams arise as pathogenic bacteria and non pathogenic bacteria.
Pathogenic bacteria: These include: Bacillus, Erysepalothrix,
Staphylococci, Streptococci, Brucella, E. coli,
Hemolphilus, Pasterurella and Mycobacteria spp. etc., of
these agents few are causing minor manipulation while others show major effects
on the components of the immune system. The mechanisms by which they act are
summarized (Table 3).
Viruses: Similar to the bacteria a group of viruses also manipulate
precisely suppress the immune response through various ways. Oncogenic viruses
need a special mention, classical example being human papilloma virus (Boon
and van der Bruggen, 1996). Few important viruses are shown in Table
The fungal agents and toxins liberated by them are responsible for the development
of granulomatous lesion by stimulating the immune cells and mycotoxins secreted
by the Aspergillus favus causes immune-suppression by causing atrophy
of the bursa, spleen and thymus making animals vulnerable for the attack of
Besides these immunosuppressive activities of the microbes several agents have
been reported to be beneficial as they stimulated immune system thereby prevent
diseases and maintains health.
Various studies have been carried out to find a better alternative for the
present adjuvant substances such as Freunds complete adjuvant which is
being used for the enhancement of the potency of poor immunogenic substance.
The substances known as MPL (Monophorphoryl lipid A) which is found in the cell
wall of the Gram-ve bacteria is being tested as a safe and effective alternative.
The non-toxic MPL have capacity to eliminate the expression of T cell activity
without interfering its normal function. This shows a great hope in future for
the cancer research area.
Lactic acid bacteria are well known for their capacity to ferment the carbohydrates
and production of lactic acid. Extensive research is being carried out to use
this bacterium as a host system for the production of the various immunomodulant
molecules such as specific antigens and antibodies and cytokines for manipulating
the immune response in positive way.
Non-pathogenic/beneficial bacteria, fungi and yeasts: There is a vast
group of commensals inside the gut of a living individual. They are present
in the large intestine doing their protective function and getting the food
and shelter from the host. These bacteria are very essential for the protection
against the pathogenic forms which are successfully eliminated by the commensals
in healthy individual (Dhama et al., 2011a, b;
Kapka-Skrzypczak et al., 2012; Bengmark,
2013). Non pathogenic/useful/helpful bacteria whatever we call are group
bacteria which help in prevention and treatment of many gastro intestinal diseases.
These bacteria are referred to as probiotic bacteria (Klaenhammer
et al., 2012). During last decades, probiotics have used extensively
for improving gut health but they can also improve the health other than the
gut for example skin health along with skin innate immunity (Lew
and Liong, 2013). Cell wall, certain metabolites and dead bacteria can evoke
immune response on skin and improve its anatomical barrier function of innate
immunity. They restore the normal microflora of intestine and prevent the inflammation
of gut and related disease conditions (Hemarajata and Versalovic,
Different strains of probiotic bacteria viz., Lactobacillus delbrueckii
subsp. Bulgaricus along with Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus
acidophilus and Bifidobacterium animales vary in their mechanism
of action for immunomodulation viz., increasing the production of immunoglobulins;
stimulation of cell mediated immunity; increasing the phagocytic activity; and
increase in cytokine production etc. (Table 5) (Kosaka
et al., 2012; Lamprecht et al., 2012;
Mokrozub et al., 2012; Tsai
et al., 2012; Deng et al., 2013;
Dongarra et al., 2013). Usually Streptococcus
and Leukonostoc strains are the strong inducers of Th1 cytokine. Sticking
to Bifidobacterium and Propionibacterium genera promised to have
the best anti-inflammatory potential by inducing IL-10 production.
The probiotic bacteria act at the local as well as systemic level. At local
level these bacteria are presented to the M cells or epithelial cells or interdigitating
dendritic cells in the intestinal wall.
|| Probiotic bacteria and their mechanism of action
Epithelial cell of intestine secretes the IL-6, while the macrophages and DC
produce TNF alpha and interferon gamma these causes the proper communication
between the cells of immune system. Of these, IL-6 is important as it is responsible
for the clonal expansion of the IgA B cell so that their population will increase
and produce the sufficient Ig-A molecules which is the primarily responsible
for the mucosal immunity.
In systematic fashion the various cytokines are produced which are responsible
for the T independent switch of IgM to IgA B cells. These IgA producing B cells
then migrate to various organs the intestine via lymphatic route and secure
other mucosal sites.
Allergens: Our immune system protects us but certain substances prove
themselves as notorious by switching immune system to go evil. Not all but many
individuals are prone to different types of allergies. These allergens constantly
show their presence stimulating immune system in exaggerated fashion. There
are countless substances present in our environment those target many of us.
Many people are sensitive to certain foods associated with intestinal distress,
fatigue and even weight gain. Among all, food allergies or food intolerance
is important one. Food items such as dairy, egg, milk, gluten (protein in wheat),
soy, corn, royal jelly, honey, peanut and food additives etc., are common part
of our diet. But in 90% of individuals, they cause variety of symptoms pushing
them towards restlessness, milk allergy being the most common in children (Soheilia
et al., 2006; Harada et al., 2011;
Yadzir et al., 2011; Lee
et al., 2013; Munasir and Muktiarti, 2013).
These substances play with our immune system by stimulating the IgE production
which takes charge for further consequences (Taylor and
Hefle, 2001; Lee, 2013). Assessment and diagnosis
of the incidence of food allergens are problematic. It is difficult to track
the changes over a particular period of time and to trace the underlying causes
of food allergy without the availability of proper data (Hadley,
Stress: The word stress is derivative of the Latin Stringere,
means to draw tight. All those things which are responsible for
causing stress are considered as stressors. A wide list of the stressors includes
environmental as well as psychological which are all around us. And their effect
on the individuals depends mainly on their intrinsic factors such as age, sex,
target cells etc., Psychological and environmental stress like heat, cold, altitude,
climate, pollution; physical stress like over-exertion, sleep deprivation etc.,
leads to the impairment of functions of the immune cells those regulates inflammatory
and cytotoxic responses and result into occurrence of diseases (Korzeniewski
et al., 2013). As an average, a person needs between 6 and 10 h of
sleep at night. Too little or too much sleep disturbs the hormonal balance and
result into the diseases.
Several models regarding effect of stressors on the body has been developed.
Studies indicate that short term stress is an essential phase of proper stimulation
of immune system like a danger alarm to make immune system component active
to face the coming danger. This is beneficial for the short period but in case
of chronic cases it leads to exhaustion of the immune cells to perform their
defense function. This is important regarding the redistribution of T cells
which orchestrate the proper immune function. Chronic stress was found to be
associated with the impaired distribution of these important cells (Dhabhar
and McEwen, 1997, 2002). In a study conducted by Xie
et al. (2013), beak trimming stress suppressed the immune response
of chicks. Stress down regulates the functioning of suppressor T cells and natural
killer cells, thereby decreasing the production of IFN-γ (Kiecolt-Glaser
and Glaser, 2002). The catecholamines suppress the immune function, including
natural killer cell activity (Savard et al., 2003).
Increase in catacholemines may also rapidly alter cell numbers via redistribution
of immune cells. Indeed, increase in epinephrine levels are thought to reflect
lymphocyte migration as it alters the interaction of the lymphocyte-endothelial
cells (Carlson et al., 1996). Various studies
have shown that stress is responsible for the asthmatic attacks (Isenberg
et al., 1992). Psychological stress causes acid secretion leading
to peptic ulcer (Levenstein et al., 1999) and
may have deleterious effects on the early gene expression level of the innate
as well as adaptive immune cells. Stress and immune interactions have significant
physiological consequences even before the behavioral or gross pathological
changes are observed. Moreover, mind-body interaction is an important determinant
of stress proving that psychological stress has got a negative impact on immune
regulation (Kiecolt-Glaser et al., 2002). Stress
hormones released during the stress affects at gene level. It down regulates
the expression of the multiple cytokines and MHC molecules on APCs. It alters
the apoptotic genes of the most immune cells. The mind can also influence the
body, so laugh, meditate, play music and stay happy to increase the immunity.
Age and immunity: Age is one of the biggest factors which affect the
immunity of the person. Persons immunity changes as the age goes up. New
born childs immune system will be developing and it will be naïve
so that its adaptive immunity will be under developed. Slowly the intestinal
microbes take upper hand and it flourishes helping in the development of intestinal
immune system (Rautava and Walker, 2007). Nutrition
and nature of the food taken also plays a major role in sustaining the bacterial
load in the gut and also helping the improvement of immune system (Calder
et al., 2006). As age goes on there will lot of changes in the immune
system. One or two immune functions may go down which is immediately combated
by other. Th1 responses, lymphocyte proliferation and antibody levels goes down
as the age goes up and Th2 responses and prostaglandin E2 levels have a direct
relation with increasing age, resulting in decreased infection.
Alcohol: Excess consumption of alcohol is dangerous to our body because
it depresses the nervous system, inhibits the bone marrow's ability to regenerate
blood cells, hepatotoxic, depletes B-vitamins and dehydrates the body, thereby
suppressing the immunity. This in turn increases the susceptibility to diseases
like tuberculosis, HIV, Hepatitis C and D etc. (Corrao
et al., 1999; Hendriks, 2002).
Exercise and immunity: Relaxation skills like pranayama or yoga and
exercise increase immunity and breathing capacity thereby decreasing stress
hormone production. Exercise increases the sweating, which is helpful in removing
the toxin from the body also improves the general metabolism. Physical exercise
may also improve the health condition of body by changing the functioning of
the immune system. Breathing rate often increases during physical activity thereby
decreases chance of the airborne diseases by the rapid flushing action and keeping
lungs their optimum capacity. Also increases the output of the waste products
through the sweat and urine to minimize the stress. It increases the rate of
blood circulation so that it causes the rapid movement of the immune cells through
the body. It also increases the bodys temperature slightly which has detrimental
effect on the bacteria. Little but regular exercise boosts immunity but over
exercise does the opposite effect on the body (Gleeson,
2007; Davison, 2012). Exercise of moderate intensity
shift the immune response towards Th1 pattern thereby reduces the chances of
|| Factors playing important role in immunomodulation
Generally, the markers of immune function in athletes in the true resting state
are more or less similar to their sedentary counterparts. But when they are
engaged in periods of intensified training, immune function may be chronically
depressed (Gleeson, 2005). Increase in training load
in well-trained athletes inhibits Type 1 T cells function, thereby decreasing
cytokine production along with fall in stimulated B cell immunoglobulin synthesis
and SIgA (Bishop and Gleeson, 2009; Walsh
et al., 2011). Tai Chi and qigong exercise improved the humoral and
cellular immunity by increasing the antibody production and activity of macrophages,
NK cells etc. (Wang et al., 2012; Ho
et al., 2013).
CONCLUSION AND FUTURE PERSPECTIVES
Immunity is considered as the defense system of the body. It depends on the
optimum function of its different components but there are many factors we are
encountering with, in day to day life that have potential to manipulate the
function of the immune cells. No one can escape their good or bad effects. Allergens,
physical and psychological stress, advanced age, alcohol and excessive exercise
are the main factors causing immune suppression directly or indirectly to cause
the ill health. Therefore keeping the stressors away from our life may bring
a good health. Supplemental intake of one or mixed nutrients especially the
vitamins and minerals will enhance the immune status of the individual. Understanding
the immunomodulatory substances present in the food items will definitely help
the individuals to have a better life style. By understanding the usefulness
of probiotics and prebiotics it can help to prevent some disorders like allergy,
asthma. Proper calculation of the dose and regimens will make it much effective
so that it can even replace the medicines. If these vitamins, minerals and food
items are taken in right amount one can lead a disease free life. By this way
we can really experience the meaning of the worthy quote, Let food be
thy medicine and medicine be thy food by great Hippocrates.
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