Nutrition is often defined as a field of science or a topic within the discipline of science which is aimed at interpreting the different ways in which nutrient interacts with all sorts of substances which are present within food items in terms of growth, maintenance, health, reproduction, and disease of an organism or an individual. On the other hand, the immunity system can be defined as a type of defense system which is present within a host. This defense system comprises of different biological structures and processes which protects an individual against all sorts of diseases or medical conditions. A large number of experts have always been interested in identifying the relationship which exists between nutrition and the immune system. Because of this, there is now sufficient data available which sheds some light on the inter-dependency which exists between nutrition and immunity system. This inter-dependency will be discussed in more depth below.
An Introduction to Nutrition
As it was mentioned above, nutrition is defined as the study which is focused on understanding the interaction between different substances which are present within food and nutrients. This is done in relation to the maintenance, growth, health, disease, and reproduction of an organism or individual. Nutrition includes a number of processes like assimilation, absorption, food intake, excretion, biosynthesis, and catabolism. For an individual to get appropriate nutrients, he or she must ensure that the food is prepared in a healthy manner, the food is stored properly, and the food must also contain the appropriate nutrients. Proper preparation and storage of food will ensure that the nutrients within the food items are protected from leaching, heat, oxidation, and the risk of acquiring foodborne illnesses.
If an individual is not able to consume a proper diet or partakes in an unhealthy meal then, that can result in a number of health complications. Some of the most common biological conditions which an individual might have to face in such a situation are anemia, blindness, preterm birth, scurvy, cretinism, and stillbirth. It is important for one to remember that one would not just suffer from various health complications due to nutrient deficiency but an excess of nutrients can also result in various health complications. Some of those health complications are diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and osteoporosis. In certain extreme cases, not consuming the proper amount of nutrients can also lead to malnutrition.
An Introduction to the Immunity System
An immunity system is also commonly referred to as an immune system and it is a defense system present within a host which comprises of different biological processes and structures. These biological structures and processes enable the immune system to fight against all sorts of diseases and biological conditions. This description clearly shows that the immunity system of an individual is vital for his or her survival.
The statement which is mentioned above is true because of the fact that if one lacks an immune system then that will leave an individual prone and open to all sorts of attacks from foreign bacteria, parasites, viruses, and many other organisms which might cause harm to the human body. The immunity system consists of a range of white blood cells which are constantly on the lookout to protect the human body against all sorts of attacks. Some of those different types of white blood cells are mentioned below.
The main job of these types of cells is to quickly recognize when a pathogen enters within the host body, to surround it, and break down the pathogen to quickly absorb it. This basically means that phagocytes actually eat away the pathogens which might enter a human body. There are also different types of phagocytes. Some of the most important types of phagocytes are mast cells, monocytes, neutrophils, and macrophages.
These types of white blood cells serve the main purpose of remembering the pathogens which have previously entered the human body and if the same kind of pathogen enters again then these cells quickly attack those pathogens. These cells begin their entire life within the bone marrow and develop into B-lymphocytes. Some of these cells leave the bone marrow and move to the thymus and they are called the T-lymphocytes.
The Inter-Dependent Relationship between Nutrition and Immunity System
Both nutrition and the immunity system share a rather complex and inter-dependent relationship. A list of effects or the functions of the body has been prepared which can help an individual to understand the complex and inter-dependent relationship which is present between nutrition and immunity system. That list is mentioned below.
- The Use of Energy
All metabolic processes require energy to function at an optimum level. Similarly, the immune system requires energy to effectively carry out all processes which can enable it to protect the human body against all sorts of diseases and harmful pathogens. This requirement of energy further increases during an immune response. To continuously meet this requirement of energy the human body requires proper nutrients. This can only be possible when an individual consumes a healthy diet enriched with proper nutrients.
- The Importance of Vitamins and Minerals
A number of studies have been conducted to understand the effects of vitamins and minerals on the immune system of an individual. And according to most of those theories, the classical nutritional theory seems to be valid in order to understand the effect of vitamins and minerals on the immunity system. The classical nutritional theory simply states that when it comes to the requirement of vitamins and minerals for the different functions of the body then the immune system takes precedence over any other function which is being carried out by the human body. This clearly shows that vitamins and minerals are vital for the proper functioning of the immune system. This would, in turn, protect the individual against all major diseases.
- The Role of Fatty Acids
Earlier it was believed that fatty acids were primarily a source of energy. However, now there are many studies which are also pointing to the scenario that fatty acids might even by acting as stimulants for the immune system responses to kick in. This works in a major way to ensure that the immune system is able to carry out its functions properly and protect one against infections or any other harmful medical condition which might put a lot of stress on the body of an individual.
- The Early Development of the Immune System
When a child is born then he or she does not have a fully developed immune system. This is why nutrition at that time plays a very important role in ensuring that the child continues to have a healthy growth and developmental period. In the long term, this will prevent the child from acquiring any disease.
Nutrition is defined as the study of nutrients and other components which are present within food items in relation to different functions which are performed within a human body including reproduction, maintenance, growth, disease, and health. Immunity system, on the other hand, is a host defense system which serves the primary aim of protecting an individual against all sorts of diseases and harmful medical conditions. Nutrition and immunity system share a rather complex and inter-dependent relationship. This is quite evident from the fact that both of these systems are dependent of each other in terms of energy use and production, the development of these systems, and maintaining the overall health of an individual.