Winter is almost upon us and, with its continuous and abrupt changes in temperatures, it can lead to the onset of unpleasant flu states and discomfort in the respiratory tract , so even during this change of season it is important to strengthen the immune defenses . The correct functioning and general well-being of the immune system , in fact, represent our shield against external agents and it is therefore essential to strengthen it so as not to be caught unprepared. In addition to following a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle that also includes physical activity, it is advisable to integrate, especially in this period, one’s diet with natural supplements based on lactoferrin, vitamin D and zinc .
Lactoferrin: what it is and what are its properties and benefits for the

immune system Lactoferrin , also known as lactotransferrin, is a multifunctional globular protein made up of 703 amino acids which represents the main reserve of iron in mammalian milk. This protein is not found in any other food, except in mammalian milk. But it is also produced by our body, only in small quantities: it is present in tears, saliva and cells of the immune system.
Lactoferrin contributes toincrease the natural defenses of our organism , preventing the entry of external agents that could compromise its balance. The intake of lactoferrin through the consumption of milk is much lower than that guaranteed by a food supplement. For this reason, it can be very useful to carry out a periodic supplementation to strengthen the immune system in the periods of greatest exposure to low temperatures and seasonal ailments. For greater protection it is better to use supplements that associate lactoferrin with additional components including minerals that contribute to the normal function of the immune system, such as zinc .

Zinc for the functions of the immune system
LoZinc is a mineral present in the body in small quantities, essential for over two hundred enzymes and many proteins, which accumulates mainly in the cells of muscles, bones, skin and liver and in the hair, but is also present in brain tissues. This mineral is essential for the health of our body, thanks to its innumerable properties: it contributes to normal cognitive function , to normal protein and DNA synthesis , to the maintenance of normal bones, nails, hair and skin and to the maintenance of vision .
Furthermore, among the main characteristics we also find the ability to contribute to the normal functioning of the immune systemand to the protection of cells from oxidative stress . Our body is able to absorb only a percentage of the zinc present in food, such as meat, fish, shellfish, poultry, eggs and dairy products. This is why it is essential to use zinc-based food supplements to stimulate the immune defenses for the well-being of our body.

Vitamin D to enhance the immune response
Vitamin Dand known to contribute to the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in the intestine, ensuring adequate levels in our body, allows the fixation of calcium in the bones, promoting skeletal well-being, regulates the differentiation and proliferation of the cells of our skin and it also plays an important role in the functioning of the immune system . In fact, this fat-soluble vitamin is able to activate T lymphocytes , cells of the immune system that recognize external agents and inactivate them, making them harmless for our body.
To have the correct amount of vitamin D available, the most natural and also the simplest way is to expose yourself to the sun. Otherwise, one can resort to the few food sources that contain it, such as meat, cod liver oil and some fatty fish such as salmon or herring. If that’s not enough, it is always possible to use vitamin D-based food supplements that contribute to the normal function of the immune system .

The synergistic activity of lactoferrin , zinc and vitamin D allows to enhance the immune response thanks to the stimulating activity of these molecules on the production of lymphocytes. To make it againthe stronger our immune defenses , it may be useful to take food supplements that, in addition to containing these substances, are associated with echinacea, dog rose, acerola , vitamin C and uncaria .

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