Invisible Danger: I Caught Virus, and Virus Caught Me

Achoo! What if we told you that sneezing is good for your health? In reality, you should not feel embarrassed if a loud sneeze occurs in the middle of an important meeting. Sneezing forces the viruses out of your body and helps the immune system to protect you. But why is it necessary? What can viruses do to your organism if we let them overpower us?

What Make Viruses Special?

Let’s start talking about the nature of viruses from the very basics. The name ‘virus’ derived from the Latin word meaning ‘poison’ – it is the first sign that doesn’t promise anything good about viruses. They are harmful indeed, both to humans and animals, plants, and microorganisms, as viruses need any host cell to grow and multiply. Once they make their way into a living organism, viruses can cause various diseases: measles, rubella, chickenpox, herpes, hepatitis, etc. Even though several of these sicknesses already have been managed as a result of available vaccinations, many of them were fatal for a long time as microscopic technologies were less powerful and, at that time, did not allow thorough investigations of viruses. Technological development gave virology specialists a chance for a closer look at viruses, which were already known to be smaller than bacteria. There are five types of viruses known based on their structure: helical, icosahedral, prolate, enveloped, and complex viruses.

How Viruses Appeared on Earth?

We now know that viruses can be found wherever life is; however, microbiologists disagree when it comes to a single theory about the nature of viruses and how they appeared on Earth. There are three main hypotheses which attempt to explain this topic:

How Viruses Replicate and Spread?

Despite structural differences and contrasting theories about their nature, viruses spread the same way by invading living cells. Usually, cells increase their numbers by dividing in two; however, this does not apply to viruses. The virus starts its replication cycle by first approaching the cell and attaching itself to its membrane – this process may sound simple, but viruses are quite clever as they do not approach cells in which they would not be able to replicate. Later, the virus penetrates the membrane by traumatising it, enters the host cell, and starts releasing viral genomic nucleic acid. After this, the actual replication starts, and the genome begins to multiplicate – at this stage viral proteins may modify and differ from the original virus. Lastly, the host cell gets killed by viruses bursting the cell membrane, releasing themselves, and repeating the process over again.

Virus replication explains the process of virus multiplication inside one organism, but how viral disease manages to ‘jump’ from one person to another? There are several ways of explaining the spread of viruses:

How Dangerous Viruses are?

Throughout history, humanity faced many outbreaks of numerous viruses, and some of them changed the lives of millions, if not more. Each virus had different effects, most being very dangerous. Let’s take the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa – the virus jumped from animals to humans and reached a mortality rate of almost 90% of those infected. Spanish flu, which occurred at the end of the First World War, affected slightly less than half of the world’s population and killed around 50 million. However, not only the number of infected and dead people affects the level of virus’ danger – the invention of a vaccine in many cases is the only way to stop the spread of the virus and minimise the risks. As for rabies, the modern vaccine allows specialists to treat the infected person and save his/her life as a failure to receive the vaccine in time means imminent death.

New Threat – COVID-19

As for now, the world is suffering from never seen before crisis called Coronavirus disease or COVID-19 for short. The society first was introduced to Coronavirus at the end of last year when cases in Wuhan, People’s Republic of China, began to grow relentlessly. However, local lockdown failed to control the scale of the virus, and it quickly spread around the world. World Health Organization (WHO) reports that Coronavirus has already affected more than 41 million people worldwide, of which 1.1 million cases resulted in the death of a patient. The most common symptoms of this virus are fever, dry cough, and fatigue, whereas symptoms such as loss of taste or smell and muscle or joint pain effects are less common. Even though virologists all around the world claim that society needs to learn to live with COVID-19, only vaccines can prevent the increasing and consistent spread of the virus. Sadly, there is no approved vaccine yet, so billions of people have to rely on other precaution methods, such as wearing masks, practising social distancing, avoiding crowds, cleaning hands, and coughing into a bent elbow or tissue.

How to Avoid Catching the Virus?

Besides already mentioned and successfully working self-protection techniques, we must not rule out the importance of the immune system in the fight against viruses. The immune system is our organism’s defence against all kinds of invisible threats; thus, strengthening the immunity should be everyone’s top priority. One of the most common ways to intensify one’s immune system is by consuming immunity-strengthening foods through a daily diet: lemons and other citruses are a source of vitamin C, which increases the immune system’s effectiveness and has antiviral abilities, fish such as salmon or trout are considered best sources of vitamin D, which helps maintain the balanced immune system. Various additives and store-bought supplements also contribute to the protection and health of our body; however, natural products are way safer to consume. We advise choosing CBD products , which not only may reduce levels of anxiety, relieve depression but also improve the immune system. Versatile CBD oil drops  are gaining their popularity in the fields of strengthening the organism and ensure overall well-being. Different CBD products may have exceptional strengths and abilities depending on the exact formula, but organic materials used in the production process and responsible practises unites them all.

Viruses, the same as bacteria, are dangerous and almost impossible to eliminate permanently. Societies throughout the world must commit to changing everyday habits, which gets practised for a greater good – safety and health of billions. As the journey to safe and long life begins with us and our immune systems, every piece of effort counts.


Brace yourself – autumn viruses are coming!

Perhaps the most beautiful time of the year is just around the corner. Autumn will reward us with nature adorned with all colours, falling leaves, and the smell of freshly baked cinnamon apple pie. As we try to enjoy the last bits of sun and warmth and high temperatures, our plans are disrupted every year by runny noses, nasty coughing, and headaches, which are the most common signs of autumn viruses. How to avoid catching a cold? How to fight off seasonal viruses? How the immune system works and protects us? How to prepare for autumn diseases? Today we will answer these and many other questions – get ready!

Autumn viruses: what are we dealing with?

Seasonal infections and viruses are nothing new as we are more than used to call the upcoming season a ‘flu season.’ The vast majority of seasonal diseases such as cold are linked to being viral and easy to catch from another person, who already complains about a sore throat, coughing, runny nose, and fever. The flu, for example, is an infectious disease caused by a virus attacking one’s immune system as it is compromised.

autumn viruses

As symptoms are common for many different seasonal sicknesses, family doctors, practitioners, research performing doctors, and other professionals distinguish a fairly clear timeline suitable for most cases. According to them, cold symptoms such as a stuffy nose, discomfort, sneezing, fever, and body aches take one to three days to peak, and the next days are the worst. Even though a cold usually ends by day ten, it is contagious throughout the whole period of being sick.

Various seasonal sicknesses can affect not only our respiratory system but the whole organism: skin, muscles, internal organs, metabolism, etc. Unnoticed or untreated sicknesses can cause great discomfort as it takes significantly more time to fully recover because our bodies are already too weak at that time as we start using medication or visit the professional doctors.

Our hero – the immune system!

It is easy and quick to start this unpleasant trend of being sick; however, it takes a lot of time and effort to fight those autumn viruses off for good. It’s the immune system that does all of the hard work protecting us every day of the year and especially during the autumn. So, what exactly is the immune system?

autumn

The immune system guards our bodies against unwanted threats such as viruses, bacteria, toxins, and infections. It does not mean that you will never be sick if your immune system is indestructible - the immune system guarantees that one tiny virus that gets into your body will not grow to a massive extent and become fatal. However, it is easy to know whether one’s immune system is working as high body temperatures and swelling indicates it.

The immune system depends on billions and billions of defensive white blood cells also known as leukocytes. As they are traveling throughout our cardiovascular system they screen, firstly, our blood for threats, together with other tissues and organs. Once the leukocytes detect invaders, our immune system starts operating and releases special proteins – antibodies, which fight those unwanted and harmful substances.

There are many different threats to one’s body, so the immune system must be equally adaptable to be able to defend one’s organism in any case. The immune system usually develops a long-term immunity, which means that one store information about the attackers and will know next time how to deal with it quicker than the last time.

Vitamins to prepare for autumn diseases!

There are many ways to strengthen the immune system – it’s easy to help your organism to protect yourself and prepare for autumn viruses season once you know what you need. We may be making a big mistake if we fill our bodies with unnecessary substances as excess is as bad as scarcity. Plenty of foods are rich in various vitamins and nutrients that complement our organisms, but we often are not aware of their existence and do not know how useful they are. Let’s expand our knowledge of vitamins that benefit our immune systems!

Everyone must have heard about vitamin C as its intake is one of the greatest ways to boost one’s immune system. Our organisms do not produce or store vitamin C for long periods, so we must ensure a daily intake of vitamin C as they stimulate the generation of white blood cells.

Vitamin E helps our immune system to fight off various infections and viruses; it positively affects the immune system’s cells and makes them more productive. However, numerous studies have shown that the best results are achieved when vitamin E is taken together with vitamin C.

Vitamin B6 supports biochemical reactions, and together with other vitamins from group B, they also help turn food into energy, thus, providing our bodies with necessary nutrients. Vitamin B6 is considered to be that one significant substance that benefits many different parts of our bodies; however, as our bodies do not produce, we need to obtain it from our everyday diets and supplements.

Vitamin D is essential for an effective immune system’s response. Low levels of this vitamin are linked with frequent illnesses and infections, so seasonal cold and flu can be prevented once ensuring sufficient amounts of vitamin D in our bodies. As we can acquire vitamin D from being in the sunlight, now it is the best time to go outside, spend some time tanning, and prepare for autumn diseases in a fun and easy way!

Even though beta-glucans are not vitamins but fibers, their enhancing abilities does just that. Beta-glucans strengthen the immune system, reduces symptoms of fever, and lowers the chances of getting a sometimes-fatal seasonal infection. They also ensure the smooth functioning of our bodies and feature specific anti-inflammatory properties, thus shortening the period of being sick. As beta-glucans are a natural way to improve one’s overall health and well-being, one must include beta-gluten-rich foods into a diet.

People often say that you should think about everything in advance to achieve the best results sometime later. Although the immune system forms throughout our whole lives, today is the day to prepare for autumn viruses season! Stay tuned as more tips to survive the autumn disaster follow next week.

Why beta-glucans are the smartest way to strengthen the immune system?

Many people from all around the world and from different cultures and societies agree that nature is the best pharmacy kit one could ever wish. Starting with your great grandmother and finishing with professional homeopaths, they have long been using natural products and foods to treat and ease symptoms of many illnesses and diseases. However, there is one particular product that is worth more attention to pay – it’s beta-glucans!

What are beta-glucans?

Beta-glucans are a remarkable type of fibers found in many contrasting foods and plants on which its real benefits depend. Even though some of the sources of beta-glucans have been used for centuries, at that time, people were considering the food itself being powerful and having healing abilities; particular interest in beta-glucans came to light only in the last decades of the twentieth century. Now they are widely used for many different purposes and in quite unlike ways: by mouth as food additives or vitamin pills, intravenously as an injection into one’s muscles, or used externally as various skin balms.

Being classified as water-soluble fibers beta-glucans slows down the process of digesting food, so our bodies do not rush to absorb sugars. Besides slower food transit, beta-glucans are partially indigestible; they travel through the whole digestive system. Beta-glucans strengthen the immune system and are safe to use when administered orally in quantities found in everyday foods, so a rich diet is one of the best ways to enrich one’s body with beta-glucans.

Where in nature do we find beta-glucans?

Beta-glucans were first found in the form of sugar hiding in the cell walls of lichens, which is a composite organism that grows based on a symbiotic relationship between fungus and algae. There are some species of lichens that are edible and safe, but be careful as some lichens are poisonous and can happen to be your last meal once they form from Cyanobacteria and releases harmful toxins. People mostly use inedible lichens for clothing, decoration, or dyes creating many astonishing colors.

Shortly after, beta-glucans were discovered in barley and other types of cereals: wheat, bran, and oats. As different types of grains are far more scientifically researched than seaweed or various mushrooms researchers inform consumers that particular species of cereals have different immune-strengthening potential because they contain unlike amounts of beta-glucans. Scientists state that barley is the most beta-glucan-rich type of grain and is followed by oats, which has a slightly lower content of beta-glucan.

You may also find beta-glucans in various Chinese and Japanese mushrooms, particularly maitake, reishi, shimeji, and shiitake. Unlike grains, which have different content of beta-glucans depending on the species, mushrooms have the highest levels of beta-glucan shortly before the spores start to mature. As the timeframe for picking these mushrooms is not long, and scientists have not researched them extensively, consumers must understand that it is safer to eat them in small quantities until more information follows.

Of course, there are more natural sources containing beta-glucans, for example, bacteria, algae, yeasts, etc. Even though the latter has more beta-glucans than mushrooms, they are just as widely used and healthy; the only difference is that you may need to consume smaller amounts of brewer’s or baker’s yeasts to reach the same results as eating cereals or mushrooms. No matter the quantity of yeast-derived beta-glucans that one consumes throughout the meals or as supplements, these beta-glucans are one of the safest and smartest ways to improve one’s health.

What is the value of beta-glucans?

The first widely known and scientifically proven beta-glucans’ benefit to a person’s body was boosting the cardiovascular system. Scientists agree that consistent consumption of grain-based beta-glucans adds up to maintaining a healthy heart and improving cholesterol and insulin levels, reducing high blood pressure (hypertension), and the risk of strokes. Beta-glucans also reduce the risk of type II diabetes and help control blood sugar levels if already diagnosed with such an illness. Different studies argue for how long one should consume beta-glucan-rich foods before the first results may show; however, they do not feud about its benefits.

Beta-glucans also help people dealing with particular skin conditions. Various researches show that routinely used a face cream with beta-glucans reduces the skin flares and itching caused by eczema. Beta-glucans may also reduce canker sores - painful ulcers developing on the soft tissue in one’s mouth or on the gums. Yeast-derived beta-glucans have a distinctive feature of stimulating skin cell response and defending our skin against the pollution from the environment - it also delays the aging process!

Other advantages of consistent beta-glucans use include reducing the symptoms of hay fever and lowering the chances of getting an infection after various surgeries as yeast-derived beta-glucans have specific anti-inflammatory properties. It may also shorten the length of one’s intensive care unit stay as it improves survival rates and overall well-being. Cancer patients use beta-glucans intravenously as an injection; it may extend the life of patients or delay the growth of cancer of some localities when used together with usual cancer-treating medication.

Various studies have shown beta-glucans being valuable in the process of controlling one’s weight. As beta-glucans are fibers, they help people dealing with obesity or having metabolic syndrome - the condition affects about one-quarter of the population of all ages! Including beta-glucans-rich food into an everyday diet can effectively increase weight loss.

Besides all advantages, beta-glucans are mostly celebrated for their ability to stimulate immunity. Beta-glucans strengthen the immune system, ensure smooth functioning, and help one’s body deal with various diseases, bacterial infections, and viruses’ pathogens. Taking yeast-derived beta-glucans, for example, enhance the immune system by activating macrophages, which initiates a fast and incredibly powerful immune response.

Even if you think that all of the benefits of beta-glucans sound too good to be true, you will be able to see and feel for yourself. Hold on tight onto your chair as next week we are introducing an amazing new product to the market – it’s CBD oil with beta-glucans! This incredible combination means that CBD oil will improve your physical and mental well-being at the same time as beta-glucans strengthen the immune system and may ensure the smooth working of your heart.

Attention! Immune system prepares for fight!

The human body is a vulnerable thing: it requires special care and protection not only during the abnormal summer heats but also during freezing winter frosts and other dangers. Let’s admit, it is easy to prepare for and fight off objects and feels that one can see or sense; however, such a process gets way trickier when you must challenge things that are invisible to a naked eye - pathogens. It’s our immune system that does all of the hard work protecting us from dangerous viruses and bacteria, although investing in strengthening it always pays off.

What’s the immune system?

It is easier to think about the immune system as really high and steep stone walls surrounding the castle – the human body. As hostile persons – pathogens from viruses and bacteria – try to enter the castle, they are immediately blocked by strong and invincible walls. However, as time goes by and the walls are exposed to changing weather conditions, they are likely to collapse if unsupervised or show weaknesses, thus needing constant strengthening works and additions.

One immune system – plenty of immunities

According to immunology scientists, in the medical world, the body’s immune system is distinguished in several different segments. All people are brought into this world having innate immunity – pre-programmed body cells that identify harmful substances in a matter of seconds and fight them; it’s the equivalent of using walls for protection that were already there. The adaptive immune system is a complete opposite of innate immunity - it’s a more advanced way to beat pathogens as it can remember them by storing information in itself on how to do it; it reminds building a new wall around the castle.

The adaptive immunity is further subdivided into natural passive and active, and artificial active and passive immunity, which all have contrasting acquiring processes. Natural-passive immunity refers to pregnancy months as a fetus receives antibodies to fight pathogens through the placenta or when nursing. Natural-active immunity forms once the person is done dealing with a live pathogen and forms immunological memory of such a process.

Artificial-passive immunity includes transferring one person’s blood to another, thus forcing one’s cells to share information on how to fight the pathogens to other’s cells. Artificial-active immunity stands for vaccination, after which antigens simulate a possible response to a small number of pathogens, and later knows how to destroy the disease as a whole. However, it doesn’t matter which type of immunity guards your body’s castle - it matters that you reinforce the complete picture of defending walls in time!

What happens once the immune system fails?

If the walls defending the castle fail to stop intruders, the castle itself becomes weak and damaged; immunology scientists divide such a situation into several categories depending on how the body deals with attackers – pathogens:

•           autoimmunity disorder happens when the body’s immune system isn’t capable of distinguishing positive cells from destroyable bad ones and decides to attack both;

•           hypersensitivity is a smart name for the body’s immune system destroying its own harmless cells instead of faulty invader ones;

•           immunodeficiency occurs when the body’s immune system loses its capability to fight or gets compromised by short-term events. Even though some of the cases of immunodeficiency is inherited, modern-day problems - alcoholism, obesity, and drug use - determine the largest amount of overall cases.

Tips on how to strengthen the immune system

Most of the time, the body’s immune system is strong enough to produce antigens and destroy pathogens without harming the actual person. However, as immune systems get weaker and start to struggle to fulfill its task, some immunity-strengthening methods and means are not optional but obligatory.

An average human spends about one-third of a lifetime sleeping – roughly 25 years, so anywhere from 7 to 9 hours every night. As regular sleep routine and quality rest maintain physical and mental well-being, it adds up to strengthening the immune system as well. We advise everyone to re-check their sleeping schedules and ensure a clean, relaxing, and stress-free sleeping environment.

As humans get all the energy needed to support the smooth working of the body from the nutrients, the only way to get them is through consuming healthy foods. Nutritionists advise people to eat a diet that would include foods from every group of the food pyramid. That means mostly eating grains and cereals following by various fruits and vegetables, not forgetting meats and dairy, but abstaining from eating lots of fats and sugars. It is also necessary to stay hydrated as water carries oxygen to one’s body cells and removes toxins from the body.

Scientists agree that about 30 to 60 minutes of exercise – walking, running, swimming, etc. - a day improves the body’s immune system and its ability to fight pathogens from viruses, germs, and bacteria. As it helps maintain healthy body weight and avoid obesity, regular and properly performed exercises adds up to both physical and mental health. Fitness experts also suggest showering under cold water or having an ice bath once in a while as it helps the immune system to fight off any remaining unwanted substances out from the body.

We are educated about the cost of harmful habits and addictions every step of the way; however, scientists recently found out that there are more than quarter-billion people dependent on alcohol in the world. No matter the addiction – alcohol, smoking, or drugs, such practices leaves permanent damage not only on the outside of the body but internally. As it weakens organs to perform their functions, prolonged periods of untreated addiction may result in autoimmunity problems.

One of the easiest ways to improve the immune system is to buy pharmaceutical preparations; however, as there is plenty of variety of vitamins and pills, one can do more damage to the immune system rather than good. As people all around the world pay more attention to what kind of medicine they put into their bodies, a lot of them choose homeopathic and time-proven remedies. There is a saying that nature provides humans with everything it needs, so drinking herbal teas is a logical way to strengthen the immune system, but make sure you know what you are about to consume beforehand!

There is one particular type of means to improve the strength of the immune system, which is only gaining popularity. CBD oil and other products are considered the new black as it has valuable anti-inflammatory features, helps prevent an immune response, and easies some autoimmune sicknesses. CBD oil can improve the way how precisely the immune system remembers harmful pathogens, thus speeding up the future recovery process and ensuring overall physical and mental well-being.

It doesn’t matter which methods you will choose to strengthen your immunity system as this process focus more on consistent efforts and positivity. Although we recommend you avoid saving when it comes to health and its improvement, there are plenty of options of how economically one can strengthen immunity right at home.

What is CBD?

‘CBD – to understand immediately’

CBD or Cannabidiol is actually one of the many wonderful cannabinoids that are found in the hemp plant. CBD oil is derived from the hemp plants flowers and not the seeds making the extraction process a true form of scientific art. 

CBD is a completely natural substance, which has been seen to have many uses and benefits for the human body. Another wonderful fact about CBD is that it has no psychoactive effects, allowing people to use it, have great effects without the fear of getting ‘high’. 

How does CBD work?

CBD just like other cannabinoids work by interacting with the receptors found throughout the human body - in our organs, connective tissues, glands, immune cells, and brain. It is able to do this because CBD closely resembles chemicals that the body creates naturally. This system of chemicals and receptors is called the endocannabinoid system.

In this system there are two types of cannabinoid receptors – CB1 and CB2. CB1 is mainly found in nerve cells, brain and spinal cord. CB1 present in the hypothalamus affecting appetite and CB1 in hippocampus influence memory processing in the brain.CB2 is located in the peripheral nervous system. One of the main functions of this receptor is to keep the body’s immune system healthy by regulating the release of cell signalling molecules. This regulation boosts cell to cell communication and accelerates the movement of cells towards the area of inflammation. 

By stimulating cannabinoid receptors many cannabinoids including CBD are capable of reducing pain and inflammation along with stimulating appetite, boosting rest and promoting sleep.

What are the benefits of CBD?

CBD is being used for many medical disorders such as pain management such as arthritis and multiple sclerosis, depression and anxiety, sleeping disorders, even seizures such as epilepsy and easing cancer treatment symptoms. It is also a great immunity booster with anti-inflammatory properties. 

Lastly, researchers say that cannabis is one of the oldest domestic plants which are used by the human race for at least 10,000 years. Since our bodies have receptors, cannabis experts say consuming cannabis is a natural way of life.

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