Are Peptides Part Of The Immune System?

The body is a complex system made up of various elements that operate symbiotically. Within each part of the body, there are many different things working together to keep you healthy. For example, the cardiovascular system is made up of the heart, blood vessels, and blood; the heart muscle pumps blood throughout the body using blood vessels to ensure that the cells within the blood can carry oxygen to the tissues and other organs. Cells within the blood are also tasked with other jobs as they use the bloodstream to make their way around.

This is just one example of how different parts of the body function together, and thus rely heavily on one another to ensure optimal health. When it comes to the immune system and its function, various different facets of the body are involved to make sure you’re protected from viruses, bacteria, and any other type of pathogen that may invade your body.

The immune system itself is made up of special organs, both specialized and non-specialized cells, and other chemicals. The main components include white blood cells, antibodies, the spleen, the thymus, the bone marrow, the complement system, and the lymphatic system. Molecules called peptides may also play a role in immune health – but what are peptides, exactly? And are peptides part of the immune system?

person slicing meat
Image by José Ignacio Pompé on Unsplash: Peptides can be found in many animal products, such as meat.

What are peptides?

Peptides are naturally occurring molecules that are similar to proteins, only smaller in size. Outside the body, peptides are also artificially processed to be used in many cosmetic and health-focused products because of their alleged benefits, such as anti-aging capabilities, anti-inflammatory properties, and muscle-building abilities.

Peptides are often confused with proteins because the two are made up of amino acids, which are organic compounds that contain certain chemicals to be used and combined to form proteins in the body. However, although the two are both made from amino acids, peptides do not contain as many amino acids as proteins do.

Peptides can be found in food sources such as:

  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Meat
  • Fish and shellfish
  • Soy
  • Oats
  • Flaxseed
  • Beans and lentils
  • Wheat
  • Hemp seeds

Research surrounding the health benefits of peptides has been largely focused on bioactive peptides. When supplements or cosmetics are created using peptides, they are often taken from the aforementioned sources.

What do peptides do to your body?

Peptides are easier for the body to absorb and break down because of their smaller size. They can also penetrate the skin as well as the intestines more easily. Because of this, they are able to make it into the bloodstream faster than proteins are.

There are various types of peptides, all of which have their own proposed health benefits. For example, collagen peptides are thought to be beneficial for skin health. They are also viewed as helpful aids in anti-aging products. Creatine peptides, on the other hand, have been seen to help build both strength and muscle mass in humans.

Other benefits that may be attached to the use of peptides include:

  • Reducing high blood pressure
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Helping to mitigate oxidative stress because of their ability to act as antioxidants
  • Preventing blood clot formation

Research has also found that peptides may be able to improve immune function. 

Do peptides help with the immune system?

Studies have found that certain peptides can act as immunomodulators. This means that taking peptides may help to regulate how the immune system functions, thus improving how it reacts to certain pathogens and mitigating overreaction that can drive widespread inflammation throughout the body.

It’s thought that peptides have this ability because of the way the immune system reacts to proteins. When a pathogen enters the body, the T-cells of the immune system become activated. These T-cells require several different proteins to be able to signal properly, because the amino acids that reside on the surfaces of protein cells help the immune cells in their actions. Peptides mimic the action of these proteins, and therefore help to modulate the immune system’s response.

immune system defense
Image by Bru-nO on Pixabay: Peptides have been shown to be helpful in fighting off infections and disease. 

Do peptides cause an immune response?

Peptides also have the ability to stimulate an immune response. Because of this, peptides may be able to add an extra layer of protection against cancer and other diseases. When peptides act as proteins, modulate the immune system, and stimulate it when appropriate, the molecules are working in a way that ensures the body’s immune function is where it needs to be.

In terms of peptides and the action of antibodies, research has found that they could actually act similarly. Antibodies form in response to a pathogen and are designed to rid the body of cells that are causing disease. Peptide-based drugs lack certain structures that antibodies have – structures that can often make them unstable. Because of this, peptides can simply act the same as an antibody but remain far more stable.

While research is still ongoing when it comes to peptides and how they affect the immune system, there is enough viable evidence to show that peptides are promising molecules in the fight against weakened immunity and chronic disease.

Featured image by Wikimediaimages on Pixabay

6 Activities That Boost Immune Function

The way your immune system functions will determine your overall level of health. After all, it is the first line of defense your body has against pathogens and chronic illness. When the immune system is in good working order, the body is able to fight off infections more easily, which is a vital component of staying healthy.

Everyone’s immune system could use a little boost from time to time, especially in this day and age. Things such as leading a sedentary lifestyle, eating the wrong foods, and not getting enough sleep can all negatively affect how the immune system does its job. But by addressing specific lifestyle factors and performing activities that boost immune function, you can give your system the jolt it needs to protect you and your health.

How can I naturally boost my immune system?

There are plenty of ways to naturally boost your immune system. Many are simple lifestyle changes that can be implemented seamlessly into your daily routine. Let’s take a look at some specific immune-boosting activities everyone should do get that extra level of protection.

1. Get some shut-eye

Sleep and immune function work together symbiotically. This means that the amount and the quality of sleep you’re getting will be crucial in how well your immune system responds if pathogens enter your system.

Sleep doesn’t just affect one facet of the immune system, but several, as research has shown. For example, sleep and the circadian system, or the body’s natural sleep-cycle regulator, work together to help regulate the immune system. Both sleep and the circadian system help the body to communicate with the immune system, and when that communication is disrupted, it can lead to weakened immune function.

During sleep, your body has lower levels of stress hormones that can lessen the function of molecules called integrins. These molecules are designed to help immune cells known as T-cells stick to viruses to rid them from the body. When those hormones are lowered, the integrins are more well-equipped to help T-cells get into contact with infected cells and thus get them out of the body.

woman meditating - immune-boosting activities
Image by Mor Shani on Unsplash: What is the fastest way to boost the immune system? Change up your lifestyle a little.

2. Practice mindful meditation

Mindful meditation is a practice designed to enhance awareness in daily life. Research has shown that this practice, when performed regularly, can help to increase the function of the immune system. It does this by modulating certain immune functions, such as the proinflammatory processes, enzyme production, and cell-mediated defense.

These parameters are important because they play direct roles in the immune function. For example, the proinflammatory process can cause an abundance of inflammation, which is bad for the immune system; and enzymes are needed to help protect against cell aging, which can decrease how well the immune system works.

3. Get moving

Exercise is important for overall health, but when it comes to the immune system, it is especially crucial to get the body moving on a regular basis. Research has shown that regular exercise can help to modulate the immune system. It does this by encouraging the circulation of important immune cells known as lymphocytes. During and after exercise, the body also releases other immune cells known as cytokines, which are crucial in protecting the body.

4. Adopt a positive mindset

It’s not possible to think happy thoughts every hour of every day. Everyone experiences annoyances and struggles. But having a positive mindset towards negative situations can help to increase how the immune system functions in the long run.

Research has shown that focusing on the positives help people increase the strength of their immune systems. One specific study had participants look at both positive and negative images. They were later asked to think about the experiment and underwent blood tests to determine immune function. The participants who remembered more positive images had better immune functioning for up to two years following the experiment.

This just goes to show that thinking about the silver lining can have a great impact on how well your body fights off illness.

5. Learn to cook

Diet may not be everything when it comes to healthy living, but it does make up a huge portion of how well the body works. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients will help to keep the immune system running as it should.

Research has shown that when a person is deficient in any nutrient, it can affect the way the body produces antibodies for pathogens as well as other immune cells. For example, natural killer cells are required to help contain infections within the body so that other immune cells can prepare to clear them out. These natural killer cells rely on having enough B6 and B12 within the body to keep them ready and able to do their job.

Learning to cook and eat with intention can help you get all the nutrients you need because you will be more in control of what goes into your body, and thus more in control of the fuel you give your immune system. 

people learning to cook
Image by Edgar Castrejon on Unplash: How do you strengthen a weak immune system? Learn how to make healthy meals.

6. Spend more time outside

Being out in the great outdoors is great for both physical and mental health, but it can also positively affect how well the immune system functions. This is because the immune system needs vitamin D, and being outside is the best way to get it.

The immune system is vital to overall health, and keeping it running at its best will help you stave off illnesses and decrease your risk of developing chronic disease later in life.

Featured image by Church of the King on Unsplash

14 Immune-Boosting Winter Foods To Fight Off Illness

The immune system can always use an extra boost, but that is especially true in the winter months. During the winter, colds and flus typically affect people in higher numbers because people are more likely to stay in enclosed spaces for longer and because viruses thrive in the cold, low-humidity conditions.

Making sure your immune system is up to par when flu season rolls around is crucial to warding off illness and keeping yourself healthy all year round. There are plenty of things you can do to stay on top of your immune function – including eating some immune-boosting winter foods.

What are home remedies to boost your immune system?

There are a few things you can do for your immune system that require little effort and can be done from the comfort of your own home. Getting enough quality sleep is vital to immune health because the less quality sleep a person gets, the more likely their immune system will weaken, leaving them open to illness.

Moderate exercise is also a great way to help improve the functionality of the immune system. Research has shown that people who engage in moderate exercise regularly, such as brisk walking, jogging, swimming, light hiking, and biking, show an improvement in the way their immune system functions. The one caveat is that the activity shouldn’t be too intense, as intense bouts of exercise can actually suppress immune function.  

Staying hydrated is also a simple way to keep the immune system up to par. Dehydration can cause a variety of ailments such as headaches, mood imbalances, and heart and kidney issues, and when the body is fighting to stay healthy on its own, it has a hard time fighting off pathogens. It’s also worth noting that keeping stress levels down can have a positive effect on immune function. You can reduce stress through relaxation exercises such as meditation or yoga.  

Vital RX - winter exercise
Image by Einar H. Reynis on Unsplash: How do I boost my immune system to fight a cold? Try some moderate exercise such as jogging.

What foods boost your immune system when sick?

Diet is the best way to ensure that your immune system is running at its best. If a cold or flu has already taken hold of your body, there are specific foods that can lessen the duration and severity of the illness by boosting your immune function and getting you back to health.

  1. Broths. Broths are great when you’re sick because they keep you hydrated, are easy to stomach, and contain vital nutrients that the immune system needs to be ready for battle.
  2. Garlic. Garlic has both antibacterial and antiviral effects, so it’s a great addition to your diet if you’ve caught a cold. It has been shown to help stimulate the immune system.
  3. Honey. Honey is full of antimicrobial compounds, which give it antibacterial effects. This has led to honey being used to help people ward off illnesses and get over common flus and colds.
  4. Oatmeal. Oatmeal is bland enough to eat while sick but also packs a punch when it comes to helping you get over that pesky cold. Oats contain beta-glucans, which stimulate the immune response.
  5. Berries. The immune-boosting effects of berries come from polyphenols, a type of antioxidant.
  6. Green leafy vegetables. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach have vitamin C, beta carotene, and antioxidants. When consumed regularly, they can give the body a better chance at fighting off infection.  
  7. Citrus fruits. Citrus fruits are full of vitamin C, a vital nutrient for immune health. The vitamin plays a role in the production of white blood cells, which are responsible for fighting off infection. Having more white blood cells will make the immune response stronger.
  8. Yogurt. Natural yogurt is high in vitamin D, a nutrient that helps regulate the immune system and its response to outside invaders.Vitamin D can also be found in supplement form, and in Vital RX’s Immune Health Subscription Box.
  9. Bell peppers. Bell peppers have both vitamin C and beta-carotene, two crucial nutrients for optimal immune health.
  10. Sunflower seeds. Sunflower seeds are a great immunity booster because they are full of nutrients that help immune function, such as vitamin E, vitamin B6, and magnesium.
  11. Kiwi. When the body is fighting off an infection, it needs all the nutrients it can get. The kiwifruit is a superfood of sorts and is full of essential nutrients such as folate, vitamin K, and vitamin C.
  12. Almonds. The immune system requires vitamin E to do its job; almonds are packed with this nutrient.
  13. Papaya. Another vitamin C-packed fruit that you can eat while sick is papaya. The fruit also contains a specific digestive enzyme known as papain that lowers inflammation throughout the body.
  14. Shellfish. Shellfish may not be your first thought when considering immune-boosting foods, but they are a great food to eat when sick. This is because they have a ton of zinc, a mineral that helps immune cells function properly.

This list, although not exhaustive, is a great place to start when thinking about boosting your immune system this winter. The important thing to remember is the vital nutrients that are needed to help ward off infection and keep the immune system running strongly.

Specific nutrients that are vital to immune health include:

  • Vitamin C. (Spinach, kale, strawberries)
  • Vitamin E. (Nuts, seeds, oils)
  • Vitamin A. (Carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash)
  • Vitamin D. (Salmon, tuna, fortified cereals)
  • Folate/Folic acid. (Enriched foods such as pasta, bread, and rice)
  • Iron. (Red meat, chicken, turkey, beans, broccoli)
  • Selenium. (Seafood, poultry, cottage cheese)
  • Zinc. (Baked beans, yogurt, chickpeas)
Vital RX - shrimp
Image by Elle Hughes on Unsplash: Shellfish such as shrimp pack a lot of iron, an immune-boosting food.

If the immune system is functioning properly, it becomes a lot harder for pathogens to infiltrate the body. Eating immune-boosting foods all year round is a great way to keep your health up to par, but adding them in when temperatures start to drop can be a great immunity boost in winter.

Featured image by Bluebird Provisions on Unsplash

5 Ways To Enhance Your Natural Immunity

Your immune system is your first line of defense against pathogens and other threats to your health. During fetal development, the immune system starts to mature, with B series lymphocytes being present in the liver by nine weeks. Following birth, both the innate (against non-self-pathogens) and adaptive (immunity that develops over time) immune systems need time to progress to the full level of protection. By the time a person reaches eight or nine years old, they will have a good indication of how well it works to battle illness.  

Having a functional immune system is vital to staying healthy throughout one’s life, but it can be compromised by certain factors such as poor diet, lack of exercise, inadequate sleep, and the contraction of certain diseases. When one catches an illness, that’s where natural immunity comes into play. Knowing how to support your immune system naturally is a great step on the road to a healthier you.

What is natural immunity?

The process of natural immunity can only occur once a person has contracted a certain pathogen. The immune system targets a threat and creates antibodies to battle against the specific disease cells in an attempt to rid the body of them, and to be ready if it happens to show up again in the future. The specialized antibodies will then be present with only one job to do: recognize and protect against the specific illness they were created for.

For example, a chicken pox infection relies heavily on natural immunity. That is why it’s unlikely for a person to develop the disease twice, even if the virus infiltrates the body more than once. The antibodies are in wait to ensure that it doesn’t make you sick a second time.

How can I increase my immunity naturally?

There are many ways to help increase the function of the immune system to help protect against certain diseases and illnesses. Although immune systems develop based on exposure to pathogens, natural immunity protection, and the environment in which they were developed, they are not always stuck functioning at the same level throughout one’s life.  


Adequate sleep is important for all aspects of life. Giving the brain time to rest, reset, and process activities is important to cognitive function, memory, and the clearing out of toxins that may have built up over the previous day. It’s not just the brain that requires sleep – studies have shown that every process and part of the body relies on shutting down for the night to help reinvigorate it so it can run properly the following day. Being without adequate quality sleep can lead to cognitive decline, increased risk of heart disease, and high blood pressure.

When it comes to the immune system, sleep plays a direct role in the production and function of T-cells and cytokines. One study has suggested that during sleep, the body extravasates immune cells throughout the body to help give the immune function a better chance at responding to pathogens. It can also help with immunological memory, which gives antibodies the ability to recall certain threats and fight them accordingly. 


The act of mentally training your body to respond to certain experiences can lead to a decreased level of anxiety, but some studies suggest that it can also help with immunity. It has been found that meditation can lend a helping hand when it comes to lessening inflammation that may be detrimental to immune function; slowing the process of aging, which affects how the immune system functions; and activating T-cells.

Vital RX - nutrition
Image by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash: Want to know how to enhance your immunity naturally? Reevaluate your food choices.

Nutrition and hydration

Nutrition and hydration are both key elements when it comes to healthy living. Giving the body the proper amount of nutrients, vitamins, and water is a vital component in ensuring that all systems are running at their best.

When it comes to immunity, nutrition and hydration can have a huge impact. Many foods can help boost the process of fighting against pathogens because they improve the activation of pathogen-fighting cells. No one nutrient can lead to the improved function of the immune system, but a varied diet full of vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, selenium, iron, amino acids and protein can help prepare cells for battle and curb inflammation that may make it harder for your immune system to respond to a threat.


Regular exercise is an important part of immunity because it can help improve cardiovascular function and increase circulation throughout the body. When circulation is improved, cells are able to travel freely at a much higher rate. This, in turn, leads to their advanced ability to be where they need to be when fighting off infection and disease.

There have been many studies on the effects of exercise and the immune system. One in particular found that acute and regular exercise could have a direct impact on the body’s immunosurveillance response, along with its ability to improve the microbiota, which in turn positively impacts the body’s immune response.

Social interaction

It might not appear to have a huge impact on health, but studies have shown that social interaction can lead to improved levels of mental wellbeing. Not only that, but spending time with loved ones can also improve the immune system by reducing stress levels within the body, thus helping to regulate immune response.

Vital RX - family
Image by Jude Beck on Unsplash: Spending time with the ones you love most is one of the tricks for how to naturally boost your immunity.

Supplements and peptide therapy

It can be difficult to get all the required vitamins and minerals through diet alone, and that’s where supplements come in. Since immunity relies on what a person feeds their body, supplementation is required for those who do not get enough on a daily basis. Peptide therapy can also be a good assistant for immunity because it can encourage the development of T-cells.

Vital RX has developed an immune-boosting subscription box that contains an assorted group of peptides and supplements to help keep your immune system running optimally all winter long. The Vitamin D3 promotes the absorption of vital nutrients calcium and phosphorous, and the gluten-free multivitamin acts as your everyday vitamin.

The box also has CJC, a powerful amino acid peptide designed to assist the body in protein synthesis by improving sleep, lessening injury recovery time, and boosting energy levels. Also included is the immune modulator peptide Thymosin Alpha, which leads to a heightened immune function, less overall fatigue, and protection against oxidative damage.

Featured image by Zac Durant on Unsplash