How often do you catch a common cold or seasonal flu?

In the past 2.5 years, there have been over 606 million reported cases of COVID-19 and the severity of its effects have been very different from one person to the next. Meanwhile, a big chunk of the population, more than 50% in the U.S. alone, never contracted the virus at all.

Since then, a study in large population datasets has revealed that we can predict an initially healthy adult’s susceptibility to severe COVID-19 from a blood test. Scientists are also looking into super-immunity, and if and how an ordinary person can develop it.

In the meantime, here’s what you need to know about your immunity and how to boost it.

How does my immunity affect my health?

You can think of immunity as your body's very own security system. It’s what fights off infections and diseases, and shields you from contracting them in the future – a trait that is mandatory for upkeeping your overall health.

Did you know that the immune system never forgets? In fact, it remembers every microbe it ever fights off and keeps meticulous records in the event of a future attack. This is called acquired immunity or adaptive immunity. After the first exposure to a pathogen and its subsequent destruction, your body will store the memory of this defense strategy within a type of white blood cells known as memory cells. Thus, if you are exposed to the same pathogen in the future, this memory cell is able to trigger the tried and tested defense response, swiftly.

You know your immune system is in action, for instance, not only when you escape a flu outbreak at your workplace but also when you run a fever or have an allergic reaction. These are all signs that your immune system is combating harmful microbes and activating your body’s repairing process.

Immunity changes with age, whereby the risk of developing severe infections such as pneumonia increases in elderly people. You can find out the strength of your immune system by measuring your Immune Age and Immune Resilience. Immune Age, which can be different to your actual age, reflects your immune system’s preparedness to fight against severe consequences of infectious diseases. Immune Resilience also evaluates your body’s readiness to combat severe infectious diseases.

How can I boost my immunity?

After uncovering your Immune Age and Immune Resilience, you can control and improve them by making healthy modifications to your current lifestyle.

You can exercise regularly and stay active to reduce the risk of developing a severe infection and delay your immune system from weakening with age. Moreover, eating smart, such as increasing your fruit and vegetable intake, is proven to improve immunity in just a few weeks. Furthermore, studies have shown a connection between psychological distress and severe infection, so managing your stress levels can help boost your immunity a great deal. Importantly, remember to always practice good hygiene and stay current with the recommended vaccinations.

To find your Immune Age and Immune Resilience download Livit by Nightingale Health.