Face masks do not appear to have any negative effects on the wearer’s immune system. Recent studies show that the use of facemasks does not lead to immunodeficiency or immunosuppression.
Two years using the facemasks to minimize the spread of COVID has opened the door to much speculation and fake news. One of the most widespread is the association of the use of sanitary masks with a decrease of defenses or a worse functioning of them.
However, several scientific investigations highlight the contrary. Wearing facemasks would expose us to much lower viral loads and would make them more manageable for the immune system. That means that the lower the viral charge, the more likely is it that our defenses will be able to fight it off, generate antibodies and have less severe consequences.
Understanding our defenses: innate and adaptative immunity
The immune system oversees defending us against pathogens and infectious agents throughout our lives. This essential task involves many cells, biochemical reactions, and a large quantity of energy use. For this defence to be effective, all these structures must be coordinated with great precision and act in several levels.
First line of defence: the innate response
When a pathogen or infectious agent access our body, it sends out a series of cells and proteins to destroy it as quickly as possible, trying to prevent it from spreading and causing an infection. This first line of defence, formed primarily by macrophages, neutrophils, dendritic cells and ‘natural killers’, acts quickly and non-specifically. This means that it will attack right away any harmful foreign organism, whether known or unknown.
It is in this first barrier where face masks turn to be more effective, as they reduce drastically the number of pathogen agents our organism needs to fight against.
The elite army: the adaptative response
While our first line of defence is in action, the second line of defence starts preparing to enter the battle. It is made up of T and B lymphocytes, and it focuses in analyzing the pathogens in order to attack them in a more targeted and effective way.
To be precise, it is the B-lymphocytes that develop the so-called ‘antibodies’, which will help our system destroy the pathogen more quickly and effectively in case of a second infection.
Stress, a major cause of worsening colds and flus
If it is not due to the prolonged use of face masks, what is to blame for the increase and worsening of flu and cold symptoms?
Several scientific studies show that sustained stress over time reduces the effectiveness of the immune system. Distress or negative stress causes the adrenal glands to produce more cortisol. This hormone, secreted in large quantities and over a prolonged period of time, triggers a worsening of the innate and adaptative immune system.
The health and socio-economic situation we have had to live with in recent years has increased the incidence of stress and complicated its consequences. Among them, a noticeable decrease in the immune system in the general population. This situation has played a more evident roll with the arrival of the flu season, colds, and other infectious respiratory diseases.
Recommended natural solutions
Luckily, there is also evidence of other factors that can affect our immune system in a positive way. A good diet, sport, meditation or relaxation techniques are some of them.
In states of nutritional deficiency, supplementation with certain nutrients may be highly recommended, always under professional supervision. The use of vitamin D has become very popular thanks to scientific evidence that has proved its efficacy in improving both innate and adaptative immune responses. It is particularly effective in respiratory infections, such as flus, colds, and of course COVID. But there are many other substances worth mentioning, such as vitamin C, zinc, selenium, beta-glucans, Echinacea or propolis.
For these cases, Lanier Pharma has created Inmunizat, a supplement based on beta-glucans, tannic acid, zinc, selenium, and vitamin C and D. Its immunomodulatory action makes it particularly suitable for the prevention and treatment of infections caused by viruses and bacteria.