Posted By: CustomVite Nutrition Team Date: August 29, 2018 Comments: 0
Leukocytes, otherwise known as white blood cells, play an important role in your immune system and serve to protect you from harmful microorganisms and disease. When your body develops an infection, and is actively trying to fight it, the quantity of white blood cells increases. As these cells increase in number, they are simultaneously transported to the site of infection to help attack and destroy foreign microorganisms causing the infection. Your blood contains five types of white blood cells and each type has a specific role and function:
- Neutrophils are the most common, comprising of more than half of the body’s white blood cell supply, and they function to engulf and destroy bacteria causing infections.
- Lymphocytes consist of B cells and T cells. B cells make antibodies to attack toxins and bacteria, while T cells target cells that have become cancerous or have been taken over by a virus.
- Monocytes develop into macrophages or dendritic cells. Macrophages ingest dangerous microbes, while dendritic cells process foreign substances that trigger antibody production so that T cells can identify them.
- Eosinophils contain proteins that assist the body in fighting off parasitic infections.
- Basophils constitute less than 1% of the body’s total white blood cell count and are unique in their ability to kill external parasites, such as ticks.
Generally, when you notice your white blood cell count is high on your lab report, it is usually an indication that your body is fighting off an infection. So, while your immune system is working hard to battle those foreign invaders, there are several natural ingredients you can consume that may help enhance your immunity. For example, antioxidant-rich foods such as dark leafy greens and citrus fruits, nutrient-dense whole foods such as pumpkin seeds, and even nutritional supplements such as a multivitamins, probiotics, zinc and omega-3 essential fatty acids may help to support immune function. When combined with a healthy, balanced diet, these natural products may help to strengthen your immune system and decrease your chances of getting sick.
- LaValle, J. B. (2013). Your blood never lies: How to read a blood test for a longer, healthier life. Garden City Park, NY: Square One.