Reducing inflammation is a common health goal because it can also reduce pain.
As well as physical injury, inflammation can be triggered by infections, toxins, stress, drugs, alcohol, and fast-food diets.
With overstimulation, your body becomes unable to regulate your immune system response.
Food sensitivities, that lead to a “leaky gut” are also a common cause of chronic inflammatory diseases such as autoimmune disorders, allergies, Alzheimer’s Disease, inflammatory arthritis, and even cancer.
Your genes are not your destiny
If our grandmother had inflammatory arthritis, or our father had inflammatory bowel disease, are you destined for the same?
Or can you alter your immune response by modifying your lifestyle, diet, or other factors?
It now appears that the food we eat and the things we do can change the expression of our genes.
How? By influencing a network of chemical switches within our cells collectively known as the “epigenome” that may be involved in turning diseases on or off.
What you can do to support your immune system
Immunomodulators are a diverse array of preparations used in Functional Medicine to treat disease by inducing, enhancing, suppressing, or regulating immune responses.
In future blogs, I will discuss each one of the following in more detail. In particular their specific immune activation pathways. For now, lets just have a look at what is currently recommended
- Vitamins and minerals:
Vitamin A, Vitamin D, folic acid, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin E
- Vitamin A is essential for maintaining the integrity and function of all mucosal surfaces. A deficiency can lead to food intolerances.
- Vitamin D enhances the body’s defence against infection and cancer; upregulates antimicrobial peptides; dampens inflammatory signals and autoimmune responses
- For more information on immune-building vitamins and minerals read my other blog entitled ‘Building Immunity to Protect against Coronavirus’
- Amino Acids
L-Glutamine, L-glycine, L-arginine
- Glutamine is an important fuel for some cells of the immune system and may have specific immunostimulatory effects
Lactobacilli, Bifidobacteria, Saccharomyces cerevisiae
- Various components of probiotics such as cell homogenates, beta-glucans, teichoic and lipoteichoic acids, peptidoglycans, lipopolysaccharides, and DNA have an immunomodulating effect.
Larch arabinogalactan (Larix occidentalis), Inulin (Jerusalem artichoke; chicory)
- Soluble, non-viscous fibre that ferments in the gut, enhances immune response, and has anti-inflammatory effects
- Glutathione enhancers
N-acetyl cysteine, alpha-lipoic acid, sulforaphane, curcumin, garlic, quercetin
- antioxidant activity, mucolytic, detoxification
- Polysaccharides derived from plant, fungal, bacterial membranes
Aloe vera, Andrographis, Astragalus, Echinacea
- Acts as an ”alarm signal”. The proposed mechanism is interaction with transmembrane pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) on cells to enhance immune responses to pathogens
- Bioactive proteins
Lactoferrin, Bovine colostrum
- Anti-microbial and immune-enhancing
- Essential fatty acids
Fish Oil-Derived n-3 Fatty Acids (EPA, DHA) and Borage derived Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA)
For more information on how immunomodulators may work for your specific condition book a free 20-minute appointment with Dr Shelley Cavezza, PhD