Did you know that up to 70% of your immune system resides in your gut? The mucosal layer, only a single cell in thickness, serves as the first line of defense in your immune system. This layer, often referred to as GALT (gut-associated lymphatic tissue), is found in both the gut and the lungs. GALT contains the antibody, Immunoglobulin A (IgA). It is the secretion of IgA that alerts the body of invasions by unwanted antigens and microbes. Stress, excessively low or high cortisol levels, infection, poor diet and food sensitivities can strip IgA from the gut and lungs, rendering them extremely vulnerable. It makes sense to maintain and protect your gut's mucosa!
Ways to Boost Your Immunity*
Get a hold of the stress in your life
It's not the amount of stress you encounter, it's how you react to the stress that can lower your immunity. The functioning of our hormones influences the way we focus on and interpret stressful events in our lives. Increased levels of stress hormones suppresses your immune system. Give special attention to stress management!
Look at what you are putting into your body
Its not just getting the right nutrients/mircoorganisms, its avoiding the bad stuff!
Exposing your body to chemical toxins adds stress to your immune system. The continual process of natural detoxification provides extra stresses on the immune system. By reducing the need for detoxification, you can strengthen your immune system, rather than bombard it with more antigenic compounds. Synthetic foods- sugar, processed wheat, junk foods, etc.- create substances that the immune system is required to detoxify. Having the body constantly be in "detox mode" depletes immune strength. Of course, it is now common knowledge that antibiotics are particularly damaging to a healthy gut flora.
Eating foods you are sensitive to stimulates surges in cortisol (a stress hormone), insulin, and histamine. This process acts as an excitatory transmitter that agitates your nervous system. It makes sense to pay attention to foods that don't agree with you and eliminate them!
Immune System Support: Supplements
Combine healthy Bacteria, Colostrum and Vitamin C for an extra immunity kick!
Strengthen your immune system by making sure your GI system has enough healthy bacteria! These "friendly" microorganisms balance your inner ecosystem and help GALT modulate immune responses. Sources include probiotics, colostrum, cultured vegetables, and traditionally fermented foods such as yogurt and kefir made from raw milk.
Many people take organic colostrum for the immunoglobulins it contains. Immunoglobulins, or antibodies, neutralize invading pathogens in your lymphatic and circulatory systems. Colostrum provides immunity for a wide range of pathogens. It is these immunoglobulins that can effect the pathogens that cause diarrhea and gastrointestinal illness by invading your intestinal tract!
A common reaction is to take natural Vitamin C to aid the body in preventing viral and bacterial infections. The most profound effects of vitamin C appear to be in the overall strengthening of your immune system. Yet the physiological absorption path of vitamin C is through the mucous membranes of the mouth, stomach and upper part of the small intestine. That is why it is vital to maintain and protect your gut's mucosa! Vitamin C acts as a powerful antioxidant, protecting thiamine, riboflavin, folic acid, pantothenic acid, and vitamins A and E against oxidation.
While Vitamin C is an important part of your total immune health protocol, it's not the only thing. If you only take Vitamin C, chances are you're not giving your immune system everything it needs to get stronger in the face of a cold, flu or infection.
If you want to improve your overall health, avoiding processed foods, grains, and sugar will go a long way toward strengthening your immune system and reducing chronic inflammation in your body. Don't forget, nearly every chronic health problem has inflammation at its root, so eating a diet high in anti-inflammatory foods is a simple, natural way to prevent any number of diseases from ever getting a foothold in your body.
*Primal Body,Primal Mind by Nora Gedgaudas, CNS, CNT