5 Supplements to Retrain Your Immune System
Note from Jennifer: While I am working on catching up with homework – finals are 2 weeks away!! – and living through a home remodel, I’m happy to have Claire Murray, a naturopath from Australia, share some nutritional therapy from a naturopath’s perspective.
Please extend your warmest welcome and make her feel as warm and fuzzy about my wonderful readers as I do!
A common root in such conditions as allergies, food intolerances, eczema + asthma is an immune system responding inappropriately.
Most of us associate our immune system with uncovering + fighting pathogens in the body (like bacteria or viruses) in the form of a healing cut or cold + flu.
Due to many potential reasons (leaky guy, dysbiosis, vaccination, allergy, heavy metals, nutritional deficiency), the immune system can also become ‘sensitized’ to certain substances such as food, pollen, furs, perfumes.
It begins to believe these normally harmless substances to be on par with the bacteria and viruses + creates a similar immune response to fight them.
This results in inflammation, allergies, intestinal symptoms, eczema, asthma and even autoimmune disease.
So, regulating and retraining your immune system so it no longer reacts to these harmless substances goes a long way in the management, treatment + healing of allergies.
[Note from Jennifer: ‘where to buy’ links are affiliate links to products I use; full disclosure]
My Top 5 Supplements for Immune System Regulation
1. Fish oil
Moderate to high doses of fish oil play a huge role in halting the inflammatory process that is occurring with allergies, intolerances and sensitivities, because it is rich in the Omega 3 essential fatty acids EPA + DHA.
EPA especially is able to decrease or halt the inflammatory response that is occurring down at a cellular level, making the immune system less responsive to perceive allergens.
Consuming these fats at adequate levels allows the body the chance to heal and repair over time.
It is also important allergy suffers have a greater ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acid intake, as Omega 6 can actually increase the inflammatory response if not consumed along with high enough levels of Omega 3.
I often recommend a high EPD + DHA containing Cod Liver Oil as a great way to get sufficient doses of these nutrients. As well as Omega 3, it also delivers gut + skin healing Vitamin A as well as immune regulating Vitamin D.
Note from Jennifer: I usually suggest going with a raw product that contains naturally occurring fatty acids and to stay away from those that add synthetic vitamin (where to buy). There is less of a chance of vitamin toxicity.
2. Vitamin D
The explosion of research undertaken on Vitamin D in recent years has exposed the vital role it plays in the healthy development of the immune system. Low levels of this fat soluble vitamin can compound the effects of an immune system that’s sensitized.
Having adequate levels of Vitamin D ensures immune cells stop developing with the tendency to react in an allergenic way, and instead have a normal balanced immune reaction (where to buy).
In this regard, it is really important to ensure pregnant woman with allergies have sufficient levels of Vitamin D, as deficiencies are passed onto children who have a higher risk (for allergy development as their immune system matures.
Glutamine aids in retraining the immune system via healing an inflamed or leaky gut. As our intestines use glutamine as their main fuel source + to repair themselves, it is a must have in any gut healing regime.
Sealing the gut aids in creating a healthy + less reactive immune system, as substances that previously passed into circulation and triggered the immune system are no longer able to.
The good bacteria found in our small + large intestine makes up whopping 70-80% of our entire immune system.
The bacteria found here therefore have a large part in ensuring the strength + vigor of our immune system.
Like Vitamin D, they have a role in ensuring immature immune cells grow into cells that react to appropriate substances only (like bacteria), rather than being sensitized to otherwise normal items (e.g. wheat, dairy).
Strong levels of good bacteria also stop pathogenic bacteria from adhering to the intestinal wall + leaving the body prone to illness + poor digestion.
Consider taking a probiotic if you have intestinal symptoms like constipation/ diarrhea, bloating, and flatulence or after antibiotics or food poisoning (where to buy).
Note from Jennifer: Be sure to use probiotic foods along with supplements that contain a prebiotic, transient probiotics (like Bifida and Lactobacillus), and strains of native bacteria for repairing the gut microbial environment.
Quercetin is know as ‘nature’s antihistamine’ and is most commonly used for hay fever + sinus symptoms.
It acts in down grading the allergy responsive parts of our immune system such as our mast cells that produce inflammation-creating histamine.
It can be a fantastic addition to any allergy treatment regime, as it will aid in decreasing the allergic inflammatory response whatever system it is occurring in (e.g. respiratory, intestinal or skin).
While allergies can be debilitating and at times all consuming, the myriad of natural treatments available today can go a long way in decreasing the severity and increasing quality of life.
Regulating the immune system to reduce the burden of inflammation upon the body is one strategy of many that should make up an allergy treatment regime.
Committing to long term immune system modifying does yield results and can drastically improve symptoms.
Claire Murray is an Australian based naturopath + creator of clairesholisticpursuits.com.
Her passion lies in making self-care understandable, relatable + achievable. She shares practical tools to use in uncovering your highly personalized version of what is it to be healthy, one that follows no regimes but the inherent knowledge your body holds.
Her online platform aims to create a space to inspire people to examine their life on a deeper level, in order to understand how they can achieve higher levels of vitality from within.
Links to pages:
Jennifer Nervo is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Reiki Master Practitioner & teacher, and Aromatherapist. Her focus is on digestive, nervous, and immune system dysfunction and the fields of functional nutrition & psychoneuroimmunology. She works with all conditions and diseases including environmental and food allergies, autoimmune diseases, multiple chemical sensitivity, diabetes, eczema, anxiety, weight loss as a symptom of dis-ease, and gut-brain disorders like autism.
When she’s not herding her small troupe of monkeys or seeing clients, her free time is packed with researching and perfecting new wellness techniques (her not-so-secret passion). Jennifer is currently a group leader for the newest class of Nutritional Therapy Practitioners out of Ann Arbor, MI, studying for the national board exam in holistic nutrition, and running a combined distance and brick and mortar practice in metro Detroit. She’s also a homeschooling suburbanite, foodie, and mama to two littles and a schnoodle.