Key Foods to Boost the Immune System

Saturday, 19 October 2019 by | Comments: 1
Reading Time: 4 minutes

iStock-1079616718Biotics Research published this short article on the potential role of foods and food concentrates on the immune system, its a useful piece to read at any time of the year, but even more so when the seasons are changing.

The immune system provides a robust anatomical barrier that serves as a host defense mechanism. One of these anatomical barriers is the gastrointestinal tract, inside which there are many defense mechanisms such as peristalsis, gastric acid, bile acids, digestive enzymes, flushing, thiocyanate, defensins and gut flora. The gut flora (microbiota) is a key focus for many immunologists, however, all of these essential defense mechanisms rely heavily on the entire gastrointestinal tract functioning efficiently.

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imagesIn June 2016 Cell Reports a well-respected science journal published a fascinating paper on the connection between short chain fatty acids and associated nutrient and immune function that collectively reduced food allergy risk and response in their mice population.[1]

For over 20 years (at the time of writing this)  I have been describing the need for a ‘threshold therapy’ approach to the effective manipulation of the common mucosal immune system, in particular the recruitment of metabolic by products derived from food metabolism and microbiome functionality – as well as the specific replacement or supraphysiological supplementation of retinoids or their precursor families, vitamin D and enhancement of SigA are important aspects of this collective approach. Each of the interventions are modest in application and very low in risk, but the collective threshold crossing effect can assist the immune system in its effective maturation and maintainence of tolerance. This can be difficult to demonstrate in studies and as such much of the supportive data requires cross professional communication and data digging. This neat study helps to add credibility to the multiple point intervention through the manipulation of a subset of dendritic cells to favour a regulatory inducing phenotyope. I look forward to seeing how this approach is escalated into human trials in the coming years.

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Are you someone who likes to do research but can be overwhelmed at where to start, how to separate murine from human, in vitro from in vivo and really get to the nub of data trawling. Well you are not alone, and a new site has been established to help you with discovering human trials related to certain natural products. Whilst there are many data sites, this one is focused on ensuring that the materials have more immediate relevance than some.