How to Reach Peak Immune Function (hint: It’s not boosting)

How to Reach Peak Immune Function (hint: It’s not boosting)

With all that we’re facing in today’s world, many people are searching for the most powerful immune-boosters to ramp up their defenses.   

The truth is however, optimal immunity requires fine-tuned precision…not blunt force.  For long-term health and vitality, the immune system need to maintain a complex and delicate balance between fighting off invaders—and preventing out-of-control inflammation that attacks vital organs. AKA, the cytokine storm.1  

Traditional herbal immune boosters like echinacea can stimulate immune responses so much, that they “fry your circuits” so to speak. When the immune system overreacts, it can cause immune signaling to go haywire, leading to uncontrolled inflammatory responses and immune cells that attack healthy tissues and organs. The end result can be a deadly cytokine storm, where vulnerable organs become overwhelmed by inflammation—and shut down.2 

So how do we protect ourselves if natural immune boosters aren’t the way?  The answer is balancing your immune system, using strategic approaches that help to regulate, train and optimize immune cell function.  

What is a “Goldilocks” Immune System? 

Balancing your immune system can help you achieve the optimal “goldilocks” immune response that’s neither too strong, nor too weak—but just right, every time.  

An optimal, balanced immune system swiftly counters threats with efficiency and precision, and then retreats until needed again. But an immune system that’s been thrown out of balance doesn’t have this level of precision. It may underreact, leaving you catching every virus going around. Or, it may overreact with inflammation, taking a heavy toll on your overall health.  

An overreactive immune system triggers an inflammatory chain reaction, and it all starts with the master alarm protein, galectin-3.3 When overstimulated, galectin-3 directs your immune system to keep attacking, even though the threat has passed. This galectin-3 signaling storm can cause countless negative health effects including:  

  • Autoimmune diseases4 
  • Chronic inflammation and fibrosis, leading to cancer, diabetes, dementia, cardiovascular disease, and much more5 
  • Cytokine storm, causing organ failure6 

A good metaphor for immune boosting is giving candy to a small child. There’s the instant “sugar rush,” causing hyperactivity. But afterwards, they crash…with fatigue, tantrums and other imbalances. Similarly, when you overwork the immune system—not just with boosters, but with other assaults like toxins, stress and fatigue— it can burn out and leave you vulnerable to infections and chronic conditions. 

When you take the right measures to support immune balance, your body benefits in many ways:   

  • Stronger defenses 
  • Less inflammation 
  • Greater energy and vitality 
  • Reduced risks of acute and chronic conditions 

Top Immune Balance Strategies 

Stress and the immune system are intricately linked, and you’ll notice that some of these approaches listed here are also potent stress-reducers. This is one of the keys to properly balancing your immune system. By supporting a balanced stress response, your body’s alarm system is better able to see threats clearly, and allow your immune system to respond appropriately.  

  1. Forest bathing: Spending time in a forest, aka “forest bathing”, not only reduces stress but is shown to balance and optimize immune function.7,8 
  1. Yoga: Numerous studies show that the time-honored practice of yoga reduces inflammation and helps regulate immunity, with long-term practice offering the greatest gains.9   
  1. Meditation: Simple, regular meditation is one of the most powerful healing tools we have. Meditation is shown to reduce inflammation, optimize immunity, and support appropriate response to infections.10 
  1. Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP): With over 70 published studies, MCP is one of the most important supplements to balance your immune responses.  It delivers unparalleled support in reining in overactive immunity:  
  • Regulates galectin-3 signaling to prevent immune overreactions like cytokine storms.11 
  • Selectively activates and enhances immune cells for optimal defense.12 
  • Safely eliminates immune-scrambling toxins and heavy metals from the body.13,14 
  • Controls inflammation and reverses fibrosis in organs and tissues in the treatment of numerous chronic conditions.15
  1. Tibetan Herbal Formula Backed by over 30 clinical studies and hundreds of preclinical studies, this time-honored herbal formula works to optimize immune function through different ways:16,17,18 
  • Reduces the production of out-of-control inflammatory cytokines 
  • Fights infectious bacteria and viruses 
  • Boosts circulation and cardiovascular function 
  • Potent antioxidant activity 
  1. Botanically-Enhanced Mushrooms Medicinal mushrooms like reishi, cordyceps Coriolus and others, educate your immune system to help fine-tune your immune responses. They also help your immune system stay balanced, while directly fighting viruses with powerful antiviral activity19-22

A unique botanical enhancement cultivation technique makes these powerful immune agents even more effective—for the ultimate mushroom immune support. Botanically-enhanced mushrooms are grown on a blend of adaptogenic herbs that also help balance the immune system. This revolutionary growing method fortifies the mushrooms with additional immune-support compounds, giving you powerful support for optimal immunity, energy and vitality.  

Your immune system works hard every day to keep you going—but things like stress, toxins, lack of sleep, and other factors can throw it out of balance. Add in a potent immune booster to the mix and you may not be feeling as great as you hoped.  

Instead, opt for nourishing, balancing support with these and other healthy approaches that help your immune system stay cool, calm and collected—so it can do its job properly for optimal long-term health.  

Sources: 

1 Yazdanpanah F, Hamblin MR, Rezaei N. The immune system and COVID-19: Friend or foe?. Life Sci. 2020;256:117900. doi:10.1016/j.lfs.2020.117900 

2 D’Elia RV, Harrison K, Oyston PC, Lukaszewski RA, Clark GC. Targeting the “cytokine storm” for therapeutic benefit. Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2013;20(3):319-327. doi:10.1128/CVI.00636-12. 

3 Garcia-Revilla J, Deierborg T, Venero JL, Boza-Serrano A. Hyperinflammation and Fibrosis in Severe COVID-19 Patients: Galectin-3, a Target Molecule to Consider. Front Immunol. 2020;11:2069. Published 2020 Aug 18. doi:10.3389/fimmu.2020.02069. 

4 Blach-Olszewska Z, Leszek J. Mechanisms of over-activated innate immune system regulation in autoimmune and neurodegenerative disorders. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2007;3(3):365-372. 

5Furman, D., Campisi, J., Verdin, E. et al. Chronic inflammation in the etiology of disease across the life span. Nat Med25, 1822–1832 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-019-0675-0 

6.Chousterman BG, Swirski FK, Weber GF. Cytokine storm and sepsis disease pathogenesis. Semin Immunopathol. 2017 Jul;39(5):517-528. doi: 10.1007/s00281-017-0639-8. Epub 2017 May 29. PMID: 28555385. 

7 Li, Q. Effect of forest bathing trips on human immune function. Environ Health Prev Med15, 9–17 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12199-008-0068-3

8Putra, Ricky R. F. A1 ; Veridianti, Dominika D2 ; Nathalia, Evelyn1 ; Brilliant, Danny1 ; Rosellinny, Graciella1 ; Suarez, Cristina G1 ; Sumarpo, Anton. Immunostimulant Effect from Phytoncide of Forest Bathing to Prevent the Development of Cancer. Advanced Science Letters, Volume 24, Number 9, September 2018, pp. 6653-6659(7). 

9 Falkenberg RI, Eising C, Peters ML. Yoga and immune system functioning: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. J Behav Med. 2018 Aug;41(4):467-482. doi: 10.1007/s10865-018-9914-y. 

10 Black DS, Slavich GM. Mindfulness meditation and the immune system: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2016;1373(1):13-24. doi:10.1111/nyas.12998. 

11Lu Y, Zhang M, Zhao P, et al. Modified citrus pectin inhibits galectin-3 function to reduce atherosclerotic lesions in apoE-deficient mice. Mol Med Rep. 2017;16(1):647-653. doi:10.3892/mmr.2017.6646. 

12Ramachandran C, Wilk BJ, Hotchkiss A, Chau H, Eliaz I, Melnick SJ. Activation of human T-helper/inducer cell, T-cytotoxic cell, B-cell, and natural killer (NK)-cells and induction of natural killer cell activity against K562 chronic myeloid leukemia cells with modified citrus pectin. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2011 Aug 4;11:59. 

13Zhao ZY, Liang L, Fan X, Yu Z, Hotchkiss AT, Wilk BJ, Eliaz I. The role of modified citrus pectin as an effective chelator of lead in children hospitalized with toxic lead levels. Altern Ther Health Med. 2008 Jul-Aug;14(4):34-8. Erratum in: Altern Ther Health Med. 2008 Nov-Dec;14(6):18.

14Eliaz I, Weil E, Wilk B. Integrative medicine and the role of modified citrus pectin/alginates in heavy metal chelation and detoxification–five case reports. Forsch Komplementmed. 2007 Dec;14(6):358-64. doi: 10.1159/000109829. Epub 2007 Dec 12. PMID: 18219211. 

15.Eliaz I, Raz A. Pleiotropic Effects of Modified Citrus Pectin. Nutrients. 2019 Nov 1;11(11):2619. doi: 10.3390/nu11112619. PMID: 31683865; PMCID: PMC6893732. 

16.Vennos C, Melzer J, Saller R. Clinical studies on the efficacy and safety of Padma 28, a complex herbal formulation from Tibetan medicine: an overview. Forsch Komplementmed. 2013;20 Suppl 2:25-30. doi: 10.1159/000351722. Epub 2013 Jun 21. PMID: 23860110. 

17. Barak V, Kalickman I, Halperin T, Birkenfeld S, Ginsburg I. PADMA-28, a Tibetan herbal preparation is an inhibitor of inflammatory cytokine production. Eur Cytokine Netw. 2004 Jul-Sep;15(3):203-9. PMID: 15542444. 

18Weseler A, Saller R, Reichling J. Comparative investigation of the antimicrobial activity of PADMA 28 and selected European herbal drugs. Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd. 2002 Dec;9(6):346-51. doi: 10.1159/000069234. PMID: 12618552. 

19Linnakoski R, Reshamwala D, Veteli P, Cortina-Escribano M, Vanhanen H, Marjomäki V. Antiviral Agents From Fungi: Diversity, Mechanisms and Potential Applications. Front Microbiol. 2018 Oct 2;9:2325. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2018.02325. PMID: 30333807; PMCID: PMC6176074.