Foundational Immune Health Protocol
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Innate Immunity: Supporting Our First Line of Defense
A key strategy for winter health is to focus on foundational nutrients that support the innate and adaptive immune responses.
The innate immune response is the body’s first line of defense. It consists of several components, including:
- Physical barriers such as the skin, mucosa of the lungs, and lining of the intestine
- Biochemical mechanisms that stimulate nasal secretions, bile, and gastric acid
- The production of white blood cells
The activation of the innate immune response subsequently activates the adaptive immune system. The adaptive response consists of white blood cells and antibodies, in contrast to the generalized response generated by the innate immune system. The antibodies produced by adaptive immune cells can ultimately support long-term immunity.
Innate and adaptive immune responses can be supported naturally through a wide variety of nutrients and herbs from nature’s pharmacopeia. Combining the following compounds offers well-rounded, foundational immune support.
Vitamins A, C, D, E, and K are essential vitamins to help build immune cells and molecules involved in the innate immune response. They also effectively promote healthy barrier function of the membranes that are in contact with the outside world, such as the mucosa of the respiratory tract and gut. Repleting and optimizing levels of these vitamins in the body may have significant support for immune function.
Elderberries come from the European Elder tree (Sambucus nigra), a flowering deciduous tree native to Europe. The berries, bark, and leaves of the plant have long been used in traditional herbal medicine as tonics to support immune health, respiratory function, and a healthy microbial balance in the body. While elderberry has been used for centuries for its immune properties, a plethora of modern-day research indicates that elderberry is a dynamic and foundational botanical that helps promote immune function year-round.
Glutathione, while typically thought of for detoxification, is also a powerful tool to maintain immune health. This ‘master antioxidant’ plays several crucial roles in the immune system, including helping to fine-tune the innate immune response by encouraging white blood cell production, shielding immune cells from oxidation, and supporting a balanced inflammatory response. Liposomal glutathione supports the rapid and complete absorption of glutathione directly into the bloodstream, bypassing its breakdown in the GI tract.
It is critical that the gut is also supported as this is the primary site of the body’s immune system. High quality, spore-forming probiotics can help promote immune activity in the gut. The strain Bacillus subtilis has ample research showing its many effects on immune health. This strain has been found to not only support immune activity in the GI tract, but also positively affect the function of immune cells throughout the body. Upon digestion, B. subtilis was found to significantly support broad-spectrum immune activity by helping activate antibody secretion. Additionally, B. subtilis is shown to help effectively produce butyric and propionic acid, two SCFA’s that are potent fuel sources for gut cells and support gut barrier function.
Finally, a throat spray is a great tool to support immunity before and after coming into contact with the outside world. A complex of liposomal zinc, quercetin and luteolin creates a powerful ionophore that enhances bioavailability of the formula for maximum efficacy.
Dr. Shade’s full Foundational Immune Health Protocol is available now on Wellevate®. Sign up or sign in to your Wellevate account and visit The Protocol Library to see what Dr. Shade recommends.
Christopher Shade, PhD is an internationally recognized expert on mercury and liposomal delivery systems. He regularly lectures and trains practitioners on mercury, heavy metals, and the human detoxification system. Dr. Shade has focused his vast knowledge of chemistry and biology to the development of cutting-edge, lipid-based delivery systems to address the growing need for highly bioavailable, therapeutic nutraceuticals and is the founder and CEO of Quicksilver Scientific.