Walking three times per week will do it! Talbott noted how college infirmaries fill up with sick students at the end each semester, because the stress of exams and papers has reduced their immunity. Talbott, trained in sports medicine, health management, exercise physiology, and nutritional biochemistry, is an associate clinical professor of nutrition at the University of Utah, a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Dietary Supplements for health professionals and SupplementWatch for consumers. In The Cortisol Connection Diet , Talbot concentrates on diet: what to eat and how much, including recommendations for supplements such as Green Tea Extract. He recommends three meals and three snacks per day, and introduces The Helping Hand — your hand — a readily available physical measure for how much proteins, carbs, and fats to eat.
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Shawn M. Beta-glucan molecules can be extracted from almost any plant source. Yet, some forms extracted from cereal grains may be quite effective at lowering cholesterol, but have no positive benefit on immune system priming. Purified beta-glucan has been shown in a wide variety of animal and in vitro studies to have general immuno-priming properties.
Among its many beneficial effects are macrophage activation, tumor inhibition, and decreased infection rates. Certain WGPs are patented and protected, by more than 40 U. Within the marrow, the macrophages degrade the WGP particles into smaller fragments that are secreted and eventually bound to specific receptors CR3 on immune cells, priming their defense mechanisms for immediate action when presented with a pathogen.
When out of balance high or low , the immune system not only fails to protect the body from invading pathogens bacteria and viruses but can even attack it, the body mistaking its own cells for dangerous pathogens, resulting in autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Another side effect of an out-of-balance immune system is chronic low-grade inflammation, which can increase risks for cancer, heart disease, and other chronic diseases related to elevated inflammation.
Each of the two parts of the immune system work and interact with each other to coordinate protection of the body. For example, the innate system includes physical barriers to infection such as our skin and mucous membranes , as well as chemical barriers such as acidic environments and enzymes that kill pathogens or prevent their growth. Natural Killer NK cells are another important part of the innate system because of their ability to target and kill viral-infected cells and tumor cells.
Obviously, having an immune system response that is either under-active or weakened will increase susceptibility to infections and disease. Unfortunately, our immune system is constantly under attack — not only from pathogens, but also from common everyday physical and emotional stress, sleep deprivation, and environmental insults.
Immune system function needs to be balanced — not boosted or suppressed. In contrast, certain plant-derived or fungi-derived polysaccharides e. Scientific Support There exists a wide-ranging and rich body of research on the mechanism and benefits of specific WGP beta-glucans as biological response modifiers BRMs against cancer and infectious diseases. Unfortunately, a major problem with many studies of generic or poorly-defined beta-glucans is the unknown nature of the complex mixtures of partially-purified extracts of mushrooms, yeast, and other plant biomass which can often include compounds that interfere with immune function or cause undesired side effects.
As documented in The Journal of Immunology , researchers from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the Department of Immunology at the University of Louisville School of Medicine demonstrated a clear mechanism by which orally-administered WGP beta-glucans enhance tumoricidal anti-tumor activity — by activation of granulocytes neutrophils and eosinophils , monocytes, macrophages, and NK cells.
Within the marrow, the macrophages degrade the WGP and secrete small, soluble, biologically active fragments that bind to CR3 of mature bone marrow granulocytes. Once recruited from the bone marrow by an inflammatory stimulus, these granulocytes with WGP-primed CR3 can rapidly and specifically target tumor cells for destruction. These data show us the mechanism by which dietary supplementation with WGPs could legitimately be viewed as a novel anti-cancer therapy, by harnessing immune system activity to help destroy existing tumors and maintain the vigilance of tumor surveillance catching and destroying cancerous cells before they develop into problematic tumors.
The U. Ongoing FDA-monitored clinical trials are investigating a soluble injected version of WGP beta-glucan as an adjunct therapy to chemotherapy in cancer treatment. For example, both physical and psychological stressors can result in measurable immune challenges with reductions in key immune system components, such as neutrophils, natural killer NK cells, T cells, and B cells.
The net effect of an ongoing immune challenge is a weakened immune system, which often results in URTIs as well in generalized reductions in energy levels, mood, and quality of life. Lifestyle factors, such as improved coping with daily stress and getting adequate hours of nightly sleep, may influence the immune response and improve a range of immune system parameters, including immune cell populations, antibody production, and cytokine response.
Biological response modifiers such as WGP are effective at enhancing the innate immune response and improving the microbicidal activity of neutrophils, macrophages, and natural killer cells against a variety of pathogens. In several studies, WGP has been shown to reduce the risk of URTIs after stressful events, as well as reduce postoperative infection rates and shorten intensive care unit stay duration among hospitalized patients.
A recent study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine showed that WGP beta-glucan is able to reduce URTIs upper respiratory tract infections and improve overall mood state in over-stressed subjects.
In this study, marathon runners were used as a model of over-stress, with results showing a clear reduction in URTI symptoms in the subjects taking WGP beta-glucan versus those taking a placebo. Subjects also showed a significant improvement in measures of overall health and psychological well-being including reduced fatigue and increased vigor physical and mental energy.
During the course of the four-week treatment period, subjects in both treatment groups, mg and mg beta-glucan, reported fewer URTI symptoms, better overall health, and a more positive mood state compared to placebo. Illness and stress impact the immune system in both physical and psychological ways.
The ability to naturally prime our immune system function back toward optimal levels of functioning represents both the next frontier of immune system support, and also the next frontier of how we think about our overall wellness and quality of life.
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Microbiol Immunol. Influence of the sequence of administration of beta-glucans and a Vibrio damsela vaccine on the immune response of turbot Scophthalmus maximus L. Vet Immunol Immunopathol. Mild depressive symptoms are associated with amplified and prolonged inflammatory responses after influenza virus vaccination in older adults. Arch Gen Psychiatry. Oct;60 10 , Glaser, R. Archives of General Psychiatry 56, Effect of daily vitamin E and multivitamin-mineral supplementation on acute respiratory tract infections in elderly persons: a randomized controlled trial.
Aug 14; 6 , Stress and acute respiratory infection. Am J Epidemiol. Sep; 3 , Hetland, G. Hong, F. Journal of Immunology , , Journal of Immunology , Immunological actions of Sophy beta-glucan beta-1,,6 glucan , currently available commercially as a health food supplement. Ikewaki, N. Microbiology and Immunology 51, Kekkonen, R. Prophylactic anti-infective activity of poly--beta-D-glucopyranosyl--beta-D-glucopryanose glucan in a guinea pig model of staphylococcal wound infection.
Antimicrob Agents Chemother. Mar;42 3 , Kernodle, D. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 42, Stimulation of humoral and cell mediated immunity by polysaccharide from mushroom Phellinus linteus. Int J Immunopharmacol. Konig, D. Exercise Immunology Review 6, Enhanced clearance of a multiple antibiotic resistant Staphylococcus aureus in rats treated with PGG-glucan is associated with increased leukocyte counts and increased neutrophil oxidative burst activity.
Book Review: The Cortisol Connection Diet, by Shawn Talbott, Ph.D.
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