Posted on August 15, 2013 by Dr. Mark Lange
In medicine, there’s something called the “hygiene hypothesis.” And what the hygiene hypothesis says is that if you are not exposed to infectious agents like microorganisms and parasites at a young age, you have an increased risk of developing allergies and even certain diseases as an adult. The reason for this increased susceptibility to allergies and disease is because your natural immune system never fully developed.
For most of history, humans lived in close association with the natural environment, including a broad array of microorganisms and parasites. As humans’ living conditions have changed, the human body has been deprived of important environmental signals which help to regulate the proper functioning of the immune system.
In developing nations and in earlier times, families tended to be larger than they are today.
Children growing up around other children – whether it is a large family or in daycare – exposes children to more germs and in turn the children end up having to develop a stronger and more fully developed immune system.
There have been many studies showing that the more children are exposed to rhinovirus, and viruses in general, the less asthma and allergies they have as they grow older. So, if you never rolled around in the mud as a child and if we accept this hypothesis, what can we do as adults to boost our natural immune response? To answer the question, we must first have a basic understanding of how our innate immune system works.
Inside your body there is an amazing protection mechanism called the immune system. It’s designed to defend you against millions of microbes, viruses, toxins and parasites that would love to invade your body. The immune system can be broadly described in two parts.
The innate part is present from birth. It has a number of set strategies for recognizing and destroying foreign bodies without the need to identify them.
The adaptive immune system needs time to adapt or learn to recognize foreign bodies like viruses or bacteria. Our modern day vaccination system is based upon the adaptive immune system. For the purposes of this discussion, we need only be concerned with the innate immune system.
White blood cells are probably the most important part of our immune system. White blood cells are a whole collection of different cells working together to destroy foreign invaders.
One type of white blood cells is called neutrophils. Neutrophils are like the hunting dogs of the immune system. Using chemical smells to guide them, they quickly travel to areas of infection and attack invaders. Neutrophils have inside of them sacs of toxic chemicals that act as weapons against microorganisms.
Another type of white blood is the macrophage. A macrophage is a kind of swallowing cell, which means it functions by literally swallowing up other things. Macrophages engulf and digest debris through the process called phagocytosis. So macrophages act like scavengers. They’re constantly roaming around, searching for and destroying dead cells and foreign particles that don’t belong in the body.
Complement is a blood protein used to mark pathogens for destruction. It’s like a chemical scent that is used by the immune system for hunting down the invaders. Once complement proteins bind to the surface of a pathogen, it’s been identified as being non-self and now the phagocytic cells can engulf or kill it.
So, now we know how our innate immune system works. And if the hygiene hypothesis is correct, the course of action is clear. We need to expose our bodies to natural substances that help properly develop and support our innate immune system. Wellmune WGP® is just such a substance. Let’s see how it works.
Wellmune® is a source of natural yeast beta glucan derived from a proprietary strain of yeast.
Not long ago, yeasts were very common in our environment; found naturally on the skins of fruits and in the soil. But our ultra-clean urban lifestyle has greatly reduced exposure to yeasts and one of the consequences is a less active immune system. Wellmune® re-introduces your body to the beneficial effects of yeast exposure.
Wellmune® improves the functioning of the innate immune system by making neutophils better able to find and kill potential pathogens. The mechanism of action of Wellmune® is somewhat complex, but it can be broken down into a few simple steps.
Wellmune® is processed or digested by macrophage and the resulting beta glucan molecular fragments are released by the macrophage over a period of days. The beta glucan fragments are what stimulate our innate immune system to its highest potential. Beta glucan binds to neutrophils, improving their ability to seek and destroy foreign invaders. Because neutrophils only live a few days, it is necessary to activate new neutrophils with more beta glucan.
One of the important side benefits of taking Wellmune® is that it improves mood. Studies show that people taking Wellmune® have less fatigue, less anger and decreased confusion compared to those on placebo.
Zinc and vitamin C are well known to support the immune system. These nutrients work hand-in-hand with your immune system to facilitate proper immune response.
Zinc depletion causes all types of immune cells to display decreased function, which is reversible through supplementation. Zinc is most important in that it facilitates the oxidative burst function of neutrophils.
Vitamin C concentrations in blood rapidly decline during infections and stress. Vitamin C helps to maintain the redox integrity of cells and thereby protects them against the oxidative burst and the inflammatory response.
In summary, our modern, urban lifestyle has removed many of the necessary immuno-stimulating agents found in nature. Beta-glucans derived from yeast activate your innate immunity to better react to and neutralize foreign invaders of your body. Wellmune® is a clinically proven ingredient that promotes healthy immune system and improved energy levels, mental clarity and mood in stressful situations.