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NUTRACEUTICALS FOR AUTOIMMUNITY

Nutraceutical is the hybrid of ‘nutrition’ and ‘pharmaceutical’.  Epidemiological studies show a link between the consumption of plant-derived foods and a range of health benefits due to their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-proliferative properties. These beneficial effects have been attributed to the presence of bioactive compounds which may work individually or collectively in providing the effects.


Nutraceuticals can be used to control aspects of Autoimmunity alongside nutrition and lifestyle changes.  Trial and error is often required with nutraceuticals in those with Autoimmunity as one size does not fit all.  It is also important to work with a trained nutritionist when considering nutraceuticals due to the interactions that can happen with prescribed medications and could potentially make a condition worse if not researched and administered correctly.

Herbs & Spices

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY NEUTRACEUTICALS

​Dampening inflammation in Autoimmunity is crucial.  Supporting the following processes may help tame inflammation:

  • Suppression of NFKB inflammatory gene expression

  • Increasing antioxidant reserves

  • Inhibiting neutrophils entering tissue

  • Promoting macrophage clearance of apoptotic neutrophils. 

Increasing Glutathione Levels 

Glutathione is the major anti-oxidant produced in the body, it prevents free radicals from destroying tissues in Autoimmunity. Some other benefits include;

  • Supports liver detoxification

  • Supports T Reg cells for immune tolerance

  • Supports mitochondria

  • A natural chelating agent binding to heavy metals for elimination

  • Supports immune barriers from permeability 

  • Clears Reactive Oxygen Species as a result of secondary necrosis of neutrophils and nitric oxide balance.

Glutathione supplements can be hard to absorb by the body, the following have been researched as successful.

Glutathione Supplements - Liposomal Glutathione, S-acetyl glutathione​

Glutathione Synthesis - N-acetyl Cysteine, Selenium

Glutathione recycling - Cordyceps, Gotu Kola, Milk Thistle, Alpha Lipoic Acid

Anti-inflammatory flavonoids

The two flavonoids with the most published research are ResveratrolTurmeric.  They block the NFKB amplifying loop and STAT3 gene expression which can help to dampen inflammatory viscious cycle of TH17 activation, systemic inflammation, TH1/TH2 dominance, prevent tight junction breakdown in the gut and lower the risk of Autoimmune flare.

Fish Oils - EPA and DHA have very well researched anti-inflammatory effects.  They help to diminish neutrophil influx and promote macrophage influx and clearance of apoptopic neutrophils, hence controlling inflammatory resolution through producing D and E series resolvins.  DHA is particularly useful in brain inflammation and in inhibiting CD80/CD86 costimulatory molecule expression in antigen presentatio to T cells.

Vitamin A - Controls viral reproduction that uses NFKB.

Vitamin D -  Diminishes MMP activity, very useful in patients with alot of self debris.

T CELL MODULATION NUTRACEUTICALS

Certain nutraceuticals have been studied to influence T cells.  It is very important to;

  • balance TH1 and TH2 cells

  • upregulate TReg cells 

TH1 nutraceuticals - Echinacea, Astralagus, Berberine, Baicailin, Sulphorphane, Ginger, Maitake Mushrooms

TH2 nutraceuticals - Green Tea extract, flavonoids in coffee, grapeseed extract, 

TReg nutraceuticals - Vitamin D, Fish oil EPA and DHA, Curcumin, Vitamin A, Resveratrol

IMMUNE BARRIERS REPAIR (GUT, LUNGS, Blood Brain Barrier)

It is very important to keep the immune barriers healthy to support immune tolerance.

Glutathione - helps to heal barriers, provides anti-oxidants to stop barriers breaking down and restore barriers.

L-glutamine - supports intestinal lining regeneration by providing fuel to allow intestinal cells regenerate.

Botanicals - to help restore intestinal lining - deglycrrhizinated liquorice, aloe vera, slippery elm, marshmallow extract

Short chain fatty acids - such as Butyrate, Propionate and Acetate help regenerate tight junction repair.  They also modulate dendritic cells from overreacting, they act as fuel to diversify the microbiome, they help restore SIgA cells, they regenerate tight proteins and activate TReg cells for Immune tolerance.

Digestive Enzymes & HCL - Are very important to aid digestion by ensuring food proteins are completely broken down so that an immune reaction to food proteins which may affect the intestinal lining is minimised. Whole proteins trigger immune responses i.e. antibodies only form against whole proteins and not against amino acids, which do not generate an immune response.  Therefore in Autoimmunity, the better the digestion and breakdown of food proteins, the less time they hang around in the gut allowing antibodies to form.  Hence digestive enzymes and HCL can be crucial for Autoimmune patients.

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