With everything that is going on in today’s world immunity is especially important. Without a properly functioning immune system, our bodies can become inflamed and more susceptible to viruses. Inflammation can cause a weakened immune system, joint pain, headaches, fatigue and more!
So what can we do to build up our immunity and help give our bodies a fighting chance? First off, washing your hands is highly important. Not just now, but always. Be sure to wash your hands with warm water and scrub everywhere. Second, get plenty of sleep. Rest is how the body recovers. If you do not give your body adequate sleep, the strength you’re cells have to fight off infection lessens. Third, eat healthy food, hydrate, and exercise. Finally, last but not least help kick up your immune system by supplementing the body with all-natural supplements.
There are many supplements that will be beneficial to the body. However, two of the most important are NAC and Glutamine.
What Are They?
NAC stands for N-acetyl-Cystine. NAC is an amino acid that the body can produce but the body can also greatly benefit from taking additional NAC in supplemental form. NAC plays an important role in helping the liver to detox. In addition to this, NAC helps to replenish the glutathione levels in the lungs and can help to reduce the inflammation. This is highly beneficial in helping to relieve the symptoms of a respiratory infection.
NAC is also greatly beneficial in boosting brain health. NAC helps to regulate glutamate levels and replenish glutathione. However, one of the most important factors of NAC is its ability to boost Glutathione levels.
Glutamine is an amino acid that helps the body perform many functions. Glutamine is the most abundant free amino acid in the body. Amino acids are what makeup protein in the body. Glutamine plays an important role in the immune system. Similar to NAC, Glutamine is a precursor to Glutathione. Glutathione is important because individuals tested that had infections also had low levels of Glutathione.
The Connection & How It Impacts Immunity
Realizing and explaining the connection between NAC and Glutamine is where many studies fall short. Glutamine and NAC are both precursors to Glutathione. If the body is lacking in Glutathione, disease can progress. Glutathione is the major intracellular hydrosoluble antioxidant that is held responsible for important functions such as antioxidant defenses and immune response.
NAC is best known as the antioxidant that counteracts the effects of reactive oxygen. This prevents the activation of NFkB by hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is generated near the cell membrane where lymphocytes establish contact with viruses and activation agents. This is important because many viruses and lymphocytes use hydrogen peroxide to signal their survival and function.
NAC and Glutamine have both been shown to increase Glutathione levels.
By supplementing the body with NAC or Glutamine, Glutathione will be increased, thus helping to boost an individual’s immune health. In research studies shown, NAC has been shown to lessen the effects of a virus and its ability to replicate. When it comes to immunity NAC and Glutamine are powerful molecules. Stoping the replication of a virus and increasing total Glutathione levels can help reduce the spread and the length of the virus in an individual.
Many infections and diseases have been linked to low glutathione levels. When the glutathione levels are low this is typically due to enhanced oxygen radicals. Studies have been done and show that when supplementing NAC or Glutamine those who have low glutathione levels, it directly boosts their levels and helps with infection.
Especially with everything happening today, we want to increase our immunity and decrease the inflammation in the body.
How Can I Benefit?
What we want to do is to help our bodies immune function and carry out these natural processes. A great way to do this is to provide the body with food sources that the body can absorb and use naturally. The foods that we eat are what can help facilitate gene expression or stop/slow down gene expression. Almost anything we look at can be traced back to our genetic markers.
Smoothies are an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals. You are able to combine flax seeds to increase fiber, spinach to add in vitamins, and fruits for antioxidants.
Overall, NAC is great to decrease inflammation. Inflammation is an extremely common underlying issue relating to other health conditions individuals suffer from. By providing your body with additional supplements, you can help increase your immunity and decrease your chances of contracting a virus and/or the length of the virus. Always discuss supplements with your primary care doctor before you begin them, but consider adding these into your daily routine!
I always recommend talking to your primary care provider and taking supplements daily. Supplements, in general, are a great way to help provide the body with the essential vitamins and minerals you may be missing. However, now more than ever supplementation is key. By building up and providing the body with the nutrients it needs for proper function, it will help prepare your body to fight off an infection. Supplementation like NAC is great to have already running in your system to help combat an infection if you were to catch one. Remember to be smart, talk to a primary care doctor before beginning supplementation, and keep in mind that not all supplements are created equal. -Kenna Vaughn, Senior Health Coach
The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.