Volume 8 Issue 4

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 28 of 35 | # 44 | Page 29 Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland, a small group of specialized cells in the brain. Its primary func on is to facilitate sleep onset by communica ng to the body when it's dark. In addi on to its regulatory effects on sleep, melatonin is also a powerful an oxidant that helps regulate the main cellular components of the innate immune response. This has been evidenced by studies showing that: • Melatonin injec ons led to significant increases in numbers of macrophage cells • Supplementa on with melatonin led to increases in NK cells in the bone marrow • Treatment with melatonin s mulated innate immune cell ac vity The fact that melatonin facilitates sleep onset further underscores its value as an immune-boos ng dietary factor. This is because ge ng sufficient sleep (~7 to 9 hours for an adult) is one of the best ways to naturally support immune health, while insufficient sleep can leave you more vulnerable to ge ng sick a er being exposed to a virus. For example, research finds that: • Adults who received less than 6 hours of sleep a night were significantly more likely to develop a common cold a er exposure than adults receiving 7 or more hours • Women who slept 5 or fewer hours a night showed increased suscep bility to pneumonia • Adults who slept less than 7 hours per night were 3x more likely to develop a cold than those who slept 8 or more hours During sleep, your immune system releases cytokines (molecules that recruit other immune cells to the site of an infection and regulate their behavior) in order to help combat an infection or inflammation. Conversely, sleep deprivation can decrease the production of cytokines, as well as T cells and infection-fighting antibodies. For more informa on about the benefits of melatonin and sleep, check out these ar cles: - What is melatonin? - Understanding sleep: An in-depth review 1. Curcumin Tradi onally known for its beneficial effects on the body's inflammatory response, Curcumin (an orange-yellow spice extracted from the turmeric plant) is a powerful antioxidant with a number of research-backed health benefits. More specifically, research over the past few decades suggests that Curcumin can support cardiovascular health, brain func on, mental health, and you guessed it, immune system func on. Although not commonly touted for its immune-boos ng proper es, a growing number of studies find that Curcumin can modulate the growth and cellular response of various types of immune cells. For example, studies show that supplementa on with Curcumin can: • Enhance the responses of an bodies • Promote the immune response of lymphocytes (white blood cells) • Increase B cell proliferation in the intestines • Reduce the expression of pro inflammatory cytokines Something to keep in mind when looking to increase your Curcumin intake is that Curcumin poor solubility in water means taking it in its na ve form results in very low levels of absorp on, which can in turn limit its therapeu c benefits. For this reason, looking for an op mized Curcumin supplement that circumvents low bioavailability issues is highly recommended. In closing While nutri onal strategies for enhancing immune health are certainly not infallible, the research reviewed here suggests that increasing your intake of immunity-enhancing dietary factors represents a prudent strategy for op mizing immune func oning and overall health. In light of the global health crisis, we appreciate you taking the me to read this ar cle, and all efforts to maintain op mal immune health. The immune system is a defense system that helps protect the body from invading pathogens, such as viruses and bacteria. 5.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Abby's - Volume 8 Issue 4