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Immune Protocol

Introduction to Immune Health

If you want to enjoy good health, you must maintain optimal immune system functions. Your immune system has many responsibilities.

Primary immune system functions include:

  • Repair of damage to cells and tissues
  • Removal of old and dead cells
  • Protection from threatening microbes
  • Destruction of cells infected by microbes
  • Cleaning up debris from metabolic processes (such as oxidized cholesterol particles)
  • Detoxification
  • Management of microbiome

The Immune System and the Microbiome

Of all immune functions, managing your microbiome is possibly the most important.

Your microbiome is the sum of all the microbes that inhabit your body. You share your body with 100 trillion microbes of several thousand different species. Keeping them in check is quite a task.

Your initial microbiome comes from your mother just after you are born, but you continue adding microbes to your microbiome throughout life.

What these microbes want is to use your body as a host. Host-dependent microbes need nutrients and resources from a host to survive.

They gain access to your body through a variety of ways — through contaminated food and beverages, intimate contact with other people, cuts and scrapes on skin or animal bites, playing in the dirt as a child, and certainly from a variety of biting insects including ticks, mosquitoes, chiggers, and fleas.

Fortunately, the vast majority of them have benign characteristics and are invited to join your microbiome as normal flora. Your relationship with normal flora is balanced — they give back as much as they take.

Having a wide diversity of normal flora is associated with good health.

Some microbes you encounter, however, are not so benign.

Microbes — Friend or Foe?

Microbes that are outright pathogens (disease-causing microbes) are promptly recognized and dispatched by your immune system. This response causes a minor skirmish that may make you feel ill for a couple of days to a week, but recovery is generally rapid once your immune system gains the upper hand.

Rarely is an encounter with a pathogenic microbe enough to put you into bed or cause you to need an antibiotic. And rarely still might you encounter a microbe that could threaten your life.

The line between friendly flora and outright pathogen, however, is blurry.

Many microbes fit into a category often referred to as stealth microbes. These microbes typically do not cause significant illness at first encounter, but they are not benign enough to be invited in as normal flora either.

Because of their stealthy characteristics, the immune system has a hard time eradicating them completely. Instead, they exist in low concentrations in the very recesses of the body.

Some stealth microbes are more concerning than others, but everyone on the planet harbors some stealth microbes — it’s a fact of life.

If you have good health habits and immune system functions are robust, your stealth microbes are kept marginalized and you never know they’re there.

Let immune health falter, however, and they start to flourish — not in isolated areas of the body, but throughout all tissues of the body. The resulting tug-of-war compromises all immune functions — you can imagine what the consequences might be.

Herbs to Balance the Microbiome

Nothing balances the microbiome and keeps your immune system humming along in top condition better than herbs.

The reason that herbs work so well is that plants have to deal with managing a complex microbiome, just like we do. Instead of having an immune system, however, plants manage their microbiome with a sophisticated array of biochemical substances, called phytochemicals.

When we consume phytochemicals from herbal preparations, we gain all the protection that the plant has to offer. It’s like supercharging the immune system.

Because different herbs grow in different environments, different herbs provide different levels of phytochemical benefits. Combining a variety of herbs enhances the spectrum of benefit gained.

All Vital Plan supplements provide immune support, but Adaptogen Recovery and Advanced Biotic are the primary choices for balancing the microbiome and maintaining optimal immune system functions as you age.

Dr. Rawls' Formulation Notes:

The herbs for Advanced Biotic were chosen specifically for their ability to balance the microbiome in gut, skin, and body cavities. These herbs also support optimal immune functions. For many types of health challenges, Advanced Biotic is a key supplement.

Advanced Biotic is neither stimulating or sedating and well tolerated by individuals with gut issues.

Adaptogen Recovery contains herbal substances that are considered adaptogens. Adaptogens are herbs that improve stress resistance and balance hormones in the body. They are especially good at balancing the immune system that may have been disturbed by stress factors and aging.

The benefits associated with adaptogens, including reishi and cordyceps, are supported by clinical studies. These ingredients not only support immune system functions, but also support heart, vascular, liver, kidney and lung health. Both are calming and support optimal stress resistance.

Reishi and cordyceps are complemented by Chinese skullcap and rehmannia. These two special herbs help balance some of the most common stealth microbes that most people carry and have wonderful immune modulating effects.

The ingredients in Adaptogen Recovery are mildly sedating, so as not to disturb sleep in individuals with health challenges. Anyone struggling with health challenges or challenges associated with aging should consider herbal adaptogens. Because adaptogens have an inherently low risk of side effects they can be typically be taken for long durations.

Tips for Supporting Immune System Functions

  • Cut back on (or better yet, eliminate) grain-derived processed foods and sugar. If you eat like most Americans, processed food products, meat, and dairy derived from these sources makes up most of your food. For a multitude of reasons, these types of foods are really bad for your immune system.
  • Get plenty of sleep! Sleep is when the body repairs itself. At least 7-8 hours of restful sleep is necessary for optimal immune system functions.
  • De-stress. The modern world is saturated with stress. Continually “running from the tiger” inhibits immune function and allows microbes in the margins to flourish.
  • Stay active, but not excessively active. Regular physical activity stimulates endorphins, natural killer cells, and stem cells, all essential for optimal health. Excessive physical stress, however, suppresses immune functions.

The Restore Kit™

The Restore Kit is the most powerful immune support program available, for when you body needs it most. It is the choice to consider when your body, microbiome, and immune system need a comprehensive solution.


 

*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always consult your qualified healthcare provider before beginning any diet or program.
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herbal blend to support recovery from physical stress
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five-strain blend of "friendly" bacteria to balance the gut
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