Biohack your way to a stronger immunity

Biohack your way to a stronger immunity

Margie GanderJun 18, '19

Your immune system is your body's defense against infectious organisms and other invaders. Winter is often a time where we are more aware of our immune system as we try to avoid pesky flu and colds. Your immune system works every second of the day protecting you. Sometimes an immune system just can't keep up - either because we are predisposed to immune dysfunction or we are making a set of choices that puts extreme pressure of this amazing, intricate system. A chronically impaired immune system can send us down a path towards a chronic disease that is difficult to come back from. 

There is a lot more to immunity than just protecting you from a runny nose. It's amazing to think that around 50 million people suffer from immunologic diseases, ranging from an overactive immune system (autoimmunity) to an underactive one (immunodeficiency), and many stages in between. The field of immunology spans across genomics, biochemistry, nutrition, GUT health, mitochondrial health, and psychosocial aspects to health such as your stress response. In Functional Medicine Health Coaching, we will look at the interplay between these areas of health so that you can put it all together for your optimal health. 

How does immunity work?

Your immune system is a complex system divided into two main responses -  the innate system and the adaptive system. The innate system is your first line immune response that comes into action immediately while your adaptive immune system, also known as the acquired immune system or, more rarely, as the specific immune system, is a subsystem of the overall immune system that is composed of highly specialised, systemic cells and processes that eliminate pathogens or prevent their growth. It's important to note that 70-80% of your immune cells are found in your GUT and often this is the best place to start when wanting to strengthen your immunity!

Watch this video to learn how it works:

Is there an "immune genotype"?

It would appear that having medium to high impact genetic variations in the following genes can predispose you to problems with immune functions and immunity. It's important to look at your genetic variations for all these genes together in order to understand how great is your predisposition.  

Gene Test Role in Immune Function  Support
TLR2 Full Exome Testing

TLR2 encodes a protein that is a member of the Toll-like receptor (TLR) family which plays a fundamental role in pathogen recognition and activation of innate immunity. It also promotes cell death in response to bacterial lipoproteins and regulates the inflammatory response.

Resveratrol, grape skin polyphenols and AHCC have shown to support TLR2 expression.
TLR4 Full Exome Testing

Toll-like receptors play a role in recognizing pathogens and activating the innate immune response. The TLR4 protein recognizes LPS (lipopolysaccharide, a component of gram-negative bacteria), as well as viral and internal proteins.

If you have excess TLR4 activation, the following Inhibit TLR4: Resveratrol, grape seed extract, AHCC, tea polyphenols/jasmine tea, quercetin, garlic, EGCG, berberine, cinnamon/cinnamaldehyde, curcumin, ginkgo, licorice, and walnut.
MnSOD

DNA Health

Full Exome Testing

The MnSOD or SOD2 gene is vital for antioxidant activity within the cell, especially within the mitochondria. It encodes the genetic pathway responsible for scavenging 'oxidants' (free radicals) and protects cells against oxidative stress. Oxidants can cause DNA and cellular damage, leading to an increase in oxidative stress (high amount of oxidants and their resulting damage). This biochemical action has been linked to accelerated ageing.

 

You can manage your risk for oxidative stress-related conditions such as chronic fatigue, idiopathic cardiomyopathy, premature ageing, sporadic motor neuron disease, and cancer by avoiding environmental toxins, oxidative stress and increasing your glutathione and phytonutrient intake.
GSTM1

DNA Health

Full Exome Testing

GSTM1 (Glutathione S-transferase M1) is the most biologically active member of the GST superfamily and is involved in Phase II detoxification in the liver. It is responsible for the removal of xenobiotics, carcinogens, and products of oxidative stress by conjugating reactive intermediates with glutathione to produce less reactive, water- soluble metabolite that can be readily excreted.
Ensure the diet is rich in antioxidants and substantially increase intake of cruciferous and allium vegetables to increase the activity of other GST enzymes. When dietary intake is inadequate a high-quality supplement containing DIM or sulforaphane may be required.
GSTP1

DNA Health

Full Exome Testing

Oxidative stress is a risk factor shared by most disorders, and it appears that the efficiency of the GSTP1 enzyme may have an impact on the development and prognosis of diseases influenced by oxidative stress. GSTP1 is the most abundant glutathione-s-transferase subtype in the lungs and is known to metabolise many carcinogenic compounds.
Ensure the diet is rich in antioxidants and substantially increase intake of cruciferous and allium vegetables to increase the activity of other GST enzymes. When dietary intake is inadequate a high-quality supplement containing DIM or sulforaphane may be required.
IL-1B

DNA Health

Full Exome Testing

The protein encoded by the IL-1B gene is a member of the interleukin 1 (IL-1) cytokine family. IL-1 is an important regulator of immune responses and mediator of the inflammatory process and is involved in a variety of cellular activities, including cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis.
Add in AHCComega 3 and curcumin.
TNF-a

DNA Health

Full Exome Testing

Tumour necrosis factor-α (TNFα), a proinflammatory protein secreted by both macrophages (large white blood cells that form part of the immune system) and adipocytes (a cell specialised for the storage of fat, found in connective tissue).

Add in AHCC, omega 3 and curcumin.
DAO

VitaGEN

Full Exome Testing

The DAO gene produces the main enzyme responsible for breaking down ingested histamine and needs vitamin B2 as a cofactor. Variants on this gene may decrease enzyme activity resulting in excess histamine and causing allergy-type symptoms.
Add in B2, B6 and vitamin C.
HNMT

VitaGEN

Full Exome Testing

HNMT controls histamine levels in the brain and airways. The stimulatory activity of histamine in the brain may benefit memory and concentration, however, it can also negatively affect sleep and cause allergy-type symptoms. Genetic variants cause up to a five-fold decrease in HNMT activity resulting in symptoms such as headaches, watery, itchy eyes and nose, coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, insomnia, and anxiety.
Add in B2, B6 and vitamin C.

 

Where does AHCC come in?

AHCC (Active Hexose Correlated Compound) is a cultured mushroom mycelia extract backed by 35 years of research by scientists in Japan and is considered the most powerful immune support choice available from nature to us. 

Polysaccharides form a large part of the composition of AHCC. These include beta-glucan (β-glucan) and acetylated α-glucan. Acetylated α-glucan, produced by culturing the mushroom mycelia, is unique to AHCC. Approximately 20% of the makeup of AHCC is α-glucans. Glucans are saccharides, of which some are known to have immune stimulating effects.

Research has shown that AHCC works on TLR (toll-like receptors) 2 and 4 inside your small intestine. Toll-like receptors are a super-family that play a vital role in immune activation. Human and preclinical studies have shown that AHCC increases the number and/or activity of Natural Killer (NK) cells, dendritic cells and cytokines, which help the body fight off infections, are anti-inflammatory and block tumor growth. 

Use and tips

The following guidelines will assist you dosing with AHCC:

Profile Dosage Tips
Health maintenance in adults 600g/per day Take on an empty stomach
Health maintenance in kids from 3 years up 0.3g/per day Open the capsule and mix with yogurt
Treatment dose in kids from 3 years up 600g/per day Open the capsule and mix with yogurt
Active illness like flu and colds 3 x 600g capsules per day Take for 4 weeks
Autoimmune disease Start on 0.5g/per day and monitor symptoms before increasing dosage Take on an empty stomach 
Cancer stage 1-3 3 x 600g capsules per day Take on an empty stomach
Cancer stage 4 and beyond 6 x 600g capsules per day Improves the quality of life
Chemotherapy treatment 3g/per day During & after
Radiation treatment 3g/per day During & after
Cancer remission  3g/per day Use 1 month and then break for 30 days and then restart
HPV  3g/per day  Use for 4 months

 

You can order AHCC from us directly as it is not sold online. 

The most important takeaway for a healthy immune system is to ensure that you make personalised, health choices, daily. This includes sleep quality, stress transformation, exercise, nutrition, and supplementation that is best suited to your unique genotype. 

Written by:
Marguerite Doig-Gander
CEO of MY DNA CHOICES
BA (Speech, Hearing & Lang Therapy) Hons | FMCHC | ReCODE Coach