No matter how diligent you are with self-care, do you often feel a little ‘under the weather’? Do your kids seem to catch every bug that’s going around at school? Despite our best efforts to stay on top of our health, it can sometimes seem like our bodies are working against us! But when functioning well, our immune systems can actually be our best first line of defense.
How the Immune System Works
When the immune system is balanced, it performs crucial tasks to protect us. As our built-in, personal “bodyguard,” a healthy immune system knows to set off timely “alarm bells” when substances the body doesn’t recognize (known as antigens) enter the body. The proteins found on unwanted bacteria and viruses are often flagged as antigens when they attach themselves to our cells, which then alerts the immune system to produce and counter-attack with an army of powerful antibodies. This immune response can often stave off the worst effects of an illness or potential allergen.
As soon as the immune system has met a not-so-friendly substance, it also learns to recognize and guard against it better in the future—our tendency to only catch chicken pox once (often in childhood) is a great example of how the immune system can adapt to protect itself against a familiar enemy.
Signs of an Imbalance
A balanced immune system runs smoothly in the background of our daily lives, shielding us from things we may not have even known we were exposed to. It’s when this system is thrown off-balance that we might start to notice real issues. When this is the case, you might encounter a few tell-tale signs:
Stress and Illness
Long-term stress is known to weaken our immune system response. But stress can also send this response into overdrive, causing our bodies to sound the alarm to defend itself far more often than is healthy. In fact, acute stress has potential links to an increased risk for autoimmune diseases, which are characterized by the immune system turning on itself and attacking healthy cells. So if you’re under stress and constantly getting sick, or if you begin to experience strong reactions to common substances (resulting in issues like allergies, eczema, or asthma), there could be an underlying imbalance to address.
Do you wake up tired in spite of getting the “right” amount of shut-eye most nights? An off-balance immune system can go into survival mode and reserve our usual stores of energy for higher priority tasks related to health. This trade-off is bittersweet, as it can leave you feeling too exhausted to enjoy everyday life.
With the majority of the immune system relying on the health of the gut’s microbiome, it’s no wonder that gut troubles are also associated with an off-balance immune system. Recurrent diarrhea and constipation are just a couple warning signs that something isn’t in balance. (Yet another reason that “trust your gut” is always good advice to follow.)
The Benefits of Phytosterols
If you’ve noticed any of the above symptoms in yourself or your family, phytosterols (specifically sterols and sterolins) can help. These natural, plant-derived fats give our bodies the nutrients they need to better modulate the immune system. It’s important to understand that rather than acting as some kind of “super booster,” phytosterols work to get the immune system back to a healthy baseline—so an underactive immune system will be “upregulated,” while an overactive one will be “downregulated.” When consumed together, plant sterols and sterolins are generally shown to:
- Activate cells to regulate the immune system
- Have anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy properties
- Regulate cortisol (stress hormone) levels
Why Take a Supplement?
Although we can technically consume phytosterols directly by eating foods like fruits and vegetables, there are a couple complications to consider. Phytosterols are bound to the fibers of plants, making it difficult for our bodies to absorb them as food is digested. This problem aside, our often plant-deficient diets can make getting enough phytosterols on our plates a bigger concern. So how can we access the full benefits of phytosterols? This is where supplements come in.
Find Balance with the Perfect Ratio
Phytosterol supplements can take much of the guesswork out of our search for improved immune balance—the tricky part is finding one with the perfect blend of ingredients. Luckily, we know from well-documented research that a 100:1 sterol to sterolin ratio is optimal for balancing the immune system, and there’s even a product made with this exact ratio in mind: Moducare.
Moducare is made with a unique blend of plant sterols and sterolins called beta-sitosterol and beta-sitosterolin-d-glucoside. Clinically-backed through extensive research and double-blind and placebo-controlled studies, Moducare is shown to have the following benefits:
- Increases natural “killer cell” activity
- Improves T cell activity, specifically T-helper 1 and T-helper 2 cells
- Helps manage chronic inflammatory conditions like seasonal allergies and rheumatoid arthritis
Unlike some of its immune-boosting counterparts, Moducare balances the immune system, making it the perfect daily supplement. It's vegan, gluten-, dairy-, and sugar-free, and even safe to take for those with autoimmune conditions. To experience the full breadth of its benefits, Moducare should be taken for a minimum of two to three months.
Immune Support for the Whole Family
Wakunaga conveniently offers Moducare Immune Support in vegetarian capsules. You can also try flavored Moducare Grape Chewables, which is kid-approved, safe for them to take, and a great option for those who struggle to swallow capsules.
Look no further for your new family-friendly supplement, and find a healthier balance, together.
Since its establishment in 1972, Wakunaga of America Co., LTD has played a unique role in promoting consumer health worldwide through the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of high quality medicinal herbs and dietary supplements. The corporate philosophy of Wakunaga centers on a commitment to research and a mission to serve public health. This mission is accomplished by providing products of the highest quality, which are supported by science. Brands include Kyolic AGE, Kyo-Dophilus Probiotics and Kyo-Green Superfoods.