How strong is YOUR immunity?
A balanced and healthy immune system in your body is your defense against invisible invading bacteria or viruses, which is especially important during flu season and in the current Coronavirus environment. When you are out of balance and seem to be more susceptible to seasonal illnesses, it may be because your body is already dealing with inflammation caused by cellular stress, an overactive immune system, or toxins produced by your gut microbiome due to the wrong diet.
Immunity in your body
Whereas the white blood cell seems to get all the credit for your body’s innate immunity, there are systems and organs throughout your whole body that create, regulate, and send out cells and antibodies that protect your body from hostile invaders. These systems, including your lymphatic system (including the GALT in your digestive system), spleen, and thymus, are connected in the fight against anything that might pose a threat to your body’s ability to maintain its health and wellness.
The gut microbiome’s role in your immunity
Your microbiome is the ecosystem of trillions of microorganisms living in and on your body (skin, mouth, gut, etc.) like bacteria, viruses, bacteriophages, yeast, fungus, and mold. A healthy gut microbiome supports your immune system, makes vitamins, and other nutrients. It is known to be connected to your overall well being, weight, energy, mood, stress, and increasingly—many chronic diseases.
The latest science shows a beneficial relationship between your gut microbiome, the foods and supplemental nutrients you eat, and overall immunity. Your gut lining houses 70% of the cells that make up your immune system. Eating the right foods which feed your microbes can help in maintaining your gut lining integrity—essential to ensuring that inflammation doesn’t run rampant system-wide, revving your immune response into overdrive.
Cellular health and your immune response
Your cells can lose the ability to function well when subjected to stress and inflammation. Your immune cells, in particular, can become far less active than is needed to effectively fight infection, or swing in the opposite direction and move into overdrive, indicating infection, high stress, allergic reactions, or too much inflammatory response. One such response, called a Cytokine Storm happens when too many cytokines (a natural part of your immune response) are released into the bloodstream too quickly and cause the system to attack your body’s own cells, rather than the infection. This particular response has been connected with the current Covid-19 disease.
How chronic inflammation affects your immunity
Inflammation is a basic and essential system response to internal and external injury and infection. Increased blood flow, proteins, and antibodies are released to heal the damaged area. But when this natural response lingers, it signals long-term damage that has not been corrected or continued exposure to irritants, chemicals, and toxins (including foods that are toxic for you).
Chronic inflammation inhibits the body’s natural ability to fight off infection effectively.
Your gut microbiome is susceptible to inflammation when the microbes in your gut are not in balance—called dysbiosis. With dysbiosis, your gut is more at risk from pathogens which in small amounts aren’t usually problematic. But when these pathogens increase, it may trigger symptoms such as low-grade inflammation, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea.
These inflammatory pathogens cause issues, both in your gut and in other areas if they are able to pass through the lining of your intestines (called the gut lining or gut barrier). When your gut lining is weakened or compromised (called Leaky Gut), things from the outside environment, such as toxins, medications, and harmful bacteria can make their way into your bloodstream and negatively affect your immune system, inflammation levels, digestive health, and overall well-being.
Feeding your body, cells, and gut microbiome the best nutrition to work efficiently and prepare them for an onslaught of possible invaders is the foundation for supporting and boosting your body’s immune functionality. And that’s exactly where Viome comes in with our personalized insights and precise recommendations to help you.
How Viome’s Immune System Health score works
One of the first actions you can take to assist in supporting your body’s innate immunity is to find out what’s currently happening in your body and it’s different systems. When you Measure your body’s unique biology on a molecular level, you’re able to pinpoint the areas that need attention and target them with nutrition to help regain optimal health.
Viome’s Health Intelligence™ measures inflammatory activity in both your body’s systems (with a blood sample) and your microbiome (with a stool sample). Your immune system may be triggered to increase inflammation by viruses, stress, or diet and medications. Inflammation can also come from the microbiome, especially if your gut lining health is compromised. The Human Gene Expression (blood) analysis reveals cellular pathways (series of actions among molecules that leads to a certain product or a change in the cell) related to acute or low-grade inflammation, while the Gut Intelligence™ analysis can reveal microbial or GI factors.
If your Immune System Health score is not optimal, it means that your immune system's preparedness for invading bacteria or viruses needs support. We may recommend specific foods or Precision Supplements™ that address harmful microbial activities, stimulate anti-inflammatory nutrients (like the short-chain fatty acids produced by the gut microbiome), or suppress pro-inflammatory molecules or allergy-related reactions in the body.
Your Immune System Health score is calculated using several different Functional Health Scores, all of which have influence over the levels of immune response in your body:
Inflammatory Activity—Are your microbes producing harmful compounds that cause inflammation?
Cellular Stress—Are your cells able to fight off invaders and infection easily?
Immune System Activation—Is your immune system activity too high, or too low?
Gut Lining Health—Is your gut lining strong enough to protect your body from inflammatory toxins?
All these scores and over 25 more are included with Health Intelligence.
Your next step is to improve the health scores that need attention. Your Health Intelligence recommendations are based directly on your scores and give you precise nutrition—food and supplements—that target and Nourish those areas that need assistance.
Nourish your body with precise food and supplement nutrition
Nourishing your body with a healthy, balanced diet is one of the best ways to support your immune system.
There are certain nutrients that are said to be critical for the growth and function of immune cells including vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc, selenium, iron, and protein. Knowing the nutrients that assist immune cell function is only the first step, however, in ensuring that you’re getting the right nutrients that YOUR body needs.
How do you know if taking 200 mcg of selenium (the normal dosage of off the shelf products) will help your immune system? You don’t—unless you measure the current health and functionality of your cells, mitochondria, and gut microbiome. And you can do that with Health Intelligence.
You may not need selenium, but you may need zinc and vitamin D! And with our breakthrough new Viome Precision Supplements, you can see a full list of everything that you currently need, selected from over 200 natural ingredients for better health, sleep, digestion, skin, focus, and immunity, and order your subscription box to be delivered monthly, right to your door.
Take a look at a few of the 200 nutrients that might be included in your Precision Supplements, and find out why might some of these could be selected to directly target scores that affect your overall immune system functionality*:
Fenugreek seed—a common herb and household spice. Fenugreek seeds contain fatty acids and fiber which have been shown to possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity.
Milk thistle—a Flowering herb in the daisy family that is a good source of silymarin, a beneficial molecule known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Citrus Flavonoids—a group of beneficial molecules derived from the citrus fruit bergamot that give the fruit its vibrant color. They have been shown to have beneficial effects on blood sugar metabolism, adipocyte lipolysis, insulin resistance, and oxidative stress pathways.
Lycopene—a type of carotenoids a natural pigment that gives vegetables and fruits their red color. Lycopene has antioxidants that have been shown to protect against oxidative damage to proteins, DNA and lipids.
Ginger Extract—Research studies report multiple health benefits of Ginger extract highlighting its role in relieving stress and inflammation, enhancing metabolic fitness, and gut health.
Slippery Elm—Slippery Elm is an antioxidant with an ability to protect cells from harmful chemicals called superoxide radicals.
Vitamin B12—a member of the B vitamin family, found in foods such as trout, salmon, beef, milk, and eggs. Plays roles in carbohydrate energy metabolism, cell reproduction, immunity and acts as an antioxidant.
L. Plantarum 299v—a specific probiotic strain from the Lactobacillus genus and can be found in certain fermented foods and beverages. Lactobacilli are generally known to support digestion, enhance the immune system, and reduce the incidence of gastrointestinal disorders.
Beta Glucan—a polysaccharide, prebiotic that can be found in foods such as oatmeal and mushrooms, and studied for its role in the management of immune response, appetite control, and blood cholesterol.
*These are examples only. Your Viome Precision Supplements will be uniquely formulated for your biology, on a molecular level, using your results from Health Intelligence.
How to feed your body with the most beneficial nutrition for you
Understanding that there is no universal healthy diet is step one in ensuring that you are eating the right foods that give you the right nutrients. Nutrient-rich foods, precisely recommended for you are essential in this two-pronged approach to supporting your immunity. Your food recommendations are needed to pair along with your supplements, and you’ll receive personalized food lists in categories of Superfoods which are most beneficial for you, along with Enjoy foods, and Avoid/Minimize foods to stay away from.
Foods that are Harmful to your body
Several food types, when eaten to excess, can cause harm to your cells, mitochondria, and gut microbiome. If you are experiencing digestive issues or other health problems, eating foods, and taking supplements that are precisely recommended for your biology on a molecular level, is essential.
Sugary food. Diets with high sugar content cause unhealthy bacteria to thrive inside the gut, causing weight gain and other health conditions.
Artificial sweeteners like Saccharin or aspartame, reduce good bacteria in your gut and can lead to high levels of blood sugar.
Unhealthy fats. While fats like Omega 3, help the good gut bacteria, saturated fats can cause bad bacteria to thrive.
Foods that are "Healthy" for your body
Some foods normally considered “healthy” may not be the most beneficial for you, and may even be harmful. For example, greens and nuts are anti-inflammatory for some people but can cause harm to others. It all depends on the current state of your cells, mitochondria, and gut microbiome. Measuring your health is the first step in the Viome three-step process to Measure, Nourish, and Improve your body’s health.
Viome recommends foods and supplements intended to help support your unique biology on a molecular level like:
Your Superfoods and Enjoy Foods lists are of the most benefit for you, which can stimulate the production of healthy nutrients your body needs right now.
Minimize or Avoid Foods which may result in toxins being produced, causing inflammation. It’s best to stay away from Avoid foods altogether and eat Minimize foods only when it’s an absolute must-have, on a very limited basis.
What is YOUR precise food and supplement plan?
You can discover your own personalized superfoods and your unique Precision Supplements formula—recommended for YOUR biology—and start supporting your innate immunity with Health Intelligence. Get your test kit today!
The information on the Viome website is provided for informational purposes only and with the understanding that Viome is not engaged in rendering medical advice or recommendations. Viome provides this educational information to share the exciting developments being reported in the scientific literature about the human microbiome and your health. Viome products are not intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.