July 14, 2013 by Dr. David Jockers
Filed under Natural Healing
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Sun. July 14, 2013 by Dr. David Jockers
(NaturalHealth365) Are you interested in naturally eliminating digestive problems? If so, then let’s look at ways to boost your immune system by balancing secretory IgA – which protects you from infections.
Every mucosal membrane surface such as the eyes, nose, throat and intestinal system represent a large portal of entry for pathogenic bacteria, viruses and yeasts. The body’s immune system utilizes a combination attack through innate mechanisms and acquired adaptations.
The innate immune response includes mucus formation, lactoferrin, lysozymes and cytokinetic inflammatory activity. The acquired system produces anti-bodies with the primary mucosal antibody being secretory IgA.
This antibody response is one of the most critical component to protecting the body against parasitic dominance.
Secretory IgA is the secreted form of an antibody in the blood called IgA. IgA is produced in the blood, taken into the gut, secreted across the mucosal lining into that mucous layer that is the surface lining of our digestive tract. It is the mucosal immune barrier or first line immune defense.
SIgA lies within the mucosal membrane of the entire digestive tract as well as our lungs, sinuses, eyes, urethra and vagina. It plays a significant role in neutralizing various pathogens like viruses, Candida, bacteria, protozoa and hemoliths.
The health problems associated with low SIgA levels
When SIgA is elevated it indicates an acute immune reaction within the gut. This could indicate an acute bacterial or parasitic infection. When s IgA is low it indicates an overall deficiency of this immune chemical. When this is low on a stool test the individual will also express food allergens, have elevated Candida yeast and have dysbiosis or abnormal bacterial balance in their gut.
Individuals with chronic gut problems, IBS, Candida, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and autism typically have low SIgA. This is a sign of chronic stress in the body that has drained the immune system and the adrenals. Chronic infections, environmental toxins, poor lifestyle could all be the major causes behind this.
How to naturally balance your SIgA levels
The first step to increase (or decrease) SIgA naturally is to use an anti-inflammatory diet. The most common food allergens include all grains, pasteurized dairy, soy products, eggs, nuts and high-sugar fruits. Utilizing intermittent fasting strategies and going 18-20 hours of fasting with only clean water, herbal teas, organic broths and light fermented beverages each day is highly recommended.
An advanced bone broth fast with organic, grass-fed beef bones and loads of garlic and onions can be extremely effective at helping the gut to reseal and boost SIgA levels. This should be a 10-14 day fast if the levels are severely low and 3-7 day if they are more moderate.
It is important to provide the gut and the immune system with the key nutrients they need such as vitamin C, zinc, selenium, glutamine, choline, glycine, glutathione and essential fatty acids among other things. A whole food based multi-vitamin without any filling agents such as magnesium stearate is very helpful.
Using non-denatured whey protein from grass-fed cows will boost glutamine and glutathione levels and is easily absorbed into the body. It is highly recommended if the individual can tolerate it. If they have allergenic reactions to whey than use a hypoallergenic protein powder made up of sprouted hemp and pea protein.
Great ways to naturally raise your SIgA levels
There are a few things that boost Secretory IgA levels naturally. Colostrum is an immunoglobulin blast that is secreted from mom’s breast in the early stages of breast feeding. Colostrum is loaded with antibodies that stimulate SIgA levels. Fermented dairy from 100% grass-fed cows is loaded with acidophilus, bacillus and saccharomyces boulardii species of probiotics that all help to stimulate S IgA levels.
Beta Glucans are polysaccharide fibers that are considered biological response modifiers because of their ability to activate the immune system. They help boost the production of SIgA. These are found in the highest concentration in different types of mushrooms such as reishi, shiitake and maitake. Cayenne pepper also has the ability to stimulate B-lymphocytes into manufacturing more SIgA.
How can I naturally lower SIgA?
Elevated SIgA is a sign of an acute infection and the immune system is running on high. Using an anti-inflammatory diet that includes the bone broth fast described above is especially helpful. One can also take systemic enzymes and high dose probiotics to help modulate the immune system. Essential fats from a high quality fish oil and grass-fed meat products are extremely critical as well.
Fermented vegetables load the body up with enzymes, probiotics, organic acids and highly bioavailable nutrients that raise SIgA levels. Other herbs such as turmeric, basil, oregano, garlic and thyme are especially helpful. Fermented herbal botanicals, apple cider vinegar, coconut kefir and kombucha should be used as well.
How long does it take to boost SIgA?
Secretory IgA is generally an indication of the immune system in the gut which is our first line immune defense and it is called the mucosal barrier. When the gut is damaged and leaky it causes chronic stress and poor healing. The faster the chronic stressors are removed the faster the individual will get well. The average period is a good four to six month process for complete healing to take place.
In some cases, it may even take years to finally get SIgA levels up to normal.
The variable in all accounts is the individuals’ unique healing process. Many individuals have a severe leaky gut and are loaded with Candida, viral infections, worms and other parasites and also have heavy metals and industrial toxins as well as physical stressors such as poor posture and breathing habits. These individuals are challenging because they must correct each of these imbalances. The longer each of these challenges persists it will contribute to the formation of other stressors and keep the adrenals weak and tired.
The faster we can get the gut healed and restored and use a ketogenic style, anti-inflammatory diet that is loaded with fermented foods the faster the body will be able to detoxify and restore healthy function to the gut, liver and adrenals.
Please note: Intermittent water fasting is one of the best strategies for boosting our healing potential.
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About the author: Dr. David Jockers owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Ga. He is a Maximized Living doctor. His expertise is in weight loss, customized nutrition & exercise, & structural corrective chiropractic care. For more information – visit: DrJockers.com. Dr. Jockers is also available for long distance phone consultations to help you beat disease and reach your health goals.
If you suffer from Candida, it may mean that your immune system is compromised or your body has been weakened by stress or chronic illness. The traditional anti-Candida diet is incredibly restrictive and for the average person, can be extremely difficult to sustain in the long run. As Candida feeds on sugar and carbohydrates, the elimination of these foods from the diet will certainly help to reduce the number of cells, but in many cases it will not stop the fungi’s ability to cling to the intestinal walls. When Candida is starved of these food sources, the yeast is forced into its cyst form and it will use its fungal ability to lay dormant and rest. In this form it can survive for years and when these food sources are then re-introduced the yeast spores will start to replicate once again. When conditions are favourable for fungi, they can in fact switch to protein digestion anyway, leaving us with an impossible dietary challenge! It would therefore appear far better to maintain the Candida in a weakened and growing form rather than forcing it to lay dormant as this will enable anti-microbial therapies to work to their full potential.
Condiments tend to be high in sugar and can exacerbate your Candida. Stay away from the soft drinks too. Always read food labels to make sure your food doesn’t contain sugar. Be careful – the aspartame in diet cola weakens your immune system can leave you vulnerable to Candida.
Alcohol is high in sugars that can feed a Candida overgrowth. It also puts stress on your immune system.
GRAINS & GLUTINOUS FOODS
Anything made with wheat, rye, oats or barley, e.g. white bread, rye bread, pasta.
Corn and corn byproducts
Many Candida sufferers have a high sensitivity to Gluten. Give your immune system a break and stay off gluten during your Candida diet. Corn-by products like popcorn tend to be contaminated with mold.
The high sugar content in fruit feeds Candida, even though they are natural sugars. Fruits like melon may also contain mold. A squeeze of lemon is OK.
This group of vegetables is very nutrient-dense, however they should be avoided until your Candida overgrowth is fully under control.
They then can be reintroduced in small portions one at a time.
All pork products
Smoked or vacuum-packed meats
Pork contains retroviruses that survive cooking and may be harmful for those with a weakened digestive system. Processed meats like lunch meat and spam are loaded with dextrose nitrates, sulfates and sugars.
All fish except for wild salmon and sardines
All shellfish and most fish contain alarming levels of heavy metals and toxins. These will suppress your immune system and leave you vulnerable to Candida. Studies have shown that farmed salmon contain high levels of PCBs, mercury and other carcinogenic agents.
Almost all dairy should be avoided except ghee, butter, kefir and probiotic yogurt. Milk contains lactose so it should be avoided. Kefir and yogurt are better because most of the lactose disappears during the fermentation process.
ADDITIVES & PRESERVATIVES
Anything you don’t know or can’t pronounce!
The manufactured, additive form of citric acid is derived from yeast. However the natural form, as found in lemons and limes, is OK on the diet.
Additives and preservatives can disrupt your friendly bacteria and allow the Candida yeast to flourish.
Black & green tea
Diet & regular soda
Caffeine can cause your blood sugar to rise, but the main problem is that it weakens the adrenals and can impair your immune system. Coffee also contains mold. Even decaf tea and coffee are to be avoided, as they contain residual levels of caffeine.
This group of nuts contains a high amount of mold, which can inflame your Candida problem.
Beans and other legumes
All soy products
The combination of being hard to digest and high in carbs rules out beans from the first stages of the diet. They can be reintroduced later on in small portions. Soy products are mostly forbidden, as the majority of soy is genetically modified. If you can find non-GMO tofu, it should be OK to eat.
MUSHROOMS / MOLDS
Mushrooms don’t “feed” Candida as some websites claim, but eating some fungi can cause an inflammatory reaction if you are already suffering from Candida. On the other hand, some medicinal mushrooms are actually OK on the diet and have strong immune-boosting properties. Good examples are Reishi and Maitake.
Ketchup, tomato paste, and spaghetti sauces all contain high amounts of hidden sugars. Condiments generally do tend to be high in sugar, and they can exacerbate your Candida. For an alternative salad dressing, try coconut aminos or a simple olive oil and lemon juice dressing.
All vinegars, except for Apple Cider Vinegar
Vinegar is made in a yeast culture, depletes the stomach of acids and can also cause inflammation in your gut. However, one particular vinegar (unfiltered apple cider vinegar) can actually be helpful in combating a Candida overgrowth.
FATS AND OILS
Peanut, corn and canola oil are contaminated with mold. And most soy beans used in soy oil are GMO.
Non-starchy vegetables starve the Candida of the sugar and mold diet that feed it. You should buy your vegetables fresh and eat them raw, steamed or grilled.
Avoid starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes, potatoes, yams, corn, all winter squash, beets, peas, parsnips and beans. Olives are OK as long as they are not in distilled white vinegar.
LIVE YOGURT CULTURES
Live yogurt cultures help your gut to repopulate with good bacteria. The live bacteria in the yogurt will crowd out the Candida yeast and restore balance to your system. This is especially useful after a course of antibiotics.
Eat only fresh and organic meat – processed meat (like lunch meat, bacon and spam) is loaded with dextrose, nitrates, sulfates and sugars.
Smoked or vacuum packed meats are also best avoided.
Wild salmon and sardines do contain ocean contaminants, but in much lower amounts than other seafood. Buy these fish fresh or packed in olive oil or water.
These nuts are healthy and have a low mold content. If you’re still worried about mold, soak them in a diluted grapefruit seed extract solution for a few hours.
These grains contain a high amount of fiber, excellent for keeping your digestive system moving and eliminating Candida toxins. Most products derived from this list are also OK – e.g. quinoa crackers, buckwheat flour. You can find these in the gluten-free section in health food stores.
These are just a few of the herbal teas that have antifungal properties.
Chicory root is also a great prebiotic (it contains 20% Inulin), so it can help to repopulate your gut with healthy bacteria too.
Stevia and xylitol can be used in place of sugar and they have a much smaller effect on your blood sugar levels.
(‘xylitol’ on good list – choc bars from salisbury – more please!!! annie x)