Every year I usually long for a little more summer when fall’s cool days take over and winter is sure to follow. But it is these seasonal changes that are good reminders to appreciate what has kept me healthy throughout the year, what has kept me afloat as cold and flu season approaches. Without question what I have learned to appreciate the most, season after season, is my immune system’s continuous support of my health. I think of it as my always-on life preserver. Unfortunately, that life preserver can get damaged and result in health issues, both chronic and acute.
Why is Your Life Preserver Deflating?
All good life preservers need to be leak-free. Eating healthy and exercising regularly gives your immune system the tools it needs to repair in a natural environment. However, we live in an increasingly unnatural environment full of man-made chemicals which can cause leaky gut. In just 25 years, the volume of synthetic organic chemicals produced tripled, from 50 million tons to 150 million tons and today it is even higher1.
One major contributor to our chemical-ridden environment is the herbicide, glyphosate. In 2014, farmers sprayed ~276 million pounds of glyphosate in the U.S. alone on cultivated cropland2. And as a water-soluble chemical, glyphosate has been found in many consumables, from breakfast cereal to breast milk. Further, glyphosate and its degradation product, aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA), were detected in ≥75% of air and rain samples in 2007 and yet these were not found in 19953. Our environment is fundamentally different now than it ever has been.
The tremendous amount of toxins in our environment creates a serious challenge to our immune systems. If you’re “barely keeping your head above water”, your life preserver may be in need of some support. You only get one immune system and it must function all the time.
Keeping Your Life Preserver Inflated
So how do we protect our immune system? First, we must understand the threats that it faces. Glyphosate is known to weaken the tight junctions that bind together your gut lining, which is the primary barrier between you and everything you consume4. Keeping this barrier intact and functioning optimally is absolutely essential for supporting immune health. After all, 70% of your immune system’s defensive cells live in your gut/intestines5.
Until as a society we demand a less toxic environment, we will need to continue to do more to keep ourselves afloat.
ION*Gut Health is scientifically proven to support tight junction integrity4. With a working gut lining, toxins cannot readily infiltrate your body. With less toxins to fight off, your immune system gets a break and is able to focus on other challenges to your health that crop up naturally.
The seasons may change but threats to our immune system remain as they always have, with our increasingly toxic world posing a more severe challenge for our immunity than it ever has before. Make your new normal be about supporting your immune system all year long; protect what protects you with ION*Gut Health.
Matthew Bednar, PhD
Bringing science out of the lab and into your life.
- Goldman LR. Chapter 17: Toxic chemicals and pesticides. Dernbach JC, editor. Washington, DC: Environmental Law Institute; 2002.
- Benbrook CM. Trends in glyphosate herbicide use in the United States and globally. Environ Sci Eur. 2016;28(1):3. doi:10.1186/s12302-016-0070-0
- Majewski MS, Coupe RH, Foreman WT, Capel PD. Pesticides in Mississippi air and rain: a comparison between 1995 and 2007. Environ Toxicol Chem. 2014 Jun;33(6):1283-93. doi: 10.1002/etc.2550. Epub 2014 Apr 4. PMID: 24549493.
- Gildea J, Roberts D, Bush Z, Protective Effects of Lignite Extract Supplement on Intestinal Barrier Function in Glyphosate-Mediated Tight Junction Injury, Journal of Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics, 2017 – 03, 10.4172/2472-1921.100035.
- Allergy and the gastrointestinal system, Vighi G, Marcucci F, Sensi L, Di Cara G, Frati F., Clin Exp Immunol. 2008;153 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):3–6. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2249.2008.03713.