Now, studies theorize the immune system affects our brains, too, impacting our behavior. In a nutshell, there’s a molecule in the immune system that tells the brain it wants to be social, allowing humans to build up bacterial diversity, supporting both healthy probiotic colonies and allowing the immune system to build up immunity.
If further research confirms the findings, it could be linked to things like autism and schizophrenia, and even open up new treatments.
In the meantime, it points out exactly how high the stakes are for taking care of our immune system: failure to do so could impact who we think we are.
And it’s not just one protein. Other recent research found that the immune system actually has a direct line to the brain (surprising everybody who thought we had a better understanding of the human body than we apparently do). The new findings will open up avenues to treat, prevent, or even cure immune system related brain complications (often ones associated with autoimmune disorders) and may even shine light with diseases we’re struggling with like Alzheimer’s.
How can you take advantage of all this information right now?
Exercise. Sorry that it’s not a new, fun, or exciting answer, but it’s the cold truth: your lymphatic system (a big part of your immune system that both studies are talking about) doesn’t have a pump the way the heart circulates blood or your lungs circulate air. It literally requires you to physically get up and move your entire body to get lymph fluid circulating, and is one of the big reasons exercise is so strongly and consistently associated with lower disease rates—it’s not just about weight!
Of course, there’s the pathogen angle, too. It’s clear the immune system has a pretty elaborate set-up to help us build-up immunity and be braced to survive exposure to diseases, but as we all know, it’s not full-proof. Give it extra support (above the basics like exercise, nutrition, and sleep) with an immune supporting supplement like colloidal silver.
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