Steps to Healing Autoimmune Diseases(s) & Nutrients to Combat It…

All health begins in the gut...therefore in order to heal from auto-immune disease(s) we must first heal the gut.  Leaky gut syndrome is a controversial subject that has a vast amount of ideas on how to heal from it.  The Gaps Diet – Paleo Diet – among others all promote better health in an effort to heal the gut.  Dr. Josh Axe is by far my favorite nutritionist and offers a video about leaky gut:

(leaky gut video)

These articles (links below) are extensive explanations of why we have autoimmune diseases as well as an over abundance of other maladies that affect our lives dramatically healthwise.

“We live in a world that puts high demands on our bodies to perform and produce all day long.  Many of us sacrifice rest in order to strive towards our goals.  We stay up late to work, watch movies, surf the web or spend time with family and friends.  When our body gives us signs of fatigue, we hit it with caffeine and energy drinks to keep on going strong.

What is the result?  We now have an epidemic of people with adrenal fatigue, hormone imbalances, autoimmunity and chronic inflammatory issues.  Autoimmune diseases plague over 250 million people all around the world and many more suffer from a wide-variety of chronic inflammatory conditions.”  –Dr. David Jockers

5 Nutrients To Heal Autoimmune Disease

With over 250 million people suffering from this disease worldwide, autoimmunity is becoming a prevalent and concerning health problem. Autoimmunity is when the immune system becomes uncoordinated and begins attacking itself. I have worked with many autoimmunity cases and have found that certain nutrient deficiencies are almost always at play. In this article, I discuss why I think these deficiencies are the 5 key nutrients to heal autoimmune disease.

My desire to help those with autoimmunity comes from a history of personal health challenges that were rooted in my digestive health. After overcoming these health challenges, being on the other side, I realize just how debilitating conditions like autoimmunity can be. I find many similarities between the presence of these conditions including lack of key nutrients in the diet. I believe these 5 to be critical to address in the case of autoimmunity.


1. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is arguably one of the most powerful nutrients responsible for modulating and coordinating the immune system. In autoimmune disorders, the immune system has a hard time differentiating self from non-self (foreign invaders). Vitamin D helps the immune system make this important distinction (1).

Vitamin D deficiency is vastly common in our society due to sunscreen use and low amounts of sun exposure. On top of this, the average diet is severely lacking dietary sources of Vitamin D such as organ meats and certain fish.

 

 

 

Vitamin D is arguably one of the most powerful nutrients responsible for modulating and coordinating the immune system. In autoimmune disorders, the immune system has a hard time differentiating self from non-self (foreign invaders). Vitamin D helps the immune system make this important distinction (1).

Vitamin D deficiency is vastly common in our society due to sunscreen use and low amounts of sun exposure. On top of this, the average diet is severely lacking dietary sources of Vitamin D such as organ meats and certain fish

Boosting Vitamin D

Sunlight is by far and away the most important factor in optimizing your vitamin D levels. Not only does skin exposure to sunlight help produce vitamin D in its sulfated form, which may have unique benefits to the body in addition to supplemental vitamin D. For tips on healthy sun exposure, read this article.

Our ancestors frequently ate organ meats in their diets, such as liver, that were dense sources of vitamin D. Other great sources of dietary Vitamin D are wild fish like sockeye salmon and sardines.

 

2. Zinc

Zinc is another critical nutrient for healthy immune system function. Proper zinc levels help support the thymus gland and the formation of T helper cells, which are vital for coordination of the immune system (2).

Studies have shown that chronically low zinc levels can result in atrophy of the thymus gland which leads to poor T helper cell maturation and an imbalance in the Th1 and Th2 branches of the immune system. It is this immune imbalance that contributes to chronic inflammation and autoimmunity.

Boosting Zinc Intake

The RDA for adult zinc intake is around 12mg per day, but I typically see the best results with an intake of 30-60mg. The top dietary source of zinc is by far oysters with about 29.75 mg per 3.5 ounce serving. The next best would be sprouted pumpkin seeds which have about 7.81 mg of zinc per 3.5 ounce serving. Finally, liver and pasture-raised lamb and beef are other great sources of dietary zinc.

While there are some great food sources of zinc, I usually recommend supplementing with about 20-40mg zinc glycinate per day in cases of autoimmunity. I like zinc glycinate specifically because it is very absorbable while the glycine molecule provides additional anti-inflammatory benefits.

3. Glutathione

Glutathione is the most powerful antioxidant in the human body. It acts as an antioxidant on its own while also regulating other antioxidants in the body. In addition to antioxidant benefits, glutathione supports healthy detoxification. These actions will help lower inflammation drastically, which is a major factor in autoimmune conditions.

Glutathione has also been identified as playing a major role in white blood cell function and immune system regulation. For these reasons, glutathione has been identified a key nutrient in autoimmunity
Boosting Glutathione

Boosting glutathione to optimal levels comes down to three things: diet, lifestyle, and supplementation.

My top foods for boosting glutathione are non-denatured grass-fed whey protein, organ meats, sprouts, sulfurous foods (garlic, onions, cruciferous veggies), as well as herbs like turmeric, ginger, and milk thistle. These foods provide the building blocks for glutathione production in the body.

 

4. Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega 3 fatty acids play a very important role in autoimmunity. I find that in most cases of autoimmunity, there is a significant imbalance of fatty acids in the body.

In the standard American diet, there is a high consumption of omega 6 fats from processed oils while omega 3 fatty acids are virtually absent. While all omega 6 fatty acids are not necessarily bad from the right sources, it’s important to increase omega 3 consumption to create a balanced ratio in the body.

Another really important dietary aspect to focus on is getting healthy fats in general. The Standard American Diet is full of problematic fat sources that are highly inflammatory. The following graphic is a good summary of which fats are best to include in your diet.

5. Probiotics

 

 

Dr. David Jockers says:

“With over 250 million people suffering from this disease worldwide, autoimmunity is becoming a prevalent and concerning health problem. Autoimmunity is when the immune system becomes uncoordinated and begins attacking itself. I have worked with many autoimmunity cases and have found that certain nutrient deficiencies are almost always at play. In this article, I discuss why I think these deficiencies are the 5 key nutrients to heal autoimmune disease.”

(read more)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *