Ever feel like you get more than your fair share of colds and other annoying illnesses?
In today’s world, it’s a challenge to remain disease-free and avoid colds, viruses and severe illness. But even when it’s “just” a cold, your immune system’s efforts at combating infection can lead to body aches, fever, a stuffy nose and cough that can sideline you for a week or more.
Fortunately, there’s an immune-boosting supplement that’s scientifically proven to help your body battle viruses, bacteria and other germs that can sicken you.
I’m talking about EpiCor®, a fermented yeast supplement discovered decades ago by a happy accident.
In the 1990s, the company was merely producing EpiCor® to support the health of farm animals when some alert managers noticed something fascinating: employees at its manufacturing plant were not using their sick leave to the extent of employees in other manufacturing plants.
Company management hypothesized that exposure to EpiCor® was the reason why. Something in this animal feed additive was protecting the workers against disease.
When the company tested this theory, their studies revealed EpiCor® produced intriguing and important effects on human immune response and defense against infection.
Powers up Your First Line of Defense Against Illness
Your first line of defense against infection is your mucous membranes. These membranes coat the inside of your nose, mouth and eyelids to stop infectious agents from making their way into your bloodstream.
Mucous membranes are not foolproof, of course. Otherwise we’d never catch a cold or flu. That’s why medical experts advise never touching your face unless you’ve just washed your hands. As we all know now, neglecting to do that may allow bacteria or viruses on your skin to enter your body by traveling through these membranes or even infecting them.
But although they’re not perfect, mucous membranes, aside from presenting a physical barrier to pathogens, also protect us in other ways.
The tears in your eyes, for example, contain lysozyme, an enzyme that can destroy bacteria and help your eyes resist infections.
In addition, these membranes contain immunoglobulin A (IgA), the most abundantly produced antibody that is found throughout the body including the digestive tract. Not all of IgA’s functions are understood, but it’s believed that it latches onto pathogens to help immune cells destroy them.
IgA also helps probiotic bacteria survive and flourish.1 IgA is “considered an important first line of defense against many invading infectious agents.”2
Here’s where EpiCor® comes in: The saliva in your mouth is rich in a type of IgA called sIgA.
A study of EpiCor® in more than twenty people shows that taking the supplement for one month significantly increases the amount of sIgA in saliva. The researchers conclude that this means EpiCor® can strengthen the body’s mucous membrane protection against getting sick.
Builds up Your Immune Cells
EpiCor® also impacts your immune system in other ways, starting with your body’s most powerful immune cells. The studies show that EpiCor®:
- Activates immune protection by natural killer cells (NK cells): Natural killer cells are white blood cells that can help control illnesses caused by viruses by eliminating infected cells. They also release compounds in the body called pro-inflammatory cytokines that coordinate the immune system’s response against viruses and bacteria. Research shows that EpiCor® can increase natural killer cell activity and help the body improve the antioxidant power of substances in the circulating blood.3
- Helps control harmful inflammation: Chronic inflammation, which involves destructive activities by immune cells, has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, arthritis and cancer. Tests show that EpiCor® can help resolve inflammation on the skin and may help lower the risk of inflammation in the digestive tract.4
How Does Yeast Fight Disease?
EpiCor® begins as baker’s yeast — the same microorganism used to make beer, wine, bread and other food. The manufacturing process deprives yeast of oxygen, which causes them to produce immune supporting compounds such as proteins, peptides, antioxidants, polyphenols, organic acids, and nucleotides.
As the yeast ferments, beneficial yeast cell compounds such as 1-3 and 1-6 beta glucans and mannans form. The scientists believe all of these natural compounds work together to improve overall immune health.5 (Other sources of immune-boosting beta glucans include mushroom supplements and the popular beta 1- 3D glucan supplement from BetterWayHealth.)
To date, researchers have performed eight human clinical trials on EpiCor® and two in vitro (lab culture) studies. It’s important to note that virtually all of the research has been performed by the company that makes EpiCor® for sale as an immune supplement for human health. Despite that, and the fact that I’ve not personally tried this supplement, the research is impressive.
I first heard about Epicor more than 30 years ago, from the legendary Dr. David Williams. I’m not sure that it ever caught on in a big way, and I don’t know why that is.
Regardless of whether you add EpiCor® to your immune-boosting regimen or not, it’s important that you have an immune-boosting regimen that includes a healthy diet and lifestyle.
In a world where deadly viruses, antibiotic resistant bacteria and other dangerous microbes are on the rise, maintaining a robust immune system remains your best bet at staying healthy. And in some cases, may even save your life!