Anti-Aging and Immunity: How to Turn Back the Clock

What do your skin and anti-aging products have to do with immunity? Well, you’ve probably heard that your skin is your largest organ. But did you know it’s an immunologic organ?

Meaning: your skin is a major player in your immune system. In fact, there are nearly 20 billion T cells (microscopic “soldiers” that seek out and destroy pathogens) in your skin — far greater than the number of T cells in your blood [20]!

So while your skin forms a protective barrier between the toxic world and the rest of your body, it’s also doing so much more… it is also one of your body’s active immune organs [21].

So if stress has made your skin look dry, rough, and bumpy…

Or, if you’re concerned about keeping your immune system strong…

You will want to read on to learn more.

In this article you’ll learn:  

  • How nutrients impact your immune system (and 3 nutrients that boost immunity and beautify your skin at the same time)
  • How silica optimizes energy production needed to power the immune system
  • How garlic is anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. It’s anti-everything! 
  • How your immune health impacts aging
  • The simple way to boost immunity and stay looking youthful

Most don’t realize how chemicals and toxic heavy metals interfere in every aspect of immune system function, including immune cell performance and the energy needed to power the immune system. 

The reality is, there are a myriad of nutrients and supplements that can naturally support your immune system – the basics like vitamin C, zinc, and going in the sun to get some vitamin D.

But three of my favorite immune-boosting supplements are garlic, selenium, and silica. I want to tell you why…

Nutrients, Anti-Aging, and Your Immune System

Your immune system is a vital part of overall health and plays a role not only in keeping your body healthy, but also slowing the aging process. 

It takes a robust immune system to keep up with the thousands of pathogens we encounter daily. Toxins like heavy metals and other pollutants can take a huge toll on immunity and energy production, and cause your cells to undergo oxidation, creating damaging free radicals. 

With oxidative stress being one of the primary causes of aging, and your antioxidant defenses in your immune system being the primary antidote, immunity and aging go hand in hand [14].

The nutrients you put in your body have a direct effect on the function of your immune system, either enhancing its function or working against it. 

Furthermore, you have to support the health of your mitochondria because it takes so much energy to power immune cell function. Healthy mitochondria are essential to anti-aging, as they produce the energy your body needs for repair and regeneration [15][16].

The nutrients you put in your body have a direct effect on the function of your immune system, either enhancing its function or working against it. 

Foods you eat and supplements you take can support immunity by [1][2]:

  • Enhancing cellular communication
  • Activating and powering immune cells
  • Supporting the clearance of microbes and infected cells
  • Repairing and protecting your DNA from damage

Let’s Look at a Few Anti-Aging and Immune-Boosting Nutrients

Silica 

Silica is a crucial mineral for pulling metals out of your body that interfere with energy production — needed for critical energy to power immunity. You cannot have a robust immune system if you feel tired or suffer from fatigue. Many don’t realize this connection between immunity and fatigue.

There is a specific type of silica, orthosilicic acid, that binds toxic metals like aluminum, arsenic, tin, thallium and cesium, which are the primary culprits in causing fatigue. These metals poison enzymes that transport nutrients into your mitochondria – the little powerhouses inside your cells that create energy (also known as ATP). 

The energy produced by your mitochondria provides your immune system with the means to properly respond to pathogens and stressors like mold, bacteria, or parasites. 

Without the required energy, however, your immune system may produce maladaptive responses which is evidenced by reactions like histamine Intolerance, conditions like food sensitivities, asthma, allergies or poor immune system defense [4]. By providing the immune system with the energy it needs, you’re less likely to suffer these types of maladaptive responses.

Therefore, you need robust energy levels to have a properly functioning, adaptive and responsive immune system. And the best way to ensure robust energy is to care for the health of your mitochondria. 

You can think of silica as one of your mitochondria’s greatest allies as it removes heavy metals from your body by acting as a bonding agent, pulling metals out of your cells, and alleviating the potential roadblock to immunity [2].

It should be noted, however, that not all forms of silica are the same. There are many many forms of silica. For example, there is horsetail, bamboo, and other forms. Though nutritious, these forms do not have the specific binding capacity that I look for to remove heavy metals.

Taking silica in the form of orthosilicic acid we know in the research has properties like valence that show that it binds to arsenic, aluminum, tin, thallium and cesium. And another bonus is that it’s a natural way to remove problematic metals that effectively poison your mitochondria. 

It should also be noted that sleep is critical for immunity. There are so many studies linking sleep and poor or health immune response. and you need to have good energy production to sleep, which is a very energy intensive, regenerative process.

Without proper sleep, you’ll have more wrinkles, bags under your eyes, poor liver function, etc. lack of sleep shows up in your face. That’s why it’s so important to focus on energy production to improve sleep as well. 

Let’s look at another benefit of silica for immunity. 

Furthermore, when toxins or foreign substances show up in your body, they elicit an immune response. These compounds are known as antigens (AKA antibody generators) because they upregulate your immune system’s antibodies. The primary role of antibodies is to search for antigens and eliminate them from your system. 

Silica plays a crucial role in this dance by stimulating the production of antibodies in the presence of antigens, allowing your immune system to do its job and clear out foreign invaders [3].

Additionally, silica is key in helping collagen to plump up and support the skin’s matrix. Collagen is a type of fibrous protein in the body that works together with elastin to provide your skin’s strength and elasticity. You need adequate silica to activate collagen so it can do its job. so taking just collagen by itself isn’t enough. A lot of people make this mistake. 

Also, If there are cracks in skin, this gives a prime and easy entry way into your body. So I feel a peace of mind using silica because I know it’s enhancing my skin’s protective barrier, plumping it up and making it stronger and appear more beautiful at the same time.

Garlic 

Garlic is one of the most well known immune-boosting foods out there. Due in part to the high amounts of the compound allicin, garlic has been the subject of research studies for a number of ailments [5].  

On a cellular level, some of the ways that consuming garlic can support your immune system include [1]:

  • Stimulation of immune cells such as macrophages, lymphocytes, natural killer (NK) cells, dendritic cells, and eosinophils.
  • Modulation the secretion of cytokines, immune-signaling cells that regulate immune processes like inflammation.
  • Enhanced production of antibodies, which move through your body searching for antigens (foreign chemicals) and binding them. 
  • Supports phagocytosis, a process in which your immune cells engulf infected cells to clear them from circulation. 
  • Stimulation of macrophage activation, which allowed them to kill off invading bacteria or infected cells. 

Due to its substantial role in immunity, and the essential nature of proper immune function for overall health, garlic may also help with [1][5]:

  • Bacterial infections
  • Parasites
  • Obesity
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • High blood sugar
  • Cardiovascular disorders
  • Gastric ulcer
  • And more

Selenium

Before a virus can infect your system, it must enter your cells so it can copy its genome and then spread like wildfire throughout your body. 

In a selenium deficient state, your body doesn’t have the framework it needs to inhibit this replication, and research shows that a selenium deficiency in the presence of a virus is shown to increase the virulence and spread of the virus. This means that the virus will not only spread faster, but it will create more severe illness as well. Some research even shows that relatively benign infections can become incredibly harmful in a selenium deficient state [9][18].

On the other hand, selenium supplementation has been shown to enhance immune defenses and protect against infections[10]. 

Selenium is also a key nutrient for your immune system due to its incorporation in selenoproteins. Selenoproteins are proteins that regulate reactive oxygen species (ROS) in nearly every tissue in your body. 

In this way, selenium behaves as a potent antioxidant, assisting your immune system in combating oxidative stress [6]. Given this, it is not surprising that Selenium strongly influences inflammation and immune responses.

While oxidative stress is a natural part of life, when your body is burdened with pro-oxidative insults like pollution, poor diet, heavy metals, and EMFs, it can put a burden on your immunity.

What’s more, when your immune system is overactivated, you experience excessive levels of oxidation, which can result in physical damage on a tissue and cellular level [7]. 

Therefore, including antioxidants like selenium into your diet is crucial to supporting your overall immunity and wellbeing. 

Inflammation, just like oxidation, is a natural part of your immune process. However, like oxidation, when inflammation gets out of control, it can cause serious damage to your bodily tissues, including your skin.

In selenium deficient conditions, immune cells struggle in their activation and proliferation (likely due to high oxidative stress), which negatively impacts overall immunity and inflammatory responses [8]. 

Unfortunately, it’s estimated that around one billion people worldwide are currently deficient in this vital nutrient, with estimates that the number will grow with climate change [17].  

I have found over 95% of people that I test to be deficient in selenium. That’s why it’s particularly important that you supplement this key mineral with a high-quality selenium. It’s largely missing from the soils.

In my practice, the best form of selenium that I’ve seen raise people’s levels quickly is methyl selenocysteine. This methylated form may be a bit more expensive, but the bioavailability more than makes up for the price point. That’s why I take this form daily.

Anti-Aging And Immunity

Perhaps the most compelling reason to keep your immune system strong is its profound impact on aging.

Chronologically, we all age at the same rate. Cellularly, however, everyone’s body ages differently. That’s why you see 30-year-olds that look haggard and worn down, and 50-year-olds that look fresh and youthful.

Sure, genetics plays a part. But even genes are impacted by what you put in your body. Overwhelmingly, the way a person’s body ages has much more to do with how they take care of themselves than their genetic predisposition.

So, where does immunity come into aging? Bear with me while I get into some technical explanations of what is happening in the body when it comes to aging.

Let’s touch back on two key processes of your immune system: inflammation and oxidation.

Inflammation plays a key role in the aging process. There’s even a term “inflammaging” which describes the elevated levels of blood inflammatory markers that many older individuals experience.

These inflammatory markers increase your risk of disability, frailty, premature death, cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, cancer, depression and dementia [11].

Scientists have even discovered a metabolic “switch” that can reverse the inflammatory response of your immune system, and thereby begin to slow down the aging process [12].

While more research needs to be carried out to discover what exactly turns on and off that switch, there’s already plenty of information to support the value of key nutrients, like those mentioned above, in calming inflammation and supporting immunity.

Another threat to your biological age is oxidation. In fact, oxidative stress may be even more harmful than inflammation when it comes to aging.

Aging is a process characterized by the progressive loss of tissue and organ function. The oxidative stress theory of aging is based around the idea that the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) are responsible for this progressive loss.

When the number of ROS in your body outweighs the number of antioxidants that can combat them, oxidation wins, and your body begins to break down. With this in mind, the role that antioxidants can play in slowing the aging process becomes clear [13].

But what causes your body to have an inflammatory or oxidative response in the first place?

The primary culprits for these age-inducing processes are toxins, heavy metals, and harmful chemicals that can be found ubiquitously in your environment. If you don’t provide your body with the nutrients it needs to detoxify and eliminate harmful compounds, inflammation and oxidation are inevitable.

As someone who’s almost 50 years old and is constantly being told I could pass for 35, I’m a prime example of how a passion for detox can keep you looking and feeling youthful and vibrant.

There’s no time like today to add detox to your health regimen.

My Simple, Detox-Supporting Solution

Whether your goal is to maintain good health or to slow the outward effects aging can have on your skin, there’s a supplement t that I’ve created to naturally support your immune system from all angles. 

It’s called Ageless AF.

Ageless AF combats aging and keeps you vibrant and youthful by helping your system flush out common age-advancing toxins. 

It’s packed with phytonutrients and restorative minerals, including orthosilicic acid, hyaluronic acid, bioatin, and selenium, all of which are researched ways to reduce toxin load. 

While selenium comes in as a potent antioxidant to fend off oxidative stress, silica can help facilitate the body’s natural excretion of the pollutants from your system that mess with your energy production and inhibit optimal immune function.

I formulated Ageless AF to keep your body healthy and youthful on a cellular level.*

Pulling from my own clinical experience, along with evidence-based research, I chose the most potent and bioavailable forms of each of these nutrients to provide the most effective anti-aging and detox formula. 

Bottom Line

It’s crucial to give your immune system a little more attention this time of year. The reality is, however, that your immune system needs attention all year long. Beyond avoiding the common cold or flu, your immune system is a cornerstone of health and longevity. It fights thousands of pathogens every day.

I don’t think most realize how chemicals and toxic heavy metals interfere in many aspects of immune system function, including interfering in immune cell performance and the energy needed to power the immune system. 

If you’re not already supporting your immune system, then there’s no time like the present to begin. 

Try Ageless AF for beauty, supporting natural detox, and maintaining a healthy immune system.

*These statements have not been reviewed by the FDA. The information herein is not intended to  diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Nor is it meant to replace or act as a substitute for speaking to a medical doctor and/or licensed health practitioner. Any products discussed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. They are not intended to replace any medication, medical test(s), or healing modality prescribed by your medical doctor. Please consult with your doctor before beginning a new supplement regimen. 

Click Here for References+

  1. Arreola, Rodrigo, et al. “Immunomodulation and anti-inflammatory effects of garlic compounds.” Journal of immunology research 2015 (2015).
  2. Yantasee, Wassana, et al. “Functionalized nanoporous silica for the removal of heavy metals from biological systems: adsorption and application.” ACS applied materials & interfaces 2.10 (2010): 2749-2758.
  3. Mancino, D., M. L. Vuotto, and M. Minucci. “Effects of a crystalline silica on antibody production to T-dependent and T-independent antigens in Balb/c mice.” International Archives of Allergy and Immunology 73.1 (1984): 10-13.
  4. Iyer, Divyaanka, Navya Mishra, and Anurag Agrawal. “Mitochondrial function in allergic disease.” Current allergy and asthma reports 17.5 (2017): 29.
  5. Bayan, Leyla, Peir Hossain Koulivand, and Ali Gorji. “Garlic: a review of potential therapeutic effects.” Avicenna journal of phytomedicine 4.1 (2014): 1.
  6. Hoffmann, Peter R., and Marla J. Berry. “The influence of selenium on immune responses.” Molecular nutrition & food research 52.11 (2008): 1273-1280.
  7. Marri, Viviana, and Heinz Richner. “Immune response, oxidative stress and dietary antioxidants in great tit nestlings.” Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology 179 (2015): 192-196.
  8. Huang, Zhi, Aaron H. Rose, and Peter R. Hoffmann. “The role of selenium in inflammation and immunity: from molecular mechanisms to therapeutic opportunities.” Antioxidants & redox signaling 16.7 (2012): 705-743.
  9. Steinbrenner, Holger, et al. “Dietary selenium in adjuvant therapy of viral and bacterial infections.” Advances in nutrition 6.1 (2015): 73-82.
  10. Beck, Melinda A., Orville A. Levander, and Jean Handy. “Selenium deficiency and viral infection.” The Journal of nutrition 133.5 (2003): 1463S-1467S.
  11. Ferrucci, Luigi, and Elisa Fabbri. “Inflammageing: chronic inflammation in ageing, cardiovascular disease, and frailty.” Nature Reviews Cardiology 15.9 (2018): 505-522.
  12. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/02/200206144837.htm
  13. Liguori, Ilaria, et al. “Oxidative stress, aging, and diseases.” Clinical interventions in aging 13 (2018): 757.
  14. Liguori, Ilaria, et al. “Oxidative stress, aging, and diseases.” Clinical interventions in aging 13 (2018): 757.
  15. Bratic, Ana, and Nils-Göran Larsson. “The role of mitochondria in aging.” The Journal of clinical investigation 123.3 (2013): 951-957.
  16. de Souza Breda, Cristiane Naffah, et al. “Mitochondria as central hub of the immune system.” Redox biology (2019): 101255.
  17. Jones, Gerrad D., et al. “Selenium deficiency risk predicted to increase under future climate change.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114.11 (2017): 2848-2853.
  18. Beck, Melinda A. “Selenium and host defence towards viruses.” Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 58.3 (1999): 707-711.
  19. Guillin, Olivia M., et al. “Selenium, selenoproteins and viral infection.” Nutrients 11.9 (2019): 2101.
  20. Ho, A.W., Kupper, T.S. T cells and the skin: from protective immunity to inflammatory skin disorders. Nat Rev Immunol 19, 490–502 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41577-019-0162-3.
  21. J K Salmon, C A Armstrong, J C Ansel, The skin as an immune organ. West J Med. 1994 Feb; 160(2): 146–152.

in Articles/Beauty/Detox/Immune Health/Lifestyle

Dr Wendy Myers, ND is a detox expert, functional diagnostic nutritionist, NES Bioenergetic Practitioner, and founder of Myersdetox.com. She is the #1 bestselling author of Limitless Energy: How to Detox Toxic Metals to End Exhaustion and Chronic Fatigue . Additionally, Wendy is the host of The Heavy Metals Summit, the Myers Detox Podcast, and the Supercharged Podcast. Passionate about the importance of detox to live a long and healthy life, she created the revolutionary Myers Detox Protocol , and Mitochondria Detox kit after working with thousands of clients, as well as a range of supplements to help you detox from everyday living and maintain a healthy lifestyle!

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