The delicate balance between our metabolism and immune response severely affects various chronic diseases, including obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. A secure immune reaction requires energy. How our bodies regulate and manage our metabolism, and our body’s ability to defend itself against pathogens (immune response) are inextricably linked.
The immune system comprises various cells, each having a specific job to combat threats, protect the body, improve health, and accelerate healing. These cells rely on the body’s metabolism to provide suitable fuel at the perfect time in order to operate effectively. Therefore, the immune response may be insufficient if cells do not receive enough energy. On the other hand, an overactive immune response can cause immune cells to attack their healthy tissues.
Immune cells respond differently to different microbes linked to energy metabolism changes. Furthermore, a healthy diet influences host metabolism and, as a result, immune cell responses.
The term metabolism refers to a series of chemical processes in the cells of living things to maintain life, including converting food and liquids into energy and constructing or repairing your body. In addition, the metabolic processes let individuals maintain their structures, produce offspring, and grow in response to their environment. Metabolism encompasses all chemical processes, from digestion to the movement of chemicals from one cell to another.
Metabolism and Human Body
Human metabolism gets split into two distinct components, catabolism, and anabolism. Which the body meticulously regulates to keep in balance despite its complexity. Catabolism refers to breaking down food substances into simpler forms, such as carbs, proteins, and dietary fats, so your body can use them as fuel and the fundamental building blocks for development and repair. The portion of metabolism known as anabolism is where your body is built or repaired. The energy needed for anabolism eventually comes from food. The extra nutrients you consume over your body’s needs for everyday anabolism get stored as fat.
When your metabolic systems are working correctly, there is a low chance that you will develop disorders that could harm your overall health. On the other hand, when you don’t have good metabolic health, your cells, specifically the energy-producing powerhouses inside of cells called mitochondria, can’t produce the energy they need to operate properly. Thus dysfunction and disease can set in.
The immune system is one of the body’s most important defenders, acting as a bodyguard to keep infection and disease at bay. The need to better understand the complexities of this system grows as the development of immunotherapies to treat metabolic diseases continues. The complex network of metabolism and the immune system is described in this article from the standpoint of nutrition.
The HealthifyMe Note
The immune system creates white blood cells, other chemicals, and proteins that target and eliminate unwanted pathogens or microbes. The immune system needs an effective metabolism to undertake the difficult work of safeguarding your body.
HealthifyPRO 2.0 enables you to take control of your health and makes it simple to thoroughly and routinely understand your health parameters. It is necessary for maintaining your metabolic health. A smart scale, metabolic panel, CGM, and other trackers help you to stay metabolically healthy. The metabolic panel analyses your blood according to 80 parameters. It also has a wearable device called BIOS that notifies you of food’s impact on your blood glucose levels. In addition, it helps you to track your glucose levels. As a result, the coach helps you design a customised diet plan to improve your metabolism and metabolic health.
Metabolism and Immune System: The Connection
Every cell in the body undergoes metabolism, including immune cells. It is because the process of producing immune cells is a metabolic activity. The effectiveness and reliability of metabolic processes determine how their products and byproducts turn out. As a result, it is crucial for the control and effectiveness of the body’s immunity. The immune system and metabolism have a close relationship. Two of the most fundamental tasks of a cell are to obtain enough nutrients and energy to sustain life and to protect itself from potentially dangerous microorganisms.
In this context, it is unsurprising that the immune system gets intimately linked to metabolic activity. According to a study, energy gets required for the immune response, including producing and preparing white blood cells to fight infections and diseases. The immune system is one of the most potent bodily defensive mechanisms, armed with a slew of defence cells that can wipe off infections that come into contact with them.
The body also possesses several fail-safe mechanisms to prevent the immune system from attacking itself. However, occasionally these protections fail, and we experience an uncalled-for inflammatory reaction. Observing an influx of immune cells, such as T-cells and B-cells, moving into organs and tissues is the most straightforward approach to gauge this response.
The immune system is typically called a “quiescent state” in healthy individuals; it is on the lookout for infections but is not actively engaged in fighting mode. Instead, immune cells speed up their metabolism and take in more nutrients when an attack is imminent to generate the proteins necessary for defence, such as cytokines and antibodies.
The immune system’s metabolic pathways are a check-and-balance system used to control a response. The immune system can fool itself into believing it is starving by suppressing an immunological response and shutting down metabolism.
Metabolism forms the basis for the production of quality immune cells. Any alteration in the process can lead to deficits and malfunctioning of immune cells. For example, faulty product manufacturing only necessitates poor functioning and operational adjustments. Correction or intervention targeting the proper production only gives the best functional output. The same is true for immune cells. Altered metabolism creating malfunctioned cells can only lead to a disorder. Interventions to correct or smoothen the metabolic processes can produce near desirable results.
Metabolic Flexibility Linked to a Healthy Immune System
There is no “magic pill” or dietary supplement that can significantly boost your immune system. On the other hand, research findings support the notion that lifestyle changes are the best way to preserve your immune system’s ability to fight infection and boost immune strength. A crucial part of metabolism is utilising your fuel reserves effectively and converting them into energy to assist your immune system.
Some factors that can enhance metabolic flexibility and are also crucial for a well-built immune system are listed below:
Quality Sleep is Essential
Your immune system needs to rest to be strong and alert. The immune system and sleep are interrelated and impact one another. Studies show a direct link between sleep deprivation and an increased risk of illness. Due to a reduction in the synthesis of cytokines, which are molecules that make up the immunological response, poor sleep impairs your immune system.
In addition, a study found a significant relationship between the immune system and the circadian rhythm, or “biological clocks,” in humans. These clocks are updated based on your actions, including how much sunlight you receive, when you eat, and how much you sleep.
The immune system and the patterns of physiological cycles that occur daily in every cell of our body get regulated by biological clocks, which also control metabolism. Recent research indicates that interference with these clocks caused by insufficient sleep may negatively impact the immune cells’ defence processes.
Make sure you’re establishing a regular sleep pattern with at least 6 to 7 hours of quality sleep to prevent this and maintain the health of your immune system.
Stress Harms Your Immune System
The mind and body are intricately linked. Also, stress comes in various forms. However, there is a distinction between acute and chronic stress. In both cases, the body’s physiological response causes the release of neurotransmitters and hormones that prepare it for a “fight-or-flight” response, which raises blood sugar, blood pressure, and heart rate. Even while the “stress reaction” is regarded as a survival mechanism in nature, chronic exposure to it impairs your immune system.
The “stress hormone,” cortisol, which also affects the operation of one vital component of your immune system, the T-cells, is the cause of it (lymphocytes). These cells identify infected cells and signal or even fight them. But, as per a study, the immune response gets impacted when these cells get exposed to elevated cortisol levels over an extended period.
Micronutrients Help You Stay Mindful
Calories, carbohydrates, lipids, and protein are not the only factors to consider. Your immune system must get enough vitamins, minerals, and other “micronutrients” to function efficiently. With specific minerals like iron, zinc, copper, and selenium, vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and folic acid help your immune system’s defence mechanisms. Vitamin B12 is essential for everyone. Besides vitamin B12, eating a combination of legumes and a range of colourful vegetables will give you all the micronutrients you need daily.
It is easy to ensure you consume all the vitamins and minerals your body requires. The natural substances found in fruits and vegetables, such as phytochemicals, are also linked to their hues. According to a study, these compounds will have a synergistic effect in bolstering your immune system.
Begin by inspecting the colours in your refrigerator. If all you have are carbs and fat, you must add yellow, red, green, and purple coloured vegetables. Make your plate as colourful as possible to support your immune system properly. It will give you the right amount of fibre. Also, please include proteins in your meals to improve your metabolic health.
Avoid Smoking and Alcohol Consumption
Smoking and excess alcohol are known to suppress immunity. Therefore, avoiding smoking entirely, or curbing down on it slowly, is advisable. Also, limiting alcohol intake or even stopping it can have a better immune impact.
Numerous studies proved smoking and alcohol consumption impairs the immune response. It reduces IgG levels regardless of diagnosis or treatment. Furthermore, alcohol disrupts immune pathways in complex ways. These disruptions can impair the body’s ability to fight infections and cause organ damage.
Reducing invading microbes is as vital as enhancing or improving the immune system. One good practice is washing your hands for at least 20 seconds. Others include keeping the house clean and changing clothes worn outside. Similar habits, if practised, can eliminate avoidable bacteria.
The HealthifyMe Note
A strong inside ensures a strong outside. The key to having a robust immune system is to provide your body with the nutrients it requires to operate at its best. The flexibility of your metabolism determines your body’s ability to convert food into energy and produce the new immune cells needed to resist viruses and attacks.
Metabolism and immunity are inextricably linked, influencing each other at every stage. Almost every aspect of immune health and disease is affected by metabolic factors. The effect ranges from cellular proliferation to immune cell maturation and training. Nearly all immune diseases like deficiency syndromes, type-1 diabetes, SLE, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, allergic rhinitis, eczema, and even cancers are affected by metabolism. The maintenance of a healthy metabolism can promote better immunity too. The appropriate lifestyle habits, dietary advice, thought processes, and other constraints can be fruitful for disease-free health!