We’ve talked about the dietary and lifestyle changes to address your autoimmune disease, but which supplements are best to give your body the extra support it needs to quell autoimmune processes?
As previously mentioned in our three-part autoimmune disease series (Part 1: 5 Dietary Guidelines For Lupus and other Autoimmune Diseases. Part 2: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Help Reverse Your Autoimmune Disease), autoimmune diseases are on the rise, and at the core of all autoimmunity there is a glitch in the immune system. Environmental risk factors such as toxins, infection, stress, poor diet and a leaky gut all can cause your immune system to attack your own tissues. You could be experiencing joints on fire, skin rashes, your thyroid attacking itself or your intestines in severe pain; no matter what tissue it’s your immune system is doing the firing. So, in supporting your immune system you will have the ability to decrease your symptoms, possibly for good!
Whether if you have Lupus, Hashimoto’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Celiac or another autoimmune disease, these five supplements work together to support your immune system, decrease inflammation and calm your system to allow for better, brighter days ahead!
Glutathione is your body’s most potent antioxidant, playing a key role in detoxification by binding and eliminating toxins. Your body does produce some glutathione naturally, however a poor diet, chronic stress, prescription medications and disease quickly deplete that glutathione, further increasing the inflammatory response.
And unbeknownst to many, autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and Chron’s disease are often the direct result of chronic inflammation. Without enough glutathione, your body can’t properly detoxify, leading to build up and storage of toxins in your tissues, causing more work for the immune system and causing disease. If you remember from the last post last post, we talked about mitochondria being your energy-making athletes. Your mitochondria get destroyed in autoimmunity, which causes tissue destruction, but glutathione protects your mitochondria. So, the importance of supplementing with glutathione is to defend your mitochondria, boost tissue recovery and balance your immune system to prevent autoimmunity and regulate inflammation.
2. Vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency is an increasingly well-known concern world-wide. Previously it was known for its role in bone health, however now it proves huge benefits for the skin, brain and immune system, particularly in modulating autoimmune disease.
It’s true that we can make vitamin D from sunlight, however it can be difficult to get enough active vitamin D from the sun, as it must go through multiple conversions before your body can use it. Vitamin D regulates specific gene expressions, inflammatory markers and immune cells, which are all directly a part of the autoimmune cascade. Research has also specifically demonstrated that individuals with lupus and multiple sclerosis had increased deficiencies of serum vitamin D, thus there is implication in the prevention and protection against autoimmunity.
Curcumin is the highly concentrated active ingredient in turmeric. This herb is most well known for its anti-inflammatory properties and for having an important role in dampening two major inflammatory pathways in autoimmunity.
Research on curcumin has found that it also has a significant effect on the immune system by supporting and regulating the immune cells’ response to foreign invaders. Studies have demonstrated favorable outcomes in decreasing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and lupus nephritis, such as pain, proteinuria, hematuria and lowered blood pressure. One thing to note is that curcumin is not easily absorbed in the gut because it needs fat to be absorbed, so we recommend taking it in a liposomal form, which allows the curcumin to travel to the cells and tissues that need it before it gets detoxified by your liver.
What aren’t probiotics good for? But seriously, as we know, autoimmune disease can be tightly correlated with gut health and we know that the gut houses much of our immunity, so long story short, probiotics are good for your immune system and gut health, thus decrease symptoms of autoimmunity!
In particular, one study on probiotics has shown benefit for improving health outcomes in those with rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis, ulcerative colitis and crohn’s disease. Plus, some specific probiotic strains can actually reduce inflammation, decrease oxidative stress and balance the adaptive immune system. So, what aren’t they good for? I’ll wait…
Resveratrol is an antioxidant well known for its content in red wine, however the potency in red wine is very low (so don’t count on this health factor to drink!) It has an effect on metabolism, supports healthy aging and newer research shows huge benefits as an anti-inflammatory and immune-modulator.
Resveratrol is able to balance the immune system by supporting white blood cell activity and inhibiting autoantibody production, which are key factors in the progression of autoimmune diseases. It has also been found that resveratrol is a dominant inhibitor of inflammatory cytokines, which are majorly involved in autoimmune disease. So if you can regulate your immune system and decrease inflammation, you will have much better control of your disease progression!
Why These Supplements Work to Fight Your Autoimmune Diesease.
Many of these supplements work on the same pathways to aid your body’s response to autoimmunity. They all work synergistically to support your body’s immune system, decrease inflammation and aid your nervous system in responding to the heightened demands of autoimmunity. These supplements alone will not be the magic thing to change your disease, but with the dietary changes and lifestyle modifications explained in the last two blogs, they can work wonders for your health and you may even be able to halt and reverse your disease progression.
The above information is not intended to diagnose or treat a disease and is not a substitute for appropriate medical care.