In a very short time, the average person—and not just here in America—has learned a lot about self-protection to stay well. Social distancing, washing hands, and even self-isolation when we’re sick all play key roles in preventing the spread of novel diseases. And because you read this magazine, I’m guessing you’re pretty well-versed in the supplements and herbs that can bolster your immunity, such as vitamins C and D, zinc, and medicinal mushrooms.
But are you also optimizing your immunity with your food choices? If you carry extra pounds, are diabetic, or deal with cravings, energy swings, or insomnia—in spite of all that you do to stay healthy—you may need to address another issue that dramatically impacts immunity: leptin resistance.
Leptin is a hormone produced by fat cells. It’s also found in smaller amounts in the brain (hypothalamus, pituitary), stomach and intestines, skeletal muscle, breast tissue, cartilage and bone cells, placenta, and immune cells.
The Importance of Leptin
Leptin is the “master hormone” that regulates immune function, activating our neutrophils and natural killer (NK) cells, according to research. Poor leptin function, or “leptin resistance,” can hamper proper immune response, contributing to both inadequate and overactive (autoimmune) immune function. Even more amazing, all of this is mostly regulated by the metabolic effects of the foods you eat.
My own experience with this happened 30 years ago, before leptin was even discovered. I had several serious autoimmune issues affecting my skin, gut, and liver. I also had thyroid problems and, as a result, was overweight. By restoring leptin’s function through years of dietary experimentation, I was able to correct my immune response and resolve inflammation throughout my body.
Regaining proper leptin function not only ended my 12-year binge-eating disorder and obesity, but it also healed my gut and microbiome (read: immunity), liver, an underactive thyroid, and rash-ravaged skin—all by giving up the high-sugar (including starches, juices, and sweet fruits) and fat-phobic food choices that had caused leptin resistance in the first place.
Thymus Function & Immunity
As we know, the elderly, have increased vulnerability to infectious diseases. Part of the reason is that thymus gland shrinks and becomes less active with age, producing fewer T-cells that fight novel pathogens. Zinc has been shown to prevent some of that lost function. But optimizing and reestablishing leptin sensitivity, according to research, is truly a game-changer when it comes to bolstering thymus function.
Activating Stem Cells
Another fascinating consideration is the current observational reports of stem cell treatments reducing lung inflammation and assisting virus sufferers in regaining lung function. Interestingly, proper leptin function has been shown to reduce body-wide inflammation and activate mesenchymal stem cells in humans. Leptin’s function has also been shown to affect lung function.
It’s important to note that it’s not the elevation of leptin that is good. Quite the contrary: it’s the lowering of leptin—just like the lowering of insulin—that helps us regain sensitivity to it.
Dietary Dos & Don’ts
Consistent and life-long achievement and maintenance of proper leptin function—affecting virtually all systems of the body—is something that should be pursued carefully, since it involves shifting the body into its intended fat-burning state, often with some transitional discomfort due to yeast die-off and energy interruption. It takes me at least 12 hours to teach folks how to adapt their own lifestyle to this profound dietary change (biologically, logistically, culturally, culinarily), even after 30 years of firsthand experience and practical honing. All online guidelines I’ve seen include many foods or loopholes (even in protein amounts) that can preclude success.
Because everyone’s leptin-optimizing fat, carb, and protein ratios will be slightly different, the best way to go about it on your own is to very gradually cut carbs and increase a wide variety of quality plant and animal fats (always grass-fed) until you experience classic symptoms of leptin sensitivity —decreased appetite, loss of excess (inflammation-related) fluid, clearing of brain fog, better sleep, and enhanced, balanced energy.
Of course, you must not eat any processed foods. Dark greens are your best plant foods (even too many cooked vegetables can throw you off here). It took me almost 2 years before a quantum “leap” into leptin sensitivity took place. And when it happens, those symptoms I just mentioned will only be the beginning of a new era affecting every aspect of your health. You can elevate your own radiant potential—including your mood and ability to cope with stressful and changing circumstances—in one of the most powerful ways possible.
Circadian Rhythm and Immune Modulation
Many of the immune cells and hormones discussed above are modulated and released via circadian rhythm patterns. This is the same circadian rhythm that also manages our sleep cycle. Recently, it has been shown that T cells and B cells exhibit strong circadian impulses, and their numbers peak during times of deep sleep. This means that while we sleep, our immune system floods the blood with higher levels of adaptive immune cells. These specialized cells help your body recognize and remember harmful pathogens.
Additionally, leptin has also been found to advance the master circadian clock. Leptin and other hormones demonstrate a bidirectional relationship with our circadian clocks. This new research shows that the circadian leptin rhythm may provide a bridge between feeding cues, metabolic state, immunity, and circadian timing.
RestoreZ is an all new approach to facilitating truly restorative sleep and synchronizing your circadian rhythm. No other supplement delivers better sleep through supporting and strengthening underlying circadian rhythm. Not all sleep is created equal. The synchronized, deep, restorative sleep that comes from a strong and regular circadian rhythm is also the sleep that has the most positive impact on immunity.
You can learn more about how circadian rhythm is critical to great sleep and better immunity at:
Written by Kat James for Better Nutrition and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.