Face it. Life is a balancing act. Between work, relationships, parental duties, staying fit, academic efforts,
maintaining friendships, community involvement and
personal fulfillment, it’s a wonder most of us can even
find time to catch our breath. Yet we soldier forward
with all our obligations and commitments because we have to,
and in most cases, we want to. But when life gets so hectic the
stress of it all impacts our mental and physical well-being, it’s
time to take action.
Becoming familiar with the ways different types of stress
can affect our minds and bodies, specifically our immune system,
as well as learning about the available tools that have been
clinically proven to manage the impact of stress on the immune
system, are proactive steps toward keeping healthy. Lessening
the impact of harmful invaders on our immune system
entails not just strengthening it to combat the bacteria and
viruses that cause common illnesses, but also ensuring that our
immune system’s response to such external stimuli as allergens
is not too strong—as asthma and other long-term
health implications can result. In short, keeping our immune
systems in check, but more importantly, in balance,
is imperative to our overall health.
How Stress Affects the Immune System
While many aspects of our daily lives can negatively impact our immune systems—a less-than-optimal diet, travel, pollution, changing seasons, overexertion during exercise, lack of sleep and even the normal aging process—stress can also interfere with a healthy immune system.
Certain physiological changes occur to help an individual cope with stress. Chronic activation of the neurological pathways associated with stress result in the production of hormones and neurotransmitters/ chemicals, which then alter the function of certain cells of the immune system. These altered cells cause the immune system to respond improperly, either by over-responding or under-responding, to bacteria, viruses, allergens, fungi and parasites.
In addition to impacting the human immune system, stress
that is mismanaged and remains too high for prolonged periods
of time can lead to a variety of symptoms associated with
very serious illnesses, including heart disease, anxiety disorders,
high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, respiratory
disorders, accidental injuries and cirrhosis of the liver. Stress
has been linked to all of these illnesses, all of which are leading
causes of death in the United States.
Types of Stress
There are certain types of stressful events and situations called “stressors” that our bodies react to in different ways. Surprisingly, not all types of stressors negatively affect us. “Acute stressors” are time-limited and temporary. Public speaking and academic testing are examples of short-term stressors that temporarily boost, or over-stimulate, the immune system. The body quickly adapts itself to respond to short-term stressors through the “fight or flight” response by releasing such chemicals as adrenaline that enable our pupils to dilate, our awareness to intensify, our sight to sharpen, our impulses to quicken and our immune system to mobilize and increase activation. Much of the time increased immune system activity is a benefit to us, as it helps to ready the body for challenges, but in some cases an over-reactive immune system can result in allergies, asthma, chronic inflammation and autoimmune diseases.
“Sequential stressors” include major events that give rise to
a series of related challenges, such as the loss of a spouse or
a natural disaster. “Chronic stressors” are ongoing, persuasive
demands that force people to restructure their identity or social
roles and have no end in sight. Examples of such stressors include
caring for an aging spouse or elderly parent, being victim
of an event that leads to a permanent disability or fleeing a third-world
country because of violence or war.
Both sequential and chronic stressors suppress, or under-stimulate,
the immune system, leaving the body open for attack
and more vulnerable to illness. Other manifestations of these
types of stress include: fatigue and exhaustion; headaches or
migraines; neck and back pain or stiffness; gastrointestinal
problems (nausea, diarrhea, constipation or colitis); chest
pains or palpitations; sleep disturbances; family conflicts; job
tensions; and a change in sexual energy.
A Tool for a Balanced Immune System: EpiCor
While we may be able to employ various proven tactics to reduce
our stress level, such as exercise, meditation, acupuncture and/
or massage therapy, the fact remains that certain amounts of
stress will be present in our lives; especially in today’s increasingly
over-scheduled society. So, if escaping our stressors is not
an option—and for most of us it’s not—we may need some
extra help in keeping our immune system in balance while we
deal with daily stress.
One such all-natural tool that can be used in this capacity
is a product called EpiCor™, which is comprised of metabolites
that nourish and balance the body’s immune system. EpiCor
strengthens resistance and maintains wellness before immune
health issues develop by helping the body modulate its immune
Just like the medical breakthroughs penicillin and X-rays,
EpiCor was discovered by accident! When the parent company
experienced minimal health insurance premium rate increases
several years in a row and the incidences of employees using
sick days were rare, a series of scientific studies were conducted.
Findings confirmed that production workers who had been
exposed to the ingredient experienced significantly higher immune
activity than those workers who had not been exposed.
EpiCor is unique in that just one 500 milligram capsule per
day helps the immune system stay strong and healthy through
balance. A strong immune system is not one that has only been
stimulated or boosted. Those actions can certainly be helpful at
specific times, but as we have just learned, there are times that
the immune system can over-respond, leading to health issues.
A strong immune system is one that is balanced and can respond
appropriately, depending on the situation at hand. These
two actions—boosting and suppressing—constitute EpiCor’s
proven methodology known as “immune balance.”
Research on EpiCor and What it Means to Us
Unlike so many other immune health supplements, a bevy of
scientific research supports EpiCor’s effects on the immune
system. Favorable efficacy profiles have been observed for Epi-
Cor in clinical trials, and studies at the cellular (in vitro) level
have suggested its mechanisms of action. Multiple toxicological
studies have been performed that prove the safety of
EpiCor. In addition to finding that EpiCor has no contraindications,
ongoing research has also confirmed EpiCor fights
free radicals through its high antioxidant activity and helps
to manage inflammation.
Most recently, a published study found that EpiCor has a
significant impact on the incidence and duration of the common
cold and flu. Specifically, this randomized, double-blind,
placebo-controlled clinical trial found that taken once a day, a
500 milligram EpiCor capsule significantly decreased the incidences
of cold and flu symptoms as well as observable symptom
duration. These results translate into fewer sick days for
people taking EpiCor, which is of great importance to American
businesses dealing with health care costs, employee sick days
and lost revenue.
Now think of what this research on EpiCor means for our
personal overall health which, as we have learned, is directly affected
by our stress levels. If we are healthy, we are not staying
home sick from work and falling behind. If we are healthy, we
are more likely to be fully engaged when interacting with our
partners, children and friends, thus strengthening those relationships
instead of aggravating them by being over-stressed
and irritable. If we are healthy, we have more physical energy to
participate in personal fulfillment activities that interest us and
allow us to decompress, such as gardening, cooking, exercising
and reading. And finally, if we are healthy, we are not spending
money on medial deductibles, treatments or unnecessary prescriptions,
which is a major concern according to the American
Psychological Association’s (APA) recent national survey reporting
that money is the leading cause of stress for 75 percent of
all Americans. The APA also found that 77 percent of people
suffering from stress reported physical symptoms including
fatigue, headache, upset stomach, muscle tension, change in
appetite, teeth grinding, change in sex drive and feeling dizzy.
Isn’t it time we broke this vicious stress-illness cycle? Keeping
our immune system balanced is the first step. In addition
to giving our immune system the very basic things that help to
keep it healthy—good nutrition and plenty of sleep—there are
other things we can do to support it as well. One such thing
is EpiCor. As an all-natural, safe and economical way of supporting
the immune system, EpiCor just may be the key to a
balanced and healthy life.
- Jensen, G, et al. An anti-inflammatory immunogen from yeast culture induces activation and alters chemokine receptor expression on human natural killer cells and B lymphocytes in vitro. Nutrition Research (2007), 27:6, 327–335.
- Moyad, M, et al. Effects of a modified yeast supplement on cold/flu symptoms. Urologic Nursing (2008), 28:1, 50–5.
- Padgett, DA, et al. How stress influences the immune response.
- TRENDS in Immunology (2003), 24:8, 444–8. Segerstrom SC, et al. Psychological stress and the human immune system: a meta-analytic study of 30 years of inquiry. Psychological Bulletin (2004), 130, 601–30.