If you’re overweight, you can make a significant difference in your immune function, starting today! By working towards a healthy weight, you can improve the health of your body systems that spur immune health. While this is easier said than done, even prudent changes in weight can make a huge difference. In fact, a healthy weight supports immune function by supporting heart function, hormones, digestion, and more.
Notably, there is a direct and measurable improvement in immune function outcomes and the incidence of sickness during and after healthy weight changes. It will take work and dedication to improve your weight. We are here to help and have a plan that will guide you towards a healthy weight and lifestyle. Are you ready to support your immune function with a healthier weight?
During the past few decades, experts have come to understand that being at an unhealthy weight, directly and indirectly, increases the risk of seasonal sickness and poor immune function.
In fact, they believe that being overweight can cause a chronic state of inflammation that harms immune function. This can result in a blunted immune response to harmful invaders and microbes, poor recovery, and even a decreased response with medications (1).
As the number of overweight individuals continues to increase in the population, health experts are bracing for more and more community sickness.
But, there’s good news.
Even just a small change in weight or a loss of about 5-10% can make a big difference in immune function. And, the more an individual moves towards a healthy weight, the better the results become.
Here are 5 ways a healthy weight supports immune function.
Did you know that gut microbiota (bacteria) is altered in an overweight or obese individual compared to one at a healthy weight? It’s true. It’s in an unhealthy state.
This unhealthy state has big implications for immune function and overall health. Human gut bacteria plays many roles, and an immune function is highly dependent on it. What’s not so clear is whether being obese causes healthy bacteria to change and become unhealthy, or whether the altered gut bacteria contribute to obesity.
Experts believe the answer is a bit of both. There are several mechanisms linking the gut microbiota with obesity, altered insulin reactions, inflammation, metabolic issues, failing liver function, and more. The unhealthy gut bacteria may actually contribute to an altered hormone state that perpetuates fat gain (2). More fat gain further deteriorates healthy gut bacteria. This unhealthy cycle continues and reaps havoc on immune function.
So, how does a healthy weight affect the gut and immune system? As an individual works towards and achieves a healthy weight, there are significant changes in gut microbial composition. These changes continue to spur advances toward a healthy weight. This is true for both diet-induced weight changes and bariatric surgery (3). Adding healthy bacteria to the diet during the effort can further support digestion and immune function.
Did you know the presence of high blood sugars increases the incidence of sickness and infection? Thankfully, a healthy weight can normalize blood sugars.
In fact, when blood sugars are high, sickness can induce a stress reaction which may lead to the secretion of hyperglycemic hormones, abnormal glucose variability, and health complications. What’s more, infections increase blood sugar levels which perpetuates the problem.
The opposite is true when an individual works towards a healthy weight. In one study, researchers reported that improvements in weight were strongly associated with improvements in blood sugars, blood pressure, triglyceride levels, and HDL cholesterol. They stated that a modest weight loss of just 5-10% was enough to improve health (4).
Another organ vital to overall health and immune function is the heart.
Unfortunately, obesity is associated with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular illnesses. Why? Being overweight stresses the heart, and this can lead to increased inflammation, elevated blood pressure, and changes in heart structure. What’s more, pro-inflammatory cytokines produced by adipose tissue can induce cardiac dysfunction (5).
On the other hand, most illnesses can hurt the heart, and harmful microbes can promote the development of cardiovascular disorders and injury. An unhealthy or weak heart diminishes immune strength (6).
Achieving a healthy weight supports immune function and heart health!
The liver is extremely important to immune function and the detoxification of the human body. Unfortunately, an unhealthy weight can impair liver function.
If you’re worried about your weight, liver, and immune system, there’s good news.
A recent study found that a 5% decrease in BMI (body mass index) in overweight participants resulted in a decrease in liver fat and liver volume. They saw improvements in liver health with this weight decrease (7).
As you achieve a healthy weight, you can support liver and immune function!
Many people don’t think of the lungs when they think of immune health. However, they are vital.
Healthy alveoli (tissues at the ends of bronchi in the lungs) are responsible for gaseous exchange in and out of the lungs and blood supply. They also work as an emergency exit for toxins. When your lungs are healthy, they support immune function by helping rid the body of toxic substances, microbes, and byproducts.
However, being overweight can impair lung function. It causes substantial changes to the mechanics of the lungs and chest wall. This can result in asthma-like symptoms and inflammation in the lungs. Positive changes in BMI can help!
In fact, several studies have found that improved weights result in increases in lung volumes and overall lung health (8).
In addition to a healthy weight, it’s vitally important for lung health to abstain from smoking.
If you are interested in supporting your immune system and overall health by achieving a healthy weight, we have plans for you!
In fact, you can start with Dr. Colbert’s 21 Day Detox and Fast. It’s free and will help you improve the health of every system mentioned here.
Then, you can make real lifestyle changes and achieve a healthy weight with Keto Zone. Start by joining our FREE Keto Zone 21-Day-Challenge. Next, keep going with the Keto Zone Starter Kit including Dr. Colbert’s Keto Zone Diet Book.
You can support your immune system, but it takes working towards a healthy weight. Work towards your goals, and let us help with proven programs for health, immunity, and lifestyle change! You can start for free today!