When you think about your immune system, chances are it’s white blood cells that come to mind first. They’re the cells that attack and “gobble up” foreign invaders in your body. But did you know white blood cells aren’t taking marching orders from your brain—but from your gut?
More than 70% of your immune system is housed in your gut. From the time you were born, the bacteria in your gut were helping to “educate” your immune system, teaching it which microbes to attack and which are benign. Yet, things like poor diet, not enough sleep, stress, and the environment have disrupted those important bacteria, hindering our immune system.
That’s why probiotics are often credited with immune-supporting benefits, and it’s one of the reasons I wholly recommend taking a probiotic supplement every day. But probiotics don’t tell the whole story when it comes to the gut-immune connection.
Recently, I’ve been delving into the research on a nutritional ingredient called EpiCor®—a whole food fermentate that has both prebiotic and postbiotic functions—working right at the gut level to support your immune system’s natural ability to work optimally. To me, this is a huge game-changer and one I’m extremely excited about.
What Exactly is EpiCor?
Interestingly, the discovery of EpiCor didn’t start with humans—but with farm animals. In the late 1990s, the owners of an animal feed factory noticed that the workers who were working directly with the yeast-derived feed were healthier than those working in the offices.
So, they commissioned studies to analyze the yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), which we all know as baker’s yeast or brewer’s yeast. What they found is that when the yeast is fermented, as it was with the animal feed, it produces beneficial metabolites, including beta glucans and mannans from the yeast cell wall.
These metabolites do two important things inside your body. First, they work as prebiotics, feeding and fueling the beneficial bacteria inside your digestive system so they can crowd out the bad bacteria that disrupt your digestion and immune health.
Plus, they function as postbiotics, which are the “new kid on the block” in the realm of microbiome research. Postbiotics are the beneficial byproducts produced during the yeast fermentation process. They help to support a healthy immune system and good digestion by maintaining a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut.
The Research on EpiCor is Extremely Impressive
Studies show that EpiCor supports your immune system in several important ways:
- Supports key markers of immune health—including healthy levels of sIgA (mucous secretions that keep invaders out).
- Works rapidly to support immune function—with results seen for some immune system measures in as little as two hours after taking it.
- Optimizes your body’s immune response—by supporting healthy, beneficial immune system cells.
- Helps to support upper respiratory and nasal health—giving you strong daily support against environmental and seasonal challenges.
- Responds optimally just when you need it—by supporting your immune system’s innate response.
I like the fact that EpiCor gives you additional benefits as well. It supports digestive and gut health, including helping to alleviate occasional bloating and improving gut function. Plus, EpiCor supports healthy blood pressure levels already in the normal range, healthy stress levels, and a healthy microbiome.