20 Homestead Place, Alton, NH 03809 📠 Fax: 603-855-2126 ☎ Phone: 603-855-2031

immune health

Supporting Immune Health with Regular Chiropractic Care, Diet, Exercise, and Supplements

Man with hand up blocking virus

Chiropractic care encourages spinal health, restores joint function, and therefore supports the nervous
system. As a result of improved function and mobility in your spine and body, your nervous system can
work more optimally, as well as the systems of the body that the brain and spine control, such as your
immune system. Incorporate this with a healthy diet, regular exercise, and even a few added nutritional
supplements with immune boosting properties, and you can help increase your body’s defenses against

Your Immune System is Directly Related to Your Spine
Your nervous system, which is made up of the brain and spine, is responsible for communicating and
controlling all systems of the body. This means that when your spine is damaged or misaligned, there is
an interference with that path of communication to that end-organ or system. With this, dysfunction,
pain, or other symptoms can occur and can therefore increase your chances of injury or illness. The
immune system is affected by the nerve system through the connections with the endocrine and the
autonomic nervous system. Your immune system may suffer from this decreased functioning of nerve
pathways, weakening your body’s natural mechanisms for fighting off illness. Chiropractic care improves
the function of the nerve system through improving the movement of the spinal bones that encase and
protect the spinal cord. During Chiropractic Care, specific high velocity, low amplitude (HVLA)
adjustments or thrusts, are delivered to areas of the spinal column that are not aligned or moving well.
The effect of realigning the spinal vertebrae is far reaching.

Research states:
“A number of basic science studies have been published that have evaluated the effect of HVLA
controlled vertebral thrusts on various immune mediators, including neuropeptides (like neurotensin,
oxytocin, and substance P), inflammatory markers (like tumour necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukins
(IL)), and endocrine markers (like cortisol and epinephrine [15–32,50–54]. There is moderate level
evidence that HVLA controlled vertebral thrusts impact these immune mediators [55,56]. A systematic
review and meta-analysis, that included healthy and/or symptomatic subjects, showed that HVLA
controlled vertebral thrusts can influence neuropeptides and inflammatory biomarkers that are
important biochemicals associated with the function of the immune system [55].”

In other words, Chiropractic spinal adjustments impact the nervous system and effect the cells of the
immune system, potentially allowing for a greater expression of health and function.

Stress Impacts Your Immune System, and Your Body Can Harbor Stress in the Spine
According to the American Psychological Association, stress (the state of mind that affect’s one’s
health), can weaken the immune system by reducing the number of natural killer cells or lymphocytes in
the body, which are needed to fight viruses. Although stress does have a purpose in the short term (get
you out of danger) and has been shown to cause the immune system to produce an inflammatory
response which temporarily can be beneficial for fighting germs, if inflammation is persistent and
widespread, it can contribute to chronic diseases or conditions. One example is stress-related neck and
back pain, one of the most common psychosomatic symptoms, because many people tend to carry the
stress in their shoulders, neck, and backs. Stressful conditions lead to altered measures of immune function, and altered susceptibility to a variety of diseases. Many stimuli, which primarily act on the
central nervous system, can profoundly alter immune responses. The two routes available to the central
nervous system are neuro-endocrine channels and autonomic nerve channels. Heightened stress levels
can therefore compound with regular back pain complaints, gravely affecting your immune system and
leaving you more suspectable both emotionally and physically. While chiropractic care cannot actively
cure disease or infection, like other preventative care health practices, a visit with a chiropractor can
help strengthen your body’s natural ability to heal and recover from both illness and injury, should it
occur. Chiropractic care can relieve stress, pain, and misalignment of the spine, improve nerve function,
and can potentially boost your immune system.

Your Immune System Is Directly Related to Your Gut: Additional Immune Support through Diet and
Aside from the benefits of directly stimulating your nervous system and allowing your body to function
optimally through chiropractic care, other regular daily habits are also incredibly important. These
include, but are not limited to, eating nutritious food, exercising for at least 30-minutes per day, and
supplying your body with vitamins and minerals that you may not be getting enough of (due to the
nutrient deficient soil conditions our food is grown in, environmental toxins/pesticides, or decreased
sunlight/Vitamin D depending on the region of the world you live in). Your immune system uses these
nutrients to make new cells and “what you put in; you get out.” Frequently, poor nutrient status is
associated with inflammation and oxidative stress, which in turn can impact the immune system. If you
are fueling your body and cells with junk and sugar, and are not giving it the necessary building blocks
for healthy cells, then unhealthy cells in the body will be created and thrive causing disease and illness.
An optimal immune response depends on adequate diet and nutrition to keep infection at bay, by
reducing inflammation and preventing substances such as free radicals from damaging our healthy cells
via oxidative stress.

Moreover, since 70% of our immune system is determined by our gut microbiome, gut health is a crucial
part in immune health. According to the National Institute of Health, pathogens, xenobiotics, and
food can disrupt the intestinal barrier, promoting systemic inflammation and tissue damage. Genetic
and immune factors, as well as injuries such as concussion and TBI, predispose individuals to gut barrier
dysfunction, and changes in the composition and function of the gut microbiota are central to this
process. Chronic intestinal inflammation or damaged intestinal barriers can then conversely affect

The gut microbiota is now considered one of the key elements contributing to the regulation of its host’s
(human in this case) health. With the human gastrointestinal tract containing an abundant microbial
community of approximately 100 trillion microorganisms, disruption to this gut microbiota has been
linked with many diseases including obesity, type 2 diabetes, hepatic steatosis, intestinal bowel diseases
(IBDs) and several types of cancer. This, suggests that the various pathways involved in immunity,
energy, lipid, and glucose metabolism, are affected. The composition of the gut microbiota is under the
surveillance of the normal mucosal immune system. Inflammation, which is caused by abnormal
immune responses, influences the balance of the gut microbiome, resulting in intestinal diseases as
mentioned above. Extensive studies have been performed to reveal the important relationship between
gut microbiota and basic human biological processes such as nutrient extraction, metabolism,
biosynthesis of bioactive molecules such as vitamins, amino acids and lipids, as well as the microbiota’s role in immunity. The function of the gut microbiome in immunity occurs by not only protecting the host
from external pathogens, but also by producing antimicrobial substances which serve as a significant
component in the development of the intestinal mucosa and immune system. In healthy conditions, the
gut microbiota exhibits stability, resilience, and symbiotic interaction with the host (human).

Diets high in protein and healthy fats, and low in carbohydrates, have been widely researched and show
many benefits to brain and body health by effectively reducing inflammation in the body. Furthermore,
sufficient protein intake is crucial for optimal antibody production (an important factor in immune
health and preventing illness). Low micronutrient status, such as of vitamin A or zinc, has been
associated with increased infection risk. Dietary constituents with especially high anti-inflammatory and
antioxidant capacity include vitamin C, vitamin E, and phytochemicals such as carotenoids and
polyphenols. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables, especially those of different colors due to the
chemicals that make them those shades (i.e., orange, green, red, purple, blue fruits and veggies), further
add diversity of nutrients and antioxidants to the microbiome and contain these components as well as
needed fiber. Several of these phytochemicals and nutrients are also known to interact with
transcription factors such as NF-kB and Nrf-2, related to anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects,
respectively. Furthermore, Vitamin D in particular, may perturb viral cellular infection via interacting
with cell entry receptors (angiotensin converting enzyme 2), ACE2. Dietary fiber, fermented by the gut
microbiota into short-chain fatty acids, has also been shown to produce anti-inflammatory effects.

Additionally, herbs and supplements with high antioxidant effects help support the job of Macrophages,
cells in the immune system responsible for defending the host from infection, by breaking down and
ridding the body of foreign substances such as bacteria. Since a large portion of our immune health and
function comes from the gut, making sure this system is intact is crucial. Curcumin, the main active
component of turmeric, exerts antioxidant effects and has been shown to have excellent anti-
inflammatory efficacy through restoring the damaged intestinal barrier, regulating the gut microbiota,
and reshaping the macrophage phenotype. Mushrooms also have incredible medicinal properties and
the effects of mushrooms on immunity, cancer, and autoimmunity have been proposed for thousands of
years. It was not until recently however, that a growing interest has led scientists to look more into
which part of these fascinating fungi are responsible for health benefits. Glucans and specific proteins
are responsible for most of the biological effects of mushrooms, particularly in terms of
immunomodulatory and anti-tumor results. Proteins with bioactive effects include lectins, fungal
immunomodulatory proteins (FIPs), ribosome inactivating proteins (RIPs), ribonucleases, laccases,
among others. High quality pre and probiotics are also another means of supplying your gut microbiome
with additional “good bacteria” for balancing inflammation and encouraging good immune health.
Lastly, elderberries (Sambucus nigra L.) are well known to be supportive agents against common cold
and flu like symptoms and have been used for centuries for their antioxidant and nutritional properties.
This dark violet-black berry contains a variety of nutrients ranging from various vitamins (A, B1, B2, B6,
B9, C and E), trace elements such as Cu, Zn, Fe and minerals such as K, Ca and Mg to phytochemicals
such as carotenoids, phytosterols and polyphenols. One study looked at the health benefits of using this
herb with air traffic passengers during cold and flu season and its effect on respiratory, physical, and
mental health. The study noted that elderberry extract did appear to have beneficial effects on these
areas, that cold duration and symptoms were reduced with use during air travel compared to a placebo
group, and that due to the constituents of this herb, elderberries are a “likely candidate for beneficial nutritional and/or medical supplementation not only for respiratory, but also for cardiovascular and
mental health, all of which may be affected during travel.”

With cold and flu season upon us, supporting your immune system in a variety of ways is vital. Most
individuals do not consider how spinal health and gut health play significant roles in immune health. By
bringing awareness to the importance of caring for these two systems, you can contribute to your
body’s overall wellbeing. With regular Chiropractic care to address spinal health, improving dietary
choices by way of eating a variety of fruits and vegetables (especially those low on the glycemic index),
increasing protein and healthy fats, and avoiding inflammatory foods, while lastly adding supplements
to your daily regimen such as turmeric, mushroom powder, probiotics, Vitamin D, and elderberry to
name a few, can aid your body in fighting chronic disease and illness as well as seasonal ailments. Of
course, exercising regularly, drinking plenty of water, and talking with your doctor on what is right for
your individual health needs, is also essential.

Here are my favorite Immune Health Products:

Supporting Research:
Haavik H, Niazi IK, Kumari N, Amjad I, Duehr J, Holt K. The Potential Mechanisms of High-Velocity, Low-
Amplitude, Controlled Vertebral Thrusts on Neuroimmune Function: A Narrative Review. Medicina
(Kaunas). 2021;57(6):536. Published 2021 May 27. doi:10.3390/medicina57060536
Iddir M, Brito A, Dingeo G, et al. Strengthening the Immune System and Reducing Inflammation and
Oxidative Stress through Diet and Nutrition: Considerations during the COVID-19 Crisis. Nutrients.
2020;12(6):1562. Published 2020 May 27. doi:10.3390/nu12061562
Di Tommaso N, Gasbarrini A, Ponziani FR. Intestinal Barrier in Human Health and Disease. Int J Environ
Res Public Health. 2021 Dec 6;18(23):12836. doi: 10.3390/ijerph182312836. PMID: 34886561; PMCID:
de Vos WM, Tilg H, Van Hul M, Cani PD. Gut microbiome and health: mechanistic insights. Gut.
2022;71(5):1020-1032. doi:10.1136/gutjnl-2021-326789
Shi N, Li N, Duan X, Niu H. Interaction between the gut microbiome and mucosal immune system. Mil
Med Res. 2017;4:14. Published 2017 Apr 27. doi:10.1186/s40779-017-0122-9
Hou K, Wu ZX, Chen XY, et al. Microbiota in health and diseases. Signal Transduct Target Ther.
2022;7(1):135. Published 2022 Apr 23. doi:10.1038/s41392-022-00974-4
Lin X, Bai D, Wei Z, et al. Curcumin attenuates oxidative stress in RAW264.7 cells by increasing the
activity of antioxidant enzymes and activating the Nrf2-Keap1 pathway. PLoS One. 2019;14(5):e0216711.
Published 2019 May 21. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0216711
Gao C, Zhou Y, Chen Z, et al. Turmeric-derived nanovesicles as novel nanobiologics for targeted therapy
of ulcerative colitis. Theranostics. 2022;12(12):5596-5614. Published 2022 Jul 18.
Motta F, Gershwin ME, Selmi C. Mushrooms and immunity. J Autoimmun. 2021;117:102576.
Borchers AT, Stern JS, Hackman RM, Keen CL, Gershwin ME. Mushrooms, tumors, and immunity. Proc
Soc Exp Biol Med. 1999;221(4):281-293. doi:10.1046/j.1525-1373.1999.d01-86.x
Roxas M., Jurenka J. Colds and influenza: A review of diagnosis and conventional, botanical, and
nutritional considerations. Altern. Med. Rev. 2007;12:25–48.
Raus K., Pleschka S., Klein P., Schoop R., Fisher P. Effect of an Echinacea-Based Hot Drink versus
Oseltamivir in Influenza Treatment: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Double-Dummy, Multicenter,
Noninferiority Clinical Trial. Curr. Ther. Res. Clin. Exp. 2015;77:66–72. doi:
Krawitz C., Mraheil M.A., Stein M., Imirzalioglu C., Domann E., Pleschka S., Hain T. Inhibitory activity of a
standardized elderberry liquid extract against clinically-relevant human respiratory bacterial pathogens
and influenza A and B viruses. BMC Complement. Altern. Med. 2011;11:182. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-
Roschek B., Jr., Fink R.C., McMichael M.D., Li D., Alberte R.S. Elderberry flavonoids bind to and prevent
H1N1 infection in vitro. Phytochemistry. 2009;70:1255–1261. doi: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2009.06.003.

We are here to help!
Schedule a complimentary discovery call today.

Discover what is possible for you.

Schedule a Discovery Call