Summer is a common time when many people begin to focus on their so-called “summer body” and physical appearance. Yet true health, just like with true beauty, is about far more about just your appearances. Today, we’ll talk about the surprising connections between weight loss and immunity, and the ways that weight gain, metabolism, obesity and immunity are all intertwined. 

Weight Loss and Immunity: The Surprising Connections

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Researchers discovered that these immune system cells may be responsible for up to 40 percent of your body’s natural ability to self-regulate healthy weight gain and weight loss.

Recent research, conducted by a group of scientists from Canada, the United States and Ireland, found that invariant natural killer T cell (iNKT cell) help trigger a very complex series of events within your body that shows just how complicated the relationship is between your metabolism, fat storage, weight gain and your immune system. 

In fact, in this study, the researchers discovered that these immune system cells may be responsible for up to 40 percent of your body’s natural ability to self-regulate healthy weight gain and weight loss.

The underlying theory and why this is so fascinating speaks to your body’s incredible wisdom. Your immune system is primed by evolution to respond to infections and diseases that pose a threat to your well being and survival.

Interestingly, your body may interpret weight loss as a similar threat to your survival. The researchers think that your immune system responds to any weight loss by triggering a cascading series of effects that essentially slows your metabolism in order to slow your ability to burn fat and calories. This may be one of the many underlying reasons why so many people find it so hard to lose weight: Your immune system is simply trying to keep you healthy!

Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, interviewed one of the study’s participants. “I was really struggling to try to lose the weight,” says Brendan Quinn. “I was very strict with my diet and exercise, and in theory I should have been losing weight, but it just wasn’t coming off. […] I was very happy…to get my immune system to work better in order to then allow my body to lose weight. The results were almost immediate. I lost 12 kg in the first five weeks.”

In other words, taking care of your immune system through diet, exercise, nutrition, supplements like BioPro-Plus 500, and other wellness strategies may help you to see changes not just in your immune system, but also in your overall weight and body fat percentage.

And that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg:

  • Your immune system’s health influences the health of the bacteria in your gut, and these same gut bacteria then influence your body’s metabolism of fat. Poor immune system reactions leads to unchecked growth of unhealthy bacteria in your gut, leading to chronic inflammation and weight gain.
  • Lifestyle choices that impact your weight have just as profound of an impact on your immune system, reports the Obesity Action Coalition. For example, exercise doesn’t just help you lose weight, but it also strengthens your immune system and helps flush out bad bacteria and viruses. Likewise, diets that are high in immune-enhancing nutrients also tend to be more conducive towards losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Excess stomach fat leads to inflammatory immune cell responses, which in turn raises you risks of various diseases. Thus, losing abdominal fat is associated with enhancing your immune system and lowering your disease risks. Losing just a few pounds was associated with a return to a more balanced immune system.
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Excess stomach fat leads to inflammatory immune cell responses.

What does this mean for you?

The implications of weight gain, weight loss and your immune system are clear. We all need to stop viewing health and fitness decisions in a vacuum as scientists continue to unravel the fascinating way that all of our choices, and the systems in our bodies, are linked.

When you take care of your weight through a balanced approach to nutrition, exercise and healthy habits, you also take care of your immune system.

Likewise, when you take care of your immune system, you help your body to better manage its own metabolism, fat burning/fat storage, and more.

This can be a transformational, positive motivation for rethinking how we eat, drink, sleep, move and more. 

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