4 BALANCE YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM 4 BALANCE YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM Chapter Two The Phytosterol Phenomenon When it comes to optimizing immunity, a growing number of studies show that a combination of two unique plant-based compounds—sterols and sterolins—may be the most important botanical constituents to help foster a balanced and healthy immune response. Sterols are beneficial fats found in all plant-based foods. Sterolins are glucosides, which are molecular structures that are fixed to the sterol. Together, they modulate immunity and balance inflammatory signals from the immune system by providing nutrients that feed your immune cells. Compound Interest Sterols are essential to the formation of a plant’s cell membranes. While plants have always contained these remarkable fats, they weren’t identified until 1922. Since then, more than 100 studies have linked plant sterols and sterolins to a healthy immune response. Exciting research reveals that these simple plant nutrients improve the balance of Th1 and Th2 cells, which enhances cellular immunity when needed and down-regulates an overactive immune response. Sterols and sterolins also help to modulate inflammation, reduce fever, and aid in the destruction of abnormal cells. What’s more, these phytosterols help maintain a normal ratio of the adrenal hormones cortisol and DHEA, subsequently protecting against the immune-altering effects of stress. Several clinical trials involving patients with rheumatoid arthritis, seasonal allergies, and sinusitis have found that a combination of plant sterols and sterolins provided significant health benefits. During one trial that appeared in the International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 43 patients with pulmonary tuberculosis—an infectious bacterial disease that affects the lungs—were randomly divided into two groups.The first group took a proprietary blend of sterols and sterolins while the second group took a placebo.After six months, those in the treatment group showed a significant increase in T-cells and specialized immune cells called eosinophils. Other studies show that phytosterols selectively increase levels of a specific protein called CD4—a lymphocyte found on the surface of T-cells, macrophages, and other immune cells.Together, this suggests that plant sterols and sterolins can play a positive role in nutritionally supporting patients suffering from a compromised immune system. BALANCE YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM 100:1 The right ratio of plant sterols and sterolins plays an important role in maximizing the body’s immune function. When found in nature, plants never contain sterols exclusively. Sterols are always associated with their glucoside sterolin. Research has shown quite clearly that the blend of sterols and sterolins in a 100:1 ratio provides the best immunomodulating activity.