The Cornerstone of Overall Health is Immune Health

Support Your Immune Health by Drinking Blossom Water

A healthy immune system is your body’s best defense for maintaining wellness and vitality

The immune system is your body’s shield against a range of disease-causing infectious microorganisms (pathogens), toxic foreign substances and even your own cells that might be malfunctioning. Its primary role is protection from these round-the-clock assaults, keeping you from getting sick and speeding your recovery if you do. It’s no exaggeration to say that a strong, well-functioning immune system is the bedrock of health and wellness ─ key to living your life to its fullest.

How the immune system protects your health

Various cells, organs and lymphatic vessels throughout the body work together to comprise the immune system. Some components, such as the skin, form a physical or chemical barrier to prevent entry of pathogens. Pathogens that get through this barrier face a double-barreled immune response that mobilizes both innate and adaptive lines of defense.

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Present from birth, the innate immune system responds rapidly to foreign invaders. It does so by employing set strategies that recognize markers on the surface of cells or substances which are alien to the body (antigens). Natural killer (NK) cells attack these foreign elements, releasing toxins as well as messenger proteins (cytokines) that alert and attract other immune cells. Those include two types of phagocytic white blood cells, neutrophils and macrophages, which congregate at the infection site in an initial inflammatory response, releasing microbiocidal compounds while also engulfing and consuming the invaders.

In contrast to the innate system’s generic mode of defense, the adaptive immune system employs an antigen-specific mode, learning to identify and fight each particular type of pathogen encountered, then storing that information in long-term immunological memory. The process unfolds as macrophages and related dendritic cells display pieces of an invader’s antigen to helper T cells. These, in turn, stimulate B cells to make antibodies which target and bind only to that antigen, neutralizing the pathogen and signalling cytotoxic T cells and phagocytes to destroy it. Once this learning through exposure has taken place, it’s retained by long-lived memory B and T cells that can quickly reproduce the same antibodies if that type of pathogen ever tries to reinfect the body. Such antibodies are generally effective in stopping the infectious process before it can even cause symptoms, thereby creating immunity. But since the adaptive immune system is highly specialized, it needs to be trained by confronting many individual pathogens through a series of natural infections and vaccinations. It therefore takes years for a person’s adaptive immune system to develop the comprehensive library of protective antibodies that engenders a robust breadth of immunity.

The Immune Response

Image Courtesy of Wellcome Trust

Why your immune system might be functioning at less than its full potential

Even when you’re feeling well, your immune system can be running at less than peak efficiency, elevating your risk of getting sick or staying sick longer.  That sickness can range from a garden-variety head cold or stomach virus to life-threatening infections, disabling chronic conditions, even cancer. Your immune health can be weakened by a host of behavioral factors: lapses in maintaining a well-balanced diet rich in vegetables, fruit and other whole foods; inadequate daily hydration; not getting enough sleep; lack of regular exercise, sometimes compounded by overcompensating “weekend warrior” activity; or simply indulging too often in that extra cocktail or dessert!

Notably, today’s fast-paced way of life not only can indirectly dampen the immune system, by instigating and reinforcing these behaviors, but in fact can directly impair it. It’s also true that immunity takes time to build during a person’s lifetime, with childhood unavoidably a period of greater susceptibility to infection.

Today’s Active Lifestyles

Most of us have little choice nowadays but to lead an active lifestyle. Occupational and societal pressures have generally intensified, with greater demand placed on our productivity and adaptability, and lesser allowance for downtime no matter the hour or day. Achieving a successful balance usually means endless multi-tasking among competing claims of work (school), family, friends and community, let alone attending to our own needs and interests.  While rewarding in many important ways, this ongoing tension is experienced by our body as a form of chronic stress.

The body’s ability to become stressed, also known as the “fight or flight” response, evolved in the face of existential threats. Confronting a sabre-toothed tiger, the surge in adrenal hormones (adrenaline and cortisol) provided the energy and strength needed to improve odds of survival. But while such a short-term or acute stress response can be of vital immediate benefit, a prolonged or chronic stress response is harmful because it suppresses and disrupts normal functioning of the immune system. This can lead to heightened risk of infections and cancer as well as to chronic low-grade inflammation that is the root cause of many other ailments.

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A 2004 paper (Psychological stress and the human immune system: a meta-analytic study of 30 years of inquiry) by Segerstrom and Miller, published in the Psychological Bulletin, analyzed nearly 300 scientific studies on stress and health. The conclusion: For stress of any significant duration ─ from a few days to a few months or years, as happens in real life ─ all functional measures of the immune system, both innate and adaptive, deteriorated. “Immune responses to chronic stressors were equally strong across the age spectrum as well as across sex.”

Moreover, a 2012 paper (Chronic stress, glucocorticoid receptor resistance, inflammation, and disease risk) by Cohen et al., published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that chronic stress (with its sustained release of cortisol) diminishes the ability of immune cells to down-regulate their initial inflammatory response.  Specifically, immune cells become insensitive to cortisol’s anti-inflammatory message. “Without sufficient glucocorticoid regulation, the duration and/or intensity of the inflammatory response increases, heightening risk for acute exacerbations such as occur in asthma and autoimmune diseases, as well as for the onset and progression of chronic inflammatory diseases such as cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes.”

Children and Families

These days, family life is more active than ever before. With myriad choices and obligations, family members are pulled in different directions.  For one thing, both parents now work full-time in nearly half of two-parent families,1 as compared with less than a third of such families in prior decades.  Juggling it all creates yet another form of chronic stress.2

So when a youngster gets or stays sick, missing school or day care, it’s not only unpleasant for the child but disruptive to the workings of the whole family. Unfortunately, the reality is that kids get sick frequently because their adaptive immune system is immature; it’s still “in training,” developing the specific antibodies that create immunities to a wide array of pathogens.  That’s why some form of immune health support is particularly valuable during childhood.

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Immune system maturation during lifetime is outlined in the 2015 paper (Evolution of the immune system in humans from infancy to old age) by Simon et al., published in Proceedings of the Royal Society of London:  “As the individual gets older, he or she develops an expanding repertoire comprising memory T and B cells triggered by previous infections and vaccinations . . . Thus, over time, protection provided by the immune response increases, and young adults suffer fewer infections.”

Lacking as yet much immunological memory, it is the innate rather than adaptive immune system which predominates in protecting a child’s health. Unfortunately, this often doesn’t stop an infectious process before it can cause sickness. Moreover, the innate system’s inflammation mechanism by itself generates several classic illness symptoms. The common cold is a good example.  Babies come into the world with no immunity to any of the 200 or so rhinoviruses that can cause a cold.  Without preexisting antibodies, infection by one of these viruses defaults to an innate immune response, unleashing pro-inflammatory cytokines. These primarily cause the runny nose, congestion and other miserable symptoms identified with a cold.  It’s no wonder that young kids tend to get six to eight colds per year, with each averaging a week or more in duration.

When a child’s immune system is functioning at its fullest potential, however, the frequency of symptom-causing infections (i.e., those escalating from mere sub-clinical exposure to actually causing sickness) as well as their severity and duration is lessened. That means not only less suffering for youngsters, but also fewer sick days off from school and from work or other obligations for parents, keeping kids well and families thriving.

1 Cain Miller, Claire. “Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family.” The New York Times Nov. 4, 2015
2 Damaske, Sarah. “Really? Work lowers people’s stress levels.” Council on Contemporary Families Research Brief  May 22, 2014
How drinking Blossom Water supports your immune health

A well-balanced diet supports immune health by providing all of the system’s necessary building blocks.  But regularly consuming a probiotic, including probiotic-derived Staimune® in Blossom Water, takes this support a significant step further by doing what even the best diet alone normally cannot, namely, keeping a harmless foreign presence in front of your immune system. This activates and also helps to mature certain immune cells which, together, bring your immune system to a higher state of readiness, effectively priming it to “fire quickly and on all cylinders” when faced with a real outside threat.

Developed by Ganeden (now part of Kerry Group), Staimune is made with the inactivated cells of Bacillus coagulans GBI-30 6086 (GanedenBC30), a patented strain of probiotic that has earned unmatched supplier and consumer trust throughout the food and beverage space; to date, nearly 7 billion servings have been consumed globally. GanedenBC30 has undergone extensive published safety testing and been proven safe for all populations healthy and immune-compromised, infant and senior ─ even when consumed in a quantity (FDA GRAS at 93.6 billion CFUs per day) far exceeding that of food product inclusion.

Gut-Immune Relation

Having to cope with pathogens in all you ingest, the gastrointestinal tract is constituted so as to form a protective barrier between the bloodstream and external environment. So what’s inside your gut is “effectively outside” your body, explaining why over 70% of your immune system cells are located within the intestinal wall, like soldiers guarding a defensive perimeter from enemy incursion. Staimune interacts with these immune cells lining the digestive tract.

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Image Courtesy of Lifestyle Matrix Resource Center

Scientific Backing

Several peer-reviewed, published studies demonstrate how regularly consuming 1 billion CFUs of GanedenBC30 both enhances and beneficially modulates immune response to bacterial and viral challenges; each bottle of Blossom Water contains the Staimune dose equivalent.  Additional studies evaluated if the GanedenBC30 bacteria needed to be metabolically active in order to provide this functional gain.  These show that when the bacteria are inactivated, as in Staimune, the immune support benefit is preserved (by virtue of bacterial cell wall presentation to the body’s immune system).

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A 2010 paper (GanedenBC30 cell wall and metabolites: anti-inflammatory and immune modulating effects in vitro) by Jensen et al., published in BMC Immunology, concludes that samples of GanedenBC30 cell wall components (effectively equivalent to Staimune) as well as those of GanedenBC30 metabolites (secretions by the live bacteria) each generate stronger immune response to a simulated pathogen. This is evidenced by greater granulocytic white blood (e.g., neutrophil) and NK cell activity. Both samples also modulate immune response in a favorable manner, giving rise to the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10. “The complex actions of both GBC30 fractions include anti-inflammatory effects, while also supporting key aspects of innate immune defense mechanisms.”

A 2017 paper (Inactivated probiotic Bacillus coagulans GBI-30 induces complex immune activating, anti-inflammatory, and regenerative markers in vitro) by Jensen et al., published in Journal of Inflammation Research, validates that inactivated GBI-30, (aka inactivated GanedenBC30 and now simply called Staimune) shows similar immune system effects as that of cell wall fractions from the living bacteria.  These effects include an increase in the production of several cytokines as well as in expression of CD69 on the surface of NK, T and B cells. CD69 is an early activation marker directly involved in NK cell-mediated destruction of virus-infected and tumor cells.  It also aids in the migration of immune cells to appropriate body tissues and in T cell – B cell interaction, including the process of generating and maintaining immunological memory. “The ability of inactivated GBI-30 [Staimune] to induce CD69 on multiple cell types suggests a broad effect involving cells from both the innate and the adaptive immune systems . . . The direct effects of inactivated GBI-30 are expected to translate to immune activation at the level of the gut mucosa and trigger rapid systemic effects.

A 2018 paper (Inactivated probiotic Bacillus coagulans GBI-30 demonstrates immunosuppressive properties in healthy adults following stressful exercise) by Kalman and Hewlings, published in Journal of Probiotics & Health, demonstrates how Staimune “lessens the window of immune system suppression post-exercise.” Vigorous (exhaustive) exercise is experienced by the body as yet another form of stress. Study participants receiving Staimune, rather than placebo, showed significantly less exercise-induced elevation in cortisol immediately after exercise, as well as its greater reduction during the measured post-exercise recovery period . . . thereby “enhanc[ing] stress recovery supporting immunity.

Hydrate with purpose as well as passion

Summing up, your overall quality of life and associated “get-up-and-go” rest on a solid foundation of health and wellness, the cornerstone of which is a strong, well-functioning immune system. That foundation is best maintained not by reactive, quick fixes but by proactive inclusion of healthful habits in your everyday routine. Fitting Blossom Water into your normal hydration regimen, as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle, is a compelling and practical way to support your immune health. And you can do so with assured efficacy and safety that is grounded in extensive scientific study and consumer experience. The same cannot be said for most beverages on the market which tout functional health benefits.

Nor do most of those place the same premium as Blossom Water on creating an enjoyable drinking experience.  In keeping with our original inspiration, we are devoted to providing a delicious and distinctively true-to-nature drink that, at only 10 calories, is also a healthy and completely natural alternative to either plain water or sugary beverages.

Putting it all together is what makes Blossom Water smart everyday hydration.