The art, or science, of training your immune system is as old as history. In ancient times, the king of Pontus, Mithridates II, regularly took a cocktail of 65 ingredients to protect himself against poisoning (1).
Of course, “poisoning” is somewhat different from a simple immune response.
And yet, both the principle of protecting yourself against poisoning and keeping your immune system primed for all it will encounter, has similarities: keeping the organism healthy and resilient.
And, obviously, I don’t recommend Mithridates' approach either!
But what is the ideal approach to valuing our immune health in modern times?
The comprehensive formulas made by Neurohacker Collective are taking on that challenge for the ideal, well-rounded immune support formula for today’s world: Qualia Immune contains 19 different ingredients to support your immune system in the most essential ways necessary.
The name of the formula is Qualia Immune, and it aims to support a host of immune functions: renewal of immune cells, ensuring immune cells work properly and making sure the immune system learns to identify and optimally address as many challenges as possible which encounter it.
(You can click HERE to get Qualia Immune - use discount code FERGUS to save 15%)
Let’s take a deep dive into the ambitious list of goals Qualia Immune seeks to accomplish. The Qualia Immune Whitepaper specifically states that the goals of this formulation are to:
(Note: don’t be intimidated by the complex terminology, I’ll break these concepts down into more details later on):
WHAT DOES QUALIA IMMUNE DO?
Supports general immune health and wellness*
Supports a healthy immune system during aging*
Supports year-round immune health at all ages*
Supports seasonal health and well-being*
Supports key immune cells*
Supports the body’s natural defenses*
Supports the immune system during periods of intense exercise
Supports healthy working days and work productivity*
Supports digestive tract health*
Supports respiratory tract health*
HOW DOES QUALIA IMMUNE DELIVER ADVANCE IMMUNE SUPPORT?
By supporting a “youthful” immune system, i.e., countering
By supporting immune system intelligence, i.e., immuno-learning
By supporting recognition of new antigens*
By supporting immune tolerance, i.e., appropriate non-reactivity to
By supporting mucosal immunity. i.e., barrier immunity*
By supporting gut microflora, i.e., gut-immune intelligence*
By supporting hematopoietic stem cell function, i.e., generation of
By supporting immune system fitness, i.e., trained immunity*
By supporting immune system communication*
By supporting dendritic cell (DC) number & function*
By supporting toll-Like receptor (TLR) expression/function
By supporting natural killer (NK) cell function*
By supporting macrophage function*
By supporting microglia function i.e., the brain’s immune system*
By supporting neutrophil function*
By modulating mast cell, basophil, and eosinophil responses
By supporting gamma delta T cells (γδ T cells)*
By supporting naïve T cells*
By supporting CD8+ T cell function*
By supporting antibody response to new immune challenges i.e., B
By supporting Nrf2 i.e., a master regulator of cellular defenses
By supporting healthy mitochondria i.e., immune cells need & use
By supporting healthy cortisol and testosterone levels*
That’s a crazy list, right?
And yet, Neurohacker, and specifically, Greg Kelly (ND), does an admirable job at referencing tons of supporting science for those goals (2).
So, in this blog post, I’ll be reviewing the science behind the formula’s goals outlined by Dr. Greg Kelly.
I do want to say, upfront, that I’m not an expert on the immune system - my Master's specialization is in health science & philosophy of science and technology, among others. The only thing I can do is triangulate the statements made in the whitepaper with currently available scientific evidence.
Also, a note regarding my personal experience with this stack. Unlike a nootropic stack or energy stack, an immune stack is not designed to give off a noticeable subjective experience, so it would be a total misunderstanding of the formula’s purpose to ask yourself “what you notice” while taking it.
A good immune stack is defined less by what subjective effects, and more by the science of the formulation supporting its value to your immune system.
Here’s the Table of Contents of my article:
Hope that got you curious!
Why develop an immune system stack?
The answer is simple: sub-optimal immune function not only leaves general health in a less robust state, but anything the immune system encounters is more taxing on optimal health when immune robustness begins the encounter at a mediocre level of function.
Everything from missed work to delayed general life goals cost enormous amounts of money and quality of life enjoyment when viewed through the longview of an entire lifespan. So anything we can do to bring our immune function from average to exceptional more than pays for itself over the long haul.
(Note: Qualia Immune is not a medication nor is it aimed to treat or cure any medical condition. Rather, Qualia Immune is a supplement for healthy people looking to take their immune function from a state of average baseline health, to a state closer to truly optimal function. If you have any questions concerning if Qualia Immune is right for your unique health status, consult your physician).
Why the focus on the immune system? Well, at a very basal level, having an optimally functioning immune system is a game-changer.
Let's explore why through the concept of “resilience” (4; 5; 6). Common definitions of resilience mostly focus on “bouncing back” after (mental) hardship but I’d define the concept as an excess bodily and mental capacity that allows you to be less affected by environmental, biological, and other challenges from daily life.
So, by becoming more resilient an organism increases its overall ability to adapt.
For instance, once you supply our body with optimal levels of vitamin C, D, vitamin B6, B9 (folic), zinc, magnesium, and a whole bunch of other nutrients, your overall resilience increases dramatically (7; 8; 9).
Yes, your immune system might be doing great once you’re consuming adequate levels of zinc and magnesium. But, adequate levels are very different from optimal levels.
Next, there’s the fact that many plant compounds can affect overall immune system functioning - many of them I’ll review in-depth in the next section. If you’re not ingesting many of these plants - potentially as supplements - then obviously you’re missing out on the benefits they confer.
And yet, from the perspective of their immune system, tons of people are getting through life alternating between one foot on the gas and one foot on the brake.
Phrased differently: many people are not doing as well as they could!
Hence, by doing just good and optimal are two very different things. Here's where the creators of Qualia Immune come in:
The supplement is not merely aimed at providing your body with a few nutrients so that your immune function works better, or supply you with a few adaptogens to lower your stress levels.
No, Qualia Immune's goal is far more comprehensive. Let's consider the argument in the next section!
As I've stated before, Greg Kelly has written an insanely interesting white paper that explains his thoughts behind formulating Qualia Immune (2). Of course, Greg probably has a whole team behind him but as the paper is published in exclusively his name, I'm going to consider it his work.
The basic argument is this:
Your immune system exhibits intelligence, just like your human brain does. Next to your environment, the way you live, your thought patterns, what you put in your body also affects that immune system.
So far, simple, right?
If you don't consume sufficient vitamin C, many aspects of your immune system don’t perform as well as they can - everybody understands that (14; 15). And yet, many people under-consume the vitamin and don’t even ingest adequate amounts, let alone optimal!
And, as it turns out, many other compounds may support immune function as well! Plants, such as adaptogens or fibers found therein, can have a huge impact on immune function.
All these compounds ensure that we have to start imagining the immune system in novel ways.
Once you conceive your "immune system" as "intelligent", it opens up the door to a whole new way of interpreting its function. Now, the immune system can memorize, grow, learn, and adapt over time.
Let's make an analogy:
Remember that your brain is subdivided into different parts and different categorizations (such as opposing the primordial brain stem with basic functions like temperature with the dopamine system involved with complex thought).
So, you've got parts of your brain involved with similar functions that lower mammals and many other biological organisms exhibit. And, on the other hand, you've got parts of your brain that help you plan, simulate counterfactuals, apply logic, reason, and strategize (16; 17).
In the same way, your immune system is made up of many different parts.
To me, everything in this universe seems to be capable of evolution - not only biological organisms (256; 257; 258; 259; 260). There once was a time where no planets existed, and now they do. There once was an Earth without life, and now there is life. And on that Earth, not only the biological organisms are evolving, but, even the atmosphere, the inorganic sea with changing chemical elements over time, and many other systems.
The human immune system evolves over time as well and even needs to, for humans to survive. There was a time, 600 years ago, you and I had very different challenges to our immune system than people do today.
The many parts of the immune system, such as white blood cells (macrophages, T-cells), lymphocytes like Natural Killer (NK) cells, the mucous environment in your nose, your gut function, all evolve. What's more, these compounds evolve together with the entire human organism.
Of course, many parts of that evolutionary process are very slow, such as changes in bone structure or organ function through Darwinian evolution over the course of many generations.
But, not only does your immune system evolves during your life, but it also does during different generations. Let's view a broader perspective though:
Put more simply, everything in the universe changes, including foreign substances and other challenges for your body, and as a result, your body and your immune system also has to evolve (learn, adapt). The better you adapt, in turn, the more you'll thrive.
The simple fact that your adaptive immune system not just responds, but plans and strategizes against invaders over time, demonstrates that your immune system is inherently intelligent, not just an entity or collection of entities that respond to a stimulus.
Greg Kelly, aptly describes that dynamic in the following way, regarding the immune system's ability to think (2):
From birth till death, the immune system must stay constantly alert, sensing what is going on inside and outside the barriers of the body. And, it is involved in an ongoing process of making decisions, determining what to pay attention to (non-self) and what to safely ignore (self and helpful organisms like commensal bacteria in the gut microbiome).
To do its job the immune system needs to be able to recognize and respond to new information. Molecular patterns are information in the immune system’s world. Processing speed, the ability to rapidly recognize and respond to minor differences in molecules, is essential.
The immune system is brilliant when it comes to recognizing patterns. It’s ability to detect and recognize patterns, figuratively searching for and finding needles in haystacks of molecules—self molecules far outnumber non-self—allow it to quickly identify molecular situations that require its attention, while ignoring all the molecules that don’t.
Dealing with change, meeting unanticipated challenges, and remaining flexible as circumstances evolve … if there were a job description for the immune system, these would be essential requirements.
Over the course of a lifetime the immune system must learn and be able to store and recall information about millions of different molecular patterns. And it will remember what it learns for decades, still being able to recall and use information in old age that it learned in early childhood.
Hence, your immune system is fundamentally different at age 1, 20, and 60, due to everything it has learned.
Qualia Immune aims to optimize that learning process within the immune system. If you're interested in buying Qualia Immune then use discount code FERGUS to save 15%.
Next up, let’s take a deep dive into this formula:
The moment of truth:
In this section I'll review the 19 ingredients within Qualia Immune.
I won't state whether studies on animals or with human participants are used for all of the scientific statements about their supplemental strategy. Doing so breaks readability too much, in my opinion. Instead, you can simply click my references and check whether it's an animal study or one with human participants yourself.
I will say that many of Neurohacker’s more scientifically speculative strategies are based upon animal studies - not all strategies implemented by Neurohacker can be confirmed by human studies yet. Whether Neurohacker's inferences are reasonable, or not, I will consider after showing you all the data.
Here we go, a review of all 19 ingredients in Qualia Immune (if you're interested in the product, then use discount code FERGUS to save 15%):
Vitamin D's role in the immune system has gotten tremendously famous lately. The vitamin plays a major role in mounting an optimized immune response to anything it encounters since the earliest days humans roamed the planet (22; 23; 24).
It's extremely likely that vitamin D plays a role in the prevention of the so-called "cytokine storm" (25; 26). Cytokines are messenger cells in your immune system. When you've got adequate levels of cytokines your immune system essentially works more efficiently because having high levels of cytokines isn’t “cost-free”.
Also, vitamin D has a huge effect on the "adaptive immune system" - the immune system that learns over time (27). B cells and T cells are mainly responsible for that effect.
Also, there's a long tradition of associating correct vitamin D levels with optimizing the immune system the correct identifying of the body’s own cells versus non-self (28; 29; 30; 31). Correct vitamin D levels, therefore, improve your immune system to steer clear from incorrectly categorizing your body’s own cells.
Nevertheless, the use of oral vitamin D is more controversial, in my opinion. This is a minority view within science, right now, though.
The thesis entails that the 25-hydroxy form of vitamin D is probably not the true storage form, and that many people oversupplement with vitamin D, leading to health problems down the road. The true long-term storage form of vitamin D is not yet possible to measure, leading people to take in levels that can normally not be achieved through sunlight exposure.
(Vitamin D creation through your skin has a negative feedback loop, meaning that your body will shut down production after time once your levels become high. With oral vitamin D supplements, that's not the case).
If you're interested in that thesis, read more on THIS Facebook page.
Also, in the past, I've advocated for getting your vitamin D levels from sunlight exposure whenever necessary, not from a pill.
Additionally, Qualia Mind has 1,000 international units (25 micrograms) of vitamin D as well. Because Neurohacker recommends combining these products, people would ingest 1,800 international units per day, with continuous use, which could be excessive if you're already getting lots of sunlight exposure or vitamin D through your diet.
Nonetheless, vitamin D plays many important roles in the immune system, such as:
Now, here's where I will compliment Neurohacker: the excellent whitepaper treats all these topics I've listed above. I've double-checked the statements about the supplemental strategy of Neurohacker and they're all correct.
In my process, I didn't use the reference list of Neorohacker but searched for evidence in PubMed myself. Hence, not all citations I use are similar to Neurohacker, and vice versa.
Verdict: very important compound, but, I would personally not have included vitamin D in an immune supplement, because I don't think oral vitamin D is fully benign. I will say that vitamin D's role in retaining optimal immune system is almost all-encompassing, ranging from mucosal immunity to T and B-cell training to NRF2 and many other domains.
Another compound that many people have spoken about lately! I've actually written a 3-part series on zinc that explains the health effects and background of this mineral in extreme detail.
And in my blog about zinc supplements and lab testing, I actually consider "zinc gluconate", which is included here, as one of the best zinc forms in existence!
The bad part?
I'm not a fan of including just one mineral in the absence of others, especially if you don't know the zinc status of the person taking the supplement. Qualia Immune contains a whopping 136% of the recommended Daily Value (DV) of zinc.
What is known, for instance, is that zinc directly interacts with your copper and iron status (49; 50; 51; 52; 53). Most studies show that supplementing with zinc lowers your copper status over time, for instance - although not all studies agree. The same may be true for iron when zinc is supplemented, although less data is available.
I actually recommend removing zinc from this supplement. Why? Taking Qualia Immune at a schedule of 5 days on, 2 days off, will drive nutritional excesses and/or imbalances over time, especially if this supplement is used for months or years on end.
I'm sorry to be so direct but that's my honest opinion.
In foods, zinc is almost always paired with iron and copper in different ratios. In this supplement, however, there's no iron and no copper, leading to an increased risk of creating imbalance over time.
Also, for people who are already consuming enough zinc, which I guesstimate as 80% of the population in the developed world, I don't think there are any benefits to supplying more and I think adding more actively harms people. Many people taking Qualia Immune are therefore almost certainly already including sufficient zinc in their diets and adding more is not necessarily benign.
Having said that, the foundational role of zinc in optimizing the immune system is pretty clear:
Zinc's role in a properly functioning immune system is very clear!
Verdict: zinc is essential for an optimally functioning immune system. Neurohacker also included the right zinc form that is highly absorbable. And yet, I would not include zinc gluconate at all, especially not at the 15-milligram dose, because of the risk of creating iron and/or copper imbalances over time.
From this point going forward, I will review each compound less extensively than I did with vitamin D and zinc. I will randomly pick 2-3 supplement technology strategies for each ingredient and consider their truth from the perspective of the scientific literature.
I've used the "random number generator" to pick which statements to review. So, the Qualia immune whitepaper mentions "selenium" 11 times, and therefore, I've picked 3 random numbers between 1 and 11. If a number is selected twice, I'll pick a random number again, until I've got 3 different numbers.
When there's a very famous property of an ingredient, like ginseng's effect on fatigue, I have prioritized that property.
Here's the rest of my review:
Credit where credit is due: this form of selenium, not dosed in very high quantities, is a perfect addition to Qualia Immune!
With selenium, there's also less risk of interaction with other nutrients, as there was with zinc.
Selenium, as a mineral, is tricky (83; 84). Soil content varies very widely, with differences of up to 450-fold in selenium soil content, according to Dr. Chris Masterjohn. A 30-fold difference is more reasonable to assume, however, but it's still very high.
Testing your selenium status is therefore the best solution to know whether you're getting enough. Eating tons of brazil nuts and other nutrients can therefore backfire as you don't know whether you've got excessive levels.
Also, excess selenium has been noted due to supplementation, although, exceedingly rare and usually due to low-quality supplements (85; 86; 87; 88). Nonetheless, 5-15% of people in the developed world have selenium deficiencies, and more in developing countries (89). Increasing selenium intake therefore will support optimal immune function in a broader category of the population.
So let's dig a bit deeper into this nutrient:
If those sentences make it sound like selenium is an important compound in your immune system, then I've achieved my goal!
Verdict: even though supplementing with selenium for longer periods of time will put many people at risk for an excess, the dosage of selenium in Qualia Immune is not so high that it becomes problematic. Also, Neurohacker correctly identifies selenium as a quintessential compound for proper immune function. Their statements that selenium is necessary for many different cells, such as mast cells, T-lymphocytes, eosinophil, etcetera, are correct.
Reishi has become insanely popular in the last decade, in part, because of its broad-spectrum effect upon the immune system.
And yes, as always, much of the high-quality research with a sufficient number of human participants and proper study setups are lacking. Nevertheless, it's still possible to reconstruct a plausible account of how Reishi is interacting with human physiology generally, and the immune system in particular.
And the dose? 400 milligrams taken daily might not be the highest dose found on the market - many products use a 1,000-milligram dose - but, within the context of 20 different ingredients, it will be a huge contributor.
Remember that Neurohacker probably aims to have all these compounds working together, instead of considering them in isolation.
Verdict: thumbs up! Even though I haven't researched all of Neuorhacker's claims regarding this compound, as doing so would entail me writing a book-long blog post, the statements about Neurohacker’s supplemental strategy made in the whitepaper are valid. Reishi is an excellent compound for any immune-health promoting product.
Palmitoylethanolamide is very interesting as a compound! For instance, the substance can improve the "entourage effect" of combining different cannabinoids (113; 114). That entourage effect entails that by combining different compounds in cannabis, like THC and CBD, the biological effects are amplified.
Nevertheless, this compound hsa many other biological effects:
The dose is decent, with 300 milligrams. Studies generally use 300-1,500 milligrams, and hence, Neurohacker's product falls within that range.
Verdict: great, promising compound, that's dosed properly. PEA seems like a perfect compound to increase how your immune system is regulated and also has some positive "endocannabinoid" effects, it seems.
Tinospora cordifolia certainly is an interesting compound. The plant comes from tropical regions in India, and has been used for centuries in Aryuvedic medicine. Unfortunately, there's not much high-quality research on this compound - even less so than other compounds treated in this blog post (127).
Let's look at some effects though:
"[U]sages as anti-oxidant, anti-hyperglycemic, antihyperlipidemic, hepatoprotective, cardiovascular protective, neuroprotective, osteoprotective, radioprotective, [...] adaptogenic agent, [...]. The plant is also a source of micronutrients viz. copper, calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc and manganese. A special focus has been made on its health benefits [...] and its potential as an immune booster [and] aiding in the betterment of human life expectancy." (129)
I, personally, don't think these qualities are proven beyond any reasonable doubt - and don't even stand scrutiny against some doubt. Having said that, the plant may have benefits but it's very speculative as of this moment.
The dose is a bit low given that the compound is normally taken 3 times a day at 300 milligrams, but, given that ~20 ingredients all work synergistically in Qualia Immune, I'll give this a thumbs up!
So, my final judgment?
Verdict: interesting compound that needs more scientific validation with regard to the immune system, although, it could certainly be promising.
Beta glucans are a type of carbohydrate you find in oatmeal, mushrooms, and baker's yeast.
The compound has a huge effect on the immune system, however, so that some calls exist to treat it as a "drug" instead of a "supplement" (136).
To give you an impression, the following chart displays the places in the immune system where beta glucans currently exhibit a proven effect:
So, let's, therefore, look at some of beta glucans' effects:
The dose? Normally 1,000 - 2,000 milligram doses of this compound per day are taken. Here, Neurohacker included 250 milligrams, but, I'm pretty sure it's mostly because of the effects on the gut biome and immune system learning.
**Update on dosing: Neurohacker e-mailed Alexfergus.com and stated that the Wellmune doses in studies, as proprietary formula, are in the 250 milligram or slightly higher range. I agree with their assessment and therefore reverse my earlier judgment that the beta glucans are underdosed. Looking at the Wellmune studies, the dose is perfect. I've kept the rest of this text the same so that the reader understands how my initial assessment is incorrect**
Many of the higher-dosed studies have been carried out regarding beta glucan and blood sugar management. I'm pretty sure that for tasks such as teaching your immune system to identify the correct compounds to remove, very high doses aren't necessary.
Also keep in mind that many of the other 19 ingredients in Qualia Immune overlap with the goals of beta glucan.
Verdict: excellent choice of ingredient that has decent scientific backing even today.
Echinacea Is a plant compound that many people take for their immune system in the Netherlands - I'm originally from that location.
Nevertheless, Echinacea is not just one plant but a collection of them. A similar idea would be to talk about "potatoes" - not all potatoes are the same either!
I was surprised, however, how much research can be found on this compound. Let's dig into that research:
The dose? Doses are very hard to establish because different dosing methods all lead to different results. What also matters is how and where you source the Echniacea (255).
400-milligram doses are pretty common in the Netherlands where I lived, so I don't expect any problems with the 200-milligram dose included here.
Verdict: interesting compound that probably has beneficial effects on the immune system, although more research is needed.
Theanine, one of my favorite compounds in biohacking. Theanine works wonderfully well for type-A (or rather type triple-A) personalities like me because it promotes relaxed focus - instead of the more stress-based focus of caffeine (147; 148; 149).
I did notice one thing though, immediately, when I saw that theanine is included in this product. Qualia Mind also uses 200 milligrams of L-theanine and Qualia Night another 50 milligrams.
The daily total would amount to 400 milligrams, if a person used Qualia Mind, Night, and Immune, as Neurohacker recommends. The problem with these dosages is that in some people, side-effects can occur, at 300 or 400 milligrams per day (150).
For me, a 220-pound+ male, that dose isn't an issue, but for a 60-kilogram female with low blood pressure and parasympathetic dominance, it can be. The solution isn't simple though, as removing theanine from any of these 3 supplements makes the individual supplement less effective, perhaps while boosting the efficacy of the combination of Mind, Night, and Immune.
So let's consider theanine's effect on the human immune system:
Dose? For immune-modulating purposes, the 150-milligram dose is perfect.
Verdict: good compound that is dosed adequately, but might be dosed pretty high when combined with other Neurohacker products. Almost all of the research points into the direction that this compound is beneficial for immune function.
Spirulina has become really popular lately, as a "superfood" and a compound that helps you detox (154; 155). The algae contain tons of different vitamins and minerals as well, and flavonoids, and other beneficial compounds.
For instance, spirulina acts as an antioxidant, preventing the aforementioned "free radicals" that are created as a byproduct of energy production in your cells from creating harm. As a result, spirulina might affect the aging process as well as optimizing cell health and cell energy production over time.
And there's more:
The dose is okay at 140 milligrams. Knowing it's an extract and not the original compound corrects somewhat for the lower dose though.
Verdict: great compound that almost certainly has positive effects for the immune system. Dose could be slightly higher but in combination with all other ingredients in this stack, spirulina is a great addition!
Who doesn't love some cranberry fruits?
Hence, it's unsurprising that berries also have benefits for the immune system:
The correct dose is harder to determine. 500-milligrams per serving is frequently seen online, but, I don't think you'd want to use very high doses for very long periods of time.
Verdict: excellent ingredient that likely has many beneficial immune-modulating effects once more research into the compound is carried out.
"Tongkat Ali", or Eurycoma Longifolia, has been a staple in the natural health community for quite some time now.
For a long time, the compound was used as a "testosterone booster", but research on that benefit is flimsy.
The good part? Let's have a look:
The 100-milligram dose reasonable and slightly lower than what many studies use. Having said that, a higher dose probably won't work better and might be overkill long-term, as many studies only supplement with the compound less than a few months.
Verdict: great addition, Eurycoma Longifolia has very nice robustness and resilience-enhancing effects and increases general functioning of the immune system.
Broccoli sprouts? Yes! These sprouts have even become famous for their health promoting effects and can be bought in many supermarkets today.
Sulforaphane is one famous compound in broccoli sprouts (188). This sulforaphane compound may be responsible for regulating proper cytokine function, thereby preventing your immune system from going haywire.
Also, broccoli sprouts may:
The dose? Well, I'd like to have seen a slightly higher dose than 100 milligrams, especially given that broccoli sprouts are a regular plant-based compound and not a spice or herb.
Spices and herbs are more dangerous to put into the human body at higher doses for longer periods of time, in my opinion.
Especially given the fact that many studies use 30 or 60 grams of broccoli sprouts, 100 milligrams, even under the assumption that an extract is 10 times as potent, seems to be dosed low.
Verdict: unique compound that benefits mitochondrial function and lowers excess inflammation, in addition to many other benefits I've not considered in this blog post. Even given the many other compounds found in Qualia Immune, I'd up the dose of these sprouts, if possible.
N-acetyl-l-cysteine? Do I know this compound? Absolutely, cysteine is an "amino acid" - a building block of proteins. Cysteine is generally known for its effects on detoxification.
Meats, lentils, oatmeal, and eggs are some great sources for cysteine.
Let's consider all of the effects:
These effects are observed in many different studies, although, multiple high-quality studies with human participants are lacking, as always. Animal studies do confirm this picture though. For this reason alone, adding cysteine to an immune-supporting supplement is justified.
Combining theanine and cysteine also has potentially added benefits, which Neurohacker does (203).
What do I think about the dose? Perfect! Heck, I would have given a negative judgment if a very high dose of cysteine were included here. Why? Simple: if you're going to take this compound day in, day out, for months or years, you will create imbalances if one amino acid is structurally supplemented in the absence of all others.
Foods always contain a combination of amino acids. If a supplement gives you a high amount of just one amino acids, it's no bueno.
Verdict: perfect that cysteine is added. Adding this compound to an immune-support supplement is 100% justified. Dose also great.
"Panax Ginseng", which can be translated to "true ginseng".
You can probably guess why this ingredient is included by Neurohacker. And, yes, you guessed correctly: ginseng, especially true ginseng, is known for its resilience-promoting effects.
The 100-milligram dose is also excellent.
Verdict: amazing ingredient that has many all-round benefits for making your immune system more effective and efficient. Great choice by Neurohacker! I even wonder whether they should include more of these adaptogens, but, some are already included in other products such as Qualia Mind (Rhodiola Rosea) and Qualia Life (Aswagandha)
Looks like Neurohacker has done their job exceedingly well because they also selected this probiotic for a specific strain. Many cheaper probiotics on the market don't categorize the prebiotic for specific strains, even though different strains can have wildly different outcomes in scientific studies.
Hence: kudos to Neurohacker!
You normally ingest this strain through fermented health products, such as buttermilk.
Fortunately, there's some decent research carried out on L. Lactis as a probiotic. Let's explore that research:
**Update: Neurohacker e-mailed me on how the Lactococcus lactis strain they've included is heat skilled and has independent human studies backing their use. I'll go through these studies soon and update my assessment again. Neurohacker's argument is that the dose used in this supplement is the exact same as used in human studies**
Verdict: interesting compound whose addition to an immune product can be justified. I'd like to see more high-quality human research though, although, risk of any adverse effects is probably extremely low because it's a simple substance that many already ingest through their diets. Dose is good!
"Fucus vesiculosus", or, just "bladder wrack", "sea oak", or red fucus" in plain English. And no, I didn't know these terms in plain English either!
Suffice it to say that Fucus vesiculosus is a seaweed that exhibits health effects. Neurohacker themselves state that they've included this seaweed because of an ingredient called "fucoidan".
Let's look at some of the effects of fucoidan:
Moreover, fucoidan removes older/obsolete cells through natural killer cells and macrophages, which eat these cancer cells and clean them.
The dose is harder for me to judge, but, using this compound for prevention, the 50 milligrams of extract is probably great.
Verdict: Highly promising compound that has an all-round effect in making you even more resilient and makes many parts of the immune system function more efficiently. Great find by Neurohacker.
Another very exotic compound that you might not have heard about, right? Well, maybe not! Undaria pinnatifida is simply "wakame", a pretty common seaweed.
Why this compound? Well, it turns out Undaria pinnatifida extract also contains fucoidan! Hence, many of the benefits I've attributed to fucoidan in the last section can also be attributed to this wakame extract.
in fact, the product, Fucorich® Undaria pinnatifida extract, has been standardized towards maximum fucoidan content - 50% in this specific case. Hence, there's very little meaningful for me to say, that hasn't already been said before.
Verdict: a second seaweed ingredient targeted towards increasing fucoidan dose. Same benefits as the previous (#16) ingredient I considered. Once again, great choice by Neurohacker.
Resveratrol has taken the world by storm in the last decade (231; 232; 233). The compound has anti-oxidant effects, can enhance regeneration and repair, among others, within the healing process. Resveratrol might also help your immune system clean up old, damaged, or non-functioning cells.
Literally, hundreds of studies have been carried out on resveratrol in the last years.
While resveratrol can be found in dark chocolate and red wine, for supplements it's almost always sourced from Japanese knotweed (Polygonum Caspidatum).
Why include this compound? Well, resveratrol also affects the immune system! Let's find out how:
Verdict: solid compound that helps the immune system work more efficiently. The dose is low compared to common resveratrol doses found online but Neurohacker is probably playing this one on the safe side - high doses of resveratrol are hard(er) to handle for people with chronic health conditions!
Having taken a very deep dive into the research regarding different parts of the immune system and the effects all 19 ingredients found in Qualia Immune have on them, I will say that I'm impressed.
Because this is my first article regarding the immune system, I haven't achieved the mastery that I can apply to other areas of health (yet), in this case. Therefore, I've taken more of a fact-checker position - an honest one - and verified the formulation technique of Neurohacker against the existing literature.
My personal conclusion?
After random sampling of some of Neurohacker's formulation techniques against the scientific literature, they are surprisingly accurate. Initially, I was even skeptical of a supplemental strategy to enhance the immune system at many different levels.
Now I no longer am skeptical, and I fully think this approach can work.
Neurohacker and I might slightly disagree about how strong the supporting evidence is, but, I think we do agree that the science all points in the same direction. Much more research is also needed, with high-quality studies using human participants, to confirm what many animal and foundational science (in vitro) studies conclude.
Nevertheless, you cannot always wait for high-quality science to arrive. If Neurohacker has to wait decades or even centuries for these studies to have been carried out, many people would not benefit from this product.
Hence, I like their approach, and generally, I think their intentions reflect the science of the immune system reasonably well. let's therefore conclude:
Neurohacker did it again...
Even though I personally didn't feel anything on this supplement, I can really see how it's a potential game-changer over time for many.
When I used Neurohacker's Qualia Mind (the caffeine-free version) initially, I immediately fell in love. I understood that the supplement would be a game-changer for me.
And, after taking a deep dive through the science of Qualia Immune, I can see how this supplement is a game-changer for many.
What if you have your immune system function just a little bit better every day? What if you are already doing good in life but want to become more resilient and have your immune system function like an elite athlete instead of doing merely good?
Qualia Immune is that potential game-changer for you (discount code FERGUS saves 15% in case you want to buy!). There's no risk in trying!
(Again, this product is not aimed at treating or curing any disease. The product is aimed at lowering your stress levels, supporting your immune system, making sure your immune system is able to learn more quickly, clean up old and damaged cells, etcetera!)
So, Qualia Immune helps you go from good to great!
I can imagine the product is helpful in many situations. Maybe you're an elite athlete who is under tons of stress. In that case, you want your immune system to function at 100% at all times because you need every edge you can get. Or, perhaps you're working 70 hours a week as an entrepreneur or management consultant and want to be on the top of your game every single day.
In all those cases, an optimally functioning immune system will be perfect! So try Qualia Immune now, use discount code FERGUS, and get 15% off. The first bottle only costs $39 (without discount applied) if you choose a subscription. Subscriptions can be cancelled any month.
So why do I say "Vive Le Révolution!"? Simple: Neurohacker has developed a new product category in biohacking, in the same way, they did with "nootropic stacks" a few years ago. This time Neurohacker developed the "immune stack".
I personally think the immune stack will start a long road of development of immune-supporting products, by both Neurohacker and their competitors, that will last forever.
Tying that statement back to the introduction:
Neurohacker has created a new road in human evolution, with new opportunities, and possibilities that didn't exist in 2019. For that achievement, Neurohacker deserves our compliments!
I'd only recommend this product as a supplement to take your immune system from good or great to greater. If you're drinking tons of soda, never moving, and eating junk food often then I would not recommend you take this supplement. Instead, get your basics in order first. Once you achieve good to great general health, you might include Qualia Immune to take your immune system functioning over the top!
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This is a post by Bart Wolbers. Bart finished degrees in Physical Therapy (B), Philosophy (BA and MA), Philosophy of Science and Technology (MS - with distinction), and Clinical Health Science (MS), and is currently a health consultant at Alexfergus.com.
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