For decades we’ve focused on conditions like depression as the result of neurotransmitter imbalance. Commonly prescribed pharmaceuticals seek to shift the balance of these brain molecules. We now appreciate that immunity is also playing a role in mental health.
Multiple studies have demonstrated the connection between patterns of immune activation and mental states. When we see how changes in the brain’s immune system influence our lived experience, this makes sense. This suggests a role for immunity interventions in improving mental health.
The immune system is part of an interwoven network of physiological pathways, speaking with our microbiome, our hormones, and our neurotransmitters, all of which also influence our mood. Targeted lifestyle interventions designed to support balanced immune function may then work to benefit mood in a variety of ways. For example, a diet rich in micro- and phytonutrients could help regulate immunity, leading to improvements in endocrine function which translate into better mental health.
The conversation around improving longevity is rapidly moving from preclinical data to accessible lifestyle interventions.
Recent science makes it clear that our cardiovascular and immune systems are closely linked.