Many of us have heard the expression “you are what you eat”. Good nutrition helps us stay healthy and function both physically and mentally.
However, there are factors in the environment, such as daily stress, pathogens, such as bacteria and viruses, or just a certain genetic predisposition that act as ballasts to reach our full potential.
In this article we will discuss Immunocal, a food supplement used in sports and also in people with chronic diseases, in addition to explaining its effects on the body and its benefits.
What is Immunocal?
The Immunocal, originally called HMS-90, is a dietary supplement that provides all the amino acids that the human body needs to be able to perform its biological functions. It is marketed as a powder and mixed with water, yogurt or fruit juice.
It is distinguished by its content of large amounts of the amino acid cysteine, which, through metabolic reactions, turns into a powerful antioxidant: glutathione.
Glutathione is a substance whose main function is to protect cells against oxidizing substances. It is also involved in the body’s detoxification processes, fighting off pathogens such as viruses, bacteria and other harmful agents. It also eliminates free radicals, which harm cells.
Benefits of this supplement
Immunocal has a number of beneficial effects, listed below:
Antioxidant power and fight against free radicals. As we have indicated, it helps in the synthesis of antioxidant substances like glutathione, thus preventing premature aging of cells.
When there are satisfactory levels of glulation in the body, vitamins such as A and E are released which act as protective substances against external agents.
In addition, it fights free radicals, involved in cell death.
Helps the immune system
Immunocal contributes to the production of lymphocytes, cells essential for the functioning of the immune system.
It also helps to increase the activity of other cells of great importance for the immune system, such as T lymphocytes, neutrophils and NK cells (natural killers), which are involved in infectious processes.
Strengthens sports activity
This supplement helps in muscle recovery after strenuous physical activity.
Physical development is due to the action of different hormones and the correct synthesis of proteins. In order to build muscle mass, the body needs satisfactory levels of amino acids which will produce proteins that will make up muscles.
Immunocal promotes the development and maintenance of muscle mass by offering a wide variety of amino acids.
Amino acid transport
In addition to being a source of amino acids, this supplement contributes to its transport by the body.
It thus helps the nervous, immune, respiratory and digestive systems to satisfactorily fulfill their biological functions.
This supplement appears to help maintain adequate pH levels.
If the body’s pH becomes too acidic, cells can suffer from hypoxia, which means they have trouble getting oxygen.
Way of consuming
The recommended doses of Immunocal vary depending on the characteristics of the patient or athlete.
People with a mild type of illness are given about 20 grams of this supplement per day. In the most severe cases, the doses rise to 30 grams.
To promote its absorption, it is recommended to take immunocal without too much food in the stomach, And avoiding other sources that contain a lot of protein.
This supplement is recommended for people over 35 who suffer from serious chronic disorders, such as oxidative stress, immunobiological deficiency, infectious hepatitis, certain types of cancer, chronic lung problems, asthma, malnutrition, radiation poisoning and acetominophen processes related to biological aging.
Almost anyone can take Immunocal: children, pregnant women, diabetics, people with high blood pressure, athletes, the elderly … I its administration can be both therapeutic and prophylactic, although it should be remembered that this is not a drug, But a supplement that must be combined with effective drugs.
This supplement is contraindicated for people who have any type of organ transplant like kidney or liver, excluding people who have pacemakers and dentures or other types.
Immunocal it can cause bloating as a main side effect if adequate hydration is not given. Skin irritation can also occur, although this is usually not something that happens often.
To date, the consequences of overdosing on this supplement have not been reported.
What scientific support does it have?
Immunocal is not a medicine, but a dietary supplement. It is for this reason that the question may arise as to whether what his supporters are really saying is effective and true.
This supplement is supported by several organizations that specialize in verifying the effectiveness of drugs and dietary supplements. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classified the immunocal in the GRAS category, considered as a product safe for human consumption.
In the country where it was first produced, Canada, CPS considers it an effective natural supplement to improve health in various diseases, but it should be noted that it does not replace medical treatment.
The Physicians Desk Reference (PDR) describes this supplement as a good source of glutathione and cysteine, detailing the therapeutic effects it has been shown to offer.
These organizations point out that when it comes to a supplement of natural origin has a low incidence of side effects. Therefore, and as long as the patient’s illness is not extremely severe and more potent alternatives are needed, Immunocal is indicated as treatment combined with pharmacological treatment.
- Karelis AD, Messier V., Suppère C., Briand P. and Rabasa-Lhoret R. (2015) Effect of cysteine-rich whey protein supplementation (immunocal®) in combination with strength training on muscle strength and Frail lean mass in elderly subjects: a randomized, double-blind controlled study. Journal of Nutritional Health and Aging. 19 (5) 531-6.
- Lomaestro B., and Malone M. (1995) Glutathione in health and disease: pharmacotherapeutic issues. Pharmacotherapy Annuals 29: 1263–1273.