How Inflammation Impacts Physical, Mental, and Social Health

Inflammation has become one of the most feared and misunderstood aspects of health. Any conversation about the human body should be one that is full of nuance – and discussions aimed at fleshing out whether inflammation is whole-heartedly good, or bad, is an exercise in futility. 

Inflammation is a normal, healthy part of our immune system’s response to injury, pain, or stress. Some classic examples of helpful, productive inflammation are the swelling and redness you experience after spraining an ankle, the fever you have to endure when you are battling an illness or infection, and other short-term responses that are meant to protect various cells and tissues. In one way or another, acute inflammation is designed to protect you – you can’t live without it. When immune cells start to overreact, or get activated inappropriately (as is the case with autoimmune disorders) however, the helpful can turn detrimental very quickly. 

Chronic inflammation can be caused by a variety of factors, as you will read about later on, but there are many reasons why you should seek to avoid having it run amuck and unchecked. Having a persistent, unnecessary inflammatory response increases your risk for many effects such as cancer, heart disease, depression, Alzheimer’s, and many more chronic illnesses that are notoriously difficult to manage and live with. Essentially, this incredibly nuanced topic can be summarized as: Acute inflammation is both helpful, and necessary for survival. But chronic inflammation is precisely the opposite. 

We are going to cover the various and profound impacts that chronic inflammation can have on your physical, mental, and social health. Doing so will allow us to fully illustrate just how much of a concern this issue is for our body and mind, and just how much it can interrupt overall wellness. Of course, we will also provide you with some actionable steps that you can start implementing today to begin mending, or preventing the damage that unchecked chronic inflammation can have on your physical health, mental well-being, relationships, and more. 

Effects of Inflammation on the Body

Rampant and constant inflammation can cause more than just a few issues in our bodies. In fact, most chronic conditions such as asthma, cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, arthritis, and many more are linked to inflammation and the destructive effects it can have on cells, tissues, and even the very structure of DNA. 

There are a few areas of the body that seem to be particularly affected by the continuous presence of inflammatory molecules. Your brain, and the similarly complex gastrointestinal (GI) tract are both especially impacted by the excessive presence of the various immune cells, chemical messengers, and proteins that are on the frontline of your immune system. The effect it can have on the brain is at the root of many of the detrimental behavioral and social influences chronic inflammation can have. The effect it can have on your GI tract however, is an excellent example to show just how complex the immune system and it’s inflammatory responses can be. 

It may surprise you to know it, but most of your body’s immune cells are located in your GI tract. This makes sense though, because there is a constant exposure happening from the foods and beverages you bring in from the outside world. The inside of your GI tract can really be thought of as being outside of the body, and everything that passes through it must be deemed safe or not safe to enter the body. Luckily, our immune system usually ignores the countless beneficial bacteria that live all over inside there. Also, while ignoring all of the usually “good” bacteria that have taken to living mostly inside of your large intestine, our immune system also has to be able to identify foreign invaders, help neutralize them if possible, as well as sound the alarm and mount an appropriate attack if they escape the GI tract and get inside the body. The ubiquity of bacteria inside our GI tract, and the constant warfare the immune cells there must be under, makes it pretty easy to see why there are so many inflammatory conditions of the gut. Conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease are all debilitating examples of how chronic inflammation can cause significant and persistent issues inside of you. The inflammation in your gut has the ability to spread throughout your body and brain.

Systemic, chronic inflammation is also implicated in:

  • Obesity: Obese people have consistently higher levels of systemic inflammation. This leads to insulin resistance (type 2 diabetes), dysregulation of hormones that relate to hunger, and a reduced metabolic rate – making it increasingly more difficult to lose weight when they try to. 
  • Bone loss: The perpetual process of bone remodeling is effectively interrupted by chronic inflammation – leading to bone loss and corresponding conditions.
  • Joint problems: Joints are especially degraded by chronic inflammation and conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis are both directly linked to the unchecked presence of it.
  • Heart disease, cancer, skin problems, asthma, and the list goes on…

The effects that systemic, chronic inflammation can have on the body are no joke. We will of course provide you with some action items to focus on to help empower you to prevent this from occurring – but to gain a much deeper understanding of the complex entity that is your immune system, take a look at our in-depth blog on the topic here.

Effects of Inflammation on the Brain

Chronic inflammation’s greatest threat to our health is due to the systemic effects it can have on the body. Your brain and body are nearly inseparable – except through an ever-vigilant, yet fallible border between the two. This barrier is known as the blood brain barrier, and we owe our lives to this thin membrane made of specialized tissues and immune cells. Unfortunately though, it isn’t impossible for stuff to sneak by and make its way to the brain. This is precisely the case with the cytokines and various other inflammatory molecules produced by your body.

Once these inflammatory molecules make it into the brain, there is the potential for an unnecessary immune response to occur. Microglia (brain immune cells) are activated, and just like with joints and other tissues, brain tissue is damaged by the inflammation that ensues. This cascading response is specifically why multiple, severe mental illnesses are associated with increased inflammation. Neuroinflammation is especially dire because of all of the body’s processes that are controlled by the brain (so…basically everything). According to a study published in the Journal of Neuroinflammation, chronic inflammation in the brain is associated with:

  • Depression/major depressive disorder
  • Neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sleep disorders
  • anxiety

If it wasn’t already, it should be pretty clear by now that many states of diseases, are linked to chronic inflammation. What most people don’t yet understand though, is how chronic inflammation can affect more than just our physical, and mental health – it can impact our relationships with others and social health overall!

Effects of Inflammation on Relationships

Human beings are social creatures. This logically stems from our evolution in groups that worked together to collectively find food, shelter, and survival. 

Enter: Chronic inflammation. 

Chronic inflammation is known to impact social interactions – a phenomena known as sickness behavior. Inflammation-induced, sickness behavior is primarily characterized by social withdrawal or loss of interest in social activities. In a systematic review published by Mona Moieni, Ph.D. and Naomi I. Eisenberger, Ph.D., investigating the social effects of inflammation, it was also noted that it also tended to cause following effects:

  • Social disconnection.
  • Social anhedonia (inability to feel pleasure).
  • Increased sensitivity to both positive and negative social stimuli.
  • Heightened sensitivity to social rejection, and threatful situations.

These behaviors are believed to be adaptive, and our desire to avoid others might have actually been a good thing. It would have kept us from socially interacting with others, and potentially infecting vulnerable members of our tribe. Our response to these varied social stimuli whilst under the throes of chronic inflammation can depend entirely upon the context of the situation as well as your perception of it. But your response is likely going to be innate and instinctual. It is easy to see just how easily chronic inflammation can disrupt your ability to live your life and enjoy healthy social relationships. Now, let’s start exploring how to reduce inflammation through diet, exercise, and lifestyle habits. 

How to Reduce Inflammation

Reducing inflammation can be easily accomplished by making some basic adjustments to your diet, exercise, and wellness routines. 

Many of these options are free, or nearly so – requiring only that you commit to the changes and make them a part of your lifestyle for good. One of the changes that can have the largest impact on your levels of chronic inflammation is what you choose to put on your plate. 


The foods that you do or don’t eat can have a massive influence over whether or not you are able to overcome chronic inflammation and avoid the multitude of ill effects which we have already mentioned. Keeping in mind that a high percentage of your immune cells reside within or around the GI tract, it is clear how this relationship between diet and inflammation can be established. Avoiding foods that are heavily processed, those that contain high amounts of fat and sugar, and foods that you have an intolerance to (these can be huge triggers for autoimmune conditions) will allow you to essentially stop “feeding the fire” that is your chronic inflammatory response. We know that gut inflammation can travel throughout the body, and avoiding foods that are inflammatory for you is one key aspect of managing your diet. Another aspect of significantly impacting your inflammation through the diet is by including foods that have a recognized and established anti-inflammatory effects. 

Some anti-inflammatory foods include:

  • Leafy greens (plenty of phytonutrients and magnesium to help squelch inflammation).
  • Cold-water, fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and herring are all chock-full of marine Omega 3 fatty acids).
  • Nuts (especially walnuts which are brimming with ALA).
  • Berries, and other fruits like oranges (full of antioxidants and other beneficial compounds). 

When you boil it all down, it is clear that eating to reduce inflammation is essentially synonymous with eating for overall health and longevity. Eat a diverse diet full of whole, natural foods. Avoid processed foods, refined carbohydrates, and rancid or trans-saturated fats. Even after taking these steps, you may need to supplement with various nutrients that just aren’t very easy to get from the diet. Vitamin D, for instance, is uniquely difficult to get from the diet and you may need to keep a bottle of it in your cabinet at home. This powerful vitamin/hormone likely won’t be the only thing you will want to supplement with, however. 

Take Supplements

Dietary supplements are meant to be utilized to augment an already sound diet and lifestyle. 

That being said, it is becoming increasingly difficult to get all of the nutrients you need from food alone – even if you are sticking to a well-rounded diet full of whole foods. There is an endless list of the supplements on the internet claiming to reduce inflammation, squelch free radicals, and lead you to better health – one expensive bottle at a time. Yet, most of these fall short when placed up against rigorous scientific analysis. Fortunately for us as consumers, these dilligent scientists did a lot of the hard work for us. 

If you are seeking to reduce chronic inflammation, and need some help from the supplement realm, take a look at proven options like:

  • Fish oil or other sources of Omega 3 fatty acids
  • Circumin (turmeric)
  • Ginger
  • Resveratrol
  • Spirulina
  • Magnesium
  • Cannabidiol (CBD)
  • Body Protection Compound 157 (BPC-157)

It is important to point out here that non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) like tylenol or ibuprofen are not on this list. NSAIDs are incredibly effective at managing acute inflammation, but their frequent use for attempting to handle chronic inflammation (usually in conjunction with corticosteroids) can be highly destructive and harmful to the human body. In contrast, BPC-157, which stimulates the growth and repair of injured tissues throughout the body, is emerging in the health and wellness sphere as a clinical alternative to the antiquated usage of NSAIDs and steroids that still remain (currently) as the standard of treatment for chronic inflammation and pain. As you might have guessed, the connection between chronic inflammation and the human body goes much deeper than just your diet, and which supplements you choose to take. To remain healthy and with appropriate levels of inflammation for the long-haul, you probably need to move!


Exercise and inflammation are deeply intertwined. Inflammation is by nature an immune response. And the cells, resources, and waste associated with the immune system are transported in the lymphatic system. Unlike your circulatory system, your lymphatic system does not have a pump. This means that bodily movement and muscular contractions are required to push your lymphatic fluid around – keeping what can be thought of as your own internal sewer system, moving freely. 

Exercise has another implication in chronic inflammation, and that is that it can allow you to achieve or maintain a healthy body weight. It is no secret that high levels of body fat are directly linked to high levels of systemic inflammation. Simply increasing your daily activity, and participating in a structured resistance training protocol can do wonders for weight loss and reduce levels of chronic inflammation as a result. Exercise can be overdone however, which would ultimately lead to you doing more harm than good when it comes to the levels of inflammation you are experiencing. If you want to make the most of your exercise approach, take a look at our article titled “Your 3 Keys to Post-Quarantine Fitness Success” – where we lay out a clear and concise explanation of what actually matters for you to make significant changes both in and outside of the gym. The importance of not over-doing it with exercise in a misguided attempt at creating healthy changes cannot be overemphasized. In fact, the stress from excessively exercising can and does easily contribute to the total burden of stress on your body – which, unsurprisingly can influence inflammation.

Manage Stress

Stress of any kind can be beneficial for us in small, intermittent doses. A perfect example of this is how lifting weights can help build muscle, make us stronger, and make us healthier. Taken too far however, this stress can quickly become negative. 

In the case of psychological stress, chronic inflammation can come as a result of living in a stressful environment, working at a stressful job, dealing with financial distress, or just simply neglecting to manage the mounting burden placed upon you. The intersection between psychological stress and physical disease or dysfunction seems to hinge on the hormone cortisol. Our bodies release the stress hormone cortisol in response to, you guessed it, stress. Having too high of cortisol, for too long can have lasting and negative implications on your body, brain, and overall health. Luckily, as you may have already surmised, much of what you can do to manage stress is easy, and free. 

Some great tips for reducing stress are:

  • Meditation or another mindfulness practice
  • Get out in nature
  • Working out
  • Yoga
  • Start an intentional breathwork practice
  • Keep a gratitude journal

You may find another activity or hobby that works for you to reduce stress – that’s great, do it often. What matters is that you are consciously engaging in some consistent practice to proactively deal with stress before it can rear its ugly head and manifest some unwanted physical, social, and mental health effects. Even cheaper than these stress reduction techniques, is one that you likely already know the importance of, even if you don’t currently appreciate it. 


By now, if you aren’t aware of just how important sleep is, then you must have been living under a rock for quite some time. Sleep is, and likely always will be, our number one resource for developing and maintaining health at nearly every level. Sleep is crucial if you want to manage stress, lose body fat, build muscle, manage your appetite, and much more.

Mechanistically, sleep is the time when your body rests, recovers, and prepares for another day. Your circadian rhythm is the metronome by which nearly every bodily function aligns itself, and living in a way that disrupts this natural ebb and flow can lead to a whole host of disease and dysfunction – not the least of which is uncontrolled, chronic inflammation. If you aren’t sleeping well, there isn’t much else that you can do to significantly and sustainably improve your health. 

Get enough good, quality sleep, every night!

Chronic inflammation is a growing concern in our society with real consequences if you don’t take steps to control it. But there are steps that you can take to protect yourself, and many of them are free of cost. Chronic inflammation typically goes unseen and unaddressed until it has culminated in disease or dysfunction that cannot be ignored. Before you reach this state, put a plan in place and stick to it!

What Are the Eight Dimensions of Wellness?

As modern Americans, we tend to share an extremely limited ideal of what real health actually means. 

The pursuit of the inextricable duo of health and wellness requires much more than simply avoiding illness or disease – it demands exploration and development across multiple dimensions of the human experience.

Western society by and large has been conditioned to look at things in reductionist terms. Black and white, good or bad, healthy or sick. But the World Health Organization, seen by many as one of the primary authorities on human health, has developed their own standards (they go as far as to call it their constitution) for what they believe comprises actual wellness – and it covers far more than just avoiding disease of dysfunction. They believe that real health requires a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and that governments worldwide have a responsibility to provide the right atmosphere, resources, and opportunities for each and every one of their citizens to realize their full potential. 

To achieve a state of physical, mental, and social well-being, attention must be paid to each and every dimension that contributes to creating this state. As it turns out, there seems to be either entirely unique, and yet interconnected dimensions that collectively contribute to overall wellness. These dimensions are physical, emotional, social, intellectual, environmental, financial, spiritual, and occupational wellness. None of these can create a sense of overall wellness alone – they all feed into one another to achieve balance and harmony. Each must be cultivated and nurtured over time. 

As human beings we are extremely adaptable, and we can survive without fulfilling many, or even most of these dimensions – but we won’t thrive. This disparity is precisely why we have written this article – to illuminate each of these dimensions as well as to provide you with a few actionable steps for each to help you begin to curate and maintain more thorough health and wellness habits and practices into your daily life. Each dimension may have more or less importance than others, depending upon who you are and where you are at on your health and wellness journey, but the very nature of these unique aspects is that they are all deeply and fully interconnected with each other. 

Physical Wellness

Something that we need to recognize about our modern lifestyles is that they just aren’t very conducive to good physical health. We sit far too much and move far too little. We are overfed but undernourished. We are fully displaced from our ancestral ancestors in these ways. But our internal biology is still basically the same! It is no wonder we are experiencing an astronomical increase in chronic disease and dysfunction. So once we acknowledge this context, the necessity for prioritizing better sleep, more movement, and a more whole-foods based diet becomes increasingly apparent. 

There are an endless number of ways that we can improve our physical health. But the good news is that there are a few key points to focus on that will get you most of the way there. Prioritize the following aspects for physical wellness:

  • Move, alot. 
  • Eat food with actual nutritional value.
  • Sleep, well. 

There is, of course, much nuance that applies to each of those. For example, how much movement, and what kinds are appropriate for each individual might vary a bit – but generally these three statements apply to each of us to some degree. 

You may need to look deeper into each of these points to determine how they specifically apply to you. Moving more is something that most modern humans can benefit from – it should be no surprise to hear that. Finding what kinds of movement you enjoy and can do consistently is a good place to start. And tracking your daily steps appears to be one of the most effective strategies for losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight for long periods of time. Once daily activity is one of your non-negotiables, perhaps the logical next step is to begin resistance training. Lifting weights has been linked to a whole host of beneficial effects, some of which will last a lifetime. 

Eating food with actual nutritional value is crucial for many reasons. You need vitamins for enzymes to work and cells to function properly. Some minerals are utilized by your immune system to get toxins out of your body. Your brain needs fatty acids and beneficial plant compounds to thrive. Specific amino acids are required for certain tissues, hormones, and neurotransmitters to be built. Whole, natural foods and the wide variety of nutrients they contain are an enormous part of how we can maintain our physical health. You can also utilize supplementation to procure certain nutrients that are difficult to get from the diet. 

It also might be beneficial to verify that your gut is in proper working order. With the rise in chronic inflammation and gut-related dysfunction, consider strategies with proven gut-healing properties like fasting, certain diets, drinking bone broth, collagen, BPC-157, colostrum, or zinc may just do the trick. 

Sleeping well means more than just being in bed for 8 hours a night – though that would be a big step in the right direction for most people. To make sure we are getting the most out of having a free healing/restoration mode, we need to put in actual effort to protect the quality of our sleep as well. Reducing light exposure at night, and waking up at the same time everyday seem to be the two biggest requirements to entrain your circadian rhythm and guarantee you are going to enjoy the countless benefits that sleep provides us. 

Emotional wellness

It is tough to say if the world is becoming more or less stressful for the people living in it. Life has become easier for most people, but it has also become more demanding, busy, and distracting at the same time. 

We are (virtually) connected with more people than ever before – with the COVID lockdown only increasing the digital nature of these relationships. But most of us aren’t exactly designed to be as isolated as our modern society is, especially as we have been for the last year or so. Humans evolved with social interaction and dynamic relationships at the core of our how we coexist and grow with one another. These modern shifts in the human experience bring with them an increased need for finding coping strategies that are, at the very least, not destructive. This is what emotional wellness means to those of us living in modern society., and we can look towards some basic principles of wellness to help kickstart the development of emotional wellness. If you need to improve this dimension, start doing the following:

  • Reduce stress. 
  • Learn to simply acknowledge and cope with emotions – good and bad. 
  • Give your brain an edge. 
  • Manage inflammation to improve emotional resilience.

The general stress response is an extremely beneficial part of life – chronic stress on the other hand, couldn’t be less beneficial for our long term health. There are countless psychological and physiological reasons why stress is bad for us, but most everyone is aware of these by now. It is more important that we direct attention towards stress management practices that will help ameliorate some of the harmful effects of chronic stress. Practicing meditation or another mindfulness approach, get enough sleep, engage in breathing exercises often, do some yoga, and move enough everyday. These stress management techniques will often have the added benefit of helping you on a fundamental level to deal with all kinds of emotions.

Social Wellness

The relationships we have with other people can have an unbelievably deep impact on our overall sense of well-being. 

If you wish to develop a sense of connection, belonging, and rock-solid support system that you can count on no matter what, forging relationships is a big part of where you should focus your energy.

This dimension often goes overlooked because we live in a very work-focused culture. We all know we should spend time with family and friends, but that can always wait – or so we seem to think. Social wellness is absolutely crucial to building emotional resilience as well (though it is entirely unique from the emotional wellness dimension) and it allows us to better communicate with the people around us. Here are just a few ways that you can start to build up your sense of social wellness:

  • First, take time to reflect on yourself and your unique social needs. What aspects of your current social life do you actually enjoy? What parts do you wish you could improve upon?
  • Make an effort to keep in touch with supportive friends and family – especially during times of increased isolation such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Become a better listener – practice!
  • Join a club or organization with like-minded people.

Intellectual Wellness

Your brain is like a muscle – it needs to work in order to thrive. This is the essence and basis of developing intellectual wellness. We are inherently curious creatures, and acknowledging that fact allows us to find ways to satisfy this drive in productive and creative ways.

Curating a state of intellectual wellness will likely be lifelong pursuit – as is the case with all other dimensions. Yet, we tend to stop seeking intellectual development as we age. We are never too old to benefit from engaging in creative and mentally stimulating activities. It is never too late to expand your knowledge or skills, and share it with your friends, family, or community. 

Every dimension of wellness will take work to develop, and intellectual wellness is no different – it will take effort and focus to create balance. What is most important of all however, is that you remain open-minded and receptive to new situations. If you aren’t open in this way, no amount of work will manifest intellectual wellness in your life. Some more useful tips to begin curating intellectual wellness within your own life include:

  • Be more mindful and listen. If you aren’t actively listening, fully present, and engaged, you won’t fully receive the information being given. 
  • Find a hobby that allows you to learn, develop skills, and grow your capabilities.
  • Traveling to experience other countries and cultures will change your perspectives and allow you to grow intellectually.
  • Find a way to be creative. This can be fulfilled by a hobby, or even a career (which we will discuss again later). Remember, we are creative beings – express yourself.

Environmental Wellness

Nobody would argue that the environment around us can’t have a profound impact on the way that you experience life. Environmental wellness is about recognizing this potential for your surroundings to either enhance or degrade your life, and taking action to redesign them to benefit you, and those around you.

Environmental wellness is really quite a broad term. It can refer to that which is in close proximity to you like your home, bedroom, office space, cubicle, etc. – or it can be expanded to the world at large. The concept is all the same, though. We must be inspired and intentional about living a lifestyle that is respectful of our surrounding and practice habits that promote a healthy environment. Some more tips to help develop a more complete sense of environmental wellness include:

  • Do your part to conserve energy, recycle, and limit your footprint on the world.
  • Volunteer with, or donate to organizations dedicated to improving the environment.
  • Appreciate and understand our earth’s finite resources. 
  • Spend time in nature by camping, hiking, or just generally experiencing the natural beauty of our dwindling natural resources.

Spiritual Wellness 

The realization of the profound importance behind cultivating spiritual wellness escapes more people than perhaps any other dimension. It may be because this dimension is shrouded by an intersection of religious beliefs and convictions – but it shouldn’t be. 

Spiritual wellness can, and often does, have absolutely nothing to do with organized religious practices. Though traditional religious practices can fulfill the need for developing spiritual wellness, and often do so extremely well, having this somewhat limited perception of what this dimension means can perhaps dissuade people from cultivating it in the first place.

At its fundamental core, spiritual wellness is about finding meaning and purpose in life, developing your own personal morals and beliefs, and exploring your inner self. This exploration and development can allow you to create balance, become more resilient to obstacles and setbacks, and find a more comprehensive appreciation for the human experience. 

As we said, organized religion can play a major role in developing this dimension, but spiritual wellness doesn’t have to exclusively come from this avenue. What is most important for developing wellness in this dimension is the practice and exploration of your inner self. To start cultivating your own sense of spiritual wellness, try doing the following:

  • Take time to be alone, and think about your inner self.
  • Reflect and explore life changing events. Consider your perceptions of each situation, whether they are productive, and whether or not they are congruent with reality. 
  • Practice meditation or engage in another mindfulness approach.
  • Actively practice acceptance of situations.
  • Remain curious as you age. Explore new topics and ideas that interest you.
  • Consider traditional religious faiths and find one that you align most with.

Occupational Wellness

Many of us work to earn a paycheck, so we can do what we enjoy on the weekends with the ones we love. But this may not be enough. Not enough of us derive actual satisfaction and fulfillment from our work. Developing occupation wellness in our lives requires us to acknowledge this fact and inspires us to work towards finding a profession that satisfies this itch. 

Our occupation can be more than just a paycheck. Some of us may find our calling in life almost by accident. Maybe you’ve always wanted to be a nurse, and no other occupation will allow you to be fulfilled in the same way. Perhaps a career in law enforcement or firefighting will enrich you each and every day – and you’ve known that was your path for as long as you can remember. For some of us however, it can take much more time. The occupation that helps you derive a sense of meaning and purpose in life may be something you haven’t even considered yet. This is why it is absolutely essential to keep trying, and keep searching. More tips to enhance your sense of occupational wellness are:

  • Take an honest assessment of yourself and your occupational needs. What kinds of tasks do you enjoy? Which would you rather never do again?
  • Consider both paid and volunteer opportunities that interest you. (remember you may find a path you had never even considered)
  • Actively practice communication and proper conflict management with your coworkers. Perhaps better work relationships can help create a greater sense of fulfillment in the job you already have.
  • Set career goals for yourself and constantly work towards improving and accomplishing these goals.

Financial Wellness

Though the financial and occupational wellness dimensions seem quite similar, they are quite different in reality. Financial wellness focuses on developing a sense of satisfaction and security with current and future financial situations – whereas the occupational wellness dimension is a bit more existential in nature.

Financial stressors are one of the more common pitfalls of modern life for many people. We aren’t commonly taught how to manage our finances by tracking expenses, budgeting, or becoming financially disciplined in general. Setting both short and long term financial goals is a great first step towards developing wellness in this dimension, but to take it further than that, consider trying:

  • Actively work to analyze finances to identify problems before they occur.
  • Maintain organized records of your finances.
  • Plan ahead. Set budgets, and stick to a plan to reach your goals.
  • Take classes to better understand your financial situations and learn to create discipline. 

8 Dimensions of Wellness

By now it must be abundantly clear that each of these eight dimensions of wellness are entirely connected and dependent on one another to reach their full potential – and for you to reach yours as well. 

Each of these dimensions will take work to develop and maintain, but that isn’t to say that the process won’t be enjoyable. Keep in mind that every bit of progress you make will help to balance your wellness overall and create a sense of congruence within different aspects of your life.

Should I Buy B12 Injections Online?

The importance of vitamin B12 within the human body cannot be overemphasized.

Without it, our bodies will simply not function anywhere near optimally.

Sadly, it can take years of experiencing sub-optimal health before you begin to manifest clinically recognizable B12 deficiency symptoms. It may take you living with chronic fatigue, nervous system dysfunction, depression, and more for years before your deficiency is identified and addressed. It is estimated that some 23% of adults aged 19-64 are deficient in this essential nutrient – those odds jump up to as much as 62% of adults 65 and older. There are a number of reasons why you might be in this segment of the population, and luckily there are a number of options for ways you can remedy your lack of B12. Get ready, because you’re about to learn all you need to know about the benefits of B12, the use of B12 injections, some signs you may be deficient, and how to get B12 injections  delivered to your door from a reliable source in order to start living with more energy and vitality now

What is Vitamin B12?

B12 is an essential vitamin, meaning we are required to get it in our diet or we will literally slowly break down – like a car if you forget to check the oil.

B12, technically and scientifically named cobalamin, is a water soluble vitamin that our bodies can store (to some degree) for around 4 years or so. This ability to store B12 is why people are able to live with a deficiency for so long. Our bodies will strategically use what it has available in order to complete processes required for survival – a phenomena called the triage effect that can be observed with any of the finite resources the human body utilizes.

Having a diet devoid of B12 may mean you are following a strict vegetarian or vegan eating style or you simply aren’t effectively absorbing it from animal sources. Unfortunately, there just aren’t many non-animal sources that can provide enough B12 to support normal physiological function. In this case, supplementation is an absolute necessity. Oral B12 supplementation can be entirely effective at bringing up your levels if done consistently, and if absorption is not an issue. In order to absorb B12 from food, our gut requires something called intrinsic factor which is produced in the stomach. There is a small percentage of the population who lack the ability to produce an adequate amount of intrinsic factor to be able to absorb B12 however, and inflammatory gut conditions are also able to cause these same issues with absorption. 

Are You Running Low on B12?

B12 plays an impressively important role in the body, and depleting your stores will throw a major wrench in normal physiological function. Thankfully as humans we are able to survive for quite some time while burning through our supply.

Like we mentioned before, this is likely a contributing factor for the alarming percentage of adults that have developed B12 insufficiency without even being aware of it.

Some of the common signs of B12 deficiency include weakness, tiredness or lightheadedness, heart palpitations or shortness of breath, pale skin, a smooth tongue, irregular bowel movements, neuropathy, vision loss, and mental problems including depression. While these all cannot be exclusively attributed to a Vitamin B12 deficiency, they are commonly accepted as potential signs or even a direct result of missing out on enough of B12. If you are running low on B12, filling this deficiency may have profound implications on mental health, vitality, and longevity. 

Benefits of B12

B12 is responsible for quite a bit.

In general, vitamins are typically pretty important in one way or another, but B12 is especially vital for normal operating conditions to occur within us. It is used as an integral part of the process of turning the food we eat into a usable form of energy. B12 also helps with the creation of healthy new red blood cells, and is absolutely crucial for brain and nervous system function. If that didn’t seem important enough, this all-star B vitamin also supports enzymes that synthesize DNA, and B12 deficiency is thought to play a causal role in depression for some people.

On top of all those reasons why it should be considered an invaluable nutrient, it appears that ensuring you have adequate levels of B12 in your body may be especially important if you are trying to lose weight. 

B12 for Weight Loss

Because B12 plays a crucial role in turning the food that you eat into usable energy, a deficiency can make it unnecessarily difficult to shed some extra body fat.

Considering one of the most common symptoms of a relative B12 deficiency is chronic fatigue, it seems like the odds are stacked against being able to lose weight while you’re running low on this vital nutrient. But wait, when it comes to the impacts B12 has on the weight loss process, there’s (sadly) more!

One study found that levels of B12 are consistently lower in obese adults compared to the non-obese population. What this suggests is that not only can a lack of B12 make it more difficult to lose weight, but being overweight also depletes B12. Whether B12 insufficiency plays a causal role in weight gain isn’t clear, but it seems to be a major part of the equation for a lot of people. Clearly, there are many factors that contribute to your ability to lose weight or even maintain it, but nutrient deficiencies are a common source of dysfunction throughout the human body.

Utilizing B12 injections (or oral supplements if you remember to take them) can be a potential game-changer for some individuals who are trying to lose weight. Unlike with a lot of supplement protocols, when deciding which form to supplement B12 with, there really isn’t a clear frontrunner – it’s mostly up to preference. 

Vitamin B12 Injections

B12 injections are an amazing way to up your levels while avoiding any potential absorption issues, regardless of whether those issues have been identified or not.

While the percentage of the population that lack intrinsic factor and are therefore unable to absorb B12 is rather low, the amount of people with gut issues overall is relatively large. Various digestive issues affect 60-70 million Americans on a daily basis according to the American Nutrition Association. This number suggests that your odds of unknowingly suffering from nutritional malabsorption may be higher than you think! 

B12 at Home

When using B12 injections at home, make sure that you clean the injection site thoroughly to prevent infection.

Typical B12 injections protocol consists of one B12 injection given weekly for eight weeks.

B12 injection side effects may include headaches, nausea, loss of appetite, and more. Overall, B12 injections are exceptionally well tolerated, but it is important that you speak with a medical professional before starting a protocol.

Buying B12 Injections Online

As with anything that you will be introducing into your body, it should be considered best practice to source your B12 from a reputable company with solid track record.

With Ikon Health you are able to buy B12 injections (or any of our other products we offer), fill out the required forms, and speak to a medical professional to receive your prescription – all from the comfort of your smartphone.

From there your products will be shipped to your home and you can rest assured that you are getting a quality source of B12. Vitamin B12 deficiency is a serious and often insidious issue that a significant percentage of the population is currently facing or will face at some point.

Lipotropic Injections for Fat Loss

What are Lipo Shots

Lipotropics are injections offered to promote fat loss. Lipo shots help to achieve faster fat loss by increasing how fast the body is able to remove, transport, and burn fat.

Ingredients in Lipo Injections

  • Methionine
  • Inositol
  • Choline

Ingredients often added to Lipotropic injections

  • Vitamin B12 (Methylcobalamin)
  • B-Complex (mixture of B-vitamins)
  • L-Carnitine
  • Arginine

Using Lipotropic shots for Fat Loss

Lipo shots are used in a number of medical weight loss protocols, due to their effectiveness in removing triglycerides (fat) from fat stores, aiding in the transporting of fat through the blood stream, and supporting the processing and removal of fat within the liver.

Do Lipo Injections Really Work?

Do lipotropic injections really work? In short, yes, Lipotropics can help to accelerate fat loss in conjunction with a healthy exercise and diet plan. Lipotropic shots won’t just do the work for you if you aren’t trying, but if you are trying, they can accelerate fat loss. Typically, clients will take 1-2cc’s (shots) per week of lipotropics. You should feel more energy, and with that energy it’s recommended to do exercise.

How Fast Can I Lose Weight With Lipo Shots?

How Rapid are Lipo Shots? The rate of fat loss while using Lipotropic injections will vary from person to person. Also, some clients may notice more energy than others. Why is this? Some individuals might be more deficient than others in the liptropic ingredients. Also, the more weight you have to lose, the faster your body will allow you to lose it.

How Long Can I Take Lipo Injections?

How Long are Lipo Shots Safe to Take? As long as you are taking a proper dosage of Lipo shots, you should be able to take them indefinitely. Still, consult with your doctor about how long you should take Lipotropic Injections.

Are Lipo Shots Safe?

Lipo Injections are very safe, as long as you don’t have an allergy to them. The only common allergy to the common lipotropic ingredients is sulfa. Individuals with Sulfa allergies should be careful with the ingredient, Methionine. Although reactions are generally mild, consult with your doctor before taking Lipotropic Shots.

Where can I Get Lipotropic Injections?

There are a number of places where you can buy Lipo injections. Keep in mind that Lipotropics have to be handled with care, and must be refrigerated, so choose your source wisely. Clients can buy B12 injections or buy lipo shots from Ikon Health through our telewellness system.

The HCG Diet Protocol

An introduction to the HCG Diet Protocol

What is HCG?

HCG or Human Chorionic Gonadotropin is a hormone that our bodies produce naturally. During the early stages of pregnancy, women’s HCG levels will increase to nearly 2000 times the standard HCG dosage for the HCG Diet.

HCG and the Hypothalamus

What is HCG?

Our bodies have a regulatory system that helps to control our body weight. At the core of this system is a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus receives signals from the body through the use of hormones to help determine if weight loss or gain is necessary. The hypothalamus has many functions, including:

  • Control of hunger and appetite
  • Regulation of body temperature
  • Storage and burning of fat

Obesity: A Growing Problem

Eating habits and activity levels have changed dramatically over the last 50 years. The availability and ease of calorie dense foods with few nutrients is a key factor, but sedentary lifestyles are also playing a huge role. The human body is designed to store extra calories in preparation for a possible calorie famine. Once a person is overweight or obese, additional problems arise, and weight loss becomes considerably difficult.

Can the HCG Diet Help You Lose Weight?

The HCG Diet utilizes a VLCD or Very Low Calorie Diet in conjunction with HCG hormone injections. A very low calorie diet will cause anyone to lose weight, but in the case of the HCG Diet, the HCG hormone helps to preserve muscle mass in what would be a very catabolic state, normally. So the short answer is yes, the HCG diet can help you lose weight, but it isn’t easy. Dieters will still get hungry and struggle at times.

Before You Start the HCG Diet

Get Started on the HCG Diet

Weigh Yourself

Weighing yourself is important for you to see progress and to provide feedback on how your body is responding. Most doctors recommend weighing yourself every day. From time to time, weight will shift up and down without warning. This is perfectly normal as water weight increases and decreases.

Measure Yourself

Taking body measurements is a better indicator of progress. Weight loss will often slow down, stop, reverse, or speed up without warning. Measuring will give you a more consistent indicator of success and help ease your nerves if weight loss stalls for a time.


Goals are an essential part of any weight loss plan. It might be helpful to also set milestones, or smaller goals that lead up to the larger goal.

Set a Goal Date or Event

In addition to measuring progress, you will need to have a specific date that will motivate you to achieve your goal. This date can be adjusted during the diet to better motivate you, rather than discourage you.

Personal Accountability

Personal accountability may be the most important step after setting goals. If you keep your goals a secret, it becomes easy to give up later. The most successful individuals are those who follow the diet with a friend or family member.


Rewards can be very helpful. Most dieters decide to set rewards based on how much weight they lose, but there will be times when you are following the diet closely without seeing changes. It is important to reward yourself based on adherence to the diet protocol. Find ways to reward yourself, without using food as the reward.

HCG Diet Phase 1: Loading

During the Loading Phase you will take HCG each morning and eat a lot of food for two full days.

Before the Loading Phase

Here are a few precautions to think about before starting the loading phase.

  • If you are sick prior to starting the loading phase, please make sure you have completely recovered.
  • Women Only: Prior to starting the diet, make sure you have at least 5 days before your next period starts, and no sooner than 2 days after your last period ended.

Two Day Loading Phase

The loading phase lasts for two days. During these two days you will take HCG injections each morning, and eat to stay full all day.

  • Take 150 IU’s of HCG in the morning on both days (15 mark on syringe). If you are using sublingual HCG, follow the pharmacy label instructions.
  • Load up on calories both days, and keep yourself full
  • Eat calorie dense foods, and try to get a lot of carbohydrate rich foods
  • Start weighing yourself each morning

After the loading phase, you will begin Phase 2, and continue taking daily HCG injections.

Phase 2: Very Low Calorie Diet

Phase 2 is a 3-6 week Low Calorie Diet which can be repeated after phase 3 as many times as needed, until you have reached your goal. Phase 2 requires you to follow a low calorie diet while eating from a strict list of foods. Also, continue taking 150iu’s (15 mark) of HCG every morning.

HCG Diet

Very Low Calorie Diet

Immediately after the loading phase, dieters are to follow the low calorie diet outlined below.

Minimum Amount of Time on the HCG Diet

After starting the HCG Diet Protocol, Dr. Simeon noted that a person must follow the diet for a minimum of 3 weeks in order to adapt to burning fat as a primary fuel.

Maximum Amount of Time on the HCG Diet

Dieters will often get excited about the rapid changes in body weight and shape, and try to overextend the duration of the Low Calorie Diet. In the long run, this will most likely cause a reduced metabolic rate. In order to maximize results over time and guard against rebounding, follow this set of guidelines:

  • Don’t exceed 6 weeks on the HCG diet.
  • Follow Phase 3 after every 3-6 week round of HCG.

The HCG Diet Plan (800 Calories)

Protein1 Serving1 Serving1 Serving
Vegetable1 Serving1 Serving
Fruit1 Serving1 Serving
MCT/Coconut Oil1-2 tbsp1-2 tbsp
Water2-3 cups2-3 cups2-3 cups

HCG Diet Phase 2 Food List

Chicken BreastCrab
Ground Beef (93% Lean)Shrimp
Game MeatScallops
PorkEggs – 2 whole
FishCottage Cheese – 1 cup low-fat
TunaProtein Shakes
Serving Size: 3.5 oz. / 100 g (or otherwise listed)
BroccoliBeet Greens
CauliflowerLettuce – as much as desired
Peppers – as much as desiredFennel Root
Hot Peppers – as much as desiredChard
Green BeansCelery – as much as desired
MushroomsRed Radishes
Spinach – as much as desiredCucumbers – as much as desired
Asparagus – as much as desiredZucchini
Cabbage – as much as desiredYellow Squash
Onions – as much as desiredArtichoke
Field Greens – as much as desired
Serving Size: 1 cup (unless otherwise listed)
Apple – mediumCantaloupe – 1 cup
Orange – mediumHoneydew Melon – 1 cup
Grapefruit – halfBanana – 1/2
Strawberries – handfulGrapes – 1 cup
Blueberries – handfulKiwi – 2 Kiwi Fruits
Raspberries – handfulTomato – 1 tomato
Blackberries – handfulPeach – 1 medium
Huckleberries – handfulPear – 1 medium
Serving Size: As listed: Do Not Exceed

Additional Phase 2 Instructions

Water: Try to drink at least 8 cups of water each day. Water is an essential element in the weight loss process. You should drink enough water to have at least 3-5 clear urinations per day.

Calorie Counting: Don’t worry about counting calories during Phase 2. Just eat foods from the list in the quantities allotted.

Coffee and Tea: Black coffee and tea are permissible in the morning. If you would like, you may flavor coffee or tea with stevia and/or almond milk (40 calories/serving).

Diet Soda: While diet soda won’t cause the diet to fail, you should not exchange it for any of your water servings. You still need to drink at least 8 cups of water in addition to any diet soda you drink.

Crystal Light and other Calorie Free Beverages: Other non-caloric drinks that you are accustomed to drinking should be handled like diet soda.

MCT Oil or Coconut Oil: MCT, or Medium Chain Triglycerides are fats that are derived from Coconut Oil. MCT works great for low carbohydrate and low calorie diets because it supports ketosis, provides energy, and guards against constipation. MCT Oil can be used for lunch or dinner as a salad dressing ingredient, mixed with any combination of salt, vinegar, and seasonings. Also, you should use it as your cooking oil.

Salad Dressing: There are a few options for salad dressings. The first is MCT Oil. MCT Oil is a perfect complement to the low calorie diet. You can mix it as mentioned above to make a dressing. Walden Farms offers calorie free salad dressing and condiments that are okay to use on the HCG Diet as well.

Protein Shakes: Some protein shakes are okay to use on the HCG Diet for a protein serving, although whole foods tend to keep you fuller for longer. Choose shakes with very little carbohydrates and fats.

Seasonings: Any calorie free seasoning is permissible on the HCG Diet. Be sure to check labels.

Sweeteners: We recommend using Stevia, Splenda or Sucralose to sweeten your foods.

Plateaus on the HCG Diet

The human metabolism is adapted to maintain homeostasis (a state of balance). This means the body fights against weight loss.

Plateaus on the HCG Diet

Rate of Fat Loss on the HCG Diet

It is important to understand how fast you should be losing weight on a weight loss program, and have realistic expectations. Most clients can lose up to 1 pound per day, but it isn’t the same for everyone. The larger you are, the faster you lose. Women who only weigh 120-150 lbs will probably not lose a pound a day, but a man who weighs 300 lbs probably will lose a pound a day for a time.

Water Retention on the HCG Diet

Fluctuations in water weight happen at the beginning and end of all low carbohydrate diets. Generally, this water fluctuation can account for somewhere between 2-5 lbs. Do not panic if you experience these rapid changes in weight because they are not related to fat loss or gain.

Combating Hunger on the HCG Diet

Hunger is an extremely complicated subject that is affected by both physiological and psychological reasons. Most of the time hunger is a combination of the two.

Vegetables and Fiber Effect Hunger: Fiber can help with hunger in at least two ways. The physical stretching of the stomach is one signal of how much food has been consumed; when the stomach is stretched the brain thinks you’re full. High fiber/high volume foods (e.g. foods that have a lot of volume/few calories) accomplish this most effectively. Additionally, fiber slows gastric emptying, or the rate at which food leaves the stomach. A high fiber intake keeps us feeling full by keeping foods in the digestive system longer. Always eat your vegetables.

Hormonal Hunger: Hormonal hunger is hard to control. Often women will notice that during their period, hunger dramatically changes. Also, when we don’t eat for extended periods of time, our brains and intestines start releasing powerful hormones that cause us to feel very hungry. By that time, our hormones are often too strong, and it causes us to binge. Be sure to at least have a small breakfast each day to help control this. Also keep in mind that this hunger will pass.

Carb/Sugar/Starch: When starting a low carbohydrate diet you may feel cravings for carbohydrates, especially for the first few days. This will pass as your body converts to fat as its primary source of fuel.

Dehydration: Mild dehydration is often masked as feelings of hunger, when the body simply needs water. The confusion starts in the hypothalamus, where hunger and thirst are both regulated. Diet drinks don’t hydrate well, so make sure to get at least a gallon of water per day. Less than a gallon per day is known to slow weight loss.

Salty Foods: There are a couple of different reasons that a person may be craving more salt. Dehydration: occurs when you aren’t getting enough minerals/electrolytes and water. Adrenal exhaustion: often occurs when a patient has a history of using stimulants; coffee, energy drinks, etc. This can also occur when you have a lot of stress.

High Fat Foods: Most often fatty foods are comfort foods. This is usually a psychological matter, and a matter of habit. Be aware of physical or emotional cues that may cause your desire for high fat foods.

HCG Diet Phase 3: Diet Break

Phase 3 will provide an immediate increase in calories which will boost the metabolic rate, and provide you with a break. Phase 3 should be thought of as a practice round to see how well you can maintain your weight after a rapid weight loss stint.

3 Week Diet Break

The Diet Break will last 3 weeks. During this 3 week break, the goal is to increase calories, and allow the body to reload glycogen stores and allow the metabolic rate to recover. If you don’t increase calories, it may set you up for failure for the next round.

Introduction of More Carbohydrates

When you start your diet break, you will likely gain 3-5 pounds immediately, but don’t be alarmed. After following a low carbohydrate diet for an extended period of time, you will be depleted of glycogen (sugar). When your body stores glycogen in muscle tissue, water is also stored; this can account for a few pounds.

Increasing Calories (Reverse Dieting)

Phase 3 increases calories to the amount needed to maintain body weight. This amount of calories will differ from person to person. Your goal is to eat enough to maintain your weight. If you are gaining weight, reduce calories. If you are losing weight, increase calories. It’s that simple.


Phase 3 is a perfect time to start learning how to be more aware of macronutrients. Macronutrients are the nutrients that contain calories. The macronutrients are:

  • Protein: (4 calories/gram) – start with around 1gram per pound of bodyweight
  • Carbohydrates: (4 calories/gram)
  • Fat: (9 calories/gram)

MyFitnessPal We recommend MyFitnessPal on your smart phone to track your calories. By tracking your macronutrients, you will begin to have a much better idea of what you eat daily, and what foods contain the most calories. Only use this app during Phase 3, Phase 4, and afterwards to track calories.

HCG Diet Phase 4: Transition and Maintenance

Phase 4 increases calories to the amount needed to maintain body weight. This amount of calories will differ from person to person. Your goal is to eat enough to maintain your weight. If you are gaining weight, reduce calories. If you are losing weight, increase calories. It’s that simple.

HCg Diet Transition and Maintenance


Maintenance calories is going to be different for each person. There are a number of factors that affect how many calories you should be eating, which include:

  • Weight
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Activity Level


Protein is the basic building block for most tissues in the body. It is also the most effective macronutrient for maintaining a healthy body composition. Protein satisfies hunger very well, supports lean body mass, increases metabolism, and tastes good.

Note: The maintenance phase provides only a basic guideline for maintenance dieting, and should be adjusted based on individual needs as time moves on. We recommend using an application such as to track calories for a few weeks after the diet. This will help you get a better understanding of what you are eating, and how many calories your body burns.

Weight Loss Tracking


  • Weigh yourself in the morning
  • Make sure that your daily habits before weigh-in are consistent (i.e. empty bladder first, don’t drink water, dressed or undressed)


  • Use the scale as your only method of tracking success
  • Weigh too often (1x/day max)

Body Measurement Guide

Measure yourself on the HCG Diet

Body measurements are one of the most accurate ways to monitor changes. While the scale can indicate slowed weight loss, body measurements can tell a different story!

Why? Keeping track of a few key measurements will keep you motivated and be a voice of reason when the scale is not reflecting what you want to see. A happy dieter is a more successful dieter!

Where? The key areas for measurement are as follows:

  • Chest (under armpits)
  • For Women: Waist (smallest part of waist)
  • For Men: Largest part of belly
  • Hips (largest part around buttocks for women, Belt-Line for Men)
  • Thigh (upper thigh)

When? The body fluctuates during the day. Pick a time where you will be relaxed and stay consistent on the time of day. We recommend that this measurement be done weekly.

How to Get Started on the HCG Diet

If you are want to start the HCG Diet, we have made it easy for you. We have made a list of all the best HCG Diet Providers that you can visit online to Buy HCG Injections from the comfort of your own home.

The Ultimate Guide to Vitamin D

When you take a hard look at the list of potential benefits vitamin D can provide, you might quickly realize they are really just a perfect example of the powers of genetic expression.

Nearly all of the power that vitamin D wields comes from its ability to influence what is known as the expression of your DNA. This influence over how your genes are expressed comes from the choices you make (or don’t make) in the realms of nutrition, training, and lifestyle. Being protective of your vitamin D status should be near the top of your health priority list – along with getting enough quality sleep, adequate movement, and nutrition as a whole. You might be wondering why vitamin D deserves to be mentioned with three major pillars of health and wellness. To understand vitamin D’s VIP status, it’s best to start with the importance of micronutrients altogether – there are roughly 40 of them on the essentials list. All of which we must get from our diet in order to survive, let alone thrive. After that we can shift the focus of our conversation to vitamin D in particular and highlight some fascinating research that illuminates just how important it is. There will also be some clues on how to determine if you may be at risk for a deficiency, and how to bring your levels up to what is known as the “sweet spot” for long term health.

The importance of micronutrients in general cannot be overemphasized, and vitamin D is one that should be given an even higher priority than most in your nutrition plan.

What Are Micronutrients?

Vitamin D Shots

Collectively, micronutrients are a family of roughly 40 vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and amino acids that we require for stuff in our body to work properly.

Nearly every biochemical process (there are a lot) within us requires some sort of micronutrient to function optimally. We may not feel a deficiency right away, in fact many people live years with suboptimal levels of many micronutrients. Our modern diets tend to be devoid of most micronutrients, although it is possible to get everything you need from whole foods – if you work hard enough at it. Another factor limiting our nutrient intake is the fact that certain classes of micronutrients are more readily absorbed by humans than others.

Vitamins for instance, are divided into water-soluble and fat-soluble varieties. Those that are fat-soluble require fat to be eaten with them in order to be absorbed effectively.

This is just an example of one potential reason why Americans are generally suffering from an insidious depletion of most micronutrients – even if they are getting all their fruits and veggies. For example, in the United States…

  • 70% of the population does not get enough vitamin D.
  • 60% is missing out on adequate levels of vitamin E (a group of compounds that are extremely effective antioxidants).
  • 45% of the population in the US does not get enough magnesium (required for energy production, DNA repair, and so much more).
  • 35% of the population grossly under-consuming vitamin K.
  • 30% of the population is not getting enough vitamin A.

Each of these missing micronutrients has countless roles to play throughout the human body, and when you are not getting enough of one, your body uses whatever you do have for tasks that are required for immediate survival. Long-term tasks such as DNA repair, that will take years to develop into dysfunction, are placed on the back-burner – a phenomenon known as the “triage effect”.

Benefits of Vitamin D

So what is that makes vitamin D so special among this list of these already important building blocks of health we call micronutrients?

Vitamin D is so important, that we’re able to make it from the sun’s UVB rays. Once created from UVB rays, it is converted to what is known as vitamin D3 (if supplementing, you should be getting it already in D3 form). Once in D3 form, it is converted by the liver to 25-hydroxyvitamin D. From there it is converted once more in the kidneys to what is known as the active form or 1,25-hydroxyvitamin D (this is what they test the levels of in your blood). Once in this form, vitamin D is able to do its work all around the body as a steroid hormone. Steroid hormones have the ability to regulate the expression of genes within our DNA – essentially turning them on or off. Flipping this switch results in various downstream effects controlled by that particular gene. 

Another profound effect that inadequate vitamin D levels can have on our body and mind is through production of a key neurotransmitter called serotonin. Vitamin D can be thought of as a rate limiter for serotonin production in the body. It acts as a cofactor for the enzyme known as tryptophan hydroxylase. This enzyme is required for the production of serotonin thus, vitamin D is required for you to produce enough serotonin for normal cognitive function.

Serotonin production isn’t the only function of vitamin D that may convince you to prioritize supplementation to maintain adequate levels within your blood. Vitamin D levels have also been directly correlated with modulation of the aging process.

Vitamin D has been shown to slow shortening of your telomeres, one of our closest markers of actual biological aging. Telomeres are the little caps at the end of strands of DNA which protect it from damage and subsequent mutations. On average, the older we get, the shorter our telomeres become. In one study involving thousands of female twins, those with the lowest levels of vitamin D also had the shortest telomeres. Another important finding of this study was that more is not better with vitamin D. Those in the study that had the highest vitamin D levels (exceeding the suggested range of 40 to 60 ng/ml) also had markedly shorter telomeres. This is why it’s important to fall within the vitamin D  “sweet spot” of 40 to 60 ng/ml. There are countless more reasons why it’s crucial to try and hit this sweet spot for vitamin D – inadequate levels have been linked to

  • Reduced cognitive function
  • Increased inflammation
  • DNA damage
  • Increased risk of cancer
  • Lower levels of nerve growth factor
  • Greater risk for all cause mortality. 

Vitamin D Deficiency

You may be asking how you might be able to determine if you are deficient in vitamin D.

Currently, the gold standard of determining if you are deficient in vitamin D is a blood test – preferably done before beginning supplementation to determine your baseline levels. If you do not have access to a blood test, there are a few risk factors that may help you determine if you are susceptible to a D deficiency. Those that are especially at risk of deficiency include overweight individuals (because D is a fat soluble vitamin, it will be absorbed and essentially held hostage by fat cells), as well as the advanced age population (the older we get the less D we are able to make from the sun). Also at risk are people living in more northern latitudes (especially during the winter when sun exposure is limited), and people with a darker complexion (the skin pigment melanin acts as a natural sun block). Once you have determined whether or not you may be deficient, or if you are seeking to optimize your current levels, there are a variety of ways in which you can increase your vitamin D.

How to Get Your Vitamin D Levels Up

Current mainstream recommendations for daily vitamin D intake seem to be extremely low. Research has shown that taking 4,000 IU of vitamin D3 a day was enough to bring deficient individuals up to a level sufficient for normal physiological function. Notice that this number is far above the RDA laid out by the government, so please don’t be shy and go get your levels monitored by a medical professional. When choosing a supplement, opt for the D3 version rather than the D2 version whenever possible. This is because the D2 version is not as easily converted by most people to the active form of vitamin D within the body. Sun exposure is also a fantastic way to raise vitamin D levels within the body – provided you live in a location that receives adequate UVB radiation, and you are exposed to the sun for sufficient amount of time.

Unfortunately there aren’t many foods that have significant amounts of vitamin D other than some fish, algae, mushrooms, and fortified food products. That is why we typically recommend an oral supplement. For those individuals that have difficulty remembering to take vitamins or supplements in general, intramuscular vitamin D3 injections have been shown to significantly raise levels in deficient adults for up to 12 weeks, negating the need for daily supplementation during that time.

Vitamin D is no doubt an especially important micronutrient that has sadly not been given enough attention. At least 70% of the US population could greatly benefit from increasing their vitamin D levels via supplementation or whole food nutrition. Many micronutrient deficiencies can go years without being discovered, don’t let the 1000+ genes regulated by vitamin D be ignored!

Thymosin A1: Effective Immunity

In order for our immune system to fully protect us, it needs to be able to maintain balance.

Too strong or too weak of an immune response can manifest any manner of disease and dysfunction.

How exactly this internal balance is struck involves an incredibly complex network of organs, cells, hormones, neurotransmitters, and growth factors that require a never-ending supply of minerals, amino acids, vitamins, and antioxidants, along countless other resources that, together allow you to form the barrier between you and the outside world. This intricate system relies upon you to support it by getting enough sleep, reducing stress where possible, eating a diet that is actually full of nutrients, and by building your overall resilience through exercise.

If you are already living a healthy lifestyle, and you’re seeking to further enhance how your immune system can function, consider a clinically proven tool from the fascinating field of peptides: the biological response modifier (BRM) thymosin ɑ1 or TA1. Peptides are fundamentally changing the way we can approach chronic disease, hormonal insufficiencies, cognitive disorders, infections, and even the root causes of aging. By using highly specific substances like peptides which are created naturally in the body, we are able to avoid the unwanted side effects that are the major drawback to modern pharmaceuticals. TA1 seems to be an especially effective peptide that has shown promise through testing in both animals and in humans, in the lab and the clinic, and has even been shown to have less side effects than placebo in some research. 

TA1 is a peptide derived from a protein found in human thymus glands called prothymosin alpha. Consisting of 28 amino acids, TA1 was originally isolated from thymus tissue way back in the 1970’s and its potential for modulating the immune system, inhibiting cancer growth, calming autoimmune disorders, controlling infectious disease, and much more has been studied extensively ever since.

Currently, TA1 seems to be painfully underutilized in a healthcare system that concentrates on treating symptoms rather than their root cause. This allopathic or symptoms-focused approach to “healing” is hopefully approaching an eventual shift in the public’s paradigm that will call for more individualized approaches to treating and eliminating chronic disease by utilizing tools such as peptides and other modalities. TA1 opens many doors for supporting and improving immune function by acting on immune cells, modulating inflammation, influencing genetic expression and transcription factors, and so much more. All this sounds very technical, but in reality TA1 was discovered due to research investigating a very obvious avenue to approach for immune system enhancement. 

What is Thymosin ɑ1 and How Does it Work?

If you can remember back to your highschool anatomy days, you likely recall that the thymus gland is essential for both immune and endocrine function – more specifically for the development, maturation, and education of T cells who are our little immune warriors and crucial for our ability to adapt to and overcome specific pathogens.

If any of this jogs your memory, you are also probably aware of the fact that, after puberty, your thymus gland begins to atrophy or wither away in a process known as involution. Although the T cells that your once-robust thymus produced still remain effective, the actual gland itself becomes but a shell of what it once was – in fact, it was once considered to be a vestigial organ in adults, though it does still remain somewhat active throughout life. Research done in animals that were missing a thymus gland found that reintroducing thymosin fraction 5 (TF5, the origin of TA1) was able to enhance immune function. Thus, the next logical step would be to isolate the active section or functional component of TF5 of this protein (a.k.a the peptide fragment: TA1) and begin testing. As the research progressed, scientists began to identify the mechanisms by which TA1 can impact overall immune function, some of the potential benefits for individuals suffering from things like cancer and hepatitis, how it might prevent the escalation of infection, and much more. 

How Does Thymosin A1 Work? 

To understand how TA1 can influence the immune system, it is important to understand some of the key players that regulate immunity. These include cytokines, chemokines, thymosins, growth factors, and various endogenous antioxidants and other compounds. Each of these unique compounds are dubbed “biological response modifiers” (BRMs) due to their ability to either enhance or inhibit immune system function – depending upon what is required at any given time. In many cases, the use of TA1 or another BRM has been proven extremely effective in combination with conventional therapies and may increase the efficacy of treatment, decrease mortality, and lower morbidity when compared to any single treatment alone. In addition to modulating the immune system, TA1 can influence both the central nervous system and endocrine system, a rather unique ability even in the fascinating realm of peptides. TA1 may also be able to enhance immune system function by:

  • Increasing the maturation of T cells.
  • Boosting the overall efficiency of immune cells.
  • Stimulating NK (natural killer) cells – crucial for the elimination of viruses and viral-infected cells.
  • Managing cytokine/chemokine levels to ensure an appropriate immune response.
  • Directly depressing viral replication.
  • Modulating genes involved with immune function.
  • Facilitating differentiation of toll-like receptors (these guys sense pathogens and initiate an immune response).
  • Increasing the expression of class I MHC (this major histocompatibility complex is on the surface of cells to signal to the immune system they have been invaded by a virus).
  • Amplifying cytokine receptors.
  • Enhancing the activation of dendritic immune cells.

This broad list of mechanisms, and a complete lack of side effects is only part of the reason that TA1 is such an incredibly promising addition to standard treatments for autoimmune disorders, infections, viral disease, cancer, and more. 

What Has Been Proven Thus Far?

Research has consistently proven Thymosin Alpha to be effective at improving the immune response and stopping the progression of many viral, bacterial, and fungal infections.

Although a lot of the current research has been done in animal models (funding for peptide research is relatively scarce), TA1 has been FDA approved since 1985 (it’s the active ingredient in brand name Zadaxin) and it is commonly used in 35 countries for the treatment of multiple forms of hepatitis and cancer. What seems to be precisely a ton of preclinical and clinical trials (a PubMed search yields over 700 studies) have investigated TA1 and a significant number of them have deemed this awesome peptide effective at treating other human viral diseases besides just hepatitis including those caused by cytomegalovirus, influenza, and various other disease states owed to microbes. TA1 may also increase the ability of immune-compromised individuals to respond favorably to vaccinations. 

One of the even more intriguing effects of TA1 however, involves its ability to vastly improve the outcome of individuals suffering from sepsis, severe sepsis, and septic shock.

According to the Sepsis Alliance, sepsis is the leading cause of death in hospitals. This reign may hopefully end someday, as research is showing that combining TA1 with some more conventional antimicrobial strategies may just be the key to making death from sepsis a far less likely occurrence. One study published in the Chinese Journal of Critical Care found that by adding the TA1 peptide to a standard sepsis treatment, survivability was improved significantly (86% vs. 58%) compared to the standard treatment only group. Not only that, but the TA1 group spent significantly less time on mechanical ventilation.

Similar findings were reported by another study that consisted of 342 patients – basically, TA1 has plenty of research behind it that all points to the same conclusion:

TA1 can increase our odds of overcoming the deadly downhill slide that is the progression from infection to septic shock and death.

Dig into the related research and you will find that TA1 has been utilized as part of the successful treatment of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), AIDS, pneumonia, and as we already mentioned, hepatitis and different forms of cancer. TA1 is able to have such profound effects because it helps to maintain the fundamental balance that is required for optimal immune function. It not only increases the effectiveness of your immune cells, but it also acts directly on targeted problem cells – making them more visible to the immune system.

Bottom Line on Thymosin ɑ1

The burgeoning field of peptides is only beginning to become more widely accepted – as it becomes more understood. Thymosin ɑ1 stands out so much that the co-founder and vice president of Tailor Made Compounding (one of only a few compounding pharmacies that has the ability to create actually effective peptides) considers it to be one of his favorite peptides – and there are a lot of peptides! He has utilized it to help patients with certain kinds of herpes, Lyme disease, at the onset of flus and colds, autoimmune issues, and for general anti-aging purposes as well the obvious indications like hepatitis, as a vaccine adjuvant, and for some forms of cancer. It is genuinely difficult to find another intervention that has the ability to so positively impact your immune function and overall health.

Although we have already preached this, it is important to note that TA1 won’t be effective at supporting immunity unless you are also taking care of (at least most) of the fundamentals for immune health: 

  1. Get enough good sleep. 
  2. Stay active/lift weights.
  3. Manage chronic stress.
  4. Eat food that actually supports physiological function.

Vitamin C

Most people are aware that getting enough Vitamin C is important for their health, even if they can’t tell you exactly why.

You may already take a handful of Vitamin C when you are sick to hopefully aid the recovery process, but why exactly does it help?

Are there more potential benefits to supplementing with this water-soluble vitamin that also works as a potent antioxidant (and sometimes a beneficial pro-oxidant), helps to modulate stress, regulate hormones, and synthesize collagen, among many other roles?

You’ve no doubt heard many wive’s tales that report different benefits of using Vitamin C. Some people swear by superloading protocols that have you load up on grams of C at a time – others think that approach might be worse for you than not taking any at all. But in general there seems to be a lot of misinformation about the mysterious vitamin technically called ascorbic acid or ascorbate. Look no further for a simple description of this life-giving vitamin which many people are aware of but pay little attention to. We are going to touch on some of the roles that Vitamin C plays within each of us, signs of a C deficiency, different means of bringing your levels up and the possible benefits of super-loading (introducing large amounts that temporarily bring your blood levels astronomically high), any possible side effects, and everything in between.

All of the micronutrients that our body requires to function optimally are important, but few have the ability to impact as many systems throughout the body as Vitamin C can. 

What Does Vitamin C Do?

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is required for so many things to go perfectly right in our body, that it’s a shame most people only get enough of it when they are sick. Loading up with C when you are sick has absolutely been shown to cut your recovery time down significantly, but that is far from the most  important function we can thank it for.

Vitamin C is required for collagen synthesis, L-carnitine production, and the assembly of some neurotransmitters. Vitamin C also is involved in the activation of certain hormones, immune system function, reducing inflammation, it benefits blood flow, modulates the stress response, and so much more. Like many antioxidants, Vitamin C has the ability to positively impact systems throughout the body – mostly due to its capacity to neutralize free radicals and other potentially harmful compounds. 

There is also quite a bit of truth behind Vitamin C’s ability to reduce your likelihood of getting a cold or shorten your time to recover if you are already sick. In a study done on athletes, it was found that those who supplemented with Vitamin C were 50% less likely to contract a cold – likely because athlete’s baseline levels of inflammation are often higher than the average population. But the benefits of supplementing with Vitamin C didn’t just apply to athletes. Subjects from the general population who were already sick with a cold were able to reduce the duration of illness by 8-14%.

Vitamin C aids the immune system on many levels, partially because it accumulates in various kinds of immune cells, increasing their capacity to function. It also can act as a pro-oxidant – usually something you want to avoid but in this context it aids in the extermination of some nasty invaders. Some of this effect may also be due to the fact that being in any state of heightened stress (emotional, physical, mental, or otherwise) results in an increase in the rate at which Vitamin C is consumed within the body, subsequently increasing the amount you need to consume from the diet. Most animals are able to produce Vitamin C in either their liver or kidneys using glucose, as part of their response to stressful situations. Unfortunately, as humans we lack the enzyme required to synthesize Vitamin C as needed and must get it from our diet, although we are able to store a decent amount of it. There is a pretty famous example of what happens if you chronically don’t get enough Vitamin C in your diet involving limes, sailors, and scurvy. 

Vitamin C Deficiency

Sailors from the era of 1500-1800 accidentally served as test subjects in what essentially became a study of Vitamin C deficiency in humans. Spending endless months at sea with no means of storing fresh fruits and vegetables set in place the perfect conditions for developing a Vitamin C deficiency and eventually scurvy. This particular micronutrient deficiency resulted in the fully-preventable deaths of an estimated 2 million sailors over this 300 year span. Scurvy was said to have killed more sailors than storms, shipwrecks, combat, and all other diseases combined – that is until a surgeon named James Lind discovered the terrible disease could be cured and prevented with citrus fruit. But not all of us who forget to eat our fruits and veggies will develop full-blown scurvy. In fact, it is an incredibly rare condition to experience in developed countries. What is more likely however, is having levels of Vitamin C that are lower than what is optimal for health and longevity – especially when you consider there are various risk factors that may expedite the consumption of Vitamin C.

Some common signs you may be developing a Vitamin C deficiency include dry and damaged skin, slow-healing wounds, painful and swollen joints, fatigue or poor mood, unexplained weight gain, and chronic inflammation or oxidative stress. What can be confusing though, is that some of these signs may actually be the cause of Vitamin C deficiency. For example, as we mentioned already, having chronically elevated levels of inflammation and oxidative stress burns up your Vitamin C stores, requiring that you consume more than a healthy individual would normally need. Living with chronically elevated levels of inflammation is unfortunately very common and can be a result of any combination of the various stressors that we experience on a daily basis. Chronic disease in general results in a drain on Vitamin C levels but there is no better example of this than cancer patients who experience extremely high levels of inflammation and oxidative stress as a result of treatment. 

Vitamin C supplementation has been studied extensively in cancer patients, as they are especially prone to the deleterious effects of inflammation and oxidative – two troublemakers which C is pretty good at managing. Vitamin C has been shown to suppress many of the major players in the inflammatory process, and reductions in inflammation and oxidative stress have been consistently observed after administration of both oral and intravenous C. Although excess Vitamin C is readily excreted in urine, superloading with C has shown to effectively raise blood levels far above normal physiological levels. 

When high doses of Vitamin C are given orally, they have the ability to raise blood levels by up to 5x normal levels, how much exactly depends on many individual factors. When administered through an IV however, Vitamin C levels in the blood may be raised by 100x above baseline. No matter which route you choose, Vitamin C will be largely cleared from your system in 30-120 minutes. During this time C is working away at neutralizing free radicals, aiding in immune system function, and facilitating all of the biochemical processes that rely upon this vital nutrient to take place. 

How To Get More Vitamin C

You don’t need to take high doses orally or intravenously to reap the benefits of Vitamin C – those sailors’ lives were saved with limes! In fact, we always recommend you get as much of your micronutrition as possible from whole foods like fruits and vegetables. Excellent dietary sources of Vitamin C include strawberries, limes, oranges, broccoli, kiwis, red peppers, and various other things that grow from plants. What these foods can’t do however is raise blood levels of Vitamin C enough to fight the chronic inflammation and oxidative stress that runs rampant in many adults today. This task requires an antioxidant hail-mary, which is best executed with high-dose oral or, more effectively via intravenous administration. If you are concerned about any potentially harmful effects of raising blood levels to such a degree, consider the fact that in a survey including 9328 patients given high-dose intravenous Vitamin C, adverse events were only reported in 1.0% of administrations.

Although a 1.0% adverse event occurrence is extremely low, it is important to speak with a medical professional to determine if high-dose Vitamin C is safe for you to use, as there are various contraindications to consider. At Ikon Health, we offer IV administration of Vitamin C and we are able to walk you through the process of speaking to a licensed medical professional to ensure that you will experience a positive response from this amazing tool. Vitamin C has the ability to provide so many more benefits than simply fighting a cold, so come in today to begin taking advantage of them!

Tri-Blend Immune

Supporting and Defending Your Immune System

Our immune system is an incredible machine – amazingly complex, and able to protect us from all kinds of foreign invaders.

This machine is able and willing to work for us incessantly, and it truly is a wonder how much the human immune system is able to overcome.

But to do this, to win the fight against illness and infection, it needs resources. Like any machine, our immune system won’t work without the materials and fuel that it requires – but we must understand that this requirement is constantly changing. How much vitamin C you need on a daily basis is highly dependent upon the current state of your physiology. Zinc will be depleted much more quickly under certain conditions. The rate at which you are burning through glutathione also says quite a bit about your current health status. Things change, our physiology changes, and our immunity definitely changes. Setting the conditions to optimize (or at least not sabotage) your immune system function can take some serious consideration and work. Some foundational principles that will help determine whether your immune system will show up on game day or not include:

  • Making sure you get enough sleep
  • That you are managing your stress levels as much as possible
  • Stay active and exercise (hopefully lift some weights as well!)
  • Prioritize eating a diet which supports overall health with an emphasis on key nutrients

Further than that, we can look to modern tools we now have available to us that are able to enhance immune system function. Although we already have tools available like the amazing peptide, thymosin ɑ1, which stimulates and supports immune system function at various levels, we are now extremely happy to offer the new Tri-Blend Immune injections for enhancing immunity

This new injection has been designed to replenish key nutrients that play fundamental roles in the health of our immune system and the capability it has to protect us on a daily basis. Glutathione, vitamin C, and zinc, are all invaluable resources for promoting overall health, especially during times of illness and infection. Glutathione, our body’s “master antioxidant” is arguably the most important compound in your body right now, and it can absolutely make or break your ability to ward off disease and dysfunction. Vitamin C, everyone’s favorite go-to for immune health, actually lives up to most of the hype surrounding it – backed by both mechanistic and clinical research. Zinc, perhaps the most underutilized tool for supporting immune health, is absolutely vital if you want to ensure that you aren’t compromising your ability to intelligently and effectively protect yourself from disease and also avoid dysfunction. Separate from their ability to improve immune system function, each of these have one other major similarity:

They are all used up at an advanced rate when the body is under increased stress from illness, infection, psychological stress, excessive exercise, poor diet, environmental exposures, etc. This is why it is absolutely crucial to replace them when experiencing these conditions, and to do so often. 

Normally, this can be done through dietary intake of zinc and vitamin C directly from the diet, as well as the precursors for glutathione (oral glutathione doesn’t make it past the stomach before being broken down). However, there are many issues to this approach if you want to fully ensure that your levels of these immune-health heroes are replenished and supported consistently. Problems such as poor absorption, variations in nutritional content between food sources, a diet generally lacking in specific amino acids, and our tendency towards choosing foods that are inherently void of vitamins or minerals can largely negate the whole food approach to nutrition in this specific context. Again, under normal conditions, the diet is, and will always be an irreplaceable source of nutrition. However, if we are wanting to verify, without question, that we are providing our immune system with the resources it needs to adapt to and overcome countless unseen obstacles, we must be far more precise. We are able to obtain this precision and peace of mind by directly introducing effective amounts of glutathione, vitamin C, and zinc directly into our circulatory system via a quick and easy injection. There is a sea of research that stands behind each of these three ingredients, and that is exactly what we want to focus on here. There is no single factor that will make or break your immune system, but each individual factor can weaken the system. That is why it is so unbelievably important to take care of the lifestyle factors that can either support or destroy your immunity (check out our Ultimate Guide to Immune Health).

For now though, let’s go over the specific research behind glutathione, vitamin C, and zinc, and explain just how important they are for immunity and overall health. 


It would be a little disrespectful not to begin by discussing glutathione first and foremost.

This amazing antioxidant is found in virtually every cell in the human body – earning itself a nickname as the “master antioxidant”. It is, quite literally, the definition of essential for protecting your cells against oxidative stress and the degradation that unfortunately, comes as part of the aging process. Glutathione is the primary protective compound for the skin, eyes, and other tissues, and without it the process of detoxification by the liver, kidneys, lungs, and other organs could not take place. The antioxidant potential of glutathione is so important that any attempt at creating homeostasis (balance) throughout the body without it would be utterly impossible. As if these major roles in human health weren’t enough, glutathione takes part in DNA repair, immune cell function, and a whole lot more. 

Our immune cells in particular are big fans of glutathione, and our immune system in general owes a debt of gratitude to this ubiquitous antioxidant for all the work it puts in. Glutathione is made in the body from the amino acids glutamate, glycine, and cysteine – more than one of which is typically missing in the Standard American Diet (SAD). In addition to these three amino acids, creating and utilizing glutathione effectively requires cofactors such as vitamins C,E,B1,B2,B6,B12, and folate as well as selenium, magnesium, zinc, and alpha lipoic acid. Each of these cofactors contributes to gluathione’s ability to protect cells, kill free radicals, and eliminate toxins – basically everything you want it to do! Ok, we admit, all of these physiology facts don’t necessarily answer the question as to why glutathione is included in our Tri-Blend Immune injection to support immune health. 

In reality, any immune boosting supplementation plan would be incomplete without adding glutathione or, at the very least, the precursors and cofactors that are required for creating and utilizing it effectively. Our immune system simply works better if there is an appropriate amount of glutathione within the immune cells. This balance is closely maintained by the body, until there are extraneous variables that can dramatically increase the rate at which you burn through glutathione. Some factors that can do exactly that include:

  • Increased immune activity
  • Increased oxidative stress
  • Use of certain drugs/medications
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Pesticide exposure
  • Harmful chemicals
  • Strenuous and excessive exercise
  • Poor diet
  • Chronic stress/anxiety/depression
  • Age (we lose the ability to create glutathione as we age)
  • Chronic illness
  • Infection
  • Heavy metal toxicity
  • Radiation exposure

As you can see from this list, there are a lot of factors that can contribute to developing some degree of glutathione depletion. What do they all have in common? They all increase what is called the total physiological load on the body – burning through glutathione and other antioxidant compounds. When free radical production goes up, so does your use of glutathione and the need for more to be created. Because of this increased workload and constant demand, glutathione depletion has been consistently and fundamentally linked to lower immune function and increased vulnerability to infection. 

Replacing your spent glutathione, and supporting the process of maintaining a balance of it throughout the body are two obvious considerations to address when seeking to optimize immune system function. Glutathione is central to immunity and your ability to fend off foreign invaders, cellular damage, and much more – without it, we wouldn’t stand a chance. Next on this list is vitamin C. Although it is commonly used as a sort of hail-mary approach to fighting off illness, often by downing as much as possible as a last ditch effort before the cold or flu fully kicks in, vitamin C is actually one of the most reliable and effective tools you have at your disposal to enhance the capabilities of your immune system. 

Vitamin C (ascorbate)

Public perceptions of vitamin C seem to vary widely.

Some people deem it the key to health and vitality, others as an example of shady supplement sales tactics aimed at moving products. Well, as with anything, whether or not vitamin C will be effective for you is incredibly individual. That being said, there are quite a few reasons for which vitamin C supplementation may not only be a good idea, but it may also be instrumental for proper immune system function. 

Vitamin C is essential for the production of collagen and connective tissue, and maintaining healthy teeth and gums. It is also used for keeping your blood vessels and skin healthy and strong, modulating cortisol, balancing endogenous inflammatory molecules, and it is required for the creation of some hormones and neurotransmitters. Even more importantly, vitamin C is able to act as both an antioxidant (to squelch free radicals and protect you from oxidative damage), and a pro-oxidant (to help neutralize microbes or other pathogens). As you can see, even under normal conditions vitamin C is pretty important. Once you have entered a state of disease due to illness, infection, chronic stress, or any number of other persistent stressors, your levels of this handy vitamin begin to deplete rapidly – inhibiting countless functions within the immune system. Nearly every animal except humans (and guinea pigs) can create more vitamin C as their demand increases in order to bring them back into balance. As humans we are stuck with what we (hopefully) get from our diet. If your demand for C increases however, strategic supplementation becomes more of a necessity to ensure your intake is keeping up with it.  

Specific to the ability of your immune system to fully function, vitamin C is utterly irreplaceable. Classifying C as irreplaceable for immunity is surely justified due to the fact that it supports various cellular functions in both the innate and adaptive immune responses. Innate immunity (built in and non-specific) is enabled by C partially because of the protective effect it has on the skin and mucosal barriers – stopping would-be invaders before they can even enter. More complex than the innate immune system, the adaptive response is reliant on vitamin C to do the following: 

  • Enhance the effectiveness and ability for immune system cells to move to targeted areas
  • Increase the clearance of used immune cells and facilitate the healing process
  • Boost the quantity and proliferation of B cells and T cells
  • Help modulate levels of inflammation (not too high, not too low)

Although both the innate and adaptive immune responses rely heavily upon Vitamin C to work, that doesn’t mean constantly popping mega doses of C is your key to invincibility.

Unfortunately, if you think you are getting all your C from that sugar filled orange juice or most other food sources you may be wrong (low carbohydrate veggies are your best bet). Eating vitamin C in the presence of high carbohydrates can dramatically reduce the amount of it that actually gets absorbed – because C and sugar are basically identical twins, they compete for the same transporters. This competitive nature further suggests that when experiencing periods of enhanced physical stress (resulting from illness, infection, or just physical work), psychological stress (chronic anxiety, stress, depression), or even environmental stress (chemical exposure, pollution, mold), your need for supplementing with vitamin C will become an increasing necessity, rather than just a good idea. Beautifully illustrating this point, Critical Care published a study that found chronically ill individuals consistently exhibit low vitamin C levels compared to the healthy population and expectedly, people suffering from sepsis had levels that were even worse. 

Everyone likely already knows that vitamin C and our immune system function are closely linked. What people don’t understand however, is exactly how important it is. Although it is relatively rare for people living in a developed country to develop a full blown deficiency (not many people get scurvy these days), individuals experiencing high rates of oxidative stress will deplete C, just like how you can deplete glutathione. It is likely unsurprising then that the final ingredient, zinc, can be just as easily depleted under those same conditions – exactly why it has been included in the Tri-Blend injection formula. 


Your body requires a balance of zinc for your immune system to function properly, to have enough antioxidant capability, to control blood glucose levels, and to heal wounds – so basically, mostly everything that has to do with you living a long, healthy, and happy life.

Mechanistically, zinc also contributes to the biochemical symphony that is always playing inside you by acting as a co-factor for many enzymes, as well as various transcription and replication factors. Researchers have been aware of the critical role of zinc for the development and survival of many animals since the 1930’s, but how important it is for human beings wasn’t confirmed until the 1960’s. Flash forward to 2020, and zinc remains a relatively obscure nutrient in the public’s eye. Much like vitamin C, the antioxidant capacity of zinc is far from the only justification for it being included in an injection intended to boost immunity. 

An eloquently titled review named “Immune Function: the biological basis of altered resistance to infection”, determined that the body of evidence makes it clear, zinc affects multiple aspects of the immune system – starting with the outer barrier we call skin and extending all the way down to the regulation of genes involved in immunity. Not to mention that zinc is crucial for the normal development and function of immune cells like neutrophils (key to preventing infection), and natural killer cells which are awesome and protect us from viruses, among many other things. We can also look to the laundry list of effects that can be experienced due to an even marginal zinc deficiency. Zinc deficiency can manifest as a more mildly unpleasant experience like:

  • Depressed immune function
  • Impaired sense of taste/smell
  • Night blindness
  • Memory impairment
  • Decreased sperm count

Push through just a marginal deficiency in zinc towards a more severe depletion and you’ll arrive at much more unpleasant experiences such as:

  • Severely depressed immune function
  • Frequent infections
  • Dermatitis
  • Diarrhea 
  • Alopecia

It seems that all of these would be less than favorable to experience and could perhaps result in a hospital visit, or worse. Each avoidable experience is owed however, to the countless ways that zinc is used to facilitate biochemical processes in cells across your entire body. It is used for the activation of certain immune cells, producing cytokines, and it even has a role in the creation of antibodies. Even more fundamentally than these roles though, zinc works in the field of DNA replication, RNA transcription, and is involved in cell division. As you can see, zinc is far more interesting than most people are aware of, and it should be at the top of everybody’s immune health priority list. Because zinc is readily available in the diet (most animal based foods have a ton of it), a complete deficiency is rather rare, although plant sources of zinc are not as easily accessed by the body. Thus, supplementation is usually a good idea during times of increased stress, just like we recommend with vitamin c or glutathione. Our body’s are dynamic and so are the requirements you will experience for different nutrients. 

Tri-Blend Immune Injection

There is a lot that you need to do in order to make sure that you aren’t crippling your immune system, and even more that you should do in order to make sure it is running optimally. Covering the basics like sleep, stress management, exercise, and diet will get you 99% of the way there – tools like the Tri-Blend Immune injection are here to take you the rest of the way. Administered 2-3 each week, for 2-3 weeks, each injection contains:

  • Glutathione/200 mg 
  • Vitamin C/200 mg
  • Zinc/5 mg

The Tri-Blend Immune injection is the newest addition to the host of other tools we utilize at Ikon Health to help you reach your health and fitness goals. We understand that strategies like injections, IV therapies, peptides, and more are but a small piece of the overall puzzle that will ultimately lead to you successfully achieving those goals, and we will be here for the entire journey.

Buy HCG Injections? Or Something Better?

Before You Buy HCG Injections Online

Don’t Buy HCG Before You See This

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Better than HCG Shots

The HCG Diet Protocol with Peptides

The reason that so many individuals have gone to local weight loss clinics or online suppliers to buy hcg injections, was because for some, it seemed like the only diet plan that worked. There are a number of reasons why HCG diet injections paired with a low calorie diet caused fast weight loss, but the reality is that now, 70 years after the HCG Diet was first introduced, there are much better options for rapid fat loss. The answer? Peptides!

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The Replacement for HCG Shots

Our medically supervised Peptide Protocol has a number of benefits over the hCG Diet protocol for weight loss. Not only did we improve on the hcg diet protocol with an improved cyclic diet plan, but peptide injections are far superior to hcg diet injections. While clients can still purchase hcg shots from Ikon Health, in most cases we will recommend our peptide protocol instead. Not only do peptides work better than HCG injections, they are also more beneficial for anti-aging purposes and overall health. Additionally, clients can take peptide injections after they are finished with the diet, and continue to see improvements in their appearance.

Why are peptides better than buying HCG injections?

  • Stronger Metabolic (fat burning) Effect
  • Powerful Guard against muscle loss
  • Better Improvement of Energy Balance
  • Additional Anti-Aging Benefits
  • Improves Sleep and Energy
  • Improves Skin Health and Elasticity
  • Additionally Improves Sex Drive

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the details

Peptide Weight Loss Protocol

An improvement over the hcg diet program
Individuals all over the world schedule appointments with doctors to consult and buy hcg, or find some of the more recently available Telemedicine clinics to purchase HCG Shots online. It’s no mystery why the HCG Diet became such a popular diet for individuals who need to lose a significant amount of weight quickly. The mere idea of being able to lose weight with the help of a prescription medication sounds great to many who have tried all kinds of diets, only to fail in their efforts.
While the HCG Diet worked great for many individuals over the years, the diet has it’s problems. Many clients that buy hcg shots find they can lose weight quickly, but regain the weight almost as fast after they get back to regular life. Not only is the hcg diet not sustainable, but the once successful weight loss patient no longer has the aid of a prescription medication. Also, hCG injections provide no long term benefits for weight loss after a person discontinues use.
The importance of thinking two or three steps ahead in your weight loss journey cannot be overemphasized, because there is a secret that most people embarking upon this transformation don’t know: In America, we don’t have a weight loss problem, we have a weight management problem. Most people who seek to lose weight are able to do so, to some extent. It is the keeping the weight off that presents them with difficulty. The HCG Diet has proven time and time again with many patients, that the weight loss achieved through the HCG Diet is very difficult to sustain. Our Peptide Weight Loss Protocol is designed with exactly that issue in mind. It has been developed to create rapid weight loss while sparing lean body mass and minimizing any negative adaptations (like a reduced resting metabolic rate) that may often occur as a result of relatively aggressive calorie restriction. One of the main differences between the HCG Diet and our improved rapid fat los protocol, of course, is that you don’t purchase hcg injections. Instead, we will be using a peptides in place of hcg shots, which are more beneficial in a number of ways.
Before we start, it is absolutely vital that you understand the importance of taking care of the major factors that will influence your ability to lose weight. Without making sure you are getting enough quality sleep, managing stress, and staying active, your capacity for healthy and sustainable weight loss will be greatly diminished. There are so many factors that can influence weight loss which we have no control over, it is imperative we manage and take control of what we can.


Qualities Peptides HCG Injections
Fat Loss More Powerful Minimal Effects
Lean Body Mass More Powerful Significant Benefits
Hunger Some Reported Benefits Some Reported Benefits
Add’l Benefits Sleep, Energy, Skin/Hair/Nails Some Energy
Long-Term Effect Lasting Effects Minimal Lasting Effects
Anti-Aging Very Powerful Most Likely None

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