While traditional methods like a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle remain fundamental in supporting health and overall wellbeing, there's growing interest in the potential benefits of using IgG to supplement your wellness plan.
In this article, we'll explore what IgG is, its role in the immune system, and the various advantages IgG supplements may offer.
What is IgG?
Immunoglobulin G, commonly referred to as IgG, is a type of antibody present in our blood. Its primary function is to identify and neutralize harmful substances like bacteria, viruses, and toxins. Essentially, IgG acts as a critical component of our immune system, helping us fend off illnesses and infections. IgG is the most abundant antibody in our bloodstream, making up around 80 percent of all antibodies.
IgG supplements, often derived from cow or pig sources, may provide several health benefits by supporting the immune system. Let’s review a few of the biggest benefits we see from using IgG in our practice.
IgG serves as a cornerstone of our immune defense. IgG supplements are believed to enhance the activity of IgG antibodies in our body, potentially improving our immune response against pathogens and reducing the frequency and severity of illnesses.
IgG antibodies contribute to immune health in several significant ways:
- Providing long-term immunity by “remembering” previous encounters with viruses and bacteria
- Neutralizing toxins produced by bacteria and viruses
- “Tagging” pathogens to make it easier for immune cells to recognize and eliminate them
A large number of studies have shown that IgG supplementation can prevent gastrointestinal tract infections and upper respiratory tract infections
While IgG is primarily associated with the bloodstream, it also plays a vital role in maintaining gut health. This is because the gut is home to nearly 70 percent of our immune system, known as gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT). When the integrity of the gut lining is compromised through dysbiosis, inflammation, or infection, larger food proteins or harmful bacteria may enter into the cell. This is known as a “leaky gut.” A leaky gut may cause an unnatural immune response and even trigger autoimmune disease.
In the gut, IgG serves several key functions to support gut health including:
- Maintaining the integrity of the gut lining and preventing harmful substances from leaking into the bloodstream
- Regulating the immune response in the gut and preventing unnecessary inflammation
- Binding and neutralizing harmful bacteria in the gut
As a result of these functions, IgG supplements may help reduce or eliminate certain digestive symptoms, which we will discuss next.
Some research suggests supplemental IgG may reduce diarrhea in both adults and kids with conditions like irritable bowel syndrome
(IBS). In fact, one study reported that 68 percent of subjects with IBS (diarrhea prominent) had a significant reduction in symptoms (2
). Subjects from another study reported fewer days with loose stools, abdominal pain, gas, and urgency when taking IgG supplements (3
). Our Gut Health Protect
supplement is known to significantly reduce or stop diarrhea with IgG and other immunoglobulin concentrates.
Bloating may be a sign of dysbiosis–an imbalance of gut bacteria. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth
(SIBO) is a form of dysbiosis in which too many bacteria inhabit the small intestine. This can cause many symptoms like bloating, constipation/diarrhea, abdominal pain, and more. IgG supplements have shown promise in treating symptoms of SIBO, like bloating (4
). Our SIBO probiotic
is extremely effective in relieving symptoms of SIBO and supporting optimal digestion by offering a combination of IgG and research-backed probiotic strains.
IgG supplements have shown great promise in supporting the immune system and optimizing digestion, especially in individuals with IBS, diarrhea, and/or bloating concerns. We often suggest IgG in combination with a personalized functional medicine wellness plan for our members. However, we also highly recommend building a strong foundation for immune and gut health by following an anti-inflammatory diet, managing stress levels, and optimizing sleep hygiene.