3 genes that can improve your immune function

Written by Joe Cohen, BS | Last updated:

A few years ago, if someone sneezed from across the room, I’d get sick.

Now, my body has successfully fought off over 6 infections in the past 6 months, and I barely noticed my symptoms.

Understanding my genes and how to effectively support all the components of my immune system is what helped me do that, and here’s how you can do the same.

Mitochondria Health and the SOD2 Gene

One of the first and most important components of a strong immune system is healthy mitochondria.

Mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell, as they produce the energy necessary for powering immune cells, which helps in their response to infection and their ability to defend the body against pathogens.

If you don’t have optimal mitochondria health, there won’t be enough energy for your immune cells to work efficiently.

The SOD2 gene produces an enzyme that protects your mitochondria from oxidative damage, and so it plays an important role in your mitochondrial health.

The negative variant decreases the production of this enzyme, causing increased oxidative stress and damage to mitochondria.

I carry this negative variant, making me more susceptible to infection.

One of my top recommendations to counteract the negative effects is Niacin, which was one of the first steps that I took to strengthen my immunity, and I’d consider it a foundational supplement to my strong immune health.

Surface Barriers and Glycine

Any time you get a cut on your skin, the first thing you do is disinfect it and cover it up with a bandaid.

If you leave it open, you are highly susceptible to infection. This is how important surface barriers are.

It doesn’t just stop at the skin – surface barriers like the mucous membranes and the stomach linings act as the body’s first line of defense, physically blocking pathogens from entering and infecting the body.

One of the most important proteins to surface barriers is collagen as it provides structural strength and elasticity to the skin, mucous membranes, and stomach lining, helping to maintain their integrity and protect the body against pathogens.

And if you want to boost collagen, you need to look at glycine – a key component for collagen.

There are over 70 genes that impact your glycine levels and one of my top recommendations based on my genes is to incorporate salmon into my diet, as it helps regulate glycine through its rich Omega-3 content.

Inflammation and the TNF Gene

Inflammation within our bodies plays a dual role.

It’s the beacon of our immune response, rallying our defenses against invaders.

But, when unchecked, it can undermine our health in ways we might not immediately recognize.

At the heart of this delicate balance is the TNF gene, a key player in the inflammatory response.

Based on your genetic variant, it sends signals that can either help contain the spread of infection or, fuel the flames of chronic inflammation.

Understanding my genetic variant was a game-changer. It explained so much about my body’s responses, and it guided me towards personalized strategies to balance my inflammatory reaction.

Strengthen Your Immune System

The journey to boosting my immune function was rooted in understanding the unique blueprint of my genes.

By using my genes to focus on the health of my mitochondria, strengthen my surface barriers, and balance my inflammation, I’ve taken control of my health in ways I never thought possible.

This approach isn’t just about avoiding illness, it’s about strengthening your immune response so that when you get an infection, your body is prepared to fight it off effectively.

Now, I don’t fear any sneezes that come my way.

With SelfDecode, you’re able to do exactly what I did.

Our Immunity & Inflammation Report analyzes thousands of your genes to give you personalized diet, lifestyle, and supplement recommendations to strengthen your immune system.



About the Author

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen flipped the script on conventional and alternative medicine…and it worked. Growing up, he suffered from inflammation, brain fog, fatigue, digestive problems, insomnia, anxiety, and other issues that were poorly understood in traditional healthcare. Frustrated by the lack of good information and tools, Joe decided to embark on a learning journey to decode his DNA and track his biomarkers in search of better health. Through this personalized approach, he discovered his genetic weaknesses and was able to optimize his health 10X better than he ever thought was possible. Based on his own health success, he went on to found SelfDecode, the world’s first direct-to-consumer DNA analyzer & precision health tool that utilizes AI-driven polygenic risk scoring to produce accurate insights and health recommendations. Today, SelfDecode has helped over 100,000 people understand how to get healthier using their DNA and labs.
Joe is a thriving entrepreneur, with a mission of empowering people to take advantage of the precision health revolution and uncover insights from their DNA and biomarkers so that we can all feel great all of the time.


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