Recruit your body’s cancer-fighters to fight fat

Losing weight is never easy, especially when there are factors beyond your control working against you — like evolution…

From an evolutionary perspective, sudden or dramatic weight loss was bad for survival. So when you gain a few pounds your body clings to them like your life depends on it — because at one point it did.

But now the exact opposite is true. Holding on to extra weight can put you at risk for diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer. But your body hasn’t gotten the memo…

That’s why when you try to lose weight, your immune system actually fights it like it would a bacterial or viral infection.

In fact, researchers believe that your immune system is probably responsible for 40 percent of your body’s weight regulation (which makes sense considering obese people tend to have sluggish immune systems and lower levels of the natural killer T cells).

But recently, a team of researchers from Ireland, the United States and Canada discovered a way to make your immune system work for you rather than against you when you’re trying to lose weight…

All you need to do is take control of your body’s natural killer T cells — the cells best known for their ability to fight cancer.

It turns out, these cells help regulate weight loss in your body too. They encourage your fat cells to produce a small protein called fibroblast growth factor-21 (FGF-21). This protein then tells your body to turn white fat into healthy brown fat. And since converting white fat into brown fat uses a lot of energy, your metabolic rate increases and you lose weight.

So if you’re carrying around quite a few extra pounds, you probably have a sluggish immune systems and lower levels of natural killer T cells. If you’re also battling stress or disease it’s pulling double duty.

But if you improve your immune health and (more importantly) boost your natural killer T cell levels, weight loss should be smooth sailing from here on out. Fortunately, there are many ways to boost your natural killer T cells naturally. Here are a few:

  • Harness the incredible power of blueberries: A 2011 study published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism found that blueberries can double the amount of natural killer T cells in your body.
  • Do more than cook with cardamom and black pepper: In 2010, researchers found that both cardamom and black pepper activate natural killer T cells when taken in high doses. That means a little sprinkle on your dinner plate won’t do the trick. You’ll have to try cardamom and black pepper extracts.
  • Try a Cordyceps sinensis supplement: This immune-boosting mushroom was shown to enhance natural killer T cell activity in mice and human cells in a 1992 study.
  • Get enough vitamin C and D: Vitamin C and D are both crucial to your immune health. A study published in the journal Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology in 1997 found that people with compromised immune systems due to toxic chemical exposure were able to restore natural killer T cell levels within 24 hours by taking oral vitamin C. And a 2009 study published in the journal Nature found that vitamin D boosted natural killer T cell activity by 750 percent!

One last thing to remember… by boosting your natural killer T cells you’ll not only be better equipped to lose weight, you’ll be better at keeping your body free of viruses and cancer too. These little guys destroy cells infected with viruses and tumors, so they’re good to have around for more reasons than one.

Editor’s note: Natural cancer cures exist in nature. But the sad truth about medicine’s biggest money maker is most will never leave the research lab. Dr. Michael Cutler reveals how to escape outdated and useless conventional treatments and therapies — and lists dozens of the best vitamins, supplements and alternative therapies to prevent and treat cancer in his comprehensive guide, Surviving Cancer! To get your copy today — plus 3 FREE reports — click here!

  1. Lynch, et al. “iNKT Cells Induce FGF21 for Thermogenesis and Are Required for Maximal Weight Loss in GLP1 Therapy.” Cell Metabolism, 2016.
  2. S. McAnulty, D. C. Nieman, C. L. Dumke, L. A. Shooter, D. A. Henson, A. C. Utter, G. Milne, S. R. McAnulty. “Effect of blueberry ingestion on natural killer cell counts, oxidative stress, and inflammation prior to and after 2.5 H of running.” Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 2011 36(6):976 – 984.
  3. Majdalawieh, R. I. Carr. “In vitro investigation of the potential immunomodulatory and anti-cancer activities of black pepper (Piper nigrum) and cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum).” Journal of Medicinal Food, 2010 13(2):371 – 381.
  4. H. Xu, et al. “Effects of cordyceps sinensis on natural killer activity and colony formation of B16 melanoma.” Chinese Medical Journal (Engl). 1992 Feb;105(2):97-101.
  5. Heuser, et al. “Enhancement of natural killer cell activity and T and B cell function by buffered vitamin C in patients exposed to toxic chemicals: the role of protein kinase-C.” Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology, 1997 Aug;19(3):291-312.
  6. Rode von Essen, et al. “Vitamin D controls T cell antigen receptor signaling and activation of human T cells.” Nature Immunology, 2010 11: 344–349.


Jenny Smiechowski

By Jenny Smiechowski

Jenny Smiechowski is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in health, nutrition and the environment. Her work has appeared in online and print publications like Chicagoland Gardening magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, BetterLife Magazine,, and