Dr. Erica Zelfand is an integrative family physician, medical writer, teacher, and co-founder of Natura Integrative Medicine in Beaverton, Oregon. Dr. Zelfand provides primary care to both children and adults, with special interests in pediatrics, endocrinology, autoimmune conditions, and digestive health. Dr. Zelfand’s patients and students alike appreciate her straight-shootin’ attitude, upbeat personality, and commitment to educate, inspire, and empower.


  • Timeline of Immunology: 1986 – Th1 vs Th2 model of T helper cell function (Timothy Mosmann).
  • Immune Biology 101
    • Th1 – fighting off a bacteria or virus.
    • Th2 – fighting off a parasite or having an allergic reaction – releases histamine and causes
      itching and swelling.
    • Th3 – tolerance, lack of an allergic reaction.
    • Th17 – increased with stress, sugar, and autoimmunity.
  • Our Th1 response (for fighting bacteria and viruses) matures after 12 months of age. Is hyper-sanitation and increased vaccination before 12 months training the immune system to be Th2 dominant resulting in an increased incident of allergies, asthma, and autoimmune disease?
  • Why getting a fever is a good thing.
  • How being raised in barn supercharged my immune system.
  • Kids with pets tend to have fewer allergies. Kids with allergies tend to have the highest level of sanitation in their homes.
  • How Dr. Zelfand monitors and treats high fevers without suppressing the immune system.
  • Fevers increase antiviral and anticancer immune cells.
  • How un-necessary C-sections are compromising children’s immune health.
  • Breastfeeding and probiotics decrease risk of allergies by promoting the Th1 pathway.
  • The microbiome (the bugs in your body) & the immune system.
  • Dr. Zelfand’s approach to treating dysbiosis.
  • Why leaky gut is a precursor to immune dysregulation including autoimmune disease and allergies.
  • Up to 60-80% of kids with eczema have an underlying food sensitivity.
  • How Americans are doing everything right to cultivate leaky gut.
  • The precautionary principles and GMOs.
  • Gluten, zonulin, leaky gut, molecular mimicry, and autoimmune disease.
  • Celiac Disease effects 1/100 people and can develop any time in life.
  • Dairy intolerance is associated with eczema and cow’s milk is associated with increased incidence of Type 1 Diabetes in children.
  • Polarizing health topics and multifactorial causes of illness.
  • Children absorb more toxins than adults.
  • Any vaccine given before age 1 drives Th2 (allergic) response.
  • Moving from a well child visit one size fits all vaccination schedule to an individualized biologically appropriate vaccination schedule.
  • Why the rotavirus is the most unnecessary vaccine for infants in developed countries and its scary side effects.
  • How to optimize your immune function to avoid allergies, sensitivities, and autoimmune disease.


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