EMPOWERING

IMMUNE SYSTEM

Overview:

The only thingthat stands between you and something as simple as a common cold or as serious as aids, a viral infection, a debilitating disease or cancer, is a strong immune system. When a virus hits an office, why do more than half get sick and the others stay well?? The answer is not in the strain of virus, it is in the strength of the immune system.

The immune system incorporates the body's total response to illness. Your immune system constantly searches the body for anything "non-self". Everything that is non-self is an invader and will be destroyed. Non-self is usually a bacteria, virus, cancer cells, fungus or other micro-organisms. When these invaders attack the body, a problem occurs.

They run head on into the most unbelievable, lethal, killing force ever created - your immune system. There are trillions of highly specialized warrior cells that constantly battle alien cells. These warrior cells are regulated and directed by dozens of remarkable biochemical's. This high-tech warfare must be synchronized with extreme skill and precision. A glitch in any part of this awesome system can cause disaster.

An example was the devastation that occurred in l986 during the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Disaster. High levels of radiation destroyed the immune system of the exposed workers. As a result, they died of infections that normally are mild and self-limiting.

In review: every disease whether major or minor eventually becomes a disease that reflects the defeat of the immune system. From recognition to early warning to full scale battle, the immune system is our main barrier to any disease.

Parts of the Immune System

There are billions of white cells that move in the blood, lymph system and in the spaces in between our cells to go where they are needed. Let's look at the different types and jobs.

· All these cells start out in the bone marrow of infants. Those that migrate to the thymus gland become our three T-cells. The thymus gland is a "T-cell factory" and is located beneath the upper part of the breastbone. B-cells grow up and mature with the help of the bone marrow and lymphatic system. Macrophages grow up on their own, but they tend to congregate more in the bloodstream and various body cells.

· The system is never totally at rest. It is on guard duty 24 hours a day, always on the alert for trouble. All of the cells cannot be on total alert all the time, so the major job of guarding and checking cell ID is up to the Mac.

A quick run down of their jobs:

· Macrophage or "Mac" - means big eater - they move along with the blood and are also self-propelled. They actually eat live virus, bacteria and cancer cells. They are also the body's garbage disposal. After a war is over, they move in by the millions to get rid of the bad guys - why fasting and colonics are so helpful.

· T-Helper Cells - They direct and stimulate the whole system to go to war. They are like conductors and organize the whole system to go to war when necessary.

· T-Suppressor cells - these are the calmers - when the war is over, they calm the immune system, slow down the activity and restore the system to the "on guard" position.

· B-Cells - known as antibodies. There are specific chemicals to destroy or neutralize "non-self" substances. Each antibody is designed for one invading organism. T-helper cells relay information about the invader to the B-Cell so it can formulate the correct antibody.

· T-Killer cells - These are like the "Rambo" of the cell family. They are fully armed and primed to kill on contact. They have chemical warfare weapons they carry. They are the first line of defense for cancer and they have special equipment to recognize "self" cells gone bad.

The Immune System Defeated

With all the co-operation, efficiency, and organization in our bodies you would think it could never be overcome and we should never be sick. But problems do occur as described below:

· We get a massive invasion of germs overpowering the first line of defense. The first line of defense starts when Mac interacts with the invaders and ends with the T-helpers conferring with the B-cell about building rockets of defense. This is where we hope to catch the invaders. If destroyed here, we probably would never know that we had an invader in our body. Up to this line of defense, we do not have significant symptoms of feeling sick.

· However, if the invader makes it past the non-specific cells of defense, the T-helpers have no choice except to push the "alarm" for an all out specific war. Your entire body is in the war - chills, fever, muscle aches and all the rest. In addition, when the immune system finally gets rid of the invader, it can take several weeks to fully recover.

· The great majority of the time, if your immune system is strong enough, your immune system wins. It is estimated that you battle a "bug" about 400 times a day and in the same period, 300 body cells become cancerous. Your first line of defense eliminates these aliens without you being aware of the war in your body.

· We may be exposed to a new mutated "super bug". The whole first line of defense is slow and weak during the time lag for the immune system to get fired up, and the invader is multiplying like crazy and when your strike force arrives on the scene they are far outnumbered and too weak to win. SARS was a good example. It was a new mutated virus that the body has never encountered.

· An invader can outsmart the system. Cancer cells try to fool the immune system all the time. But these all will be much less of a problem if we are operating with an immune system that is in optimal health.

BUILDING OUR IMMUNE SYSTEM

We have all come to realize that infectious disease is becoming a horrendous problem and it is imperative that we keep out immune system working at optimal level. This "infectious disease" problem will happen for three reasons:

1) Bacteria is rapidly becoming resistant to every antidote in our world today. Researchers have all stated that we are seeing a huge jump in drug-resistant germs. There are some strep forms that can overcome two common antibiotics and then multiply!!

2) We are seeing the growth of very virulent micro-organisms or "super-bugs". Every year there seems to be another virus that is new, more deadly and contagious.

3) Our immune systems are vastly underpowered. The number of people that die each year from the flu is staggering.

WHAT IS THE OPTIMAL IMMUNE SYSTEM?

In order to have the optimal immune system you need the following 6 components:

  • Speed - Speed throughout the system is crucial. Nearly all invaders have one common characteristic-they multiply very rapidly and in doing this can overpower a weak system. The more time bacteria, virus, and bad cells have to multiply, the more likely you are to succumb to a defeat of the disease.
  • Active Macrophages - Mac should be actively on the move. The longer it takes for Mac to reach an invader, the more time the invader has to multiply and become more deadly. Mac usually moves along with the flow of blood, but unfortunately we can be responsible for slowing them down. But we can also help to speed it up.
  • Healthy well-developed T-cell team - One big factor is to have optimal numbers of the various T-cells. If Mac calls the immune system for the T-cells to come and none are available (as in the disease AIDS) the immune system is in big trouble. They should be healthy, well-developed and do their job quickly.
  • A healthy thymus gland - the thymus gland is vital to T-cell production. It must be of optimal size and in good condition. The size of the thymus gland determines the number of T-cells that get into production. Some things in our diet affect the thymus and its production.
  • Excitable B-cells - The B-cells are pretty "laid back", but they should not be too relaxed. The B-cells must be easy to excite into action and should be in good shape and well equipped for the war ahead. All the B-cells need to do their job should be available in good amounts and good quality. These come from vitamins, minerals, and protein.
  • A clear communication network at cell level - This is extremely critical. Each time there is communication and travel involved in the immune response, there is a possible time delay in finding the invader, identifying it, calling immune control, getting T-helper response, etc. Time lags at any of these points can be very dangerous for the immune system and your health.

WHAT CAN DEPRESS YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM?

1) A high cholesterol diet - During many studies it has been found that people with high-cholesterol levels had more minor illnesses. It also noted that these illnesses lasted longer and seemed more severe. What was happening was that the macrophages were slowed down considerably. Remember???? We need speed from our Macs!! The invaders were having time to multiply and become established before the Macs could move in. Keep your cholesterol low - have a diet that is low in saturated fats, get aerobic exercise, have a high-fiber diet, proper weight, use garlic, lecithin, B-complex also help. Keep your body flowing with far-infrared saunas, hold and cold treatments, etc.

2) Heavy Metals - Heavy metals such as lead, mercury, and cadmium all depress the immune system even at very low levels. Cadmium comes from cigarette smoke, yours or someone else's, and also toxic by product of some industries like metal plating. Cadmium slows down the speed of the B-cells producing antibodies in the immune system lab. We have lead in our society at levels 500 times of our ancestors. Lead seems to have an over all depressant effect on the immune system and slows T-cells and B-cells response. Mercury reduces the number of T-cells and reduces activity in the immune system. Food can provide a good degree of protection and possible removal. Nutrients also that help are zinc, Vit. C, selenium, calcium and fibre.

3) Fat, Cancer and the T-killers - We know that diets high in saturated fats are associated with certain cancers, such as colon, breast, ovary and prostate. There are other factors involved, but a diet high in saturated fat makes our cancer-zapping T-cells less able to recognize "self" cells gone bad. Foods that enhance the immune system should be consumed giving the body a real fighting chance to avoid cancer or destroy cancer. Protectors are beta-carotene, vitamin E, and selenium give the best oxidation protection. Increase the good fats and add Vit. E for protection.

4) Alcohol - Alcohol has been known for some 60 years to be associated with the increase risk of cancer, especially in the upper respiratory system and esophagus. Alcohol by itself does not cause cancer, but there are over 1,500 different substances known to occur in wine, some are carcinogens, such as fuel oil and nitrosamines. Substances in alcohol act as immunosuppressants and stimulate those nasty free radicals.

5) Over consumption of sweets and junk food - This is a phenomenal problem. Sugar consumption has been increasing every year for the last 30 years and is now at an all time high. A high sugar intake can reduce the response of the whole immune system. It has no nutritive value and only adds calories to your diet. Most sweet junk foods are made with while flour, sugar, fat, water, salt and various artificial flavouring agents. These are NOT ingredients noted to support or power your immune system. These foods must be processed by your body. They bring no nutrients with them, so the body must steal vitamins and minerals from vital organs to digest and assimilate these "foods". You can barely maintain minimal health on a diet of sweets and junk food, much less an optimal, powerful immune system.

6) Toxic environmental chemicals - We have pesticides,herbicides or any other "cide" (words that end in cide mean kill, like homicide) and chemicals from our industrial world like no other time in history. Many of these have adverse effects on our immune systems. Avoid these as much as possible.

7) Inadequate rest - This means adequate sleep if vital. We are all individual in our sleep needs, but we do have them and they are necessary to our optimal health desire. It is important to learn to be calm, relax - instead of utilizing every minute of every day in doing, going and being somewhere.

8) Stress in general - We are the most stressed society since the Garden of Eden. Counselors were rare in the 50's and 60's and now they are on every corner, on every large business, in every TV program, and every company around. There is one for every conceivable problem of every description. There are many ways to learn to deal with stress - try to find what works best for you. It is necessary to have this in your armory, as stress will come knocking on your door many times in your life.

9) Miscellaneous immune system depressants - Many food additives can be a problem, as well as products we use in our homes and for our bodies. Check out the ingredients of the products your put into and onto your system and learn which is adding to your health and those that are depressing optimal health. One of the most dangerous "food activities" is excess food that our body cannot possibly use and struggles to get rid of. Other depressants are drugs, too much exercise and exposure to radiation.

MAXIMUM IMMUNITY NUTRIENTS

By altering your diet and taking supplements (if necessary) you can improve your immune response. Preventive medicine is far wiser and people are learning how to stimulate this wonder and powerful defense system.

Here are some SUGGESTIONS (not every one need every one of these) to help boost your immune system and give you a greater opportunity for optimal health:

  • Vitamin C - is unique in that it is the vitamin that speeds Mac. It turns on the cell's propellers and greatly increases the speed of identification of "self" and "non-self". It also stimulates these cells to both destroy and eat bacteria and fungus. It is well known that stress suppresses the immune response. Vitamin C is a big helper because it aids in blocking the immunosuppressive effects of various adrenal stress hormones.Vitamin C appears to fight cancer in several ways. As well as supporting Mac, it also increases the production and stimulation of the T-killer cells which destroy cancer cells. It blocks the formation of nitrates into the cancer-forming compounds. It is recommended to have 1,000 mg a day depending on what you are treating. Sources of Vitamin C are citrus juices and fruits, broccoli, red capsicums, dark green vegetables, strawberries and kiwifruit.
  • Vitamin D -nine out of ten people are deficient in this vitamin and it is vital for our immune system as well as our bones, joints and blood issues. In our society today, 9 out of 10 people are deficient in Vitamin D. The best place to get Vitamin D naturally is from the sun, but if that is not possible REGULARLY, a good supplement is necessary.
  • Vitamin A or Beta-Carotene - Beta Carotene is a non-toxic "pre-vitamin A". It is converted to Vitamin A on demand by the body. Vitamin A can be toxic in large amounts, so beta-carotene is a better choice.This supplement is necessary to form the bacteria fighting chemicals in tears, saliva, and other body fluids. This is a first line defense against invaders. Being deficient in Vitamin A can cause the thymus to shrink, and this reduces the number and activity of the T-cells. There is even a reduction in total B-cells. It is vital for the prevention and stopping of infections. Infections that are normally mild and self-limiting can become worse and in some situation fatal.It is recommended at 10,000IU a day and can be found in carrots, as well as other yellow, orange and red fruits and vegetables, from sweet potatoes and rock melon. Dark green vegetables, such as broccoli are also fantastic - and the darker the green the better. *(Be sure to do your homework and consult your physician concerning the amount of carrots you have in your juices. They are high in natural sugar which can be detrimental to some diseases.)
  • Vitamin E - this vitamin greatly enhances the ability of the body to produce powerful antibodies. The mineral selenium works hand in hand with vitamin E, boosting this ability even further.Extra E also makes the T-cells and B-cells more deadly to invaders. It even aids Mac to be more aggressive and to function more effectively.

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