Best way we came up with to deal with the destruction, infections and disease they cause is by attacking them with antibiotics, antiviral agents and chemotherapy.
While using the big guns on the invading organisms, we damage and destroy our own cells as well while poisoning the rest of them and helping build new-resistant strains of bacteria.
Scientists are trying to come up with new ways of conquering those microorganisms without the collateral damage. One of these examples is by disrupting the communication between them making them believe they are alone therefor should stay harmless as they are outnumbered. Watch this more in-depth explanation on Ted.com.
Aren’t we forgetting something? We forgot to look at the big picture and get lost in the details. How about our amazing natural defense arsenal and ‘national’ guard called the immune system?
Louis Pasteur ( one of the most important founders of medical microbiology) came to the conclusion that actually strengthening our immune system proves a more effective strategy.
Did you know that AZT, the well known anti-HIV drug, is not only proving to be harmful, but less effective than good ol’ Vitamin C. The examples go on and on.
How does our Immune System work?
When the immune system is up to par the body can produce 1 million specific antibodies that act like straightjackets, escorting the invading organism out of the body while killing its ability to produce toxins, communicate or replicate!
1,000,000 antibodies per MINUTE!!
So, should we or shouldn’t we fully support our immune system.
A strong immune system is the difference between a 24 hour cold or stomach bug and a week of fever, nasty nose running flu or food poisoning. Or between a benign lump and breast cancer.
How to Boost our Immune System?
2. State of Mind
Warning! Excessive exercise does quite the opposite, suppressing the immune system.
Tai Chi and Traditional Hatha Yoga – have shown to increase by 40% T cell count. T cells are a type of immune system cells.
So, calming rather than stressful types of exercise boost the immune system.
Straining of any kind (exercise included) cause the adrenals to produce, as response to stress, corticosteroids (=cortisone – in drug talk) which SUPPRESSES the immune system.
Stress of any kind is translated by the body as ‘Fight or Flight’ situation. Therefor, when stressed body focuses everything it’s got on clearing your mind so you can think faster and it’s pumping blood to your limbs so you can ‘flight’.
2. STATE OF MIND
Low psychological states (depression, grief, stress, anger) are also interpreted by the body as STRESS, which depresses the immune system.
What to do?
– learn coping tools that work for you
– work on the psychological problems
– relax: meditation, walks in nature, singing, listening to good music, etc. => try a bunch and see which one works for you best)
Need a reason to OM?
Meditation was proven to increase T-cell count and improve T – helpers /suppressor ratio
T-helpers = help produce antibodies
T-suppressors = shuts down antibody production
Spend at least 20 minutes outside in the sun. It will ground you, relax your mind and help you get that important immune system boosting Vitamin D!
The main gates of entry for the invading microorganisms are the digestive tract (aka FOOD) and the lungs (AIR). So, in order to help the immune system, be aware of the quality of food and air you come in contact with.
Gut = 60-70% (some say even 85%) of the immune system
So, Diet MUST be important!
The immune system is 100% dependent on the vitamins and minerals from our diet.
What suppresses the immune system?
Lack of vitamin A,B1,B2, B6, B12, folic acid, C, E and minerals:iron, zinc, magnesium, and selenium.
The production of antibodies and T-cells is completely dependent on vitamin B6. We should take 50-100 mg/daily.
B12, folic acid, zinc are also essential.
Remember, no nutrients work in isolation!
**Antioxidants – the makers or destroyers of the immune system
Invaders and immune cells produce FREE RADICALS while they fight each other.
Invaders also weaken the immune system and body by producing dangerous oxidizing chemicals (again, the notorious free radicals) continuously.
The only way to protect our body and immune system is by pumping in as many antioxidants as possible. Broken down those are: Vit A, C, E and zinc and selenium.
Recommended daily doses: Beta-carotene 11,000-55,000 IU, Vitamin E 150-900IU, Zinc 15-25mg
Warning: too much iron or zinc can suppress the immune system
**Probiotics = Nature’s Antibiotic
Feed the good bacteria and take care of it and it will take care of the bad bacteria. Immune system power!
What NOT to eat!
- too much protein (suppresses immune system) and eats your Vitamin B6
- saturated or hydrogenated fat – suppresses immune system and clog up lymph system
What to eat!
- – low protein
- – low fat diet
- – good fats from seeds and nuts
- – lots of fresh food and vegetables – full of vitamins and minerals
Have fun boosting you immune system on a daily basis!