Friday, March 29, 2019

IMMUNOLOGY 101- The Body's Smart Shield Against All Diseases

To fully grasp the sensible nature behind the science of Immunology is to understand the logic of how our overall physiology works in the most uncomplicated terms possible.  It is this logic that frames our very co-existence with disease (and cancer) and how our bodies are naturally designed to suppress them.

Basic biology attributes any contracted sickness or disease to a WEAKENED and COMPROMISED IMMUNE SYSTEM.   Our body's immune system accounts for approximately 1% of the body's 100 trillion cells.  The different cell lineages that develop all share one common objective: to identify and destroy all substances (living or inert) which are recognized as not being part of what "should be in the body.” Whether it is an abnormal cell or what are perceived as dangerous or damaged cells, they are actively hunted down and destroyed by effector cells of the immune system.

Cancer cell attacked by Lymphocytes
Imagine having your own personal army of cells in your highly advanced defense system, working against outside invaders or abnormal cells where each cell type (over one hundred and eighty-seven recorded) carries their own dedicated function. This specialized team of cells work together to fulfill the complex mission of protecting the body from infection or illness each day.  
  • CD4 T-Cells: are the “apparent brains” of the immune system and they coordinate the central response to any serious immune threat.
  • Activated B-Cells become plasma cells and in most instances, generate an antibody response against bacterial and viral invasion. 
  • Lymphokine Activated Killer (LAK) Cells and Cytotoxic T-cells respond to viruses and cancer. 
  • Suppressor T- cells are used to down-regulate the actions of the immune system after the threat has been eliminated through negative feedback. 
  • Macrophages are voracious amoeboid-like lymphocytes that eat foreign substances and send a message back to the rest of the immune system indicating what further immune response is necessary. 
  • Dendritic cells (and their cousins, the Macrophages) are involved in all aspects of the immune response by initially sending out the alarm that something is amiss. 
  • Natural Killer Cells (NKC) are pre-programmed at their birth to destroy virally infected cells, cancer cells, some bacteria and parasites on contact without need of further direction from the CD4 cells.

Our immunity or defense system works in three directives; the first is to (1) RECOGNIZE anything foreign and sound the alarm soon enough to thwart the invader. Molecules and cell surfaces that are identified as foreign are referred to as antigens and have the ability to elicit an immunogenic response. The second function is to (2) RESPOND to the alarm with enough of a counter attack to effectively neutralize the invader quickly. The third directive is to (3) REMEMBER what happened so that if the same situation were to arise again an effective response could be generated faster. The length and efficacy of the immune response depends upon the “intactness” of the underlying biochemistry

This 3-part program (known as the immune response cascade) is the ultimate biological information processing and transfer system designed to define, defend and integrate oneself relative to the environment that surrounds us.  When there is a mis-communication, misdirection or a lack of that informational flow, the immune system is corrupted and DISEASE happens.  What follows is the need to establish a therapeutic strategy to help you restore this vital information pathway.  

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