Immune Systems and Broken Levees

NOLA Levee BreakThe Levee lay there un-noticed by most of the citizens until it was overwhelmed and the City of New Orleans flooded during Hurricane Katrina.  To all outward appearances the barrier looked fine and continued day after day to do the job of holding the water out.  But all that changed when so much stress was put on it that it failed.

 Similarly, our immune systems are designed to provide our bodies with protection just like the levees were designed to protect New Orleans.  Our immune system is an amazing protection mechanism designed to defend us against millions of bacteria, microbes, viruses, toxins and parasites.  It faces stresses everyday: Cuts can allow all sorts of bacteria and viruses to enter our body; Germs floating in the air are inhaled; Each day we eat hundreds of germs; Various kinds of human ailments can cause allergies. 

If our immune system is working properly we are protected from these dangers.  If it’s not working properly we suffer sickness and disease.  Or, an improperly working immune system can cause the body to attack itself like in diabetes, which is caused by the immune system inappropriately attacking cells in the pancreas and destroying them.

 A properly working immune system helps our body to work properly in response to mechanical damage (like a broken bone or torn ligament), vitamin and mineral deficiencies, organ degradation (like liver damage or heart disease), genetic diseases, and cancer, and viral or bacterial infection.

 Our white blood cells are probably the most important part of our immune systems.  There are several types of white blood cells but they all work together to destroy bacteria and viruses.  They include leukocytes, lymphocytes, B-cells, plasma cells, T-cells, helper T-cells, killer T-cells, natural killer cells, macrophages, and 7 other types.

Because it’s so critical for good health, it’s important to support your immune systems.  Some things you can do are: 1) Drink freshly squeezed lemon juice in water;  2) Take plant-processed nutritional supplements; 3) Get a full night’s sleep; 4) Drink plenty of water; 5) Eat plenty of protein;  6) Stop drinking coffee;  7) Eliminate refined white sugar from your diet; 8) Eat plenty of raw fruits and vegetables for their antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fibre, and enzymes (see our blog post on “SuperFoods”);  9) Nurture yourself – Our bodies respond to our emotions; 10) Find ways of dealing with stress by exercising, deep breathing, laughing and having fun, and controlling negative thinking.

Traditional immune system boosters are: Selenium (found in tuna, whole grains, vegetables, brown rice, egg yolks, cottage cheese, chicken, sunflower seeds, and Brazil nuts.

Herbal immune boosters include: Green tea, Echinacea, and immunostimulating herbs like ginseng, astragalus, licorice root, and dong quai.

Supplements and Vitamins that support the immune system include: Vitamin C, Zinc, Probiotics, Propolis, Plant-processed vitamin-mineral supplements, certified Prime Colostrum, lactoferrin, and BetaRight 1-3/1-6 glucans.

Colostrum – Colostrum is bovine pre-milk taken in the first six hours.  Colostrum is beneficial because it includes proteins, immunoglobulins, vitamins and minerals that help engage your body’s natural ability to heal and repair itself.

LactoFerrin – Lactoferrin (LF), is a globular multifunctional protein with immune stimulating properties.  It’s part of the innate defense system, mainly in the mucoses.  Lactoferin is found in colostrum, milk and many mucosal secretions, such as tears and saliva.  Human colostrum has the highest concentration, followed by human milk, then cows milk.

If it’s operating well, our immune system will remove toxins and keep us healthy.  But everyday stresses, not eating properly and irregular sleep habits take a heavy toll on our immune systems.  These factors may accelerate our use of and need for nutrients.  Eventually, our immune system may encounter difficulty keeping up with the demands placed upon it, just like the New Orleans levee.  So it’s important to do what we can to make sure it works properly.

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