Thursday, December 22, 2016

Chapter 14: OPTIMIZING YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM

Chapter 14:  OPTIMIZING YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM

   Your immune system plays two vital roles in your body.

1. First, it responds to foreign organisms by producing antibodies and stimulating specialized cells which destroy those organisms or neutralize their toxic products. In this manner, it defends against foreign invaders: germs, viruses,bacteria, and the like.
2. And second, it stands guard over the cells of your body to ensure that they are not abnormal or degenerating.[1]

  Your Immune System

 In many ways, your immune system is the most awesome system in your body, easily rivaling your brain in terms of complexity, subtlety, and "self-awareness." Just a sample of the things your
immune system does include:
> Your immune system is capable of identifying every single cell in your body and recognizing each and every one as friendly.

[1 Normally, there are anywhere between 100 to 10,000 abnormal cells floating around in our bodies at any point in time.]

 >Conversely, it's capable of singling out and identifying foreign invaders ranging frombacteria and viruses to fungi and parasites.

>Once it has identified an invader, your immune system then quickly develops a customized defense weapon that specifically targets the invader's weak spot.

>Then, it gets even better. Having designed the specific weapon required, your immune system then begins building factories that produce these weapons in massive quantitiessufficient to totally crush an invader.

>And once the invader has been defeated, the immune system has the awareness to "shut itself down"—to go, as they say in the military, from DEFCON 5 to DEFCON 1. (Defence Condition)

>And as amazing as all of this is, we haven't yet come to the three most amazing aspects of the immune system—the aspects that highlight its INTELLIGENCE.

 First, once it has defeated an invader, your immune system remembers that invader and the defense that was used to defeat it. If that invader ever makes another appearance, even decades later, your immune system can launch its defense instantly.

Even more amazing, however, is the fact that your immune system can identify when a cell in your body has changed, has "gone over to the enemy" as it were. This is stunning sophistication. Out of all the trillions of cells in your body, your immune system can tell when one single cell has mutated and become cancerous—and,
in most cases, move in and destroy it before it can do any harm. In fact, it does this THOUSANDS OF TIMES A DAY.

 And, then, most amazing of all, your immune system is in total communication with each and every part of itself. "So what's the big deal," you might ask? "The brain does the same thing." Yes, but remember, the billions and billions of cells of the immune system ARE NOT IN PHYSICAL CONTACT WITH EACH OTHER.
To paraphrase Einstein, "At its core, the immune system resembles nothing so much as a GREAT THOUGHT."

 In the next few paragraphs, I'm going to try and summarize the functioning of your immune system. In reality, a full discussion would take several volumes just to clarify the limited amount
that we know about it at this point in time. Nevertheless, what I would like to do is at least give you a brief summary, a sense if you will, a context for how this marvelous system works.

 The Parts of Your Immune System

All blood cells, both red and white, begin as stem cells in your bone marrow. These undifferentiated cells begin to assume individual characteristics and become either red cells (the oxygen carriers) or white cells (the cells of the immune system). Further differentiation divides the white cells (also called leukocytes) into four main types of cells: 

1. Lymphocytes

2. Phagocytes

3. Granulocytes

4. Dendritic cells

Lymphocytes

Lymphocytes are small white blood cells that serve as the key operatives of the immune system. In a healthy body, not under attack, they number about one trillion. There are three main
classes of lymphocytes.

> B-Cells. Each B-Cell is programmed to make one specific antibody[1] to defend against one specific invader. For example, one B-Cell produces an antibody to defend against only one particular strain of flu, whereas it takes an entirely different B-Cell to produce the antibody for a different strain of flu and a third B-Cell for the strep bacteria. B-Cells work primarily in the fluids of the body and work at defending against "foreign" invaders and toxic molecules. They are not capable of defending against the body's own cells that have "gone bad."

 Once a B-Cell encounters the particular invader that it is built to defend against,[2] it produces many large plasma cells. Plasma cells are nothing less than "factories" that produce millions and millions and millions of specific antibodies and release them into
the blood stream. Once the invader has been eliminated, the B-Cells stop production of the plasma cells and go back to their waiting mode

[1 An antibody is a soluble protein produced by B-Cells that's capable of binding to and destroying or neutralizing one specific foreign substance (also called an antigen) in the body. Antibodies belong to a particular family of nine proteins called the immunoglobulins.]

[2 Although B-Cells are capable of recognizing invaders on their own, primarily that function falls to theT-Cells.]

1. Lymphocytes
2. Phagocytes
3. Granulocytes

4. Dendritic cells 

[Level 0,L0]Stem Cells (source of all blood cells) (both red & white)
-->

[L1]Leukocytes (all white blood cells)-->

[L2]1.Lymphocytes; 2.Phagocytes 3.Granulocytes; 4.Dendritic cells -->

[L3] 1a.T-Cells; 1b.B-Cells; 1c.NK Cells(Natural Killer); 2a.Monocyte; 2b.Neutrophil; 3a.Eosinophil; 3b.Basophil; -->

[L4] 1ai.T-3; 1aii.T-4; 1aiii.T-8; 1bi.Plasma Cells; 2ai.Macrophage; 
3bi.Mast; -- >

[L5] 1aiiA.T-Helper; 1aiiiA.CytotoxicT-Cells; 1biA.Antibodies/
Immunoglobulins. 





>T-Cells. T-Cells are smarter than B-Cells. They've been to school as it were. After being produced in the bone marrow, T-Cells make their way to the Thymus where they are educated in how to distinguish between the cells of the body and invading cells—and to distinguish between normal healthy cells and mutated rogue cells.[1]

 Every T-Cell carries a marker, a distinctive molecule on its surface, that effects how it behaves. Every T-Cell carries a T-3 marker.
In addition, some T-Cells carry a T-4 marker. These are known as the T-Helper Cells, which serve the purpose of identifying foreign invaders—then activating BCells, other T-Cells, Natural Killer Cells, and Macrophages to attack the invader.

  And finally, some T-Cells carry a T-8 marker. Most T-8 Cells are known as Cytotoxic T-Cells[2], which identify rogue mutated cells in the body or cells that have been invaded by viruses and compromised. Once they've identified the enemy, Cytotoxic
T-Cells attack the body cells that have been infected or are 
malignant and destroy them.

Natural Killer (NK) Cells. 

 Unlike Cytoxic T-Cells, NK Cells do not need to recognize
a specific invader to act. They attack a whole range of microbes in addition to tumor cells. Also, like Cytotoxic T-Cells, they kill enemy cells on contact by delivering lethal bursts of potent granular chemicals that "burn" holes in target cells causing
them to leak and burst.

Phagocytes

Phagocytes are the large white cells that eat and digest (primarily through enzyme activity) invading pathogens. There are several kinds of phagocytes: monocytes, neutrophils, and macrophages.
Macrophages, in particular, are especially fascinating and have a number of functions in the immune system. Not only do they attack foreign invaders; they also play a key role as scavengers by "eating up" worn out cells and other waste in the body.[3]

  And finally, once macrophages have "digested" an invader, they then present the key identifying molecules, or antigens, to the TCells to initiate the immune response. 

Granulocytes

Granulocytes include eosiniphils, basophils, and neutrophils (neutrophils are classed as both phagocytes and granulocytes), and mast cells. Granulocytes destroy invaders by releasing granules
filled with potent chemicals.

Dendritic Cells
Dendritic cells are characterized by long threadlike tentacles that are used to wrap up not only antigens but expended lymphocytes and carry them to the lymph nodes for removal from the body. 

[1 T-Cells that cannot make this distinction are eliminated at this point so that they do not make their way into
the body and begin attacking it.]

[2 They are also called "suppressor cells."]

[3 Macrophages play a key role in fasting. When you are not eating and creating new waste in the body, macrophages
get a chance to get ahead of the game in terms of cleaning up the debris. Fasting time becomes spring
cleaning time for macrophages.]

The Organs of the Immune System
  
We've already discussed two key organs, the bone marrow (which produces the cells of the immune system) and the thymus (which trains the T-Cells). Other key organs include the lymph nodes, the spleen, the tonsils and adenoids, and the appendix. Although you can survive without some of these organs, they are vital and irreplaceable. Removal of any seriously compromises the
immune system. The spleen, for example, serves as both a staging area for the white cell defenders and as a blood filtration plant for removing worn out blood cells. Removal of the spleen leaves
one highly susceptible to infection. Even the tonsils and adenoids are not without unique value. There is some evidence to indicate that the only organs in the body that can produce a defense
against polio are the tonsils and adenoids. If true, removal of these organs in children would make them more susceptible to polio.
   
 The Complementary Immune System
  
At a certain point, when the macrophage immune system is totally overwhelmed, the "complementary immune system" kicks in. This secondary system is comprised of approximately 25 proteins /enzymes that activate in a cascading sequence and end with what's called the "membrane attack complex." As its name implies, this complex attacks the cell walls of invaders. A secondary function of the complementary immune system is to help rid the body of CIC's (circulating immune complexes) as discussed in Chapter 5. If the overload on the complementary immune system is great enough, severe inflammation of tissue, caused by the activity of albumins, can result. The bottom line is that the body's tissue literally begins to attack itself. That is to say, we now have an autoimmune condition!

   How Your Immune System Communicates with Itself

We now have a sense of how the immune system works, how it identifies invaders and mounts a response, but how in the world does it communicate with itself? The answer lies in a set of powerful chemical messengers secreted by the cells of the immune system called cytokines. You've probably heard of several of these cytokines, including Interferon and Tumor Necrosis Factor; but
it is the Interleukins which swarm through the body like billions of tiny messengers:

>Activating the B-Cells and T-Cells

>"Training" cells

>Promoting rapid growth of "trained" defenses

>Shutting down defenses when the threat is gone

>Controlling the inflammation response


  In short, they provide a remarkable set of intelligent checks and balances on the immune system—guiding it, training it, regulating it, marshaling it as required, and resting it when no longer
needed.

   Building Immunity
  
  Whenever T-Cells or B-Cells become activated by an invader, some of those cells become memory cells. That is, they encode a "memory" of the particular antigen associated with that invader
so that the next time they encounter the same antigen, the immune system can respond without delay.

  There are a number of factors that affect the level of immune response we are capable of mounting. Genetics certainly plays a role. Some individuals are just born with stronger immune
systems than others. Diet, lifestyle, and environment can also enhance or erode the immune system. In addition, strength of immune response and the duration of immune memory are strongly
influenced by the type of antigen involved, and how much of it originally entered the body.

When we are born, we have weak immune systems. Whatever immunity we have is given to us by our mothers. Almost immediately, however, assuming that we are nursing, that immunity
begins to grow. The first "milk" we receive from mother is, in fact, not actually milk. It is a substance called colostrum, whose primary purpose is to jack up our immunity. Colostrum is packed with natural immune boosters such as lactoferrin, alkyglycerols, and transfer factor. (We'll talk more about these later.) In addition, as we discussed in Chapter 4, nursing helps build the probiotic cultures in the digestive tract, which also helps to build our immune systems. [1]

Vaccines

   In the wisdom of modern medicine, we have created vaccines to "prebuild memory" for our immune systems—memories of significant diseases we have never had, such as measles, mumps,
polio, diphtheria, small pox, etc. Vaccines contain a weakened sterilized version of microorganisms (or proteins from those microorganisms) that is capable of producing an immune response in the body without inducing a full-blown onset of the disease itself. Although vaccines have played a significant role in helping reduce the number of deaths among children, this benefit has not come without cost.

[1 Children that are put on formula are denied these benefits. Not only are formula fed children more liable to
experience colic, ear infections and colds etc., but there is significant evidence that, for the most part, their immune
systems never fully "catch up."]

   I'm not going to dwell on this issue, because I have a strong emotional attachment to it, which makes it impossible for me to be objective. My youngest brother was one of those "small percentage" of children who responded badly to the series of three shots he received back in the early 60s. Each time he received one of the shots, he ran a high fever and cried all night—the last time
literally screaming for several hours. Each time my mother called the pediatrician, who reassured her it was nothing to worry about. As it turns out, he was wrong. My brother, along with thousands
of other children (Unfortunately, even a small percentage, when applied to a large number, still equals thousands of children.), had an allergic reaction to the shots. Each shot caused a small brain hemorrhage, ultimately leaving him severely retarded. Although the manufacturer of the vaccine had indications that this was a possibility, they had not made it clear to the pediatricians who
used it.[1] This sort of reaction to a vaccine and this sort of irresponsibility by a pharmaceutical company are not as anomalous as you might think.

>The polio vaccine that was given to children in the 50s and 60s was not as sterilized as originally thought. In fact, when better test equipment was later used, it was found that there were over 140 live viruses in those early versions of the polio vaccine.With what result? Well for one thing, one of those viruses, SV 40, is strongly implicated in brain cancer.

>Jonas Salk testified before a Senate subcommittee that since 1961, except for a few importations from other countries, all cases of polio were caused by the Oral Polio
Vaccine.[2]

In 1986, the Federal Government set up a National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program to compensate vaccine injured victims. To date close to $1 billion has been paid out.

>In addition to the "active" part of the vaccine, the vaccine includes substances such as ethylene glycol (antifreeze), formaldehyde (a known carcinogen), and aluminum.

  Look, I'm not saying vaccines should be eliminated—just that we should use a little more discrimination than we are at the moment. Eventually, it's possible that new techniques of genetic engineering,
by being able to totally isolate the offending antigen, may be able to offer a safer form of vaccine. But until that day...

[1 Before 1990, doctors were not legally obligated to report adverse reactions to vaccines to the Center for Disease Control; and, even with the current legal obligation, it's estimated that only 10% of doctors report the damage they see to the CDC.]

[2 In fact, there is strong evidence that the original polio epidemic itself in the late 1940s was caused by another vaccine.The early triple vaccine against diphtheria, whooping cough, and tetanus has been shown beyond doubt to cause paralytic polio in some children to whom it was administered. The incidence of polio in children vaccinated with this shot was statistically greater than in unvaccinated children. This scandal broke in Britain during 1949, an epidemic year for polio; other reports soon followed from Australia.]

Problems That Can Occur with the Immune System

Problems that can occur are:

1. The Immune System is overwhelmed by too many invaders

2. The Immune System becomes weakened and vulnerable to attack

3. The Immune System becomes misprogrammed and loses the ability to identify invaders or mutated cells

4. The Immune System becomes misprogrammed and begins to mistakenly identify healthy body cells as the enemy and begins to attack them

5. The Immune System is compromised or missing some key component at birth

   Of these problems, the first four are, in most cases, correctable. Only when the body is born without the ability to produce a key component are our options truly limited—but not necessarily
hopeless.

Optimizing Your Immune System

 Since the purpose of the body's immune system is to defend against attack and help initiate repair, the better it does it, the healthier we are. To facilitate this process, we need to address the
two key areas of immune function we've already identified:

1. We have to improve overall immune function—to allow the body to better defend itself.

2. We need to specifically target (kill/destroy) invading bacteria, viruses, microorganisms and other related pathogens—to help out the immune system, as it were.

 Scientists have known for years that it is possible to improve the functioning of the immune system. Here in the United States, the approach has been to use expensive, proprietary drugs. Current favorites include concentrated cytokines such as Interleukin and Interferon. The rest of the world, on the other hand, has adopted a more natural approach by seeking to use natural substances to:

>Stimulate and strengthen your immune system

>Fight infection

>Strengthen tissue against assault by invading microorganisms

>Stimulate macrophage capability

>Increase T-Cell production and protect T-helper cells

>Complement the action of Interferon and Interleukin 1


>Assist the Cell Mediated Immune Response

Surprisingly, not only are the natural immune boosters far safer than the drug approach (having far fewer side effects); they are also far more powerful than their pharmaceutical counterparts.

  Let's take a look at some of the more powerful immune boosters available to us. First, we'll look at the herbal boosters, then a couple of other options that are available.

Echinacea
  Echinacea is truly a miracle herb. For one thing, it contains echinacoside (a natural antibiotic, comparable to penicillin in effect) that can kill a broad range of viruses, bacteria, fungi, and protozoa, which makes it invaluable in wound healing and in the treatment of infectious diseases. Research has also reported echinacea's efficacy in treating colds, flu, bronchitis, tuberculosis,
infections, etc.

  Echinacea also contains echinacein, a biochemical that protects against germ attack by neutralizing the tissue dissolving enzyme, hyaluronidase, produced by many germs. Also, studies such as
one published in Infection and Immunology show that echinacea contains substances that boost the ability of your body's macrophages to destroy germs. And other studies from the University of Munich have shown that echinacea extracts boost T-cell production by as much as 30% more than immune boosting drugs.

Pau d'arco
Pau d'arco (Tabebuia heptophylla) comes from the rain forests of Brazil and other areas of South America. This amazing herb nourishes the body's defense system and helps protect against
pathogenic organisms. It has been used for centuries to improve immune function, detoxify, and reduce pain throughout the body—especially in the joints. Research has shown that it contains a
natural antibacterial agent, has a healing effect on the entire body, cleanses the blood, and kills viruses.

  Pau d'arco has been used as a treatment for AIDS, allergies, all infections and inflammations, anemia, asthma, arthritis, arteriosclerosis, as a blood builder, bronchitis, all types of cancer, candidiasis, colitis, cystitis, smoker's cough, diabetes, eczema, fistulas, gastritis, gonorrhea, hemorrhages, hernias, Hodgkin's disease, liver disease, leukemia, lupus, multiple sclerosis, osteomyelitis, Parkinson's disease, polyps, prostatitis, psoriasis, rheumatism, skin cancer, skin sores, spleen infections, snake bites, ulcers, varicose veins, warts, and plain old wounds.

Suma
Natives of the Amazon jungle have used Suma for at least the last 300 years. It wasn't until 1975, however, that Suma was introduced to the 20th century and tested at the University of São Paulo, Brazil.

   The studies, conducted by Dr. Milton Brazzach, concluded that although it was not a cure, it nevertheless brought significant relief for cancer, diabetes, and gout sufferers—with no undesirable
side effects. Since then, studies at the American College of the Healing Arts by Dr. Michael Tierra, author of The Way of Herbs, indicated that consistent use of Suma may help combat fatigue
(including treatment of chronic fatigue and low-energy conditions), prevent colds and flus, speed healing, regulate blood sugar, and stimulate the sex drive.

The key working ingredients in Suma are:

>Pfaffic acid, which prevents the spread of various cell disorders.

>Pfaffocides and other saponins, which help stop diseases already in progress.

>The plant hormones sitosterol and stigmasterol, which prevent cholesterol absorption and improve blood circulation.

>Alantoin, which helps accelerate healing.

>And most important of all: Germanium. Suma has one of the highest concentrations of Ge-132 of any plant known.

  What's the big deal with Ge-132? It was actually discovered about 20 years ago by a Japanese research chemist named Kazuhiko Asai. Its full name is bis-Carboxyethylgermanium Sesquioxide
(or Germanium Sesquioxide, for short).

  According to studies by Dr. Parris M. Kidd, "This substance, while free of major side effects, can apparently invigorate, rejuvenate, restore sexual function, protect against miscarriages during pregnancy, heal burns without scarring, cure radiation sickness, restore eyesight and hearing, kill the pain of advanced cancer, and shrink cancers within weeks. Circulatory disorders, including heart attacks, angina pectoris, stroke, and peripheral impairments respond well to Ge-132, as do hepatitis and cirrhosis and several behavior disorders."

   Medicinal Mushrooms

  Many of the compounds found in Reishi, Maitake, and Cordyceps mushrooms are classified as Host Defense Potentiators (HDP). It is believed that combinations of these compounds target and
strengthen the human immune system as well as aid in neuron transmission, metabolism, hormonal balance and the transport of nutrients and oxygen. Through a host-mediated (T-cell) immune
mechanism, they help the body regulate the development of lymphoid stem cells and other important defense responses.

 > Reishi: The anti-cancer and immune enhancing effects of the Reishi mushroom are thought to be largely due to the polysaccharides. Reishi mushrooms are high in mucopolysaccharides, which your body incorporates into cellular membranes making them resistant to viruses and pathogenic bacteria. The polysaccharides appear to activate the macrophages, the white blood cell that "consumes" viruses, bacteria, and other

large particulate matter.

  Maitake mushrooms have a very high concentration of a unique polysaccharide compound called beta-1,6-glucan, which researchers now consider to be one of the most powerful immune stimulants and adaptogens known. A research study reported in the
Chemical Pharmaceutical Bulletin (1988) showed that maitake produced a 64% inhibition of breast cancer and tumor activity and a 75% inhibition of skin cancer and tumor activity. Also, laboratory studies conducted at the US. National Cancer Institute and the Japanese National Institute of Health showed that maitake extract kills the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and enhances the activity of T-helper cells.

 Research has demonstrated that Maitake simulates a variety of different immune cells including macrophages, NK-cells, Th, Tc and Tdh cells. And not only does it stimulate the production of these immune cells, but it increases their efficiency and effectiveness by increasing the production of interleukin-l, interleukin-2, and lymphokines. As we've already talked about, these are chemicals that your body normally produces to stimulate the body's immune responses and help target foreign substances. Maitake has been confirmed to have a multifaceted benefit for cancer and tumors.

It protects healthy cells from becoming cancerous.

It helps prevent the spread of cancer (metastasis).

It slows or stops the growth of tumors.

It works in conjunction with chemotherapies by lessening their negative side effects. One study reported a 90% lessening of side effects from chemo including hair loss, pain and nausea.

  Cordyceps has properties similar to those of ginseng and has been used to strengthen and rebuild the body after exhaustion or long-term illness. It has also been used traditionally for impotence, neurasthenia, and backache.

  Recent research with extracts of Cordyceps has yielded a protein-bound polysaccharide with high oral activity against tumors, as well as immunological enhancement. Cordyceps is one of the most valued medicinal fungi in all Chinese medicine, and also one of the most expensive (costing as much as $249 per kilogram). Cordyceps is widely employed to treat upper respiratory problems, impotence, weakened immune systems, and by athletes to increase endurance.

  Garlic

  Garlic is one of the best infection fighters available for both bacterial and viral infections. One of its many ingredients, allicin,[1] is a natural antibiotic that does not appear to create resistant
bacteria strains. In addition, fresh garlic extract has been shown to be deadly to many viruses.

[1 The same component that gives garlic its strong odor is the one that destroys, or inhibits various bacteria and fungi. The component is allicin, and when crushed, combines with the enzyme allinase and results in antibacterial action equivalent to 1% penicillin.]

  Garlic also possesses the ability to stimulate the activity of the macrophages which engulf foreignorganisms, such as viruses, bacteria, and yeast. Furthermore, garlic increases the activity of
the T-helper cells. And garlic may be particularly effective in treating upper respiratory viral infections due to its immune-enhancing properties and its ability to clear mucous from the lungs. And finally, garlic is also effective against strep and staph bacteria.

(Everything that's been said about garlic goes for onions. Onions and garlic share many of the same powerful sulfur bearing compounds that work so effectively as antiviral and antibacterial
agents.)

  Aloe Vera
 The polysaccharide component of aloe vera, acemannan, possesses significant immune enhancing and antiviral activity. Unfortunately, there is great variation in the amount of acemannan from one manufacturer to the next. Products with high levels of acemannan activity have been proven to increase lymphocyte response to alloantigen by enhancing the monocyte release of interleukin-I. In addition, acemannan has been shown to increase macrophage levels and have a positive effect on CD-4, CD-8, T-4, and T-8 levels

   Alkyglycerols
 Alkyglycerols (also known as alkolxyglycerols, or AKG's) are naturally manufactured in the body and are found in mother's milk, the liver, the spleen, and bone marrow. They play a major role in the production and stimulation of white blood cells. They also help to normalize bone marrow function. The immune supportive effect of AKG's helps our bodies protect against bacterial, fungal, and viral infections.The most potent source of AKG's in the world is shark liver oil.

  Lactoferrin
  Lactoferrin is one of the cytokines produced in the human body. It is found anywhere that is especially vulnerable to attack, such as in the gut, eyes, ears, nose, throat, urinary tract, etc. Lactoferrin has been shown to:

>Inhibit virus replication, inlcuding both the AIDS and Herpes viruses, into healthy cells

>Inhibit tumor growth and metastasis

>It is directly toxic to both bacteria and yeast and is therefore invaluable in helping prevent bacterial and candida overgrowth in the gut

>Activate neutrophil cells

  Supplementation with lactoferrin (or stimulating its production in your body with probiotics) can significantly boost the immune system and/or help the body recover from any existing infection.
On the other hand, maintaining healthy levels of intestinal flora allow the body to produce its own lactoferrin.

Glutathione

  Glutathione is a natural amino-acid-based tripeptide molecule found in human cells. In addition to being a powerful antioxidant,[1] glutathione works to support the active functioning of the
immune system and is a key component of all lymphocytes. In fact, all lymphocytes require sufficient levels of intracellular glutathione to function properly. It also plays a major protective role against the damaging effects of the whole range of pathogens and carcinogens.
For many people, glutathione supplements are upsetting to the stomach. Alternatives include the glutathione precursors cystine and glutamyl-cystine and specially formulated whey products.

Beta Glucan

  Beta 1-3/1-6 Glucan is a natural complex carbohydrate found primarily in the cell walls of yeast. It works by "activating" macrophage cells.

    General Recommendations

Too many people think of the immune system as something existing in isolation. That's a huge mistake. Let's take a quick walk through the Baseline of Health program and see how each system
impacts the entire body.

>How good can your immune system be (taking all the supplements in the world that you want) if your colon is packed with 20 pounds of old fecal matter? A substantial portion of your immune system then has to combat the effects of self-toxicity. Clean up your intestinal tract, and you free up your immune system.

>Beneficial bacteria (if they're present) manufacture potent immune boosters such as Transfer Factor and Lactoferrin right in your intestinal tract. In other words, use a good probiotic and you substantially boost your immune system by increasing internal
production of a number of powerful immune factors.

>As discussed in Chapter 5, supplementing with digestive enzymes significantly reduces the incidence of Circulating Immune Complexes, thus taking enormous stress off the complementary immune system.

>Proper diet and nourishment boost your immune system. Each and every immune cell in your body is manufactured from the food you eat. A nutritionally deficient diet means functionally deficient immune cells. A good vitamin/mineral supplement enhances
the production of your body's immune cells.

>The Omega-9+ fatty acid is an immune system modulator that helps to keep the immune
system properly programmed so it doesn't attack itself.

>A good full spectrum antioxidant boosts the immune system in multiple ways. Just one example is Curcumin. In Immunological Investigations, 1999, Vol. 28, Issues 5-6, pp 291-303, there are published studies that prove that Curcumin can increase white blood cell count by some 50% in just 12 days—not to mention circulating antibodies by some 512 in the same time frame.

[1 Glutathione is not unique in this regard. Many other natural substances, such as Vitamin C for example, also function as both antioxidants and immune boosters.]

 >Cleaning out the liver with an effective flush and rebuild program improves the liver's ability to produce immune factors and remove bacteria from the blood. Cleaning out the blood with an herbal blood cleanser and balancing your blood's pH also helps to
improve immune function.


>And of course, daily use of formulations comprised of the herbs discussed in this chapter has been proven to significantly enhance the immune system across the board—even in the face of aggressive chemotherapy.

- Immune Boosters: Echinacea, Pau d'arco, Suma, Reishi, Maitake, Cordyceps

- Pathogen Destroyers: Garlic, Onion, Ginger, Habenero juice, Horseradish, Apple cider vinegar

>The mental exercises and visualizations outlined in the next chapter can double immune function in as little as 24 hours. In addition, the use of an herbal nerve tonic can dramatically reduce stress levels in the body, resulting in a dramatic increase in immune
function—virtually overnight.

>And keep in mind that the primary entry point for most pathogens is via the eyes, nose, and mouth through contact with the hands. Keep in mind that the hands pick up potential threats by virtue of contact with other people (shaking hands, for example) and through contact with objects such as doorknobs and telephones. Regular washing of the hands throughout the day (even with regular soap) can serve to take a considerable amount of stress off of the immune system.

>And finally, one of the primarily benefits of regular exercise is an optimized immune system.

  The bottom line is that the Baseline of Health program is designed to enhance the immune system at every level and system in the body (and in a way that doesn't require you to take 100 supplements to get a result—just deal with the major systems in the body).

Next, Chapter 15

THE THOUGHT THAT KILLS


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