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Posts tagged ‘immune system’

Eating Green Vegetables Improves Your Immune Defenses

New Research Conducted By Immunologists Demonstrates How Eating Green green veggiesVegetables Improves Immune Function.

Be Sure To Include Cruciferous Vegetable-Derived Phyto-Nutrients As Part Of Your Healthy Diet

FACT: Eating Green Vegetables Boosts Your Immune Defenses.

Nutrition researchers have found another good reason to eat green vegetables (from bok choy to broccoli, kale, spinach, etc.); they are the source of a chemical signal that is important to a fully functioning immune system.  The vegetables ensure that immune cells in the gut and the skin known as intra-epithelial lymphocytes (IELs) function properly.

“It is still surprising ” said researchers from The Babraham Institute in Cambridge. “we expected cells at the surface would play some role in the interaction with the outside world, but such a clear cut interaction with the diet was unexpected. After feeding otherwise healthy lab subjects a vegetable-poor diet for two to three weeks, we were amazed to see 70 to 80 percent of these protective cells disappeared.”

Those protective IELs exist as a network beneath the barrier of epithelial cells covering inner and outer body surfaces, where they are important as a first line of defense and in wound repair. The research team now finds that the numbers of IELs depend on levels of a cell-surface protein called the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), which can be regulated by dietary ingredients found primarily in cruciferous vegetables.

Subjects lacking this receptor lose control over the microbes living on the intestinal surface, both in terms of their numbers and composition.

Earlier studies suggested that breakdown of cruciferous vegetables can yield a compound that can be converted into a molecule that triggers AhRs. The new study finds that subjects fed a synthetic diet lacking this key compound experience a significant reduction in AhR activity and lose IELs. With reduced numbers of these key immune cells, they showed lower levels of antimicrobial proteins, heightened immune activation and greater susceptibility to injury. When the researchers intentionally damaged the intestinal surface in subjects that didn’t have normal AhR activity, the subjects were not as quick to repair that damage.

The immunologists involved in the research hope the findings will generate more interest in the medical community, noting that some of the basic characteristics observed in the subjects are consistent with those seen in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

They conclude  “it’s already a good idea to eat your greens.” Still, the results offer a molecular basis for the importance of cruciferous vegetable-derived phyto-nutrients as part of a healthy diet.

Story Source: Cell Press

Journal Reference: Exogenous Stimuli Maintain Intraepithelial Lymphocytes via Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor

Activation. Cell, 13 October 2011 Cell Press (2011, October 13). “Eating green veggies improves immune defenses”

 

This article is for informational and educational purposes only, and is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Contact your doctor or healthcare professional for medical and nutritional consultation.

 

Detoxification

When I was a child I was raised by my grandparents. And we lived out off of the highway back in the woods. Since we live out off of the highway my grandfather had a garden and my grandmother had chickens. So our veggies were pure, no preservatives or anything artificial. The chickens were not injected with hormone so our food was basically pretty natural.

However we had to get detox before summer and winter came around. My grandparents gave us cod liver oil for detoxification. I did not like it at that time because the fish oil smelled like fish and the oil tasted bad. But now I know that it was good for me and a good thing to do.

The detoxing kept us healthy and I don’t remember getting sick. Today we have herbal products to detox our bodies gently and safely.

Detoxing helps cleanse the liver and colon so that these organs can continue to function properly the way they were made to. Detoxification is a good thing because we ingest so many toxins from everywhere, the air, water, chemicals, skin products, food, our work environment and the list goes on. And over time these toxins stay in our bodies which cause problems down the road.

Our immune systems get weaken because of the toxins being left in our bodies that have not been eliminated. Every person is different when it comes to eliminating waste. Some of us detox naturally by going two to three times a day and then there are the rest of us that need some help!

That help for me has been herbs not the ones that my grandparents used with the fish smell but different ones. Detoxification is real and a good practice now days to do.

Immune Function

Your body’s immune system is an intricate network of cells, structures and processes that protect your body from disease and illness. When it comes to supporting immune function, single nutrients such as vitamin C may not be enough. Read on to find out more.

The complex immune system is responsible for the biodefenses of the body. Cells of the immune system play a direct role in immunity, especially through the production of antibodies and chemical messengers, substances that contribute to the complex cascade of immune events.

 

These events involve intelligent communications within the immune system and
throughout all tissues of the body. Various types of white cells circulate in
the blood or are found together in lymphatic tissues. Lymph nodes, bone marrow,
the spleen and the thymus gland contain clumps of special white blood cells
that are pivotal structures of the immune system.

 

A complex series of chemical messengers is shared among cells in the immune system. Antibody production by specific types of white cells aids in clearing the
tissue fluids of harmful intruders, e.g., antigens or microorganisms (viruses,
bacteria and yeasts). The biodefenses within the immune system are not simple in their structure or function.
Elaborate mechanisms of defense are present at entry sites into the body,
including the nasal passages, throat and entire gastrointestinal tract.

Understanding the complexity of the body structure and functions involved in immunity is a difficult task for even the most knowledgeable health care professional. This complexity makes it highly unlikely that any single drug, nutrient or botanical by itself will have an efficient overall effect on balancing or
promoting immune function. This means that immune function may be best
supported by a healthy lifestyle and the synergistic actions of combined substances (nutrients, herbs and botanicals) that support multiple components of immune function.

 

Alterations in the balance of immune function are responsible for the cause or progression of many common diseases and ailments. People talk about boosting immune function, but most often they really mean balancing or modulating immune function. Independent laboratory studies show that complex combinations of herbs, botanicals and nutrients may help to accomplish this (www.stephenholtmd.com).

The additive benefits and versatile nature of many different natural agents in a dietary supplement may work together to help support many different aspects of immune function (Table 1).

Andrographis paniculata

Acanthopanax senticosus

Green tea

Turmeric

Grape seed extract

Zinc

Vitamin C

Ashwagandha

Oregon grape

Shiitake mushroom

Echinacea purpurea

Goldenseal

Golden thread

Aloe Vera

Garlic

Astragalus

Korean ginseng

Coriolus versicolor

Active Hexose Correlate Compound
(AHCC)

Beta glucan

Table 1: Nutrients, herbs and botanicals with scientific evidence of nutritional benefits for immune function.

Any natural agent that exerts an antioxidant function can be potentially valuable in promoting healthy immune function. This is because oxidative stress or free radical damage to components of the immune system is a common reason for impaired immunity. In particular, the following antioxidants are of value for immune support: Vitamin C, zinc, green tea, turmeric, grape seed extract and
antioxidants found in a variety of herbs and botanicals (Table 1). Botanical
agents with specific immune-enhancing properties include several species of mushrooms, plant sources of beta glucan, Echinacea and the potent and versatile herb Andrographis paniculata (AP).

Nutritional support for immune function must be multifaceted.  Formulations of dietary supplements that contain several different natural ingredients may be an optimal way to provide nutritional support for immune function, but much further research is required on the subject.

 

Be
Healthy!

Dr.
Stephen Holt, M.D.

 

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