A strong immune system, or taking herbs and supplements to “boost” their immune system is not always a good thing.
A strong immune system helps fight dangerous infections. Unfortunately, it can also trigger autoimmune diseases such as lupu, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and type 1 diabetes.
“There are so many autoimmune diseases affecting all types of fabrics,” offered Andrea Graham, an evolutionary biologist at Princeton University, at the annual meeting of the International Society for Evolution, Medicine and Public Health in July 2016. What could explain the existence of autoimmune disease? “One possible answer is that vulnerability to immune-mediated disease, is simply the price to pay for the powerful and quick defense against infection.”
People who have a strong immune system tend to live longer, but is not always better
Dr. Graham and his colleagues analyzed data from a long-term study of the elderly in Taiwan. This research effort has collected blood samples and guaranteed medical records of more than 1,000 people born between 1892 and 1953 and followed their health for 27 years. The study collects data on the physical, emotional and psychological health of participants, and convinced them to participate in stays in the hospital overnight, so that researchers could take samples of urine of 12 hours of fasting and blood samples . The researchers measured everything would be measured in a doctor’s office and did DNA tests to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (mutations), telomere length (a measure of how many more times a cell can divide), and the presence, absence and activation of 164 genes. The oldest participants in the study 27 years ago, of course have died, but the research team was able to obtain measurements of 639 volunteers in 2000 and 2006.
One of the many laboratory measurements in the study was the level of antibodies “spontaneous reaction”. These are antibodies that are capable of attacking not only a germ, but also the body’s own tissues. The researchers found that participants with the highest levels of antibodies that react spontaneously, had 33 percent less likely to live in a given year. However, they were also much more likely to develop chronic autoimmune diseases, especially lupus.
How can a super healthy immune system cause disease?
One of the puzzles of immunology, is that people whose immune system can fight infections, often live long enough to develop autoimmune diseases time. This observation contradicts the widely held view that when it comes to immunity, more is better.
Dr. Graham explains that optimum immunity requires not only the type of response, but also the proper amount of response. Excessive immune responses can not only destroy healthy tissue, but can also deplete the body’s resources for maintenance and ordinary repair. Sometimes the most effective response to an infection is not activate the immune system to kill him, but depriving the disease organism level of nutrients it needs without depriving the body of nutrients needed level.
And sometimes the immune system’s defense against infection makes another worse. This is what happens in people who have malaria and intestinal parasites. Cytokines kill malaria parasites protect intestinal parasites and vice versa. When it comes to immunity, more is not always better.
The optimum immunity, no maximum immunity
There is a surprising variety of diseases that are caused by or exacerbated by an overactive immune system. These include allergies, Alzheimer’s disease, anemia, ankylosing spondylitis, autism, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, celiac disease, congestive heart failure, Crohn’s disease, type 1 diabetes, eczema, fibromyalgia, fibrosis, disease gallbladder, gastroesophageal reflux disease, Guillain-Barre syndrome, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, heart attack, autoimmune hepatitis, kidney failure, lupus, multiple sclerosis, neuropathy, pancreatitis, psoriasis, rheumatic fever, scleroderma, stroke syndrome, and complications of surgery. Except for allergy, most of these conditions are driven by cytokines, chemicals produced by the immune system against a microorganism having a molecular configuration that makes join certain types of healthy cells as a key fits into a lock. Long after the immune system has defeated an infection, it continues toa ttack healthy organs. The immune hyperactivity tends to come and go. There cannot be a long period in which an autoimmune disease produces relatively few problems, only to burst into full symptoms when some other infection or inappropriate use of an immune stimulant, reactivates the immune attack wrong.
What can you do to avoid over-stimulation of the immune system? To some extent, immune diseases are hereditary, but almost always have environmental triggers:
- The older you get, the more important it becomes to avoid infections. It may or may not be a good idea to get vaccines against common infections. If the vaccine uses a live virus or bacteria live, ask your doctor if it would be a good idea to avoid it. If the vaccine uses a killed virus or dead bacteria, then it is less likely to trigger an autoimmune response. However, reaction to the disease itself is usually much worse than the reaction to the vaccine.
- Wheat, oats and potatoes tend to activate inflammation (which causes tissue damage), even in people who do not have celiac disease. On the other hand, it tends to reduce rye. Replacing wheat with rye can make a big difference in autoimmune symptoms in some people. The problem is that most rye breads contain wheat flour. The sourdough bread made with 100 percent rye flour is better.
- Probiotic bacteria in the colon produce butyric acid, reducing inflammation. Also butyric acid in butter. Be sure to get some probiotic bacteria in your weekly diet. They found in pasteurized yoghurts based animal milk, soy milk or coconut milk and fermented vegetables that have to be kept in the refrigerator, which have not undergone heat treatment which cannot be stored on the shelf .
- “Immune” Stimulant herbs are not a good idea if you have an autoimmune disease. Echinacea, in particular, can be problematic. The problem is not that echinacea does not work. The problem is that works by providing a complex carbohydrate, which increases the production of cells T. The same T cells that can attack the infection can also attack the linings of joints and kidneys. For prevention of colds and flu, wash your hands frequently and avoid being sneezed.