Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Body's Remarkable Immune System

When I think about the body's immune system, I'm always fascinated.  My wife often chuckles with delight that I "geek out" on how truly remarkable it is that these complex bodies we inhabit have developed highly sophisicated proteins (called "anti-bodies") that are designed to tell the difference between a welcome molecule and an invader.  As many of us have come to discover, however, when this system goes awry, our entire lives can be turned upside down.

While it's quite intuitive, once we think about it, I remember being surprised to find that two-thirds of our immune system is actually located in our gut.  The fact is, keeping our gut healthy is the key to a healthy immune system that allows us to maintain a disreable quality of life and prevent disease. Therefore, if we find that we are suffering from everyday poor health or a disease condition, the root cause may be something called Leaky Gut Syndrome.

The layman's summary on this syndrome is that the lining of our bowels can become damaged (and thefore permeable) by poor diet, toxins, medications, parasites, etc.  When this occurs, molecules of food and other substances enter the body in a larger, somewhat undigested state.

A growing number of researchers in this field of study believe that the bottom line result of a leaky gut is autoimmune disease.  In other words, the body's antibodies attack its own tissues because those tissues have absorbed or become associated with the errant food molecules that escaped the digestive tract before full digestion (and thus are not recognizable as a friendly). In the future, our antibodies can go on attack and trigger inflammatory reactions whenever that food is eaten because that food (and everything it associates with) has now been identified as an enemy of the body.

 I have a number friends and family members who currently suffer from one of the over 80 recognized autoimmune diseases that plague the human race (i.e. Psoriasis, Lupus, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Fibromyalgia, Crohn’s Disease, and Ulcerative Colitis to name just a few).  While many who suffer from these conditions pursue traditional routes that tend to address the symptoms of such conditions, rather than the underlying cause, I'm always relieved to hear that a friend or loved one has chosen to get down to the core issues of nutrition and gut health.

For me, improving my immune health now includes staying away from soft drinks, antacids, NSAIDs (as much as possible) and gluten (with my wife's help, we're finding some good alternatives). My dietary protocol also invites me to include more healthy vegetables, legumes, and greens with my meals and to supplement my diet with my own health insurance package of Immune Health, Probiotics, Constant Health, Multi-Veggies, and/or Soothing Greens. It's a wonderfully affordable way for me to keep my system running according to the marevelous way it was actually designed to run.

So my encouragement to you, like all of the people I care about, is to treat your body well.  Learn what brings and supports good health and what creates difficulty for you.  There are so many resources available on the Internet that provide us with vital information to assist us in our pursuit of good health.  To the degree that we at Our Health Co-op can be part of your solution by assisting you with information, encouragment, or supplements, we are pleased.

In truth,the whole reason the Co-op exists and that I became part of its team, is to support all of our members in living healthy, fulfilling lives. And that, my friends, is my holiday wish for all.

Peace, Love, and Good Health to you,
Chris

Chief Community Officer
Our Health Co-op, Inc.
http://www.ourhealthcoop.com/

1 comment:

  1. Amen, Chris. When I hear about all the problems people have, I often suspect Leaky Gut and escalating autoimmune reactions that cause inflammation and stress on the body and organs. And, yes, we need the help of our friends to stay healthy (and off things like gluten, which is so hard on so many people's systems). Glad to have you onboard with our team, such a delight!!! Cheers, Cindy

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