The root cause of any disease starts with damage to a group of cells in the body. If the cells get optimal nutrition, stimulation and protection from toxins, the body can overcome the challenge effectively by removing the damaged cells and replacing it with new cells. It’s a common question doctors are asked why me or my dear one got this disease. The simple answer is your immune system is not working properly or weak, that’s why you got this sickness. Immune system is the defender and the healer of your body.
How does the immune system work?
Immune system has two functions, the first is defence which includes attacking, defeating and disposing of the invader. Second is repair and regrowth of the damaged cells or reconstruction of the damaged body part with new cells. Healing and recovery occurs as a result of cell repair and replacement, which needs nutrients.
Health of an individual depends on the effectiveness of the immune system. When the body is challenged with a pathogen like microbes, antigens, toxins or cells are damaged with aging or newly formed cells have DNA damage the immune system gets activated to attack, destroy and remove the invader and the damaged cell from the body. Adult human body has around 50 trillion cells. Millions of cells are getting damaged and repaired or dying and disposed off by the immune system each day and newly grown cells take over the place of the disposed cells. Healing occurs in the body by repair or replacement of the damaged cells. Skin and mucous membrane play a major role in immunity. Skin forms the physical barrier externally and mucus membrane forms the physical barrier internally as the lining of the respiratory tract, gastrointestinal system, genitourinary system and cardiovascular system etc.
Role of nutrients in Immunity
Water, proteins, fats and minerals are the major building blocks for the cells. Vitamins are needed for many biochemical activities at cellular level. Oxygen, water, protein with 18 amino acids and fats with four fatty acids, fourteen minerals and fourteen vitamins are needed in optimal proportions for optimal functioning of the body, growth, development and recovery from disease or injury.
Inflammatory or the defence activities are carried out through the different types of immune cells and biochemical agents like antibodies, compliments system etc. During immunological defence immune cells die and new cells should replace the position and more biochemical defence equipment like antibodies are needed. Just like in a war more defence force(immune cells) and equipment(antibodies) are needed to replace the injured / dead soldiers and damaged/ destroyed equipment. For the building of immune cells and biochemical equipment for defence and for the repair and regeneration of damaged cells and tissue, availability of nutrients in optimal proportion is most crucial.
In humans, there are four basic types of tissue: epithelial, connective, muscular, and nervous tissue. Muscle and connective tissue needs more protein and nervous tissue building needs more fat as raw material. Major building block for cell membranes is fatty acids in the form of triglyceride. Structurally cell membrane, the outer boundary of the cell is made of phospholipid bilayer, for which the main content is long chain fatty acids. There are four types of fatty acids saturated, omega 9, omega 6 and omega 3. Hydrogenation of vegetable oil for the production of artificial ghee, butter etc make a fourth type of fat called trans fat. The type of fatty acids used for the building of cell membrane has a decisive role in cell health, longevity and functioning. Saturated fat and trans fat make the cell wall rigid and make the exchange of nutrients and metabolic waste across the cell membrane difficult. Unsaturated fatty acids omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids incorporated in the cell membrane make the cell wall flexible.
Role of omega 3 and 6 fats in immunity.
Omega 3 linolenic acid(ALA) and 6 linoleic acid(LA) are not synthesised in the body and are called essential fatty acids(EFA) as they have to be obtained from food. Long chain omega 6 fatty acid arachidonic acid(AA) and omega 3 fatty acid eicosapentaenoic acid(EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid(DHA) has a major role in control of cellular functions. The derivatives of these two essential fatty acids eicosanoids and docosanoids control the immune functions of the body. Omega 6 eicosanoids are generally inflammation inducing and promote defensive activities. Omega 3 eicosanoids and docosanoids are generally anti inflammatory and promote healing activities of the body.
Eicosanoids have a crucial role in physiological activities and pathological processes such as mounting or inhibiting inflammation, allergy, fever and other immune responses; regulating the abortion of pregnancy and normal childbirth; contributing to the perception of pain; regulating cell growth; controlling blood pressure; and modulating the regional flow of blood to tissues. In performing these roles, eicosanoids most often act as autocrine signaling agents to impact their cells of origin or as paracrine signaling agents to impact cells in the proximity of their cells of origin. Eicosanoids may also act as endocrine agents to control the function of distant cells.
Omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids ALA and LA are competing with each other on the metabolic pathway for the production of long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and their derivative eicosanoids and docosanoids by displacement, competitive inhibition and counteraction. The actions of these two categories of eicosanoids and docosanoids of omega 3 and 6 subgroup is very complex and has marked difference in different types of tissues/cells, for example the action of a specific eicosanoid which induces inflammation in peripheral tissue may have a different action in the brain. In general omega 6 subtypes promote inflammation and destroy and dispose of the invader microbes, allergens and toxins. Omega 3 subtypes promote healing by promoting growth, repair and regeneration.
Inside the body, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids follow parallel pathways, continually competing with each other for chemical conversion to various structures and molecules inside and outside the cells. In the ancient hunter gatherer population omega 3 to 6 ratio in food was around 1:1 and considering how these two essential fatty acids work inside the body, it makes sense that the two fats might be required in approximately equal amounts. From these facts we may assume that genetically, the human body needs omega 3 and 6 fatty acids in around 1:1 ratio.
What is the Role of Drugs on Immune Functions?
A good number of drugs used to relieve pain, asthma, allergy etc are blocking the omega 6 pathway at various levels to reduce inflammation. When these drugs are taken to relieve pain, prevent clot formation in heart attack, stroke or to prevent or treat asthma, allergy etc, they block both the omega 6 inflammation and the omega 3 healing pathway too. As these two subtypes of omega 3 and 6 are working in a parallel way for production and have different actions in different tissues and cell types, the manipulation of omega 6 pathway with drugs results in various undesirable side effects and complications. Example is the side effects of a medication used for pain relief can aggravate asthma, acidity or precipitate a heart attack, stroke or cognitive impairment, depression or slow down wound healing, reunion of fractured bone etc.
What is the optimal Omega 3 to 6 ratio for optimal function of the immune system?
Human diet and nutrition intake has changed substantially from the hunter gatherer nutrition after the agricultural and industrial revolution. Increased consumption of omega 6 fatty acids in the form of oilseeds and vegetable oils and a reduction in consumption of omega 3 due to the refinement and processing of modern foods lead to drastic change in omega 3 to 6 ratio from 1:1 of paleolithic diet to 1:20 or more in modern diet. This alteration in essential fatty acid increases the omega 6 which is the proinflammatory fat and its metabolites in the body at cell level leading to an increase in the inflammatory diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, heart attack, stroke, asthma, allergy, cancer, autoimmune diseases etc. Keeping the omega 3 to 6 balance to 1:1 is crucial for keeping the balance of inflammatory defence activities of the body and the anti inflammatory healing activities of the body.
What Is The Role Of Physical Activity In Immunity?
When a body part is involved in an activity blood and lymph flow in that part will increase and more oxygen and other nutrients will be delivered to the active cells and metabolic waste like carbon dioxide is removed effectively with the increased blood and lymph circulation. When the cells are activated it releases chemical messengers cytokines to intercellular fluid for communication to neighboring cells, hormones into the blood for communication to distant cells and activates the nerve cells in the locality and sent electrical signals to the brain which control and coordinate the activities electrically with nerve impulses and chemically with hormones.
When a body part or the cells are not activated blood flow to that part will be reduced and the nutrient availability and waste disposal will be compromised. Accumulation of waste promotes cell damage, release inflammatory mediators which attract phagocytic cells to the location leading to apoptosis and finally disuse atrophy of the unused part. Hypoxia will not promote apoptosis of adipocytes but promotes release of inflammatory markers and induces generalised inflammatory response leading to inflammatory diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disease, cancer, allergies, asthma etc. This inflammatory response will be more if the stored fat is in the form of trans fat and omega 6 when leading a sedentary life.
What Is The Role Of Toxins In Immunity?
Anything other than a nutrient and any nutrient in excess quantity will induce an inflammatory response to dispose of the unwanted / invader / foreign material from the body. Air and water pollution, pesticide residue, preservatives, taste makers, colours etc in food, cosmetics, body care etc increases the toxic load on the body and induces inflammatory response. When there is a deficiency of one or more nutrients or an imbalance in essential fatty acid omega 3 and 6 intake the healing anti inflammatory response will be inadequate resulting in the development of inflammatory diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disease, cancer, allergies, asthma etc.
How Cell Activation Treatment Strengthens Immunity And Optimizes Health?
Cell activation protocol is focused on ensuring optimal nutrition through food, improving circulation through breath regulated segmental activities and minimizing toxin entry in the body through food and cosmetics. Optimized nutrient food and oil supports the ratio of omega 3 and 6 in 1:1 ratio and all known nutrients are in the correct proportion. This will ensure availability of nutrients at optimal proportion for cell level growth and development of immune cells, biochemical equipment for defence/ inflammatory activities and for repair and regrowth of damaged tissue for healing and recovery.
Oxyflex the gentle stimulation activity protocol helps to improve blood and lymph circulation to all parts of the body and thereby ensure the supply of nutrients to the cells and removal of metabolic wastes effectively. Oxyflex activities can be done on the bed and is suitable for the sick, recuperating patients and for those with restricted mobility.
Optimized nutrient food, drink and body care support is devoid of any added preservatives, colours, flavours or any other additives of no nutritional value.So the toxic load on the body is reduced. Reduction of toxic load from food and body care reduces the workload on the immune system and excretory organs like the skin, mucous membrane, kidney and liver. The immune system can concentrate on the defence and healing activities and make prevention and recovery from diseases very effective.