Activities that Cripple Our Immune System:
The human immune system is under constant attack by the forces of nature. To compound this, there are many common things people do in our society that cripple the immune system and make us more susceptible to illness.
People often act as though they are a poor victim of a vicious assault by a pathogen when they get sick. What they don’t often realize is that their lifestyle provided the proper environment for the pathogen to do what it was created to do.
The job of any pathogen is to “break down decaying matter.” Our job must be to “not be decaying matter,” by keeping our bodies functioning and adapting at their peak potential. Our responsibility to ourselves is to use our lifestyle to strengthen our immune system so we can overcome the stressors of life. Here are five major things most individuals in our society do to promote illness.
1. Sugar and Your Immune System
Consuming sugar feeds parasites within our body and depletes our system of critical immune boosting nutrients such as vitamin C, glutathione, zinc, etc (1). Sugar also feeds the development of abnormal tissue and cancerous growth (2). When sugar and starch is metabolized in our body it breaks down into a simple molecule called glucose that is used for energy production.
In the 1970’s, Dr. John Ely discovered the Glucose-Ascorbate-Antagonism (GAA) theory (3). Glucose and vitamin C (ascorbate) have a very similar chemical makeup. This theory proposes that elevated glucose levels compete and effectively restrict vitamin C from entering cells. Both glucose and vitamin C depend upon the pancreatic hormone insulin and its signaling effects in order to get into cells.
Sugar and Vitamin C
There is an important receptor called the Glut-1 receptor that activates in response to insulin to allow both glucose and vitamin C to enter the cell (4). However, glucose has a greater affinity for the insulin receptor. This means that the greater the content of circulating blood sugar the less vitamin C will enter the cell.
White blood cells have more insulin pumps than any other type of cell and may contain 20 times the amount of vitamin C as other cells (5). They also need 50 times more vitamin C inside the cell than in the blood plasma in order to handle the oxidative stress that occurs when they encounter a pathogenic substance.
When white blood cells encounter pathogenic bacteria and viruses they must ingest or phagocytize these organisms in order to neutralize them. The phagocytic index measures how effective a particular white blood cell is at destroying viruses, bacteria & cancer cells (6). Elevated blood sugar impairs this phagocytic index. In fact, a blood sugar of 120 reduces the phagocytic index by 75% (7).
2. Sleep Deprivation:
Quality sleep is one of the most fundamental nutrients that every person needs in order to perform at their optimal. Sleep deprivation creates a heightened stress response within the body that disrupts normal healing and tissue rejuvenation processes (8). When the body has a heightened stress response it lowers immune coordination and increases inflammatory processes.
We need at least 7 and up to 9 hours of sleep each night. Our ancestors were regularly getting 8-9 hours of sleep if not more each night. We typically try to get by on less than 7 and it leads to chronic stress, inflammation and immune dysregulation (9).
3. Drinking Tap Water:
Municipal water is extraordinarily toxic to the body and destroys the immune system. This water is loaded with environmental toxins such as chlorine, DBP’s, arsenic, heavy metals and fluoride (10, 11) . Proper water filtration is essential to remove these chemical agents.
High quality reverse osmosis systems are one of the very few water systems that is able to effectively remove fluoride (12). Add back a pinch of pink salt (1/4 teaspoon per gallon) to replace any lost minerals from the reverse osmosis process. Teach your children not to use municipal water fountains but instead to carry bottled water in either glass or stainless steel bottles.
4. Staying Indoors:
We spend as much as 90% of our lives indoors nowadays and researchers are investigating our exposure to indoor pollutants as contributing causes to rising incidence of chronic illness in our society. According to the EPA, our indoor environment is two to five times more toxic than our outdoor environment, and in some cases, the air measurements indoors have been found to be 100 times more polluted (13).
By spending so much time indoors we are also missing out on the protective factors inherent in nature. When outside we are exposed to low levels of natural pathogens and our immune system is able to gently adapt to these. Being outside also offers the benefit of fresh air, sunlight and vitamin D3 and if you take off your shoes the electrons from the ground.
5. Chronic Dehydration:
All life began in water; even the developing fetus is surrounded by water. A water rationing system takes effect immediately in response to any form of dehydration. A neurotransmitter named Histamine becomes active and redistributes water throughout the body. Some areas of the body are obviously more important than others.
The order of circulatory priority (an inborn triage system) is the brain, lungs, liver, kidneys, and glands. Of least importance are the muscles, bones & skin.
Histamine’s responsibility is to ensure that these vital organs have enough water to function properly during times of dehydration. If the dehydration issues become chronic, then water must be taken from major regions within the body.
Additionally, chronic dehydration can cause histamine to become excessively active leading to symptoms that are often mistaken for other disorders (14). The most common symptoms associated with dehydration and elevated histamine include allergies, asthma, dyspepsia, colitis, constipation, rheumatoid arthritis, migraine headaches and chronic pain.