Seven Ways to Supercharge Your Immune System Fast

In a 2002 Jon Rapoport interview of a retired vaccine industry researcher turned whistleblower, the whistleblower, whose identity is protected, dismisses the false premise of vaccinations creating immunity by stimulating antibodies.

Here is part of what he told Jon, … “the immune system is much larger and more involved than antibodies and their related killer cells.” Jon responded with, “The immune system is?”

The scientist/whistleblower responded with, Continue reading

Hemp Protein: Vital Nutrients and Benefits

Hemp protein is a vital nutrient and plant protein and without protein our bodies cannot repair cells; build new stronger cells; fight infection; build muscles, ligaments and bone or even transmit messages from one part of the body to another. Most people, however, get their protein by consuming fatty meats and chemical-laden fish. Continue reading

Do You Really Have a Food Allergy? Maybe Not

There has been a lot of debate about food allergies in recent years. In particular, medical professionals have been trying to classify reactions to certain foods by distinguishing between food allergy and food intolerance. The topic is usually broached with a little skepticism in the health news. After all, a food allergy is a lot more serious than mere food intolerance — or is it?

Of course an anaphylactic response to a certain food is a very serious health problem. But food intolerances can also cause you a lot of suffering. You can experience headaches, fatigue, stomach pains, breathing difficulties, achy joints and muscles — you name it. Whatever your symptoms and health issues, a food intolerance could potentially be the trigger.

While many doctors may consider a food intolerance as a psychosomatic problem — more based in the mind than on any real physiological change in the body — the concept has been around since the ancient Greeks. The Greeks recognized that some unpleasant symptoms could be specifically linked to the ingestion of certain foods. One of two things can happen to trigger these symptoms: either a message gets sent to your immune system to produce antibodies as a potential defense; or a much slower response takes place in the gastrointestinal system. The first is considered an allergy; the second, food intolerance. Continue reading

Scientists Explain How Mother’s Diet Prevents Allergies in Offspring

Previous research has suggested that regular intake of omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy helps boost the child’s immune system, thereby preventing allergies. Researchers now have an idea of how the healthy fats benefit fetal well-being.

Authors of the study, which was published in a recent issue of The Journal of Physiology, explained that the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) found in foods like walnuts, fish and flaxseeds may have an effect on the development of the fetal gut.

In a trial, they observed that PUFA intake by the mother helped to make her child’s gut more permeable, allowing substances to pass through into the bloodstream. Researchers explained that this stimulated the production of antibodies in the fetus. Continue reading

Hemp Protein: Vital Nutrients and Benefits

Hemp protein is a vital nutrient and plant protein and without protein our bodies cannot repair cells; build new stronger cells; fight infection; build muscles, ligaments and bone or even transmit messages from one part of the body to another. Most people, however, get their protein by consuming fatty meats and chemical-laden fish.

Hemp protein, on the other hand, contains the highest amount of edestin, a plant protein that is constructed entirely of amino acids and can be used by the body to build important antibodies, enzymes, hormones, hemoglobin cells and blood-clotting agents.

Hemp protein also contains Continue reading

Improved Method for Capturing Proteins Holds Promise for Biomedical Research

Antibodies are the backbone of the immune system—capable of targeting proteins associated with infection and disease. They are also vital tools for biomedical research, the development of diagnostic tests and for new therapeutic remedies.

Producing antibodies suitable for research however, has often been a difficult, costly and laborious undertaking.

Now, John Chaput and his colleagues at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University have developed a new way of producing antibody-like binding agents and rapidly optimizing their affinity for their target proteins. Such capture reagents are vital for revealing the subtleties of protein function, and may pave the way for improved methods of detecting and treating a broad range of diseases. Continue reading

Probiotics: What They Are and What They Can Do for You

Products containing probiotics have flooded the market in recent years. As more people seek natural or non-drug ways to maintain their health, manufacturers have responded by offering probiotics in everything from yogurt to chocolate and granola bars to powders and capsules.

Although probiotics have been around for generations – think of the “live active cultures”in several brands of yogurt – the sheer number of products with probiotics now available may overwhelm even the most conscientious of shoppers. In some respects, the industry has grown faster than the research and scientists and doctors are calling for more studies to help determine which probiotics are beneficial and which might be a waste of money.

What Are Probiotics? Continue reading

St. Michael’s Hospital First to Use Novel Blood-Cleaning Procedure for Kidney Transplant

St. Michael’s Hospital today became the first in North America to use a novel blood-cleaning procedure for a kidney patient that will allow him to receive a transplant from a donor with a different blood type.

Transplants involving a donor and recipient with different blood types are rare. Most people have natural antibodies in their blood that would cause their immune system to reject an organ from someone with a different blood type.

The procedure used today is called plasmapheresis and is similar to kidney dialysis, which removes waste products from the blood. Plasmapheresis separates plasma from patient’s blood, and runs it through a column-shaped device containing synthetic carbohydrate beads that trap the blood group antibodies. Continue reading

Specialized Regulatory T Cell Stifles Antibody Production Centers

Discovery has potential implications for cancer, autoimmune disease

A regulatory T cell that expresses three specific genes shuts down the mass production of antibodies launched by the immune system to attack invaders, a team led by scientists at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center reported online in the journal Nature Medicine.

“Regulatory T cells prevent unwanted or exaggerated immune system responses, but the mechanism by which they accomplish this has been unclear,” said paper senior author Chen Dong, Ph.D., professor in MD Anderson’s Department of Immunology and director of the Center for Inflammation and Cancer.

“We’ve identified a molecular pathway that creates a specialized regulatory T cell, which suppresses the reaction of structures called germinal centers. This is where immune system T cells and B cells interact to swiftly produce large quantities of antibodies,” Dong said. Continue reading

Protecting Your Immune System Provides you Optimal Health

A healthy immune system defends you against invading pathogens and keeps you cancer-free, pain-free, free of autoimmune diseases and sheltered against chronic illness of many types. Protecting your immune system helps your immune system protect your body and provides optimal health.

Your Immune System At Work

Your immune system occupies your skin, blood, tissues and the linings of your intestinal tract, nose and mouth. Consisting of an array of specialized cells that detect unnatural molecules entering your body, it patrols your entire body. Immune cells are like scouts in an army who communicate with troops waiting behind Continue reading

Could this Be the Reason you Are Loosing Hair

Unexplained, excessive hair loss can be worrying and scary. The good news is, there’s often a way to fix it. Everyone loses hair. It happens during your morning shower, while you’re blowing it dry, or when you give it a quick brush—and that’s normal. “On average, we lose fifty to a hundred hairs a day,” says Francesca Fusco, MD, a New York City dermatologist who specializes in hair loss. “That’s just hair going through its cycles, and there will be a new one to replace it.” But hair loss may be a sign of a more serious medical condition that needs an evaluation by a dermatologist and possible treatment. Here are six causes of hair loss and how to  Continue reading

Researchers Discover Way to Reverse Immune System Aging

Researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have discovered a way to reverse the aging process by removing old B lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell in the vertebrate immune system) from old mice, and forcing the production of young, potent cells to replace them. The findings were reported in the January 2011 issue of the scientific journal “Blood.”

“As with every aging process in the body, it is generally thought that aging of the immune system – including that of the B cell population – is a progressive process that cannot be stopped and/or reversed,” says lead researcher Prof. Doron Melamed of the Technion’s Rappaport Faculty of Medicine. “But we have succeeded in showing that it is possible to turn back the aging process.”

As is the case with the rest of the body, the immune system is weakened with age, a fact reflected by a significant increase in illness among the elderly, and a dramatic decrease in their ability to respond to vaccination. The B lymphocytes are major cellular components in the function of the immune system and are responsible for the production of antibodies.

According to Prof. Melamed, many studies have shown the B cell population undergoes dramatic changes with age as a result of a decline in the body’s ability to produce new B cells and a selection process that leads to an accumulation of old B cells with a limited and reduced response capability.

Using old mice, the Technion researchers showed that active removal of the B cells changes the cellular homeostasis in the body and generates conditions of chronic deficiency of these cells. To overcome this deficiency, the body re-activates the bone marrow, forcing it to produce B cells again at a rate not different than that which exists in young mice. The researchers found that the newly generated B cells replaced the old cells that were removed, and led to an improvement of up to 400% in the ability of the treated mice to respond to vaccinations.

“This paper shows — for the first time — that physiological aging is a regulated process that can be reversed, thus raising many questions concerning our understanding of the mechanisms of aging,” Prof. Melamed says. “It also presents a novel approach for rejuvenating the immune system, and for enhancing the efficacy of vaccination among the elderly population, an approach that is now being studied.”

What is Lupus?

What is Lupus?

Lupus is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks normal, healthy tissue. This results in symptoms such as inflammation, swelling, and damage to joints, skin, kidneys, blood, the heart, and lungs.

Under normal function, the immune system makes proteins called antibodies in order to protect and fight against antigens such as viruses and bacteria. Lupus makes the immune system unable to differentiate between antigens and healthy tissue. This leads the immune system to direct antibodies against the healthy tissue – not just antigens – causing swelling, pain, and tissue damage.

(* An antigen is a substance capable of inducing a specific immune response.)

What are the different types of lupus?

Several different kinds of lupus have been identified, but the type that we refer to simply as lupus is known as systemic lupus erythematosus or SLE. Other types include discoid (cutaneous), drug-induced, and neonatal.

Patients with discoid lupus have a version of the disease that is limited to the skin. It is characterized by a rash that appears on the face, neck, and scalp, and it does not affect internal organs. Less than 10% of patients with discoid lupus progress into the systemic form of the disease, but there is no way to predict or prevent the path of the disease.

SLE is more severe than discoid lupus because it can affect any of the body’s organs or organ systems. Some people may present inflammation or other problems with only skin and joints, while other SLE sufferers will see joints, lungs, kidneys, blood, and/or the heart affected. This type of lupus is also often characterized by periods of flare (when the disease is active) and periods of remission (when the disease is dormant).

Drug-induced lupus is caused by a reaction with certain prescription drugs and causes symptoms very similar to SLE. The drugs most commonly associated with this form of lupus are a hypertension medication called hydralazine and a heart arrhythmia medication called procainamide, but there are some 400 other drugs that can also cause the condition. Drug-induced lupus is known to subside after the patient stops taking the triggering medication.

A rare condition, neonatal lupus occurs when a mother passes autoantibodies to a fetus. The unborn and newborn child can have skin rashes and other complications with the heart and blood. Usually a rash appears but eventually fades within the first six months of the child’s life.

Who is affected by lupus?

According to the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA), 1.5 to 2 million Americans have some form of lupus. The prevalence is about 40 cases per 100,000 persons among Northern Europeans and 200 per 100,000 persons among blacks. Although the disease affects both males and females, women are diagnosed 9 times more often than men, usually between the ages of 15 and 45. African-American women suffer from more severe symptoms and a higher mortality rate.

Other risk factors include exposure to sunlight, certain prescription medications, infection with Epstein-Barr virus, and exposure to certain chemicals.

What causes lupus?

Although doctors are do not know exactly what causes lupus and other autoimmune diseases, most believe that lupus results from both genetic and environmental stimuli.

Since lupus is known to occur within families, doctors believe that it is possible to inherit a genetic predisposition to lupus. There are no known genes, however, that directly cause the illness. It is probable that having an inherited predisposition for lupus makes the disease more likely only after coming into contact with some environmental trigger.

The higher number of lupus cases in females than in males may indicate that the disease can be triggered by certain hormones. Physicians believe that hormones such as estrogen regulate the progression of the disease because symptoms tend to flare before menstrual periods and/or during pregnancy.

Certain environmental factors have been known to cause lupus symptoms. These include:

    * Extreme stress

    * Exposure to ultraviolet light, usually from sunlight

    * Smoking

    * Some medications and antibiotics, especially those in the sulfa and penicillin groups

    * Some infections, such as cytomegalovirus (CMV), parvovirus (such as fifth disease), hepatitis C infections, and the Epstein-Barr virus (in children)

    * Chemical exposure to compounds such as trichloroethylene in well water and dust

What are the symptoms of lupus?

Since no two cases of lupus are exactly alike, there is a wide range of symptoms that are known to affect many parts of the body. Sometimes symptoms develop slowly or appear suddenly; they can be mild, severe, temporary, or permanent. Most people with lupus experience symptoms in only a few organs, but more serious cases can lead to problems with kidneys, the heart, the lungs, blood, or the nervous system.

Lupus episodes, or flares, are usually noted by a worsening of some of the following symptoms:

    * Achy joints (arthralgia), arthritis, and swollen joints, especially in wrists, small joints of the hands, elbows, knees, and ankles

    * Swelling of the hands and feet due to kidney problems

    * Fever of more than 100 degrees F (38 degrees C)

    * Prolonged or extreme fatigue

    * Skin lesions or rashes, especially on the arms, hands, face, neck, or back

    * Butterfly-shaped rash (malar rash) across the cheeks and nose

    * Anemia (oxygen carrying deficiency of red blood cells)

    * Pain in the chest on deep breathing or shortness of breath

    * Sun or light sensitivity (photosensitivity)

    * Hair loss or alopecia

    * Abnormal blood clotting problems

    * Raynaud’s phenomenon: fingers turn white and/or blue or red in the cold

    * Seizures

    * Mouth or nose ulcers

    * Weight loss or gain

    * Dry eyes

    * Easy bruising

    * Anxiety, depression, headaches, and memory loss

 

Lupus can also lead to complications in several areas of the body. These include:

    * Kidneys – serious kidney damage is a primary cause of death for lupus sufferers.

    * Central nervous system – lupus can cause headaches, dizziness, memory problems, seizures, and behavioral changes.

    * Blood and vessels – lupus causes an increased risk of anemia, bleeding, blood clotting, and vessel inflammation

    * Lungs – noninfectious pneumonia and difficulty breathing due to inflammation of the chest cavity are more likely with lupus

    * Heart – heart muscle and artery inflammation are more likely with the disease, and lupus increases the chances of cardiovascular disease and heart attacks.

    * Infection – lupus treatments tend to depress the immune system making your body more vulnerable to infection.

    * Cancer – lupus increases the risk of cancer, especially of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, lung cancer, and liver cancer

    * Bone tissue death – a lower blood supply to bone tissue leads to tiny breaks and eventual death of bone. This is most common in the hip bone.

    * Pregnancy – lupus increases the risk of miscarriage, hypertension during pregnancy, and preterm birth.