Your Internal Military
Hello Hilltop Family!
Continuing on with the immune system, this week we will discuss adaptive or acquired immunity. Adaptive Immunity is the protection that we get from being exposed to specific pathogens (microorganisms that correlate with a specific disease or set of symptoms) throughout our lives (not just in childhood) or when we are vaccinated against them. Keep in mind that vaccination and immunization are NOT the same thing. You can be immunized with a pathogen without being vaccinated and just because you have been vaccinated does not mean you are immunized for life. Let us explain. The term Immunization only means to make someone immune to something where as a vaccination is specific immunity created from injecting or administering specific suspensions of attenuated or killed microorganisms. So technically vaccinations are immunizations but that is not the only thing that can immunize the body and provide protection. Immunization most typically comes from natural exposure to pathogens that lead to a disease. This type of immunity develops over time and at the beginning of life is not really present because baby hasn't been exposed to much yet. This presents a big problem for newborns and therefore is why babies get sick easily- their protection slate is clean if you would. So in order to be somewhat protected, babies rely on their innate immunity (as discussed last week) and what is passively passed from mom through the placenta while in the womb and through breastfeeding when in the outside world. As baby gets exposed to more pathogens and builds immunological memory, the breast milk changes in consistency to continue to allow proper support for future exposures to the same and new pathogens; all the while the baby is building its own immunological memory from the things it is exposed to (and this includes allergens along with toxins, bacteria, and viruses).
Pathogens that enter the nose and mouth (by either breathing or eating something or putting hands/things in the mouth) pass by the tonsils, which were previously thought to work similar to lymph nodes in that they are a battleground for immune system cells to fight and kill pathogens but in actuality tonsils are really monitors of what is coming into the body. Meaning they take a sample of what's entering the body and primes the immune system for what is coming. Injected vaccinations skip this step as well as skip the detox channels of the body because the concoction is injected directly into the blood stream and goes directly to our vital organs, drowning them in toxins and foreign material (man made pathogens) which makes it harder on the body to mount a normal immune response. Instead, the body doesn't know how to react to the ingredients in vaccinations (both the pathogens and adjuncts) and leads to an abnormal immune response that sometimes can harm the body more than it helps (more on vaccinations next week). Cells of Adaptive Immunity:
B lymphocytes (B Cells)- formed and mature in the bone marrow. Once mature, they travel to lymph nodes and the spleen. Form antibodies against specific pathogens. More specific to extracellular (outside the cell) pathogens such as toxins and bacteria.
T lymphocytes (T cells)- formed in the bone marrow and travel to the thymus to mature. Once mature, they circulate in the blood and lymph and migrate to lymph nodes and the spleen. More specific to intracellular (inside the cell) pathogens such as viruses. Do not form antibodies but instead directly kill the invaded cell. Side note: viruses are technically not alive like bacteria are, they are only carriers of genetic information that gets "injected" into the host cell. For a viral infection to occur, the invaded cell has to replicate this genetic material over and over.
How this type of immunity works (going to go in depth a bit here with the science so bare with us):
Activated after the innate immune responses (microbiome)
If an infection progresses despite efforts of the innate immune system, a more coordinated response is required in order to destroy the pathogen
Occurs a few days after the innate immune response is initiated
Two types of adaptive immunity- cell mediated (T cell) and humoral (B cell)
Antigen presentation- specific cells called antigen-presenting cells or APCs present antigens (a molecule that signals the launch of an immune response- usually found on the pathogen as in the case for toxins and bacteria or is expressed by a pathogen invaded cell as in the case for viruses) to a complementary immune system cell called helper T cells.
Differentiation and activation- depending on the type of pathogen, the helper T cells differentiate (transform) into cytotoxic T cells which activate the T cells or type 2 helper T cells which activate the B cells.
Replication and memory formation- once activated, B cells differentiate even further into memory cells and antibody forming cells called plasma cells where as T cells do not produce antibody forming cells but they do form memory cells. Memory cells remain in the lymphoid tissues (lymph nodes, spleen, thymus) and provide the body with a quicker response the next time the pathogen is present because these memory cells don't have to go through the process of antigen presentation and differentiation and activation. They are already active and ready to go for the next exposure.
Destruction and elimination- plasma cells and cytotoxic T cells destroy and eliminate pathogens by either killing them directly, triggering an inflammatory response, or attaching to the pathogen to render it useless in some way.
Natural immunization occurs only after recovery of a disease (with the formation of memory immune system cells). As the body is exposed to the same pathogens over and over, the immune system response gets better and better and faster and faster at identifying and eliminating the microorganism because these memory cells are now circulating in the body, all ready to go. Certain pathogens, like the ones that are correlated to measles and chicken pox, create lifetime immunity if you are exposed to those microorganisms naturally or the wild-type. This means you won't get these diseases more than once if exposed and infection occurs (remember disease and infections only happen if the defense systems of the body are compromised by not following the 5 Essentials of Health to the best of your ability). Vaccinations do not give you this lifetime immunity hence why boosters are necessary at certain intervals. Side note: exposure to some pathogens naturally actually has certain health benefits (yes benefits) depending on the microorganism. For example, natural contraction of the measles virus that results in an infection has been shown to have anti-heart disease and anti-cancer effects. What limits natural immunization?
Not breastfeeding (pumping and bottle feeding with formula and breast milk)- no passive immunity provided by mom who has already formed memory immune system cells.
Kids not getting exposed to pathogens- over clean environments, not being around people, not being able to play outside and get dirty, staying away from other sick kids...
Vaccinations (as discussed)
Removal of any lymphoid tissue (bone marrow, spleen, thymus, tonsils, lymph nodes and vessels, and mucosa-associated lymphatic tissue or MALT which includes the appendix and Peyer's patches in the intestinal wall)- immune system cells won't be formed or mature properly.
Subluxations- decrease nerve flow to lymphoid tissue and blood supply which can affect the entire process... (not following Essential number 1 which is proper nerve supply).
Stress (we will talk about this later)... (not following Essential number 2 which is a positive and innate healing mindset)
Toxins- bog down the lymphoid tissue and decrease the reaction time of the immune system cells... pollution, personal care products, plastic use, vaccinations... (not following Essential number 5 which is minimizing toxins)
Using over the counter or prescription medications to take care of symptoms- decreases or prevents the destruction and elimination step (effectively lengthening the healing process- takes longer to recover because the pathogens are still present in the body).
Bad nutrition- lack of nutrients affects the entire process because the nutrients are necessary for energy and building blocks of immune system cells... processed food, not eating enough fruit and vegetables, pesticides, GMOs... (not following Essential number 3 which is quality nutrition).
Not exercising- lack of oxygen diminishes the power and effectiveness of the immune system cells which could affect the entire process... (not following Essential number 4 which is oxygenation of tissues).
We hope you and your loved ones are safe and well. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please don't hesitate to reach out. We will be open for normal hours next week. Hope you are enjoying the nice weather! :) Love, Dr. Brittany and Coach Anna