A Good Immune System
“Our immune system is the most dynamic body component in determining our state of health or disease… Our immune system constantly interacts with our internal environment, protects us from our external environment and provides the inherent knowledge to sense the difference between friend and foe.” Dr. Elson Haas
Dr. Bert Berkson, physician and researcher says, “Your immune system is constantly neutralizing the boundless toxins in our environment and fighting alien bacteria, fungi, protozoans and parasites. In addition, cancer cells are always appearing, and the immune system must be able to recognize and destroy them. A normal cell, in addition to destroying invaders, must remember who the invaders are, so that at a later date it can kill similar germs.”
“The real threat comes from things like bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites…those are the antigens (things that stimulate an immune response) that bring the immune system to a full state of alert.” Dr. William Clark At War Within
Commonplace Invaders Your Immune System Must Overcome Every Day
A. Bacteria – There are millions of bacteria. A bacteria is a living thing and can cause disease just by floating around in the bloodstream. Antibiotics have been used against bacteria since the 40’s. Tuberculosis is a bacterial disease. Anthrax is a bacteria. Bacterial infections are the root of many diseases. Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo states, “Did you know that antibiotics only reduce the level of infection? Your body’s immune system is still required to finish the battle.”
Many bacteria have mutated, or “learned” to overcome antibiotics. The term is antibiotic resistance. This is causing much anxiety in medical and research communities. In 1997 David Dacha, Director of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) stated, “In recent years, antibiotics have become less effective against infectious agents and we are concerned with the ‘post’ [after] antibiotic era…” In other words, what will we do when antibiotics are no longer effective?
B. Fungi – There are over 100,000 species of fungi. Many are good and useful while others cause problems and about 400 cause fungal disease. The most common are candida and tinea. “Recurrent fungal infections are a common sign of depressed immune function.” Dr. James Balch
C. Parasites – The definition of a parasite is “any one of a number of organisms that lives on or in a host from which it derives sustenance or protection without benefit to, and usually with harmful effects on, the host.” Janice Strubbe Wittenberg, R.N. “Over 130 types of parasites have been found in Americans.
Parasites have become more prevalent for many reasons including contaminated water supplies, day care centers, ease of international travel, foods, pets, and the sexual revolution… Contrary to popular myths, having parasites isn’t a reflection of your cleanliness.” Elizabeth Lipski, M.S., C.C.N. Ms. Wittenberg also states, “Parasite infestation is commonly seen in the presence of immune dysfunction, and in particular, allergic disorders.”
D. Cancer – There are over 200 different cancers. President Nixon declared war on cancer in 1971 and the number of people getting cancer has increased steadily ever since. Cancerous cells are something your immune system deals with every day because they appear every day. A routine function of the immune system is disposing of cancer cells. Over a half million people die of cancer each year.
The Most Common Cancer Is The Second Cancer
The repeat rate of cancer is high enough that Dr. Lois Travis of the National Institutes of Health offers this warning, “The most common cancer is the second cancer…those second cancers not arising from the treatment [of the first cancer; chemotherapy and radiation] arise from the same cause as the first cancer.” Chemotherapy and radiation further depress immune function which obviously was not operating well in the first place.
E. Virus – There are some 2,000+ viruses with names. Some are new to us like the West Nile Virus. Others have been around for many, many years like the Epstein Barr Virus.
The flu is a virus. A cold is a virus and there are over 400 cold viruses. Smallpox and HIV are viruses. “Viruses are not living cells, like bacteria. They need to get inside a healthy cell and take over its machinery to reproduce themselves, and that is where disease can come in.” Dr. William R. Clark
Viruses don’t respond to antibiotics. Most medical professionals will say they don’t respond well to antiviral drugs either. Viruses are associated with a multitude of immune disorders including some cancers. “Even if you are perfectly healthy, thousands of viruses may be present in your blood, only 75% of which have been identified.” Dr. Jesse Stoff
A Label Is Just A Name
Each day we inhale and eat these thousands of bacteria and viruses. We cut ourselves, get bitten by bugs, and do all sorts of knowingly and unknowingly stupid things affecting our health and immune systems in bad ways. We can get away with it until our immune system can no longer keep up.
An inability of the immune system to “keep up” can turn that previously unnoticed virus, bug, or whatever, into disease. An immune system disorder can be both the precipitating factor to disease and the resulting factor from disease, or both.
Disease, according to Drs. Thibodeau and Patton, can be described as “an abnormality in body function that threatens well-being. Named diseases are specific structural or functional abnormalities.” A disease that has a name obviously has a repeated collection of recognized symptoms and measurable differences distinct enough unto itself, and from whatever is considered normal, to warrant having a name, a label.
Core Problem Beyond the Label
Beyond the labels - the names, all severe and chronic diseases, in spite of the different symptoms any specific chronic disease may produce, have something in common – immune system dysfunction, according to Dr. Jesse Stoff.
Now and Then – Why Us? Why Now?
Millions of years of evolution have honed our immune systems to protect us from the thousands upon thousands of predatory microorganisms. Our immune systems are finely tuned, highly integrated defense complexes that relentlessly pursue and destroy would be body trashers. If our immune systems have gotten us this far, from early man until now, why, with all of our knowledge, high standards and sophisticated medical approaches, are immune system disorders a problem now?
Low Immune Function
Dr. Jesse Stoff says in The Ultimate Nutrient, “In my studies I have become aware of the severe deficiency that exists in our NK cell (natural killer cell) reserves. Studies indicate that at one time we carried high levels of NK cell activity. Current measurements indicate we are at about 10-20% of those levels today. The implications of this fact are staggering. If we have no significant protection against cancer and viruses, we will not survive as a species. On our present course, extinction is a certainty, although evolution would hopefully step-in and create people with either high NK cell activity or a new system of living. In the mean time, the pressures of a highly productive society are taking their toll on us individually.”
[Note: NK cells are an accepted indicator of overall immune function: Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and Department of Pathology study entitled Human Natural Killer Cells in Health and Disease done by Theresa L. Whiteside and Ronald B. Herberman]
Why So Low Immune Function? Evolution is Slow
Dr. Bert Berkson offers this explanation: “Our ancestors were not routinely exposed to the types of poisons we encounter in our daily environment, and consequently we haven’t evolved the proper physiological machinery to break down these toxins…Today humans are exposed to more toxic chemicals than at any other time in their evolution on this planet.”
“A toxin is any substance that, when present in the body in a sufficient quantity, damages an organ, system, or function.” Dr. Jesse Stoff, The Prostate Miracle A toxin can come from the outside or the inside, as in those that damage DNA. It’s hard to avoid toxins because they’re everywhere. Samuel Epstein, M.D. of the University of Illinois says that a major thrust of cancer prevention must be the detoxification of our earth.
“In any situation where there is excessive demand upon the human body, the immune system will perform at its maximum, but when that demand is overwhelming, the immune system begins to falter.” Dr. Jesse Stoff
“Like any complex system – human or electronic – different parts of the system can stop working at different times and under different conditions… The loss of the smallest component of the immune system can be disastrous. “ Dr. William Clark, At War Within
Note: For more information, see Immune Stressors - Toxins