Nature’s most fundamental defense mechanism is present in plants, animals, and humans, and is called in humans the “innate immune system.”
This immune system is unconscious and tough and fast. It knows how to defend us and other forms of life without being taught.
This is the guy Nature has wisely put in our corner throughout the ages of life existing on earth.
The innate immune system is made of tissue barriers in the body, such as our skin and mucous membranes, and includes dedicated cells such as neutrophils, natural killer cells, and some types of lymphocytes.
The innate immune system is home to the “cellular” branch of defense, and the names of the cells indicate their power: natural killer cells, macrophages (literally “big eaters”). These no-nonsense tough guy cells do a great deal of the immune defense work of the innate immune system.
The innate immune system co-operates with other systems in the body, such as coagulation and the complement cascade.
The innate immune system also activates the acquired or adaptive immune system, which makes specific liquid (“humoral”) antibodies, and has memory of exposure.
If you remember the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff, you know that the big billy goat didn’t talk his way out of being eaten as he crossed the bridge. He didn’t even talk. He used his big horns and showed the troll who was in charge.
The Innate immune system is the Big Billy Goat Gruff. It is powerful. It acts. It does not spend time talking or taking notes. It is The Doer of the immune system.
This analogy is not perfect, but it shows two types of coping strengths which have a parallel in our immune system.
The two immune systems work together, Doers and Thinkers, to give us the best health.
We would die without our innate immune system. We would not die without our acquired immune system, though we would be sicker without it.
Both parts of the immune system are nutritionally dependent on such nutrients as protein, calories, vitamin D, omega 3’s, and trace minerals. Nutrition is the foundation on which immune health stands. Nutrition is more important than manipulating the immune system, such as with vaccines. See Nutrition.
The Innate Immune system, the Doer, is in contrast to the adaptive immune system (see Acquired Immunity), which learns, remembers, has a thinking-like function, and sometimes gets confused when it’s overworked (autoimmune disease).
The adaptive immune system is The Thinker of the immune system. As a Little Billy Goat Gruff, it talks, negotiates, identifies itself as not the right goat to eat, points to another goat, and that is its effectiveness.
These acquired antibodies are “humoral” or liquid; they are not hungry cells, but molecules with memory that circulate in the blood. The adaptive immune system protects us out of its memory recall, so it can bring up a specific antibody to an antigen it experienced before. Sometimes there is confusion about antigens that are similar, and the antibody attacks the human tissue instead of the invader. This is an autoimmune process, inflammation directed against oneself.
Innate Adaptive or Acquired
The Doer The Thinker
cells eat antibodies float
immediate takes time
Currently there is a great deal of focus on the acquired or adaptive immune system to protect humans against all kinds of diseases, through the use of ever-increasing numbers of vaccines. There are approximately 145 new vaccines in the production pipeline, including one for schizophrenia. See Immunizations; see Acquired immunity.
Today we have fewer acute illnesses which are handled primarily by the tough guys of the innate immune system. We have vastly more chronic inflammatory diseases, specifically allergies and autoimmune diseases. These diseases are often the result of the disordered antibody production part of the immune system, the cells with memory.
Thought leaders in holistic medicine analyzed research and concluded the following:*
1. The human being with an acute illness undergoes different immune system events than the person who has a vaccination for the acute illness. The acute illness activates both the innate and the acquired, the cellular and the humoral liquid immune systems. Vaccinations activate only the humoral liquid antibody portion.
2. The acute illness immune experience is strengthening for the overall immune function of the person.
3. The acute illness immune experience may prevent chronic illness, such as heart disease, allergies, and the host of autoimmune-related diseases widespread in our times.
4. Over use of vaccines is related to excessive antibody production and chronic allergic and inflammatory disease including autoimmune disease.
Once again, the question is one of balance. We are creating immune systems that have less ‘tough guy‘ capacity, and more ‘memory’ which can be confused when it is overstimulated, creating autoimmune and allergic disease.
We are using the Little Billy Goats Gruff over and over. They are talking and negotiating and identifying, until they are confused and not correct in creating reactions. The Big Billy Goat Gruff never comes, because we have avoided ordinary acute illnesses. The troll still threatens; it is not dealt with.
The immune system walks a line of balance between two parts: powerful unconscious strength (innate, cellular) and memory / consciousness (adaptive, humoral). Our health requires balance between the two.
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