Emphasis upon YOU
Joseph F Unger Jr DC, FICS
PREDISPOSING FACTORS: All patients do not have an equal risk of developing a nosocomial infection. The inherent resistance of the patient to infection is probably the most important determinant of risk. The extremes of age, poor nutritional status, severity of the underlying diseases, and breaks in the integrity of the skin and mucous membranes all increase the patient’s risk of infection.
CECIL TEXTBOOK OF MEDICINE 19th edition, page 1589
W.B. Saunders Company
The immune system is complicated, complex and often misunderstood. Most of the available information is very narrow focused and limited. Additionally, some information is misleading and erroneous. The more that we explore this subject, we find that almost all parts and systems of the body contribute to immunity.
Some experts postulate two parts to immunity: specific and general. For example, an individual may have excellent general immunity and seldom get colds and flus. At the same time their specific immunity for an allergen such as ragweed may be very poor. They can be in great overall health but suffer from seasonal allergies.
Some of the major factors affecting the immune response are as follows:
Vector – the specific infecting agent. Different infecting agents tend to have characteristic symptoms and symptomatic progressions that are specific to its genus, species, strain etc. Let us use salmonella poisoning as an example. There are over 2000 different strains of this bacteria all producing different symptoms. Some are so mild that the person may not experience any notable symptoms. Other strains can be fatal. The specific characteristics of the invader constitute one major factor in the overall immune response.
Load – is simply the number of toxins, bacteria, viruses, allergens etc. Many individuals are not bothered by normal amounts of ragweed pollen. However, if subjected to very large amounts of this irritant, many would react. Sneezing and coughing would be the body’s natural response to rid itself of this foreign entity. The same is true for other toxins, bacteria and viruses.
Individual immunity – everyone’s ability to tolerate toxic load and fight off infections is different. Some of the differences are genetic and seem to provide little opportunity to improve upon. Another factor is acquired immunity gained by exposure to infecting agents. For example, almost every school teacher and nurse that I have ever talked to report a couple of years of constant sniffles when they enter the working environment. They seemingly succumb to every little bug that their students or patients expose them to. After enough battles the immune system gets stronger and these infections become less and less frequent.
Artificial immunity through vaccinations attempts to mimic this natural process. If one acquires an infectious agent that it fights it off naturally, he or she then enjoys a more widespread immunity to other strains of that organism. Immunizations provide immunity only for the specific strains from which they were produced. In other words, natural immunity casts a wider blanket of immunity for the future. This is one reason why many opt for natural immunity over the artificial means.
To begin to understand the measures that one can employ to strengthen their immune system we must entertain a discussion of some of its important factors. The mainstream view will offer a number of simple measures. Adequate sleep, hydration, exercise, diet, nutrition and so on. Let us look a little deeper.
The core of our defense system involves an array of immune specific cells that hunt down and neutralize foreign invaders of many sorts.
- The immune system is a complex network of cells and proteins that defends the body against infection.
- The immune system keeps a record of every germ (microbe) it has ever defeated so it can recognize and destroy the microbe quickly if it enters the body again.
- Immune system function is dependent upon many, if not all, other body parts.
Parts of the immune system
The main parts of the immune system are:
- white blood cells
- complement system
- lymphatic system
- bone marrow
While these are the components of the immune system proper, many other body parts play significant and even essential roles in the health, maintenance and ultimate effectiveness of the immune response.
Our first line of defense is skin. It is a physical barrier to many pathogens. This is why we see the great emphasis upon cleanliness. However, this strategy can only go so far. We can take an important lesson from hospitals that sanitize extensively and are the breeding ground for super germs. Our skin is full of bacteria. Literally many thousands of strains of healthy bacteria inhabit skin, providing a degree of protection from unfriendly invaders. The number of germs that inhabit the human body (internally and externally) actually outnumber our cells by a factor of 10. Yes, you heard it right, there are 10 bacteria for every cell in our bodies. The weight of these bacteria is 1-2% of our body totaling 1-6 pounds! There are good bacteria and there are bad bacteria. If the colony of good bacteria are sufficient, they can keep the bad guys in check. Repeated sanitizing also kills off the good guys providing greater opportunity for undesirables.
Let us review the simple high school experiment that my class performed back in 1966. Petri dishes were swabbed with E. coli bacteria. Away in a dark closet for a couple of days and the entire dish was filled with fuzzy bacterial growth.
Next, the exact same procedure was performed except a small piece of antibiotic was placed in the center of the Petri dish. In those days we had streptomycin and erythromycin. The dish again placed in the closet for a few days revealed a fuzzy growth with the exception of a very clear ring around the antibiotics. This is termed the death zone. As the breeding bacteria approached the antibiotic, they were killed. The dishes remained unopened and simply put back in the closet for a couple more days. Upon reinspection, bacteria were now growing on the antibiotics.
These bacteria reproduce about every 20 minutes. Within a few hundred generations, nature produced a genetically recombined organism that was not sensitive to the antibiotic. Therefore, it had a food source that none of the others could use and it grew freely. It is important to note that this whole process took mere days to produce an antibiotic resistant bacterium. The same process has been replicated in the real world many times and has resulted in the many strains of antibiotic resistant organisms that we must now combat. Sanitization is good but it is not the total answer and may afford significant unintended consequences.
Next in our line of defenses is the digestive system. Our nose, throat and gut all have mucous membranes. Simply put, mucous membranes make mucous. Mucus is sticky like flypaper. It traps allergens, viruses, bacteria and other invaders that get glued to this substance. Mucous membranes also have little hair-like paddles called cilia that coax the mucous along with the debris that it traps through the sinuses and throat into the stomach. Stomach acid breaks down many of these invaders and kills bacteria and viruses.
The acid we produce in the stomach is quite remarkable. It is very strong and there are specialized cells in the stomach that prevent it from being digested by this acid. In turn, this acid is a highly effective disinfecting agent for the body. If we are not producing sufficient quantities of normal stomach acid, or if we take drugs to reduce the acidity of the stomach, it provides a weak spot in digestion and therefore our immune responses.
Another important consideration is referred to as intrinsic factor. The stomach acid must perform its magic upon minerals that they are acidified and rendered absorbable by the body. Insufficient acid levels compromise our body’s ability to utilize minerals.
The discussion of the role of minerals, especially trace minerals, is a long and complicated one. Not only must these essential nutrients be properly acidified for absorption, there are a multitude of other factors influencing transport throughout the body, utilization and ultimate excretion. A few of the long list of essential mechanisms involved the pituitary gland, adrenal glands, colon health, spleen, liver, gallbladder and so on. Each play essential roles.
Another critical factor is ingestion of sufficient quantities of essential minerals. Calcium for example, is a truly essential ingredient of the immune mechanism and is often in short supply. Furthermore, it must be provided in concentrations that are in a dynamic balance with phosphorus. If phosphorus is insufficient in the body, calcium cannot be utilized properly. This dynamic balance exists among numerous minerals and is of the essence.
Early researchers estimated of that almost 100 trace minerals are involved in body processes. Dr. William Albrecht of the University of Missouri, Columbia started charting mineral depletion in agricultural topsoil throughout the mid-1900s. He also found that this depletion coincided with an increase in herd animal diseases. The deficiency of essential trace minerals was then linked to the inability of the animals to fight off certain infections. The research of Dr. Albrecht found that the bacterial infection in cattle, Brucellosis, could be successfully treated by supplementing the deficient trace minerals into the diet.
Because this huge array of essential nutrients has been virtually eliminated from the soil, they are not available in foods. Mainstream nutrition and diet experts do not recognize these as essential and therefore the trace minerals are completely overlooked in their role in the maintenance and function of the immune system as well as other body functions.
SUPPLEMENTATION IS ESSENTIAL – Who needs nutritional supplements? EVERYONE! The full complement of nutrients required for optimal physiological performance is gone from the soil and food. Even organically grown produce is woefully deficient.
Minimum supplementation recommended for immune function:
Catalyn 1-2 per meal
Organically Bound Minerals 2-6 per day
Stomach acid also is a key factor in breaking down proteins. We will find later that proper protein digestion has a direct effect upon immunity. Also involved with protein digestion and metabolism is the pancreas, liver and the pituitary gland which should be acknowledged. Further considerations would include absorption through the large intestines which can only happen if the protein particles are broken down properly. Another concern in this department is absorption of improperly processed proteins as in leaky gut syndrome.
Why are these proteins so important? Another underappreciated system in the body is the lymphatic system which has an intimate interface with the spleen. Medically they will tell you can live without your spleen. However, it plays an essential role in immune performance. To understand these concepts further, we should explore a bit of the anatomy of the lymphatic system.
Every cell of the body requires nutrition and produces toxins for excretion. Nutrition, primarily in the form of glucose and oxygen (as well as vitamins, minerals and thousands of other factors) are delivered through the front door by the bloodstream. Cells are arranged much like houses in the city where I grew up. We had the street out in the front of the house but between each house were sidewalks referred to as gangways. The sidewalk then went out the back door to an alley where there was an ash pit. The bloodstream is like the street and the entrance to the front door. The lymphatic system extends between every cell and behind every cell providing far more direct contact to the surfaces of every cell in the body.
Nutrition enters through the front door but all of the waste products go through the cells and out the back door down the alley ways forming a complex system of channels to excrete waste products. Many of the immune cells also inhabit the lymphatic system. The lymph system eventually joins into larger and larger channels emptying into the spleen for processing of the lymph fluids. The spleen’s job is to remove infective entities as well as to detoxify.
The primary mover of lymph fluid is provided through, what is called, osmotic pressure. Osmotic pressure is produced by the tiniest of proteins in the human body. Therefore, if proteins from our foods are not broken down thoroughly enough, there is insufficient supplies of these very small proteins to provide the proper power to the lymphatic system. Immunity is compromised.
Chiropractic Saved Lives During the Spanish Flu Pandemic
It should be noted that the functions of all of the systems, organs and glands mentioned rely upon not only nutrition and diet for their food source but also functional neurology to optimize their function. Nerve impingement in the thoracic spine can diminish the ability of the digestive system as well as other organs to work properly. Cranial distortions can affect the pituitary gland. Structural distortions can have a negative impact upon all functions of the body including immunity. This is why there were several reports during the pandemic of 1918-1919 of lower mortality rates in those receiving regular chiropractic treatments. Current claims will state there is no “scientific evidence” of this but they only cite double blind studies reported in peer reviewed journals in the past 10 years. Obviously, the observations of a century ago are excluded.
Colon Health is also associated with a good immune system. The more we learn about the bacterial content of our large intestines, the more we appreciate how it can affect many diseases and bodily functions. Proper colon function is subject of an entirely different discussion reserved for another time.
Another important ingredient in immune response is detoxification. Toxic loads in the body compromise its many functions. Detoxification is a complex subject that involves every part of the body from inside each cell into the lymphatic system and bloodstream through the liver and kidneys and even out the skin and lungs. Spleen and liver detoxification also must exit through the gallbladder and out the colon.
“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”
― John Muir
The current pervasive US vs THEM mentality appears in most every facet of human endeavor. Our attitude to bacteria and viruses is not excepted. Let us consider some fundamental facts.
The above is a very brief discussion of a long and complicated subject. From this scanty overview, it can be concluded that human immunity is a mechanism that involves virtually every part of the person.
As the usefulness of a chain is in its weakest link, efforts to enhance individual immunity are best directed at the weakest systems in the person. Identifying these targets for health improvement can be a challenging and daunting subject. In the Sacro Occipital Technic™ Methods of healing there are specific diagnostic indicators useful in determining an individual program for immune improvement. Consult you SOT® specialist for further insight and analysis.
Mental and Emotional Considerations
Several years ago, I heard an interview with an NIH scientist to performed a meta-study concerning the relationship to immune function and the mental and emotional status of individuals. The conclusion of this huge project was that “for all practical intents and purposes, it is impossible to consider the human immune function and mental/emotional states as separate entities”. In other words, what we think and feel has direct impact upon the effectiveness of our immune response. Volumes have been written on this subject and the established conclusion should not be overlooked. If you are suffering from sadness, grief, depression, anger, fear (clearly in excess currently), anxiety, negative attitudes or any combination of these, therapeutic intervention may be in order.
There are the many standard recommendations such as meditation, prayer, psychotherapy and so on. Additionally, many find great relief from modalities such as homeopathy, Bach flower essences, essential oils and so on. An excellent scientific article on the subject concerning effective immunology can be found in this article about Affective Immunology.
Individualized Immune Programs
In the SOT Methods of healing fundamental neurology is taken into account and incorporated into certain treatment protocols. For example, in the brain there is a structure called the limbic system. The two major functions of the limbic system include organ function throughout the body and emotions. Essentially, we are hardwired for emotions and organs to be intimately intertwined. This is not a new concept; the discipline of acupuncture has embraced this interconnectedness for over 4000 years. Certain diagnostic procedures in SOT Methods give insights into poorly functioning organ systems. The treatment is designed to restore and encourage proper organ function. Often persons undergoing such treatment report feeling better mentally and emotionally, not just physically.
Specialized diagnostic using physical indicators and symptom surveys can reveal therapies that often enhance individual immunity and/or suggest specific treatments to help your body fight infections.
We ARE all in this Together!
The current pervasive US vs THEM mentality appears in most every facet of human endeavor. Our attitude to bacteria and viruses is not excepted. Let us consider some fundamental facts.
As referenced above, every human body is found to host 10,000 to 20,000 different species of bacteria. This is not only the 500 to 1000 species estimated to live in the gut, but additionally the nose, mouth, eyes, ears and virtually every body part has its own unique colony. The total weight of our personal bacteria is 1 to 2% of our body weight. In other words, the average person carries around 1 to 6 pounds of bacteria constantly. There are about 30 trillion cells that make up the human body and the bacteria count is thought to be about 10 times that number. Our personal stash of bacteria outnumbers our cells by a factor of 10 to 1.
The next consideration has less research but it is currently believed that we also host many trillions of viruses both internally and on the surface of our bodies. The total number of viruses appear to be about 10 times that of our bacterial load. In other words, we have about 100 viruses that we carry around for every single cell of our body.
In a healthy state we live in harmony with an ocean of bacteria and viruses. Not all of them are good guys however usually the pathogens (harmful entities) are kept in check by the friendly bacteria. They are all part of our healthy system. It may well be advantageous for us to remember that we are meant to be in harmony and equilibrium with all that surrounds us and is within us. Maintaining these relationships may be far more powerful than in attempting to eliminate perceived threats. We are all in this together.
Fundamental Nutrition for Immune Systems:
Catalyn: 1-2 per meal
Organically Bound Minerals: 2-6 per day
Next Step for Immune Enhancement:
Cataplex F: 4-6 per day
Drenamin: 2-6 per day
Immuplex: 2-6 per day
Energetic Enhancement and Prevention with AlphaBio Centrix:
Biodefense: 1 patch every 3-4 days
E Virus Guard: 1 patch every 3-4 days
Specific Immune Support:
Iodine Saturation: Iodoral 50mg per day 3-6 months (see the article below)
Cataplex C: 2-6 per day
Echinacea Premium: 1-6 per day
Epimune Complex: 2-4 per day
Give Your Immune System a Fighting Chance – Build Immunity NOW!
Now is the time for our patients to build immune reserves for a possible second COVID wave of infections. No easy feat in that all body systems and parts contribute to the innate immune response. With SOT we are uniquely equipped to identify and treat the most ailing component of the patient’s healing mechanisms. We strengthen the WHOLE by addressing the weakest link. This is one of the many beauties of the cranial, category and occipital fiber systems of the Technic. There are generalities to consider, however. One is the essential nutrient, iodine.
Beginning with Joseph Lugol MD in the 1800’s, supplemental iodine successfully helped many people with many conditions. In recent years, David Derry MD, PhD has researched the subject thoroughly. In short, he reports halide receptors in every cell of the body. It is essential that this receptor be inhabited with an iodine molecule. If deficient in iodine, other halides (bromine, chlorine and fluoride) will attach to the site. Unfortunately, they are toxic to the system and will not activate the cellular functions as does the iodine. These functions include detoxification including that of heavy metals.
Other streams of research conclude that we may get enough iodine to prevent goiter, but not nearly enough to fill the receptor sites if every cell in the body. The average adult requires about 50mg per day for 3-4 months to saturate the system. This is obviously many times greater than the 150 mcg RDA suggested by the medical convention.
Now it gets even more interesting. According to Dr. Derry, once the receptor sites are saturated, the body will concentrate stores of iodine in various tissues including mucus linings, stomach, breast and others. This extra iodine is capable of neutralizing various allergens, toxins, bacteria, viruses, unicellular parasites and even cancer cells! These health threats can then be excreted through the Kupffer cells of the liver, sparing the reserves of the immune cells to tend to bigger problems.
Dr. Derry links iodine deficiency to breast cancer as well as many other conditions and diseases. His research also discusses the usefulness of supplemental Iodine for viral infections.
Iodine can attach to numerous irritants and toxins in the body as those from drugs, chronic conditions and even old injuries. While rare, some individuals may experience uncomfortable symptoms of detoxification and require much reduced intake initially. Optimox.com is but one source of much useful information. Their product, Iodomere, is the only one that I know from a mineral source, not the liquid form, making it more convenient in higher concentrations.
Iodoral 50mg/day for 3-4 months
Individualized nutritional programs are best designed by your SOT® healthcare professional. This may include additional supplements and specific nutrients and other treatment procedures tailored to your condition.
Potential Therapeutics for Super Immunity
Best Additions to Basic Program
Biome Reset for gut health
Mental and Emotional Health
Rhodiola and Ginseng
Most Effective Interventions for Infection
AlphaBio Centrix Energy Therapies