Natural Immunity: The End Goal
Daniel J. Crisafi, ND.A., MH, PhD
In the first edition of my book, Candida Albicans, written in 1980, I suggested that if we didn't sufficiently boost our natural immunity, fungal infections would be nothing compared to the micro-organic problems of the future. We are now grappling with that future with mad cow disease, the bird flu, flesh-eating disease, Lyme disease, the West Nile virus and the infamous H1N1 virus. How can we bolster our natural immunity and protect ourselves from these threats, which will increasingly face in the coming decades?
Unfortunately, health authorities have only recently begun to acknowledge the problem of antibiotic resistance. Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) now corroborates what I predicted over 20 years ago. She made this statement at the conference on Combating Antimicrobial Resistance in Copenhagen, Denmark on March 14, 2012:
"Antimicrobial resistance is on the rise in Europe, and elsewhere in the world. We are losing our first-line antimicrobials... Some experts say we are moving back to the pre-antibiotic era. No. This will be a post-antibiotic era... A post-antibiotic era means, in effect, an end to modern medicine as we know it. Things as common as strep throat or a child’s scratched knee could once again kill."1
The Montreal Children's Hospital website also cites a statement by Dr. Carol J. Baker, an American pediatrician and infectious disease expert, about the use of antibiotics: "Physicians and parents are not getting it. Antibiotics are not necessary for the majority of infections seen in the pediatrician's office." By posting this quote on its website, the Montreal Children's Hospital has clearly demonstrated that its team is more interested in children's health than the professional egos of its members, for which it should be applauded.
While "artificial" antibiotics have saved many lives, microbes eventually adapt to them, rendering them useless. However, except in rare cases, bacteria have been unable to adapt to the unparalleled effectiveness of a healthy human immune system.
The H1N1 virus pandemic so highly anticipated around the world is yet another example of the scientific failure of our traditional medical approach to immunity. You may recall the near-hysteria generated by the medical world and media during the "pandemic." When "anti-vaccination" professionals tried to intelligently intervene, they were largely silenced. I, personally, had this experience with the media during that time.
However, we now know several things about the H1N1 phenomenon. First, Professor Ulrich Keil, Director of the WHO's Collaborating Centre for Epidemiology, admitted that the data regarding the H1N1 virus had been manipulated and exaggerated by the pharmaceutical companies!2 Doctors, the media and the general public were, in turn, manipulated.
Second, we know that the flu vaccine, the magic bullet we were promised, has not yielded the expected results. In fact, Canadian researchers noticed in the early weeks of the pandemic that people who received a flu shot for the 2008-2009 winter appeared to be more likely to get infected with the pandemic virus than people who hadn’t received a flu shot. According to study's author, Dr. Danuta Skowronski, Clinical Professor at the University of British Columbia, the tests showed that the seasonal flu vaccine increased the risk of contracting the H1N1 flu.3
We therefore need to put the effectiveness of this vaccine into perspective. Contrary to popular belief, it does not improve our immunity. The vaccine merely informs the immune system. In other words, it helps it program itself to respond more quickly and specifically to a pathogen. To use an analogy, it's like giving the police a photo of a terrorist so that they can recognize him or her and react more quickly. Unfortunately, if the police are armed with a pea shooter and the terrorist is armed with a machine gun, a quicker reaction isn't going to help the police.
The vaccine may help the immune system react more quickly, but as the saying goes, "You can't give what you don't have." The speed of the reaction will always depend on how healthy the individual's immune system is. We can't be injected with a healthy immune system.
"For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled."
- Richard Feynman (Nobel Prize in Physics winner)
So what can be done?
In the second decade of the 21st century, we must find a way to boost our immune potential because we can no longer rely on artificial "immunotherapy." We need to maximize our immunity in order to enjoy optimal health. If we want to prevent or minimize the impact of infectious agents, there is only one solution: increase our immune system's capacity. Here are few tips to consider.
Avoid excessive hygiene
The key word here is "excessive." Undoubtedly, a better understanding of the importance of hygiene, primarily due to Pasteur's studies, has saved many lives. However, studies increasingly show that excessive hygiene and sterilization negatively impact the immune system and hinder its ability to react adequately. According to Dr. Guy Delespesse, a professor at the Université de Montréal Faculty of Medicine and director of the Notre Dame Hospital Allergy Research Laboratory: "There is an inverse relationship between the level of hygiene and the incidence of allergies and autoimmune diseases. The more sterile the environment a child lives in, the higher the risk he or she will develop allergies or an immune problem in their lifetime."4 The excessive use of antiseptics leads to a lowered normal immune response and an increase in resistant bacterial strains.
Significantly reduce your consumption of simple sugars
The key word here is "significantly." A study by Loma Linda University in California showed that the defense capabilities of our white blood cells are inversely proportional to the amount of sugar we consume.5 In the study, people who consumed 100 grams of carbohydrates (glucose, fructose, sucrose, honey and orange juice) demonstrated reduced immunity that lasted 5 hours following consumption.
Make sure you eat enough protein
When we hear "protein," we invariable think "big muscles." But it's important to remember that muscles, just like hormones, neurotransmitters, skin and antibodies, are made up of protein. Unfortunately, our diets often contain more carbohydrates (e.g. bread, pasta and rice) than vegetable protein (e.g. grains, legumes and nuts) or animal protein (dairy, eggs, fish, meat and poultry).
Discover and eliminate food intolerances
When you eat food that you're allergic or intolerant to, your immune system kicks in to ward off the attack. It's then left with fewer resources to fight off micro-organisms in your environment.
Eat a healthy diet
I don't need to elaborate on this topic for Vitalité Québec readers. Just remember that a healthy diet, which is free from artificial additives and rich in whole grains, vegetables, vegetable and animal proteins, and fresh fruit will significantly boost your immune system.
Exercise, but don't overdo it
Exercise, just like lymphatic drainage massage, improves the circulation of your lymphatic system, thus boosting your immune capacity. However, too much exercise can drain the system and reduce your immunity. Overdoing it is as harmful as not getting enough!
Supplement your normal diet
Our food isn't as nutritious as it was in the past. Intensive farming, the use of chemical fertilizers, importing food grown in far-flung regions and acid rain all play a role in reducing the nutrient density of our food. Supplements are critical to compensate for these losses. Deficiencies of vitamins A and C and zinc affect the immune system the most.
Use natural products to bolster your immunity when you need it most
Many natural products have been shown to improve immune capacity during an infection. A study by Dr. Percival of the University of Florida showed that aged garlic extract (AGE) increased the production of NK cells and gamma delta T lymphocytes, and reduced the severity and duration of cold and flu symptoms.6 According to the University of Maryland Medical Center's website, “In people with inoperable colorectal, liver, or pancreatic cancer, immune activity improved after they took aged garlic extract."7 The WHO has stated that the effectiveness of Echinacea as a stimulator of the immune system has been demonstrated by over 350 scientific studies in the past 50 years.8 In addition, probiotics play a key role. A product containing one bacterial strain in particular, CL1285, can also help improve immune capacity. That's right, good health begins with the colon! These and other products have been shown to be more effective than antibiotics for minor to moderate infections. Moreover, bacteria and viruses have been unable to develop resistant strains to these natural substances.
Get enough rest
The body can only repair itself through rest and sleep. These are critical to the healing process. Make the time to get enough sleep, rest and relaxation.
Immunity cannot come from outside ourselves or through artificial means. A truly healthy immune system is accessible to everyone. The key is to recognize the myths that are hindering our ability to maintain truly natural immunity and to arm ourselves with the necessary tools to effectively improve it.
2 Social, Health and Family Affairs Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Hearing on “The handling of the H1N1 pandemic: more transparency needed?” Strasbourg, January 26, 2010.
3 Skowronski DM et al. “Association between the 2008-09 Seasonal Influenza Vaccine and Pandemic H1N1 Illness during Spring-Summer 2009: Four Observational Studies from Canada.” PLOS Medicine, 2010.
5 Albert Sanchez, J. L. Reeser, et al. “Role of sugars in human neutrophilic phagocytosis. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.” November 1973 vol. 26 no. 11 1180-1184.
6 Meri P. et al. “Supplementation with aged garlic extract improves both NK and [gamma][delta]-T cell function and reduces the severity of cold and flu symptoms: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled nutrition intervention.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. January 24, 2012.
8 “WHO monographs on selected medicinal plants – Volume 1.” World Health Organization. Geneva, 1999.