Autoimmune Disorders Part II

Posted on July 26, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Last week I wrote about autoimmune disorders/diseases and due to the positive responses from my writing, I am sending out this additional information.

Autoimmune disorders are basically an immune system running “amuck” and destroying the host cells and unfortunately you are the host. Some have said there is an inherited component to autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis but by todays research this is old science. Today, we understand there is a component that is controlled by our genes however, it is not the gene itself but how the genetic code is expressed that creates the problem.

To give you some understanding of gene expression let me tell you that we as humans have basically the same gene pool as the chimpanzee. This may surprise you; however, what makes us different from the chimpanzee is not the gene pool but rather how the genes are expressed.

Similarly someone can go along life’s path being very healthy and all of a sudden develop symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. The gene pool has not changed so one should not consider heredity as a cause. What we can look at is a change in the way the genes are being expressed and how that makes a difference in the physiology of the individual. The exciting thing is that we now understand that gene expression can be modified in a positive fashion by using certain nutritional supplements to help regulate autoimmune diseases and inflammatory disorders.

Science has also shown us that certain immune cells can help down regulate or improve autoimmune diseases and others can up-regulate or promote autoimmune diseases and inflammation. The Regulatory T cells are the autoimmune suppressing cells. Science has proven that certain supplements will assist in converting immature T cells into Regulatory T cells. The greater the number of Regulatory T cells the less susceptible one would be to the autoimmune diseases and this is a good thing.

To assist in the induction of Regulatory T cells we need to:

• Eat an anti-inflammatory diet
• Exercise
• Exhibit weight control
• Seek hormonal balance
• Strive for healthy gut organisms
• Supplement with the appropriate nutrients

To review, we now understand that both gene expression, immune cell response and the type of immune cells can be modified in a positive way to assist people suffering from autoimmune diseases as well as to help prevent such diseases from occurring. The modification process involves lifestyle changes and the taking of specific nutrient supplements which is backed by solid science.

For the appropriate nutrients for you as an individual you should consult with your nutritionist or naturopath.

Jim Harris is a naturopath and nutritionist with a virtual practice at “The Art of Wellness”.

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