Get to know your ‘powerful personal army’
Published on: Sunday, May 17, 2020
By: Kan Yaw Chong
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A macrophage or big eater in the Innate Immune System attacks and eats up cancer cells. A white blood leukocyte called Neutrophil – a phagocyte devouring an invading germ, dies and forms pus.
OUR body has a powerful “personal army” that protects it from various types of threats – threats like mechanical injuries, the entry of germs or foreign particles like dust.

This personal army is called the immune system. 

Everyday we encounter huge number of bacteria, viruses and other disease-causing organisms.

Without this very powerful personal army called the immune system, it could make something even as minor as a paper cut or a cold fatal, not to say Virulent SARS-CoV-2!

This is why we should pay the highest tribute to our immune system! Schools should teach that as the first subject but, strangely, it gets virtually zero attention.

The greatest missed priority in education 

I took health science in St Patrick’s School Tawau, biology for matriculation at Ipswich Grammar, Queensland, Australia. I don’t remember the textbooks or teachers ever mentioned it, except things like deoxyribonucleic acids (DNA) or ribonucleic acids (RNA) in genetics. 

What a great missed priority in probably all education systems across the world, which, I believe is the root cause of the grotesque global health crisis around SARS-Cov-2 virus which Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai has said would otherwise just bounce off the cells of people with strong immune system and rendered harmless!

Small wonder we get all these terrible killer infectious diseases like the Covid-19 pandemic that scares the hell out of the everyone and caused a destructive global lockdown, because the immune systems or so-called powerful personal army of a lot of people are actually shooting blanks.

How that immune impotence has come about has been explained by one or two good online video teachers all Daily Express readers should know. But we will just transcribe and publish the better clips to give focus to this topic as we go along.

Plenty of good immune health gurus online

So I am not at all claiming immune health expertise but like the army of healthy immune fighters, I am patrolling online and when I detect some good immune health gurus out there, I communicate the truth for public interest in this dire hour of need, which is a journalist’s duty.

So, everyone should know their powerful personal army for due attention so that the world can be spared fromgrotesque pandemic like Covid-19. 

The problem is details of how a healthy immune system works and how it can go wrong is very complicated.

But I came across one clear and simple instructive piece from Science ABC to help readers start off.

Here is the transcript:

The immune system is broadly divided into two main parts: 1. The Innate immune system; 2. The Adaptive or Acquired immune system.

Some modern immune health advocates like Dr Shiva Ayyadurai, however, insists a full understanding must include the Interferon, Neural and Microbiame systems he deems essential. 

I agree but for an easy start, we just stick to the two main systems for the moment: The Innate and Adaptive (Acquired) systems. 

The Innate Immune System 

Innate means inborn – what our mothers passed on to us during pregnancy (one great reason why we must honour our mothers). 

Innate immunity is non-specific immunity which means the immune army will immediately shoot-to-kill any intruder without asking lengthy questions like “who are you” to rid any potential enemy quickly. 

The Innate System does not care what it is killing although it is a genius in distinguishing self from non-self!

Its primary goal is to prevent any intruder from entering the body, and if it does enter, then the Innate System kills the intruder! It does not care whether it is a pathogen like SARS-CoV-2 or just a dust particle hanging in the air or your room. 

Elite component fighters of the Innate Immune system

The Physical barriers: So who are the elite fighter members of your powerful personal army?

The first component of this defensive system is your skin.

Any organism trying to get into the body is stopped by the skin, our largest organ which covers us. 

Secondly, there is the mucus lining of our organs. The sticky, glue-like fluid of this outer lining traps any pathogen trying to get past it!

So, your skin and your organs’ mucus lining are the physical barriers against pathogenic invaders. 

Chemical barriers: Besides physical barriers, we also have chemical barriers, such as the lysozyme (enzyme that accelerates destruction of cell walls of bacteria, which is abundant in tears and egg white) or acids in the stomach, which kills pathogens trying to gain entry. 

Microbial barriers: The genitourinary tract and other places have their own normal flora or microbial community. 

These compete with pathogens for space and food and therefore also act as barriers.     

Positive inflammation

Inflammation which is done by mast cells is the nest line of defence. Mast cells are constantly searching for suspicious objects in the body. 

Worthy of note is being present in the blood, they locate themselves strategically especially near the skin surfaces and close to the mucus lining of the nose, mouth and throat surfaces.

In truth they are messenger cells. When they find some threat, they release a signal in the form of histamine molecules. The histamine molecules alert the body and blood is rushed to the problem area, which causes inflammation and brings leukocytes of while blood cells – soldiers in our body’s cellular army.

Once these leukocytes come, all hell breaks loose.

Sneezing – explosive expulsion of dust particles

However, the intruder may not be a germ but rather a harmless thing like dust particles but the body still causes a full immune reaction to this dust intruder in a classic sneezing reaction which explodes in a sudden voluntary expulsion of air from the mouth and nose due to irritation in the nostrils so even dirt cannot get a piece of you!

This is how allergic reactions occur. 

Fortress of your body – the VIP leukocytes 

In the fortress of our body, the leukocytes are the VIPs because of their freedom of movement through an incredible 150,000km long network of blood vessels, with an unhindered access pass into an infected area through the walls of blood vessels, except the brain and the spinal cord – two top security areas!

In a classic demo of its authoritative VIP access to almost anywhere of the body, the moment the leukocyte reaches an infected site, it sends a chemical signal to the blood vessel to ‘open the door’ and the blood vessel opens a gap for the leukocyte to walk in to kill the pathogens!

This is why you own a very powerful personal army, provided you feed your immune system with all the essential nutrients they need to perform and this is one huge key issue you must start studying.

Leukocytes come in different types 

Our leukocytes come in many types. Those that belong to the Innate Immune System are called phagocytes. 

Phygo in Greek mean “to eat”, cyto in Latin means cell. 

In other words, phagocytes literally cannibalise pathogens and also deceased cells like life threatening cancer cells to save you from death.

Phagocytes patrol your body, like the neutrophils, or they stay in certain places and wait for their cue to swing into action.

Neutrophils – leave pus behind after a winning kill job 

Neutrophils are the most abundant pathogen eating cells. 

As noted earlier, they patrol the body and can therefore get to a breached site very quickly.

For example, if you accidentally step on a nail or cut your hand and get infected, the neutrophils or cellular “soldiers” arrive quickly, kill the infectious pathogen and then dies, which leads to pus formation. 

The pus are a collection of these dead neutrophils!

Macrophage – the big, bad wolves 

While neutrophil is a small ‘eater’ which kills one pathogen and dies, big eater macrophage can eat up to 100 pathogens or diseased host cells before dropping dead.

This is why the macrophages are called the big bad wolves because they are large-scale eaters of pathogens – macro means big or large scale.

Macrophages are hungry, ravenous monsters who simply engulf unwanted pathogens. 

However, instead of roaming free, they collect themselves in certain places or organs lying in wait for pathogens, eat up to 100 of them before it dies.

Not only that, macrophages can also detect our own cells that have gone rogue or villain, such as cancer cells and kill them.

You can see a strong immune system keeps cancer out.

Natural Killer cells 

Beyond the phagocytes or pathogen eaters, we also have the natural killer cells which move around constantly can efficiently detect a protein called Major Histacompatability Complex (MHC) produced by normal cells whereas an abnormal cell stops producing the protein. 

So, the Natural Killer Cells move around constantly checking our cells for MHC deficiency and the moment they find sick cells with MHC deficiency, they simply bind to or shackle these sick cells and release chemicals that will destroy them before these sick cells destroy you!

Last fighters of Innate System – Dendritic cells

The Innate system’s last fighters are the dendritic cells. 

These are found in places that come in contact with the outside environment, such as the nose, lungs etc.

But take serious note of one very important point – dendritic cell are the link or networkers between the Innate immune system and the Adaptive or Acquired immune system cells!

In other words, different parts of the immune system talk to one another to advance the same objective – how to maximise your protection. 

This is why Dr Shiva Ayyadurai insists any teaching of the immune system must be based on a “Systems Approach”, that is a holistic approach that desists from fiddling with parts such as pushing vaccines as the sole answer to immune health that skip proper risk assessments.

First line defence pass on ‘enemy info’ to second line defence 

Finally, first line defence dentritic cells are also phagocytes which eat pathogens but after the eating, they produce and carry information about the eaten pathogens to the second line defence the Adaptive or Acquired Immune System cells.

In other words, dendritic cells of the Innate immune system share the information on pathogens with the Adaptive immune system in the form of antigens – meaning the traces that pathogens left behind. 

Antigens are molecules found on the surfaces on pathogens that our Adaptive immune system can detect and recognise.  The dendritics cells pass on this information to our T-cells while the macrophages also do the same.

The Adaptive Immune system – the 2nd line defence

The point we have established at this point is that the Innate and Adaptive or Acquired immune systems work together.

The Adaptive Immune system or the second line of defence, has two main components: T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes.

Lymphocytes are subtypes of white blood cells. 

T-cells are involved in cell-mediated, cytotoxic adaptive immunity.

T-cells come into play when an infection had already occurred, thus, brining about cell mediated immune response 

B-cells are involved in antibody driven immunity.

That is, B-cells join in the fight when pathogens have entered but haven’t yet caused any disease. 

Immunity – antibodies are produced by B-cells

A very important point to know is it’s the B-cells in the Adaptive immune system which produce chemicals called antibodies which crowd around a pathogen and act like tags to signal to the macrophage to come and kill the marked pathogen.

B-cells also produce memory cells when they meet an antigen and remember it for good. 

As noted previously, some T-cells take signals from the dendritic cells and macrophages and are thus called Helper T-cells. 

These Helper T-cells do two things:

One: Forming Effector T-cells that cycle through the body and actively respond to stimuli and call in the white blood cell warriors to bring about desired changes.

Two: Helper T-cells also form memory T-cells which remember encounters with pathogen and keep a record of the antigens so that any return of similar pathogens could be recognised immediately for elimination.

What should be understood here is the overall importance of the Helper T-cells which play a central role in activating the combat functions of the T-cells, B-cells, macrophages and cytotoxic cells in finishing off the enemies and remember them through memory T-cells for quick kills in future. 

Mercy killing through cytotoxic cells to save a bigger interest 

Sometimes, some cells of our body know that they have lost the battle. 

Essentially, the affected area or organ has become heavily infected with pathogens so there is no hope for them. 

At this point the body summons the cytotoxic cells which rush over to execute a mercy killing for the infected and dying cells, in the interest of protecting the body. 

In summary the B and T cells of the Adaptive immune system cells jointly maintain a record of all encountered infections.

Thus this united and bonded defence working relationship not only save our life everyday but also strengthens and solidifies the body’s immune response in the future.

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