PART 5 ON HOW TO LIVE LONGER. It’s about to get a little technical, but you can handle this, well if you’ve been keeping up with the 4 previous installments.
A metabolite is defined as a small molecular end product of metabolism used for fuel, biological signaling and other functions in the body. Bacteria in our skin can produce metabolites. One interesting one is short chain fatty acids, that are useful in modulating other bacteria. They can increase cellular immunity. We need to be feeding these microbes that live in us. While they may be pests to Monsanto they are vital for our survival. These little critters even produce anti-inflammatory chemicals that unlike Advil have no harmful side effects.
Mitochondrial biogenesis is defined as a process inside the cell by which new mitochondria are formed via self-replication in order to increase cellular energy or improve cellular efficiency. It is now thought that our microbiota control our mitochondria. So by just eating some healthy yogurt you could possibly increase your energy. Our microbiota are everywhere in our body and play an important role in controlling the harmony of our body. You might want to keep in mind that some of these bacteria that are sending messages to control our body are fragments of DNA handed down to us through evolution from millions of years ago. We have an ancient wisdom within us that modern living strives to kill. The food that we eat should be thought about as a vital communication system as well since it influences our bacteria. The food we eat affects our genetic expression.
We have 23,000 give-or-take routine coding genes and the rest of our DNA is considered junk. That junk is about 3 billion base pairs. So 98% of our human genome is considered junk. RNA is ribonucleic acid and is produced by DNA and can be thought of as a DNA photocopy, which is used to transfer the genetic code out of the cell nucleus in order to create proteins that are responsible for genetic expression. While we have a lot of junk DNA all of our RNA does something. Our microbiota are influencing our protein transcription from our genes and that is what we are when we look at each other, a giant pile of proteins. The micro RNA of our microbiota can control our gene expression.
A holobiont is defined as an aggregation of different species of organisms and their collective genomes that work together to form a symbiotic ecology. We are holobionts. We are a walking talking rain forest. Everything needs to be working together for us to be human. However, we would not make it one day without our microbiota working for us.
80% of our immune tissue is in our gut. That immune tissue is covered with trillions of bacteria. These bacteria talk constantly with our immune system without enacting an immune response. There are specialized receptors for the communication between our good bacteria and our immune system so that our immune system doesn’t fight our good bacteria. When these receptors don’t work properly our immune system attacks everything and we get labeled with some sort of vague autoimmune diagnosis. It is well-established that our microbiota communicate with our mitochondria. In order to create health we have to give our microbes local organic whole foods. Through these foods ourl microbiota are able to pass on vital messages to ourselves so that our genes can properly respond. Our food is communicating with our cells. We now know that our food can pass on its genetic information, which can influence our own genetic expression.
Our body is an aggregation of bacteria inside our cells that work symbiotically and they are the mitochondria. The majority of our bacteria that live outside of our cells is in our gut. The mitochondria act as a long-range sensor for the geography not just an energy producing machine. They have evolved over time to accommodate the temperature, sunlight, the actual geographic environment. The bacteria are rapid sensors for your nutrient needs. The body is always concerned about its survival and therefore it is always looking for its energy source. The gut bacteria are what are sensing what we are feeding it. They can modify themselves to be more adapted to what they are being fed. These are short and long-term sensors for providing you with energy. These two systems communicate not just by the nervous system via the vagal nerve or hormonal system, but also they communicate directly by micro structures in the cell.
Let’s say that we have a huge population of bacteria in our gut that are not healthy. This is a state known as dysbiosis . They are damaging the lining of the epithelium inside our gut. Certain elements are leaking into the bloodstream that should not. Once this happens our immune system starts to activate. This creates a chronic inflammatory state. It affects our entire host immune response. We know that the microbes line the gut. This is where most of our immune tissue is. These microbes need to talk to our immune system on a regular basis without triggering an immune response.
When I was a kid there was no such thing as a nut free table for schoolchildren. Within just one or two generations we have developed these allergies. What has happened that we can’t get peanuts on an airplane anymore? What have we done to create the necessity for special designated eating areas for certain foods? We are experiencing a lobster pot phenomena. The central nervous system of crayfish and reptiles are primitive and cannot tell when water is slowly being boiled. They can tell if you throw them in hot water that it is hot and they will jump out. But if you slowly raise the temperature they’ll never notice that they are being cooked. Our population is like that frog or lobster. No one seems to notice how badly things are going.
The adaptive immune system is where we are often seeing these food sensitivities arise. This is reflected in the rise of IgG antibodies. IgG antibodies are associated with severe allergies and autoimmunity issues. We need to look at this as a confluence of factors, the environment, the microbiome, and the immune system. If food is contaminated to begin with toxic chemicals for example with aflatoxin from peanuts that are of course also sprayed with glyphosate and they combine they affect the proteins.
Oral tolerance refers to the capacity of the immune system to recognize substances taken in through the digestive system and respond appropriately. The oral tolerance that we had 50 years ago is completely different now. Our body cannot tolerate glyphosate, mercury, aluminum, etc.. Therefore, our immune system is not functioning properly against the toxic chemicals and our immune system breaks down and our cells are attacked by our own immune system. Additionally, the proteins of the food now results in antibody production, cytokine production (inflammation) and this results in food allergies that were not present a decade or two ago.
Protein structures get broken down into amino acids. Our immune system can only react to a protein. It does not react to smaller amino acids. If you are unable to digestion proteins and break them down into amino acids you become prone to having immune reactions. Digestive enzymes can be very useful with regard to that situation.
We are losing the diversity of our microbiome due to toxins and a diminishing relationship with local food. When we lose the cross talk between our microbiome and our cells and we shift more to an inflammatory state, we lose our ability to tolerate foods and we get diagnosed with food allergies. We did not survive and thrive in isolation. We thrived as humans because were able to pick up organisms from our environment and create this super organism known as us. From an evolutionary point of view we need to educate our immune system in the gut. We need to learn how to live in harmony with our microbiome, which means we shouldn’t want to kill all of it. This is contrary to science and medicine that tells us that if there is a bacteria on the planet, it needs to be killed. We need to get sick in order to have a fit immune system. When we get sick our immune system practices and it gets better at keeping us healthy. All lymphocytes have a memory and the next time we catch those germs we don’t get sick or we get sick less severely. It used to be very normal for kids to get measles and chickenpox. People let these diseases run its course and the kids now had natural immunity that was good for life and it did not require a booster. Today we constantly inoculate against these normal childhood diseases. We reduce the fever we stop the cough. This drives the illness deeper. What is the solution to the fever? The fever is the solution to the fever. The fever is driving up the body temperature to kill the pathogen that is causing the fever.
When children mount an immune response they almost universally get a fever, even with colds. They get a very potent immune response. They can get nauseous and they really do not feel well. When we get older and enter the work environment we suppress that response by using antihistamines, aspirin to mitigate some of the immune response. There are downsides to this. Trying to avoid all infectious agents ultimately plays a negative role in our immune system. If we don’t tune the immune response to pathogens something goes haywire and our immune system now focuses on food. This is only a problem if you require eating to survive. If you become reactive to just about everything in your diet chances are your doctor is not going to be able to help you.
Getting sick is a very important process for the host. The immune system will release all its cytokines to wall off the infection. Later it will release chemicals to heal that tissue. All these reactions are practice like doing a drill, the purpose is to get better at it. The immune system does a good job when it has enough practice. If it is just sitting there naïve and then exposed to something, it goes out of whack and does not know what to do. We need to strain our immune system and work it out. We do that by getting sick. We do that by allowing bacteria, viruses, and fungi to battle with our immune system.
Antibacterial soap and wipes are not such a good idea. If we do not allow our immune system to grow and mature from birth we are going to grow physically handicapped in the sense that our immune system will not be able to function the way it is supposed to function. When a baby is delivered to the vaginal canal it is getting a lot of bacteria that will allow it to fight off infections such as the flu, or diseases such as cancer and heart disease. We were designed to come through that canal. That is how we got here, well until around 1950? That is around the time we began to decline and that is one very small reason for it, that is, we need all those small microbes. Now go wash your hands until the next installment, but with non bacterial soap.
To Be Continued.