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immune system Sep 03, 2020

As we care for countless patients suffering from chronic infections like EBV, Lyme, CMB, yeast, mycoplasma, and others, patients ask “why me?” and “what can I do about it?”. I always take a few minutes to explain how the microbial attacker has gotten the upper hand on our immune systems.  Winning the war includes both weakening the invader and strengthening the immune system. Both avenues of therapy are critical.  Neither can be ignored.

            I find the insight from this research to be enlightening on two fronts.  First, in fighting chronic infections, as silly as it sounds, apparently our immune system does “get tired”.   From this article, our stores of T stem cells seem to run low.  Stem cells serve as precursors to our mature cells in various tissues.  Without some stem cells to replenish the cell numbers, our current cells would wear out and leave us, well, in big trouble.  For the immune system, which needs to fight daily battles over years, we need adequate immune stems cells for future battles.

            Second, this article describes how, during chronic infections, our bodies stores away T stem cells in our muscles so that not too many activate at once and run out of reinforcements.  They hypothesize that this interplay between muscles and our immune system may contribute to the cachexia seen in chronic infection inflammation.  Cachexia is the condition in which muscles and body tissues shrink leaving one looking all skin and bones.

            From there, further research needs to determine if increased muscle exercise might somehow protect the T stem cells, preventing immune fatigue and improving chronic infection therapy success.  Regardless of whether this mechanism actually occurs in our bodies, many other studies discussed in the Immune Prepper course have shown that the right amount of exercise does strengthen our immune systems.  That’s why we encourage some measure of exercise for patients working to overcome chronic infections in our clinic.

            Come Back for other learning links about exercise and immunity.

Original Article:

Jingxia Wu, Nina Weisshaar, Agnes Hotz-Wagenblatt, Alaa Madi, Sicong Ma, Alessa Mieg, Marvin Hering, Kerstin Mohr, Tilo Schlimbach, Helena Borgers, Guoliang Cui. Skeletal muscle antagonizes antiviral CD8 T cell exhaustion. Science Advances, 2020; 6 (24): eaba3458 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aba3458

Thanks to Science Daily:

German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ). “Muscles support a strong immune system.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 June 2020. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/06/200615092747.htm>.

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