THE HEALTH OF YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM IS BASED ON THE HEALTH OF YOUR GUT
In case you have not been paying attention, the health of your GUT (particularly your MICROBIOME) is of critical importance to your overall health --- a point driven home by a study published in the brand new issue of the medical journal Science Immunology (Tissue-Specific Emergence of Regulatory and Intraepithelial T Cells from a Clonal T Cell Precursor). What are T-Cells? For a very quick review, see the first diagram on THIS PAGE. The oversimplified version is that they are some of the cells that make up your Immune System. for instance.........
Some T-Cells "help" other Immune System cells prepare for battle. Some actually attack the invaders themselves. Others remember what the body has been attacked by in the past, which makes future attacks easier. Still others help to tone down or dampen ("regulate") Immune System responses so they don't burn out of control. And that's just for starters. Suffice it to say that T-Cells are of critical importance because they perform such a wide array of Immune System functions.
Not only does your bone marrow (the living, inner, blood-rich portion of long bones) make both white and red blood cells, it is where your T-Cells originate as well. All T-Cells are the same when they are made, but due to the effects of the thymus --- a small lymphoid organ found behind the sternum but in front of the heart --- they are differentiated into the various sorts we just talked about, as well as a few others. One of the specific kind of T-Cells (those that keep Immune System reactions in check or "regulated") is known as TREGS or T-Regulatory Cells. When TREGS get fouled up, one of the more common problems is that one's Immune System will begin to mount responses to self. Your body attacking itself is rarely a good thing, and is widely known as AUTOIMMUNITY.
In this particular study, the authors gave experimental mice a group of antibiotics that wiped the Gut free of bacteria. For you certified germophobes out there (you know, those of you who keep the little bottle of hand-sanitizer strapped to your purse), this probably sounds fantastic. It's not (HERE and HERE are why). The result of this study was that under the effects of the antibiotics, neither TREGS nor CD4 Cells (the T-Helpers) developed correctly. Why is this? Because, as the authors concluded, "Both Treg and CD4 development strictly depended on the resident microbiota." What does this tell us in plain English?
Firstly, note the word strictly, and realize that there's no way around it. Secondly, this study reinforces what I have warned you of numerous times; that ANTIBIOTICS (as well as non-antibiotic drugs with ANTIBIOTIC PROPERTIES) are one of the single worst things you can do for your overall health not to mention the health of your children (HERE). And unfortunately, it doesn't take as much as you might think to cause problems --- serious problems (HERE). And thirdly; although they did not talk about it, for all their benefits, Probiotics are frequently not enough to restore one's Microbiome after taking antibiotics (HERE).
If you want to solve the curse of DYSBIOSIS (what happens to your health when you take antibiotics), stop taking antibiotics and then feeding the resultant beast with sugar (HERE). Oh; as if we should be surprised, the authors concluded that this information might be helpful for those struggling to cope with IBS. I would agree --- if they actually presented their results in a pragmatic "Big Picture" fashion as far as overall health is concerned (HERE).
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