Glyconutrition: The Immune System Eureka!

Archimedes: His Discovery was the "talk of the town."

Admittedly, we scientists go overboard, sometimes. We discover something of real importance, but we tend to forget most people just don't understand why something so excites us... like the "immune system." After all, MOST people are normal. They just don't get a "buzz" out of doing organic chemistry. (More about the immune system later. You can tell I am excited, can't you!)

Archimedes, the ancient Greek scientist, was no exception. When his friend, King Hieron of Syracuse asked the famous scientist if the crown he was wearing was pure gold or if it was alloyed, Archimedes was stumped.

One day as he stepped into his bathtub, it came to him. The amount of water which overflowed was equal to the portion of his body placed in the bathwater. The same was true of gold...and its alloys. Gold displaced a certain amount of water. Alloys, like silver, displaced different amounts.

We're told by historians, he was so excited about his discovery he ran through the town crying "Eureka!" ("I found it!"). He had discovered the principle of the immune system...uh, no, sorry, getting ahead of myself...the principle of buoyancy.

Of course, what I said earlier applies to us. We scientists do go overboard sometimes. He was so excited, he forgot to... well...get dressed. So, everyone got what they wanted that day. Archimedes got his discovery. King Hieron got a new crown (his alloyed crown displaced too much water...)and the town got their "buzz."

The immune system...finally.

Since the beginning of modern medicine, scientists have wondered how the cells tell the body there's an infection here...or a dying cell, there. Did you ever wonder how the body knew where to send the relief which aspirin brings to a headache?

We know. Over recent years, four Nobel Prizes have been won in the field of sugar...Formally known as glyconutrition, glycomics, or glycobiology (with every discovery -especially one as important as the immune system - scientists compete for names). So, you take your pick.

What's so important? Simply this. Before those four Nobel Prizes were won, we didn't know how cells communicated. We find the communication is done with eight essential sugars (No, not the table sugar we all are used to using.) Interestingly, the eight sugars are key to proper immune system functions.

All cells carry ID tags, so to speak. They are molecular structures called antigens. Each of these "tags" tells the immune system if a cell or other structure is a friend or foe.

A simple illustration may help. Immune system cells roam throughout the body touching other body cells and asking one of several questions:

Are you a part of this body?
Are you well?
Do you need help?

It is the sugars cells use to code the answers so the immune system can understand cell response. Through the sugar code (the eight glyconutrients), the cells answer "yes" or "no". If "no" to the first question, the immune system launches an attack upon the foreigner, an immune system rejection of the invader.

Unfortunately, some foreigners can mutate, so the immune system gets a signal it's not used to getting...and must await further developments. That is the reason we get different kinds of flu and colds. Interestingly again (it does get exciting folks, I warn you...), those further developments involving immune system cell response, may be "sped up" considerably with a "ready supply" of glyconutrients.

If the cell answers "no" to the second question above, the immune system sends help, repair, or protection.

If the cell answers "no" to the third question, the immune system cell moves on to other cells.

Healthy cells, ones with ALL eight of the "sugars" on them... send the correct signals for the direction of nutrients, elimination of toxins (elimination works necessarily with the immune system), calling of antibody help (immune system), "requests" for elimination of dying cells (immune system again), signals of aberrant growth (immune system) ...

On the other hand, when the immune system is NOT functioning properly (sugars are NOT in place nutritionally or malformed), we experience one of several immune system "reactions."

For example, if the immune system is an over active immune system, we can experience allergies, asthma, eczema, lupus, psoriasis, MS, Rheumatoid Arthritis and diabetes.

If the sugars are not present, we can experience an under active immune system disorder. Such an under active immune system problem can lead to cancer, viral and bacterial infections, strep, sinus problems, Candida (yeast), Herpes simplex I and II, ear infections (moms take note for your young 'ns), HIV, colds, bronchitis, Hepatitis B and C, flu, TB, urinary infections...among others.

Glyconutrients are immune system modulators. In other words, if the immune system is over active, they can help balance the immune system response. If the immune system is an under active immune system, the glyconutrients can boost the immune system strength.

Supplying the body with glyconutrients, may mean significant help for your body's immune system in dealing with bacterial and viral infections, malignancies, fungus infections, bacterial infections, parasites and neurological problems.

Finally, glyconutrients significantly increase immune system cell ("killer cell") response by as much as 50 per cent in people who are generally healthy. This means cutting back the incidence of infections, parasites and growths. The statistic in people with compromised immune systems is as much as 400 per cent!

Folks, that's getting a lot of "bang" for your ...uh...sugar.

Well, it is exciting. Sort of...


Dr. Robert Gamble is retired from a very successful Cardio-Thoracic surgical career spanning three decades. He is active in researching medical issues such as glyconutrition and offers his insights for public benefit. See, write or call 1-866-735-5871

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