The Immune System:
How it works and how it is affected by stress
Research Demonstrates Superior Immune Activity of a rice bran arabinoxylan compound found in the product PeakImmune4, from Daiwa Health Developmennt.
It's an undeniable fact that maintaining a strong, vital immune system is a key component to good health and longevity. But did you know that there are things we unwittingly do in our daily life activities that can severely suppress immune function? Scientists are discovering that every thought, emotion and idea has both a psychological AND neurochemical consequence. That means that emotions, particularly stress, can affect physiology and potentially impair your health. Stress itself has become a significant factor in many lives. Modern Americans' personal and family lives have become busier and more difficult to manage, compounded by world events, such as war and natural disasters that weigh heavily on our minds. This heightened level of stress can have negative consequences on immune function. It causes an increase in blood pressure and production of stress hormones such as cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine (adrenaline) which can suppress certain immune functions.,
The immune system is in charge of protecting the body from a continuous onslaught of antigens- harmful factors such as bacteria, viruses, and free radicals. When it is compromised, these offenders can easily trigger disease. There are many different types of white blood cells that comprise the highly sophisticated immune system, including Natural Killer cells, macrophages, B- cells and T-cells. Some of the most significant and lethal white blood cells are the Natural Killer (NK) cells. These cells are the body's first line of defense- they are programmed to kill tumor cells on sight, not requiring special instructions from the immune system in order to attack the foreign cell. Inside NK cells are tiny toxic granules that inject into targets to destroy them upon contact. Research shows that low NK cell activity in critically ill patients strongly correlates with high mortality rates, thus enforcing the importance of high NK cell activity to maintain good health.
Macrophages constitute an important arm of the defense mechanisms in immune response. Research shows that macrophages are involved in the fight against invading micro-organisms, engulfing through a process called phagocytosis. After the microbial pathogens have been engulfed, macrophages produce biologically active proteins called "cytokines," which are chemical messengers of the immune system that help cells communicate information back and forth. Macrophages also produce a molecule called nitric oxide to kill the bacteria, thereby destroying the invaders.
There are two main types of T cells (so called because they mature in the thymus behind the breast-bone): T helper cells- these act to enhance the immune system, and cytotoxic T lymphocytes- these are capable destroying targeted cells. T helper cells also serve as the primary producers of cytokines.
B cells, when activated, are responsible for the production and secretion of molecules called "antibodies" that circulate through the fluids of our body, recognizing and attaching to their specific target antigens. Antibodies work by binding to antigens, which either incapacitate invading microorganisms or targets them for destruction by other immune cells.
One natural compound that protects and enhances the activity of these immune cells is called Rice Bran Arabinoxylan Compound, recently dubbed RBAC. RBAC is made from rice bran, an undigestible fiber from the outer shell of the rice kernel. Treatment with enzymes derived from Shitake mushrooms act as "chemical scissors" that break down the large rice-bran molecule into smaller molecules called RBAC, which can easily be absorbe