Decisive battles, against a genuine enemy are critical for survival, but a protracted war or a war against an imaginary foe, isn’t beneficial to anyone. The trouble with “Being AT WAR”, it creates lots of collateral damage and leads to body burn out.
When your body goes to war
A large proportion of your immune system’s “security” force, use reactive oxygen species (ROS), as their preferred weapons of destruction. Trigger happy immune cells, deploying these weapons end up creating lots of oxidative stress, which damages cell membranes, proteins and DNA – yours and your “enemies”.
Excess oxidative stress, is TROUBLE with a capital T.
So how do fired up immune cells, KNOW they need to cool it ?
Scientists from Ohio State University have found tiny little zinc atoms, are able to keep over-zealous immune cells, in check.
First responders start pumping zinc in
The first immune cells on the scene of an infection, the first-responders, trigger the alarm bells. These cells, in response to the clear and present danger, flip the NF-?B switch on.
The NF-?B is a transcription factor, as a transcription factor, it control which genes are transcribed i.e. turned on. This transcription factor ensures, a whole bunch of inflammatory proteins are made – so the cell is ready to GO TO WAR.
Among the WAR PROTEINS, is a very special zinc transporter, nick-named ZIP8. The ZIP8, lodges in the membranes of these cells and allows zinc to move into the cell in significant amounts.
Zinc acts as the brake
With the ZIP8 transporter in position – large amounts of zinc begin entering the cell. These zinc atoms are small and nimble, biochemically speaking they are able to partner up with lots of enzymes and things. One of the enzymes these zinc atoms connect with, is I?B-kinase, this is the enzyme that is churning out NF-?B, which is setting the inflammation wheel in motion.
The zinc interaction, causes this enzyme to tone down NF-?B production. This results in the immune cell standing down. The tiny little zinc atom has stopped the mighty immune system from spiralling out of control, through this negative feedback system.
Is Mother Nature not really clever ? She uses the trigger to turn off the reaction.
Zinc is needed to hit the brake
But Mother Nature’s self regulating system, depends on zinc being around.
The researcher discovered, when zinc is MISSING – the immune system off switch, never triggers.
RUN AWAY inflammation.
Zinc is often missing in action
Zinc is one of those things you should be getting from your diet, but lots of people don’t have enough.
The shortage can be caused by
- poor diet – zinc rich foods include red meat and eggs, two foods we’re routinely told to avoid
- absorption issues e.g. celiac disease and
- an increased need – officially you need 8-11 mg per day, but if you’ve got an IMMUNE SYSTEM that is firing on all four cylinders, you’re probably need a little more than average.
Zinc up and ease that inflammation
Inflammation is pervasive – it as the route of most diseases. Better body chemistry and better health, requires taming this inflammation.
Since zinc is one of your body’s major anti-oxidants, zincing up may be one way to put the brake on our immune system, especially when it is in over drive. Zincing up is relatively easy to do – an easy tasty way to zinc up, is to snack on pumpkin seeds, or if you’re really brave, you can slurp down an oyster or two.
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Got an over-zealous immune system ?
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