Primates all use a vitamin D bug spray, to keep their airways free of malicious bugs.
Other lesser creatures lack the primate privilege.
The primate package
Biologically speaking, humans are classified as primates.
Probably the biggest single feature shared by all primates, is an opposable thumb, this gives the ability to grip things. Also, the ends of their fingers are decorated with flat nails, instead of claws.
But there are other things that primates share….
- Bigger brains
- Eyes in the front of the head, not on the side
- The ability to walk upright (at least some of the time)
And only having one baby at a time, as a rule
Okay, enough of the biology lesson……
Researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre have found that primates also all use vitamin D bug spray.
The vitamin D bug spray
Doing a little detective work, researchers found that all primates have a small bit of DNA buried deep inside their so-called “junk DNA”.
Science has only recently discovered that “junk DNA” is not junk at all. For a long time, huge bits of DNA were just simply ignored, because it appeared that they didn’t do anything. Now we know junk DNA actually regulates the genome.
The bit of DNA which pops up in all primates is referred to as the Alu short interspersed element.
The Alu “junk” is an important switch
The Alu fragment is an important control knob for the immune system.
When the Alu fragment is the nozzle on a spray can, which releases the antimicrobial peptide known as cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide.
Antimicrobial peptides are the human equivalent of antibiotics and are critical for the proper functioning of the “innate” immune system. This is the part of the immune system that is responsible for the first line of defence against bug attacks. The innate immune system is the eyes and ears of the body’s defence mechanism, noticing when something is not quite right.
Vitamin D pushes the nozzle on the spray can
Vitamin D is responsible for actually squeezing the nozzle , thereby triggering this first line defence programme.
The antimicrobial peptide which is released by vitamin D, is able to kill nasties, whether they be bacteria or viruses, on contact. But in addition to this germ killing power, it activates other members of the security team, so they can arrive on the scene and perform mopping up operations.
Mopping up operations would include cleaning up the debris, bringing in fresh supplies so that the cells that have been damaged are replaced or refurbished.
Bug spray only works if you push down the nozzle
The fact that every primate carries this amazing bug spray, suggests it probably is pretty important in the big scheme of things.
Mother nature tends to keep things that work really well and get rid of, or change imperfect systems.
Don’t monkey around with your health
If this is the standard way primates keep up their defence system, then you should make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D to be able to press the nozzle and spray this very special bug spray.
Sit in the sun a little or supplement with vitamin D, but make sure you’re not running low.
There is no point in owning bug spray if you don’t use it.Key feature of immune system survived in humans, other primates for 60 million years – press release from Oregon State University.
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