Natural Immunity: New Discoveries in the Human Body [Plus a Video Interview With Drs. Michelle Mattingly and Henry Ealy]
Since early 2020, we’ve received repetitive messages about the importance of building our immune systems; mainly by accepting a series of vaccinations, and/or contracting a virus we’d rather avoid. Missing from this conversation, is how our natural immunity ACTUALLY works, and what we can do day-to-day to protect and strengthen our bodies from the inside out.
By Janey Bibolet Ward
Modern Western medical doctors typically address immunity by using treatment protocols, including symptom management and conventional medications. In this article, we explore natural immunity in several recent studies that seek to understand the holistic way our bodies ward off disease and maintain homeostasis—stability and healthy balance in response to environmental change.
The Brain Is Linked to the Immune System
In 2015, researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine announced a startling discovery linking the immune system, or lymphatic system, to the brain. For the first time, researchers were able to establish a mechanistic action between the two via previously unmapped vessels.
This revelation opens the possibility to explore the relationship between the central nervous system, neurodegenerative diseases, and the connection between the immune system response, or dysfunction to illnesses such as multiple sclerosis, autism and Alzheimers. Kevin Lee, Ph.D, chairman of the UVA Department of Neuroscience, described his reaction to the discovery by Dr. Kipnis’ lab: “The first time these guys showed me the basic result, I just said one sentence: They’ll have to change the textbooks.”
The burgeoning field of neuroimmunology is producing major opportunities for discovery, and researchers are exploring how the brain works with the immune system rather than it being shielded by the blood-brain barrier as was previously understood.
The Microbiome and Immune System Stimulation and Regulation
The microbiome consists of “trillions of microorganisms (also called microbiota or microbes) of thousands of different species that reside within our bodies.” The balance of these organisms should create a symbiotic relationship within the host person unless an imbalance causes dysbiosis and allows for a pathogen to gain an advantage. The microbiome is linked to the immune response and this kind of imbalance can lead to inflammation, neurodegenerative diseases, metabolic syndrome, cancers, and more.
Recent advances in “gut” (digestive system) research have posited that a diet that disrupts homeostasis (balance) is a leading cause of disease, especially in populations eating a diet high in sugars and processed foods, and subjected to environmental toxins such as pesticides. This condition is linked to obesity, digestive disorders such as ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and colorectal cancers.
The Gut-Brain Axis and Mental Health
A Study published in 2014 in the Journal of Pharmacology and Clinical Toxicology states:
“The gut-brain axis includes the central nervous system (CNS), the neuroendocrine and neuroimmune systems, autonomic nervous system, enteric nervous system, and intestinal microbiota.”
There is a demonstrated linkage between a disturbance in the gut-brain axis and mental health conditions such as schizophrenia.
Current research is exploring this further in order to reduce pharmaceutical interventions, and treat mental health issues using diet and probiotics. This holistic approach would reduce the need for psychotropic medications that have significant side effects.
Traditional Chinese and Herbal Medicine and The MicroBiome
Traditional Chinese medicine and herbal medicine have been practiced for thousands of years and researchers are beginning to explore the properties of these compounds in order to study the pharmacological effects on the microbiome.
A recent study affirms:
“We found that interactions between the gut microbiota and herbal medicines occur primarily through two pathways. One pathway is that the gut microbiota ‘digests’ the herbal medicines into absorbable active small molecules, which enter the body and induce physiological changes.
The other is that herbal medicines regulate the composition of the gut microbiota and its secretions, thereby changing gut microbiota and its secretions inducing physiological changes.”
Modern scientific research is focused on identifying the mechanisms of action, and separating the compounds and specific effects, rather than on the synergistic, or full energetic actions as understood by herbalists practicing for centuries, proving what they already knew.
Natural Immunity: COVID-19 and the Fallacy of Vaccine Protection
In May of 2021, The World Health Organization released a report stating that people infected with the COVID-19 virus developed neutralizing antibodies that prevented severe reinfection for up to at least 8 months and may provide protection similar and possibly even superior to vaccination. This is generally recognized in other countries outside of the United States, whereby people who recovered from COVID-19 were seen as equal to those who were vaccinated or tested negative.
An article in the NIH (National Institutes of Health) research explains:
“This long-term immune protection involves several components. Antibodies—proteins that circulate in the blood—recognize foreign substances like viruses and neutralize them. Different types of T cells help recognize and kill pathogens. B cells make new antibodies when the body needs them.”
There have been reports of reinfection in both the vaccinated and those previously infected suggesting that vaccination is not the more durable option. According to research by the Brownstone Institute, over 150 studies demonstrate that “the evidence shows that naturally acquired immunity is equal to or more robust and superior to existing vaccines.”
This month a global survey was conducted by the International Journal of Vaccine Theory, Practice and Research calling for more prospective studies of the unvaccinated and their favorable outcomes from natural immunity. Regardless of the findings of these studies, supporting an individual’s rights to bodily autonomy should always be upheld without discrimination.
Proactive Self-Care Is the Path To Increased Health and Vitality
Strengthening your immune system doesn’t need to be an arduous task. There are simple steps you can take right now to cultivate the quality of life a strong immunity affords: Getting a daily dose of sunshine on your body, engaging in physical activity regularly, and making time for restoration.
We have a special video interview for you with Drs. Michelle Mattingly and Henry Ealy. They agreed to speak with us to share their knowledge on this important topic. Tune-in to learn more about your body’s innate ability to heal itself.