Doctor's Note

Isn’t our immune system spectacular?! In Clonal Deletion Theory of Immunity, we’ll explore the flip side—how our immune system avoids attacking us. See Cancer as an Autoimmune Disease for an explanation of the autoimmune theory of cancer. Why all this background? This is all a set-up, so everyone can understand the dietary implications of The Inflammatory Meat Molecule Neu5Gc; don’t miss it!

For further context, check out my associated blog post: Plant-Based Diets for Multiple Sclerosis.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

To post comments or questions into our discussion board, first log into Disqus with your account or with one of the accepted social media logins. Click on Login to choose a login method. Click here for help.

  • HemoDynamic, M.D.

    Enjoyed it!-)

  • This is amazing! I no longer have fear of platypus attacks! Lol

    • R Ian Flett

      You should; platypus envenomation is excruciatingly painful and enduring.

  • Thea

    wow. And I even learned something about platypuses (sp?).

    Our immune system is amazingly large, but also so specific. I would have guessed that humans had a system that was more general. In thinking about it, this video makes me think that our immune system is pretty fragile/not very strong. While a billion types of cells, give or take, is quite a high number, what happens when we need our immune system to work on something we don’t already have a cell for? It seems like our immune system is pretty weak in that way.

    Then again, I think, “How did we get all those types of cells to begin with?” Our bodies developed those types of cells at some point probably in reaction to a problem. And then we passed the new cell type down to our offspring? And so maybe our immune system is not so fragile/unchangeable after all? Just thinking…

  • Dave

    How does our body have the knowledge of every potential attack it could face in this world?

    • Wannabemd

      it knows what should and should not be in the body. just like your penis isn’t on your forehead because your body knows where it should be.

  • coacervate

    How do the b cells avoid reacting with our own antigens?

  • Tee

    I’m very curious to know what impact, if any, chemotherapy has on one’s immunity. Does your immune system every FULLY recover from chemo?

  • Bruno L

    Very interesting; many thanks!

  • Sounds related to the theory of homeopathy. Questions, though: (1) how do B cells and the immune system know when the threat has been neutralized; (2) where do all those clonal B cells go after they’ve rid the town of that specific outlaw?

    • Dr. Connie Sanchez, N.D.

      Hi Seth,
      This is a gross oversimplification of what actually takes place when a B-cell (lymphocyte) is activated by coming into contact with an antigen or allergen. Upon activation, the B-cell multiplies and creates many clones (clonal selection) of itself (as seen in Dr. Greger’s video).

      B-cells (lymphocytes) create two main types of cells: (1) Effector (plasma) cells which secrete antibody and (2) Memory cells. Effector (plasma) cells are either short-lived cells that die within 3-5 days after being made and are used for immediate immunological defense; or the long-lived plasma cells which migrate primarily to the bone marrow where they remain for extended periods of time secreting high-affinity antibody.

      B-cells that have differentiated into Memory cells remain after the infection has cleared to provide “memory” of that specific antigen/allergen and provides long-term protection (immunity) allowing for a more rapid response if one becomes exposed again to that same antigen.

      Source: Minges Wols, Heather. Plasma Cells. Barat College of DePaul University, Lake Forest, Illinois, USA., doi:10.1038/npg.els.0004030.

  • Randy

    Great topics and great science, explaining it very easy to understand.

    Thank you!

  • Daniel Bidjae

    This is fantastic for be antibody in our immune system and how our body avoids any sickness

  • Daniel Bidjae

    kind of triggers the immune system to develop an antibody against it. like againts antibody generator or “antigen”

  • Merio

    if one is really curious about this mechanism got to make a visit to the relative wikipedia page(“clonal selection”)… and then read out the “VDJ recombination”… it’s not easy, but it is really fascinating… i’ve got a course in my university about this stuff…

  • Malia

    Dear Dr. Greger,
    I am fascinated with your work. I am strictly vegan now but one thing I don’t understand… if our B cells are designed to attack all foreign invaders that naturally occur on this earth, what will the B cells do if they don’t recognize a Genetically Modified Organism. I would think that you above ALL people would be recommending staying completely away from these. I also would expect that you would be helping our community to better understand what is happening to our food supply as this affects our whole foods. Please do your research on this subject and don’t be afraid of the Big Ag companies. I know they are scary but we got your back. :-)

    • dogulas

      8 months later…

      The B cells are generated kind of randomly, without any actual things to fight in mind. If they happen to be able to bind to the antigen, the work! So we’re just as prepared for viruses shot down from space by aliens as we are for the next strain to be bred in pig factory farms.

  • Hope Through The Storm

    Absolutely Amazing, yet the Bible says we are fearfully and wonderfully made and how true this is just another miraculous example of our Great God and Creator who is taking care of us. Now we just need to make sure we are seeking the wisdom to help take care or ourselves too! Thanks Dr. Greger. Next to God you are my biggest hero and life saver for so many. Hope you are doing well and your family too. I did leave you a voice mail regarding my latest situation.

  • Wannabemd

    that is epic