We may have a billion different types of antibody-releasing cells in our immune system, such that each recognizes a different molecular signature.
To understand the dietary implications of the new autoimmune theory of cancer, we first have to understand how the immune system works. This was one of the greatest mysteries in all of biology— solved by a brilliant scientist who won the Nobel in 1960 for figuring out the clonal selection theory of immunity. Each one of our antibody producing immune cells, called B-cells, produces only one type of antibody. Antibodies are one of the main weapons our immune system uses to attack foreign invaders. And they’re specific. It’s not just like we have one B-cell that covers grass pollen and another that covers bacteria, we have a B-cell in our body whose only job is to make antibodies against the pollen of purple Siberian oniongrass, whether or not we ever come in contact with it. Another whose only job it is to make antibodies against the tail proteins of bacteria that live only in the thermal vents at the bottom of the ocean. Wait a second. There must be a billion different things in the world. If each of our B cells produces only one type of antibody, then we’d have a billion different types of B cells. And we do, which is totally amazing. So, let’s suppose one day you’re walking along and get attacked by a platypus. They actually have poison spurs on their heels, you know. And so for your whole life up until that point the B-cell in your body that produces antibodies against duck-billed platypus venom was just hanging around, twiddling its thumbs, until that very moment. As soon as the venom is detected it raises its hand and says me me me, starts dividing like crazy, making copies of itself, and soon you have a whole swarm of clones specialized for platypus poison protection, fending off the toxin, and you live happily ever after. That’s, how the immune system works.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Ashley Rhinehart, RN.
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Isn't our immune system spectacular?! In Wednesday's video of the day Clonal Deletion Theory of Immunity we'll explore the flipside—how our immune system avoids attacking us. See yesterday’s NutritionFacts.org video-of-the-day 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 Thursday's video The Inflammatory Meat Molecule Neu5Gc.
For some more context, please check out my associated blog post: Plant-Based Diets for Multiple Sclerosis
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