In my last blog I introduced the five pillars of our immune system. This one covers blood, or more specifically how we regulate blood pressure, how the immune system uses blood pressure to help us recover from bacterial or viral infections and injuries and what micronutrients are involved to support this process. I also observe that industrial food production tilts the playing field to favor chronic inflammation and high blood pressure
Blood pressure is regulated by the Renin- Angiotensin-System (RAS). Note some scientists call this RAAS with the extra "A" referring to a steroid called Aldosterone. Here is what is going on.
The liver makes a long protein called Angiotensin and releases it into the blood stream. Our kidney makes a pair of "scissors" called Renin (an enzyme) that snips Angiotensin to make Angiotensin-1. Angiotensin -1 hangs out in the blood until it runs into another pair of scissors called ACE-1 (Angiotensin Converting Enzyme) which every fifty year old with high blood pressure has heard of. ACE-1 snips Angiotensin-1 making Angiotensin-2.
Now it gets interesting. Angiotensin-2 causes one the Adrenal gland to release Aldosterone (the "A") which promotes water retention by increasing salinity levels. Angiotensin-2 also causes your arteries and veins to shrink. These two pathways combine to raise your blood pressure.
Yet another pair of scissors called the ACE-2 enzyme comes into the picture to snip Angiotensin-2 even smaller. Once this happens, the arteries and veins relax and salt levels decrease & water retention drops. By controlling ACE-1, ACE-2, renin and angiotensin levels, our body tries to stay at 120/80 in steady state.
Let's assume you grab your scissors and slice open your finger. The immune system kicks in. As the wound is open, there is a risk of bacteria and viruses entering the wound so we want to flood the site with hunters. You also want to bring macro and micronutrients to the site to help the healthy cells step up and make repairs. The swelling, or pro-inflammatory reaction is ACE-1 in action. As we heal the anti-inflammatory side or ACE-2 part dominates restoring everything back to normal.
For this process to work, we need
1) Cells to be able to make ACE enzymes &
2) The Command & Control System to make the chemical signals to tell cells which ACE form to make.
This is where micronutrients come into the picture.
To make ACE compounds we need bioavailable zinc. The best zinc in our diet is from ruminant animals that eat plants and algae (goats, sheep, cows) and shellfish. Vegetarians have to be careful. The zinc in veggies is not very bioavailable as it gets locked up by phytic acid, phytates and oxides found in the plants we eat.
On the command & control side, pro-inflammatory signals are formed from the micronutrients Omega 6 and arachidonic acid. The anti-inflammatory signals are made using Omega 3 and arachidonic acid.
Guess what micronutrient we need to make arachidonic acid? CBD! If your body doesn't make enough CBD or if it is oxidized by surplus ROS then you can't generate the signals to tell your cells what to do.
Now let's look at what is happening in our modern diets.
100 years ago we ate 2.5 parts Omega 6 to 1 part Omega 3.
Today we eat 20 parts Omega 6 to 1 part Omega 3.
Where did all that Omega 6 come from? Hydrogenated fats are Omega 6 oils! As the price of corn and soybeans dropped, we started using their oils for everything from frying foods to to adding fats into prepared foods to improve taste, lower cost and extend the shelf life.
At the same time we reduced our intake of Omega 3 oils cutting out rich sources of Omega 3 such as salmon, oysters/shellfish and flaxseed oil.
This diet tilts the playing field. We can make plenty of ACE-1 but can fail to make the signals to tell cells to make ACE-2. If we are 'stuck" turning on pro-inflammation and can't turn back that dial, then you are at higher risk of chronic inflammation related diseases.
Eicosadose Immune System Booster: 9 Micronutrients to Boost your Immune System
Eicosadose contains natural astaxanthin to detoxify our cells from ROS and protect our ability to generate power, Omega 3(DHA) & CBD to help the command and control network make the anti-inflammatory eicosanoids that tell cells to make ACE-2 and bioavailable zinc to help our cells make ACE enzymes.
This is the best immune system booster I have found so far.