What to eat to increase white blood cells?

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A:

Any food that boosts your immune system should increase your natural killer (NK) cells.

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REV UP YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM TO PREVENT DISEASE

The following story graphically explains the importance your immune system plays in whether you stay healthy or succumb to disease. A gentleman gets on a flight from the Orient to Seattle, Washington with a cough. This is not unusual; we have all been on a plane with at least one sick passenger. In this particular case, by the time the flight landed in Seattle the flight attendants realized that the coughing man was very sick. Upon entering the airport he was quarantined and it was discovered that he had active tuberculosis (TB). With this new information the authorities went about contacting everyone who was on that plane requesting they go to the health department or their physician to be tested for tuberculosis. Of the 200 passengers exposed on that flight, 40 tested positive for TB. What made the difference in those that were able to ward off the bacterial infection--they had strong, vigilant immune systems.

With the discovery of antibiotic resistant bacteria it is clear that we must bolster our immune system so that it may defend us. This important internal army is able to destroy bacteria, viruses, fungi and cancer cells effectively when it is working at peak efficiency. Unfortunately, due to poor nutrition, stress and environmental toxins, our immune system is failing at its job. Improve your nutrition, take the 10 immune-boosting nutrients recommended, reduce your stress levels, be emotionally satisfied and include plant sterols and sterolins to ensure a healthy immune system.
OUR IMMUNE ARMY

Until recently our immune system was not well understood. With the introduction of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) the study of immunology has advanced dramatically. We now realize how intricately all the body systems are connected. Even our nervous system is hard-wired into our immune system. With this knowledge we are aware of the importance of our thoughts and feelings. Loneliness is now recognized as the number one predictor of disease due to its immune suppressing action. Laughter and feelings of satisfaction increase and enhance the actions of our immune cells, making our internal army more effective.

The intestine is also surrounded by powerful immune factors that ward off invaders such as fungi, bacteria and parasites that enter the body via our food. The increased incidence of parasite infections may be due to the poor function of the immune system.

The skin is the largest immune organ, protecting us when it is intact and excreting immune agents that fight bacteria when it is wounded. All of the entrances to the body--eyes, nose, mouth, vagina and anus--contain potent immune factors in their secretions to fight invaders and halt them from entering the body.
FOOD THAT HARMS

We are also born with certain immune cells that act quickly to destroy any offending agent. These include our macrophages and natural killer cells. Macrophages are like pac-man cells devouring any foreign or abnormal looking cells, bacteria, fungi and more. Natural killer cells go after cancer cells and virus infected cells. Sugar consumption seriously hampers these two immune cells. As little as one teaspoon of sugar can inhibit our natural killer cells and macrophages for up to six hours, leaving us unprotected against viruses and cancer. While sugar is toxic to the immune system, fruits and vegetables are healing.
NUTRITION IS THE FUEL FOR IMMUNE CELLS

We must provide our immune system with the fuel to fight its never ending battles. Seven to 10 half-cup servings of fruits and vegetables per day are the minimum requirements to ensure optimal levels of vitamins, minerals and plant nutrients. Eliminating the bad fats from margarine, supermarket oils, shortenings and lard will also help enhance immunity. Organic foods should be chosen whenever possible to ensure that we limit our consumption of pesticides and fungicides which are known to inhibit the action of immune cells.

T cells are the generals in our immune arsenal. The T in T cell stands for thymus-derived. They include helper T cells, cytotoxic T cells and suppressor T cells. Helper T cells excrete proteins or cytokines that regulate immune function. There are two types of helper T cells: T helper 1 cells and T helper 2 cells. When these two types of cells and their cytokines are in balance, we are healthy. When we are sick with cancer, infectious diseases such as hepatitis C, herpes, HIV, tuberculosis, colds and flu, our T helper 1 cells are suppressed and not releasing the good guy immune factors. When we have allergies, autoimmune disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, MS, and inflammatory conditions such as osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia, we know that our T helper 2 cells are overactive and secreting too many inflammatory immune factors. Immunologists have been searching for a prescription drug that balances both sides of helper T cell function. Researchers evaluating plant nutrients have found that plant fats, namely sterols and sterolins, do exactly what immunologists have been looking for--balancing T helper cells to optimize immunity.
PLANT FATS BALANCE THE IMMUNE SYSTEM

Plant sterols and sterolins perform the balancing act very effectively. Patrick J. D. Bouic, Ph.D. has shown in his research that plant sterols and sterolins are effective at enhancing an underactive immune system and/or decreasing an overactive one. This happens without the side effects associated with pharmaceutical substances such as interferon, prednisone or methotrexate. Sterols and sterolins have been evaluated in a 25,000-person safety study and found to have no side effects, no drug interactions, no toxicity. It is safe for children, pregnant and nursing mothers. Only those who have had an organ transplant can not take plant sterols because it may stimulate rejection.

Plant sterols and sterolins also increase the number and action of natural killer cells (our cancer fighters) and increase our DHEA levels naturally. They are also able to reduce the stress hormone cortisol and the proinflammatory immune factor, interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a). Interleukin-6 and (TNF-a) are increased in autoimmune disorders, osteoporosis, over exercising, fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis. Reduction of this inflammatory agent is the key to halting symptoms and pain. This is exactly what plant sterols and sterolins do.
NUTRIENTS TO ENHANCE IMMUNITY

Vitamin C, E, A and B complex, reduced L-glutathione, selenium, zinc, magnesium, coenzyme Q10 and DHEA have immune enhancing actions. Zinc is known to increase the size of the thymus gland, the powerhouse of one's immune system, and improve T cell function. Both coenzyme Q10 and selenium have been proven to protect us against cancer. Reduced L-glutathione is the most potent detoxifier, eliminating environmental pollutants from the body rapidly, thereby protecting the immune system. Magnesium is involved in over 200 enzymatic reactions in the body. Deficiency of this important mineral is common, due to the consumption of caffeinated drinks, which cause magnesium to be excreted. Vitamin B6 is required for maintaining hormone levels and a healthy immune and nervous system. Vitamin B6 should be taken along with a B complex to ensure the full complement of B vitamins are present. Vitamins C, E and A are important antioxidants that enhance our immune system and protect us from infections and neutralizing cell-damaging free radicals. DHEA is our mother hormone in charge of regulating all the hormones in the body. It is known as the anti-aging hormone. As we age our DHEA levels decline and many degenerative diseases are associated with low DHEA levels. Plant sterols and sterolins are precursors to DHEA. This means that the body will take the plant fats and make DHEA from them. It is always better if we can rely on our body to make what we require and this is true with DHEA.
STRESS REDUCTION ESSENTIAL TO IMMUNE HEALTH

Poor nutrition, coupled with too much stress, is a recipe for illness. When we are under stress our body sends out the stress hormone cortisol. This hormone then causes a proinflammatory immune factor called interleukin-6 to be excreted. Interleukin-6 is involved in the exacerbation of autoimmune disorders and other inflammatory conditions such as fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis. The human immunodeficiency virus uses interleukin-6 to replicate itself. This powerful inflammatory immune factor is also involved in pulling calcium from bone into the blood, causing osteoporosis. Sterols and sterolins effectively reduce cortisol, and subsequently interleukin-6, alleviating symptoms associated with these diseases. Knowing this cortisolinterleukin-6 connection, stress reduction is of paramount importance to the health of our immune system.

Eliminate the stressors that you have control over and learn how to better handle those that you don't. Women are especially prone to conditions that are promoted by stress. With families to look after, jobs to attend to, looking after the family home, laundry and a never-ending list of daily tasks to perform, they are causing their immune system damage without even realizing it. Women are also very shallow breathers, which results in poor oxygenation to the blood, increased stress levels and decreased immunity. Take several deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth many times per day to help relieve stress and tension.

We can improve our immune function rapidly by adopting good nutrition, stress reducing factors, plant nutrients, vitamins and minerals and by eliminating many of the toxins we are exposed to daily. Relying on our immune system to fight off bacteria, viruses, candida albicans and parasites is just what Mother Nature ordered.
HELP THE IMMUNE SYSTEM

* Eat a balanced diet rich in organic fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Eliminate the bad fats--margarine and processed oils. Choose fish and free range eggs over red meat and add plenty of yogurt or kefir to your diet. Sugar and alcohol both cause immune dysfunction; avoid them.
* Reduce stress in any way possible--it is extremely damaging to one's immune health.
* Add vitamins A, C, E and B complex, along with the minerals magnesium, selenium, zinc and reduced L-glutathione and coenzyme Q10.
* Add the plant nutrient sterols and sterolins. They are essential for modulating (balancing) the immune system, enhancing it if it is underactive and reducing it when it is overstimulated. Include carotenoids such as lycopene, known to protect against cancer, and bioflavonoids, which are powerful antioxidants that help eliminate toxins.
* Walk, walk, walk. Exercise is a good way to relieve stress and enhance oxygen flow, improving the immune system.
* Get plenty of sleep. Rest gives time for the body to regenerate.

The Immune System and the Body

Immune Organs

A B

1 Thymus Formation of T-cells

2 Tonsils/Adenoids Distinguish invaders for destruction

3 Spleen Filters blood and distributes T
and B cells

4 Lymph Glands Storage and white blood cell formation

5 Bone Marrow B cells are produced in bone marrow

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By Lorna Vanderhaeghe

Lorna Vanderhaeghe is a health journalist who has been researching and writing on the subject of nutritional medicine for over 15 years. She is editor-in-chief of Health Living Guide, a Canadian newsstand magazine, and of Alive, a health periodical. She is also senior editor for the Encyclopedia of Natural Healing, winner of the Benjamin Franklin Award in 1998. She worked for five years under the direction of Abram Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D., an expert in orthomolecular medicine, and co-wrote Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill, The Kitchen Guide. Most recently she co-authored The Immune System Cure, with Patrick J. D. Bouic, Ph.D., published by Kensington Books.
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Natural Killer Cells Slay Fatigue

Up to 20% of adults report fatigue so severe that it impairs work and home liFe. Recent research that looks at the interaction of the body's immune, endocrine and nervous systems, as well as the role of specialized white blood cells called Natural Killer cells, offers new hope.

Natural Killer (NK) cells, discovered by immunologists in the 1980's, are a type of white blood cell that earn their name because they have a "natural," or innate, ability to identify and kill any "non-self cells" (the microscopic invaders or abnormal cells that mean us harm). NK cells patrol your tissues and blood stream on the look out for "non-self cells." Once identified, they immediately attack, destroying these harmful cells before they have a chance to take root and cause problems.

When NK cells are overwhelmed, they "sound the alarm" that the body is under attack or injured, initiating a cascade of cytokines (immune system messenger compounds), that recruit other white blood cells to the scene. The production of antibodies and inflammatory factors are stimulated, metabolism and body temperature change to make the body a hostile environment for abnormal cells (which is why we feel fatigued and tired), and the brain gets the message to seek rest and recovery. When the injury or infection is cleared, NK cells help rebalance the immune system and we feel better.

NK cell function fluctuates throughout our lives. It generally declines with age and in response to emotional stress (like grief, or pressure at work or home) and physical stress (such as injury and exposure to toxins). When NK cell function is low, susceptibility to infection increases, so "flu-like" symptoms are more common. In addition, the NK cells send a weaker "all clear" signal so illness-related immune, endocrine and nervous system activity is higher than it should be, producing many fatigue symptoms.

Over 30 research studies show that the ingredient in ImmPower™ helps maintain peak NK cell function while promoting optimum T-Cell activity. (To see research, visit www.americanbiosciences.com). Taking two capsules of ImmPower can result in measurable improvement in NK cell function in just 4 hours, and long term use can result in the enhancement of NK cell activity of several hundred percent.[*]

Studies of emotional and physical stress show ImmPower's ingredient reduces NK cell suppression, a result that improves fatigue and supports the immune system's first line of defense.
Natural Killer Cells

NK cells are your immune system's front-line defense. They inject invaders with cytotoxic granules. The granule lysis dissolves cell membranes causing invaders to "explode" in seconds.

© 2007 These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

PHOTO (COLOR)

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By Michael E. Rosenbaum, MD


 Answer by prokopton

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