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- Immune System - What it is, What it DoesLast Updated: 4/30/2011
One of the first things you will need to understand when you are thinking about vaccination is: what is the purpose of vaccination and does it fulfill its purpose?. Is it well-studied and documented? Is it needed? In his lecture on Immunology: Components of the Immune System, Dr. Harris Goldstein MD states "the purpose of vaccination is to kill the pathogen, but don’t harm the host. Everything else is just commentary. Sometimes things go wrong and we do just that, harm the host.” (1) He gives a series of 14 lectures on the immune system at Albert Einstein College of Medicine starting January 2010.
I listened to the whole first session and he never once mentioned the gut. He mentioned the skin and mucous membranes but only in passing. I find that fascinating. Granted, he may well mention it later in another lecture, but I would have thought that since the gut makes up close to 80% of the immune system, it would have rated at least a mention in a beginning lecture on it. (2) He spent the whole hour giving instruction on how to educate our immune system instead of educating the listener on how the immune system is designed to work and how it actually does work and what we can do to support it.
Our bodies have two natural physical barriers which deter unwanted microorganisms from entering and wreaking havoc. In addition to these we employ chemical and white blood cell responses. These two barriers are generally very efficient and sufficient for that task. However, if they fail in deterring the pathogens, the adaptive immune response comes to the rescue. Adaptive immunity is different from innate immunity in that the response includes a specific memory for organisms it has previously encountered. Because of that, if re-infection occurs, the body is then able to respond to that infection rapidly and directly. This is the response that vaccinations rely upon for efficacy.
The first natural physical barrier we possess is our skin. It prevents the penetration into the body of potential pathogens. Few bacteria can live very long on the skin, because lactic acid and fatty acids from our sweat and sebaceous secretions have too low a pH for them to tolerate. This is why skin loss, as from burns or trauma, can leave the path open for infection.
The second natural physical barrier we possess is our inner mucus membranes. The protective barrier of mucus they secrete prevents bacteria from sticking to the cells that line the body. This layer also heals itself very quickly, often within 24 hours, making it an extraordinarily effective barrier. Once organisms get stuck in this sticky mucous they can then be expelled by efforts such as coughing, sneezing or through tears, saliva and urine. Some of our body fluids also contain chemicals that are antimicrobial.
When microorganisms enter our personal space they then meet the next protective mechanism, the phagocytes, translated "cell eaters”. This part of the defense system is our blood cells. White blood cells are the main mediators of the entire immune response. Their responsibility is to seek out the organism, destroy and remove it. The body performs all of these feats all by itself. It is a normal physiological process which it does without our direct input. That is the way that the Designer designed it to perform. Sometimes the physical barriers are weakened by trauma, dietary changes which affect pH which then causes disease, or stress affecting our biochemical composition.
We can strengthen or weaken our immune system, depending on the nutrition we use as fuel. Our food is laden with bacteria, molds, yeasts and viruses. In many cases we get stronger from being exposed to a number of environmental pathogens. However we can develop leaky gut syndrome from things such as chlorine and fluoride in our water, antibiotics which strip us of the beneficial bacterial and cause a proliferation of yeast. Sugar feeds yeast and creates free radicals that cause diseases such as diabetes and cancer. The mucous layer will be compromised if it is thinned by NSAIDS, illness, alcohol, coffee, BC pills, and prednisone or other prescription medications.
Vaccination seeks to initiate an immune response to a potential pathogenic organism except that it bypasses certain aspects of natural exposure to disease. We need to consider the risk/benefit ratio and the possible long-term costs to the optimum functioning of the human body when we do things which are outside the natural scope and sequence of design/function.
My worldview is that we are created beings, created by a Master Designer. He designed the immune system to work in a certain way. The immune system works independently with the purpose of establishing and preserving molecular identity. It functions proactively as a network, not merely as a reactionary defense mechanism. John 1:1-3 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” There is a principal in scripture whereby woe is pronounced to any who add to the Word of God. (Rev. 22:18) Another place we are warned not to use the body for that which it wasn’t created and admonished to honor Him with our body. (Rom 1:21-32) I do not think it is a far stretch to imagine that Our Designer would not be pleased with us trying to improve upon the way He designed our bodies to work.
In future posts I will look at Biblical reasons to not vaccinate, explore vaccine efficacy, alternate means of strengthening the immune system, vaccine ingredients, legal mandates, how to write a vaccine waiver, and informed consent. In the meantime, in the event that the CDC or the FDA or your local pediatrician or even your church is telling you that you must vaccinate, NEVERMIND them, do your own research, make your own decisions.
(1) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jshw2sHrk8Y Immunology: Components of the Immune System, Dr. Harris Goldstein.
(2) http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/07/05/probiotics-found-to-help-your-gut-s-immune-system.aspx, Probiotics found to Help Your Gut’s Immune System, Dr. Joseph Mercola
http://greaterimmunity.com/Files/digestive_immunity.html, Digestive Immunity, Dr. Christopher Hassell
Vaccinations A Thoughtful Parent’s Guide, Aviva Jill Romm
Holy Bible, New American Standard Version AMG Publishers 1984, 1990
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