Incredible Immune System
One of the main routes or highways for immune cells to travel through is a vast network of vessels and nodes, totaling hundreds of miles. Collectively called the lymphatic system, most people are hardly aware of this critical transport system for the body’s defense department. The lymphatic circulation is similar to the blood circulation except instead of blood it carries a white substance called lymph. Lymph fluid bathe all the cells with nutrients and oxygen and sugars and then it is re-circulated throughout the lymph vessel system. The Lymphatic system also acts as a drainage system and cellular debris, bacteria, viruses and other invaders are all carried and drained away by lymph fluid. One problem with lymph circulation is unlike blood circulation which is pumped throughout the body by the action of the heart, the lymph has no pump. It depends on muscle motion for its flow. This is one reason why exercise is so important. If you’re overweight or sedentary you can end up with lymphatic congestion where the lymph fluid isn’t flowing like it should. This can lead to cells not getting the nutrients that they need or, even worse, lymphatic congestion can cause bacteria and viruses and other toxins to pool up. The combination of cells not being nourished and toxins building up can cause metabolic disorders, infections and accelerated aging. Get yourself a rebounder, a mini trampoline you can buy at an exercise equipment store or on-line. Its one of the best ways to make sure lymphatic fluid is moving around as it should. The up dand down jumping motion is ideal for moving lymph fluid around. Get some exercise, go to the gym. A brisk walk can help. You can even have lymphatic massage done, where a health professional, physically manipulates the lymphatic vessels to break up blockages. Drinking enough fluids can also help to dilute lymph, thereby improving circulation. As lymph fluid flow through the body it stops at many thousands of different, collecting points, called nodes, lymph nodes which are small bean shaped complexes that act to filter the lymph and kill the bad guys, the viruses and germs and poisons. Lymph nodes also trap cancers and produce white blood cells the main solders of the immune sytem. The white blood cells, technically called lymphocytes are divided into two main classes T and B cells are the true superstars of the bodies defense system. They travel around the blood, mostly in a resting state until they’re activated by the enemy at which point they pump up chemicals like anti-bodies (love that word!) that prepare the enemy for destruction. Can you begin to see how cool the human body is? These T and B cells are also produced in the bone marrow. B cells stay in the bone but T cells are passed on to the thymus a gland near the top of the lungs and behind the breastbone. Both T cells and b cells travel through the lymphatic system and the lymph nodes.
The main lymph nodes are in the armpits, the groin, under the jaw, behind the ears and both sides of the neck where your doctor will check for swelling if you’ve got a cold or some kind of infection. If you have some kind of infection or abscesses or even cancer you may end up with swollen or painful lymph nodes. Pressing on a lymph node and feeling swelling or pain or warmth or tenderness means something’s up, because usually you can’t tell where a lymph node is. A major concentration of lymphatic tissue is in the spleen, which makes houses white blood cells among other things.
The spleen also acts as a filter for foreign cells and other invaders. If you have you’re spleen removed you’re going to get sick more often unless you take extra care of your immune system.
A major component of the lymphatic system is the digestive tract. So called GALT, gut associated lymphatic tissue is located throughout the digestive system and in fact makes the intestine the largest mass of lymphatic tissue in the body. The tonsils and adenoids and the appendix as well as the intestines all contain lymphatic tissue that is associated with the digestive system.
The lymphatic system is so important for the immune system that it can pretty much be considered your immune circulatory sytem. Keeping your kidneys and bowels operating properly is critical for lymphatic health. And anything you can do to improve the elimination of waste from the body is going to play an important role in maintaining a healthy lymphatic system and immune system in general. One of the best things you can do to make sure that your lymph and immune system is operating optimally is get yourself on whey protein. First of all whey protein can have beneficial effects on the good bacteria that live in the colon. Good bacteria help process toxins and germs and they improve bowel function and stool formation. These can all reduce the amount of poisons in the lymph and may help improve lymphatic congestion. Whey protein also contains anti bodys that can support our own anti bodys again removing some of the work load on our immune system. Whey protein is a wonderful source of glutathione which is a powerful chemical that can detoxify poisons and support their elimination from the body. Whey protein is also a great source other wonderful molecules that kill germs and fight diseases. Lactoferrin, Lactoglobulins, Lactoperoxidases, Lysozymes, these are all tremendously important substances for supporting immune health and they are found in large amounts in whey protein. Interestingly, as important as these substances are, some people may have reactions to them, and these may account for some of the allergies some people have to whey protein. But, if you don’t have a problem with it, you are absolutely crazy if you’re not supplementing with stuff on a regular basis. In fact, whey protein shouldn’t be a supplement to your diet , it should actually be a component of your diet. It should probably be your main source of protein, as long as it doesn’t result in an allergic or digestive reaction. It’s cheap, it’s filling, it’s a great source of protein, and it’s incredibly important for supporting immune and digestive health.