Raw Food Explained: Life Science
Today only $37 (discounted from $197)
9. Our Body Is Self-Sufficient
While striving at self-sufficiency on a homestead, our body is already an “old hand” at such matters. From the moment of birth, the body is self-healing or self-repairing, self-directing and self-regulating on a continual basis. Let’s take a lock at how it has been accomplishing this task.
9.1 Cells of Repair
Our body has certain cells with very specialized jobs to perform. These cells work for us to maintain health and thwart any outside influence that may interfere with our well being.
The neutrophil is a white blood cell that is one of the most common and most important of the cells active in the healing and repair process. These cells contain large quantities of a characteristic protein that has a marked ability to dispose of decayed or spent bacteria and other debris.
During the inflammatory reaction, neutrophils migrate into the tissues where they are very active phagocytes. In this situation, neutrophils are mainly responsible for ingesting the unwanted debris that accumulates. During phagocytosis, the granules or lysosomes of the cells are discharged and many of the cells die; the aggregate of dead neutrophils forms the material known as pus. Bacteria then proliferate to feast on this pus, thus making it easier to expell.
Eosinophils are white blood cells that occur in the bloodstream in much smaller numbers than do neutrophils. They are also somewhat phagocytic and are found in greatly increased numbers in both blood and tissues during inflammatory conditions.
Basophils constitute only 0.5 percent of the white cells of the blood. They are said to contain histamine and a heparin-like substance. Histamine dilates capillaries and often permits fluid to move through the capillaries and into the tissues. Heparin is an anticoagulant of the bipod. Apparently tissue basophils become the mast cells of the tissues. The large granules of mast cells are thought to store enzymes.
Mast cells are important in cellular mechanisms needed during injury.
There are comparatively few monocytes in the blood-about 5 percent of the total white cell count. Monocytes are actively motile and phagocytic. It is thought that they function in contributing to the repair and reorganization of tissues.
Monocytes and macrophages are capable of engulfing old, worn out neutrophils, mast cells, and particles of tissue in the process of cleaning up an area of inflammation after the initial stages have been passed and recovery is in progress.
The function of fibroblasts in tissue repair is to lay down dense collagen fibers to form a firm, mechanically-strong replacement for dead tissue. The simplest such situation is after an incised wound has been made in the skin. There the collagen fibers are oriented transversely across the incision, restoring mechanical strength.
Lymphocytes are also strongly phagocytic and carry out their duty of healing and repair by assisting the neutrophils during inflammation conditions and injury
The Organs of Repair
9.8 Lymph Nodes
The lymph nodes contain small lymphocytes and large dendritic macrophages. The dendrites of the macrophages carry important impulses or messages to the cell body.
The lymph stream widens very greatly as it passes through the node; therefore the rate of flow is greatly reduced. The lymph filters through a maze of passageways lined with phagocytic cells. Such cells engulf bacteria and other foreign materials from the lymph stream. Thus the body is kept in a healthy and stable condition.
9.9 The Spleen
The spleen has four major functions:
- Blood destruction – Old red blood cells are destroyed in all parts of the reticuloendothelial system, including those of the lymph nodes and spleen. (Reticuloendothelial system applies to those cells scattered throughout the body that have the power to ingest bacteria and solid particles.)
- Cellular production – The spleen manufactures lymphocytes and monocytes.
- Blood storage – The spleen serves as a reservoir for blood, or, more specifically, for red blood cells, as most of the plasma is returned to the circulation whereas red blood cells are enmeshed in the splenic pulb. Marked contraction of the spleen occurs during muscular exercise, thereby releasing red blood cells and increasing oxygen capacity. The spleen undergoes rhythmic variations in size in response to physiologic demands, such as exercise and hemorrhage, and thus influences the volume of circulating blood. The volume of stored blood may vary from a liter to as little as 50 ml.
- Blood filtration – The spleen, serving as a part of the body’s reticuloendothelial mechanism, filters spent cells and their debris from the blood.
9.10 The Liver
Organisms are filtered from the blood by macrophages in the wall of the sinusoids (minute blood vessels), and various toxic chemicals are removed from the blood by liver cells.
The sinusoids are lined partly by flat nonphagocytic endothelial cells and partly by more rounded and irregular shaped macrophages (or Kupffer cells) that project into the lumen of the sinusoid. These cell? are similar in structure to macrophages elsewhere and are avidly phagocytic.
The protective function of the liver is associated with its ability to detoxify products of catabolism, that might accumulate in dangerous proportions. These products are changed chemically into substances that can be excreted by the kidneys or through the intestinal tract. Macrophages present in the liver sinusoids aid in filtering foreign matter from the blood.
9.11 The Bone Marrow
Bone marrow is highly important as the source of the cells of the blood and other cells in the body’s system. Development of blood cells within the bones commences during the fifth month of fetal life.
Blood-forming elements appear initially in the centers of the bone marrow cavities; the blood-forming centers later expand to occupy the entire marrow space. This widely-dispensed blood cell formation continues until puberty, when the marrow in all the ends of the long bones becomes less cellular and more fatty, giving rise to yellow bone marrow, in which most of the hematopoietic tissue has been replaced by fat. In the adult, only the red bone marrow, located principally in the skull, vertebrae, ribs, sternum, and pelvis, retains hematopoietic activity. The total productive bone marrow in the adult is about 1,400 gm.
It is apparent that a most important part of the bodily repair mechanism is the production of cells—polymorphs, lymphocytes, macrophages, and plasma cells. When bodily mechanisms break down, one of the commonest causes of impairment is failure to produce these cells. The failure may be due to drugs or poisons, to gross errors in diet, to destruction of the bone marrow by neoplasm, or to irradiation of the marrow. The way that the mechanism fails depends on what group of cells is most severely affected. If the precursors of neutrophil polymorphs are affected, then there is an acute shortage of cells able to phagocytose dead or decaying bacteria. Alternatively, the megakaryocytes may be damaged. These are the precursors of the blood platelets, the cells that play a vital part in blood clotting. In their absence, the blood will not clot and the individual may bleed to death. Such abnormalities only occur in an enervated and toxic body. When you are living correctly, cells that are active in healing and repair will be present in correct numbers to maintain a state of health.
From the above study of the roles of the cells and organs of repair, you can clearly see that the body is constantly at work to maintain homeostasis or ideal operating conditions. Even under some adverse conditions (when we disobey some physiological law of nature), these forces remain active. It is only after repeated abuse that the healing forces fail because they become overwhelmed and exhausted. It is the duty of the teacher, then, to instruct his client to restore the conditions of health. The body’s healing forces will then reachieve normalcy.
Inflammation is a healing response. Whenever there is tissue damage as a result of injury, the damaged tissue cells produce histamines. These histamines cause changes in tiny blood vessels, which in turn release fluids into the injured area. Local blood flow increases, bringing special blood cells (whose specialty is collecting alien substances for elimination) to the area. Along with these cells comes fibrinogen, which causes clotting. The clotting results in what is called “walling off,” that is, nature literally builds a partition between the infected area and the rest of your body. The partition, or wall, stops body fluids from moving outside the infected area, and these fluids build up in the area, causing the characteristic swelling of inflammation.
Before inflammation can arise, there must exist an exciting cause in the form of some obstruction or of some agent inimical to health and life. In this light, we see inflammation as a healing process.
Dr. H. Lindlahr explains that the body does not suppress the growth and multiplication of bacteria until the morbid matter on which they subsist has been decomposed and consumed, and until the inflammatory processes have run their course through the five stages of inflammation. He says serums and antitoxins given in powerful doses at the different stages of any disease may check and suppress microbial activity and the processes of inflammation before the latter have performed their natural roles and before the morbid matter has been eliminated.
The five stages of inflammation as described by Lindlahr are as follows:
- Incubation – During this stage, morbid matter, poisons, and other excitants of inflammation collect and concentrate in certain parts and organs of the body. When they have accumulated to such an extent as to interfere with the normal function or to endanger the health and life of the organism, the life forces begin to react as an emergency basis to the obstruction or threatening danger by means of inflammatory processes to accelerate healing.
- Aggravation – During the period of aggravation, the phagocytes engulf toxins within the body. This is accompanied by a corresponding increase in fever and inflammation, until it reaches its climax, marked by the greatest intensity of feverish symptoms.
- Destruction – There is disintegration of tissues due to the accumulation of exudates due to pus formation and body development of abscesses, boils, fistulas, open sores, etc., as exits for the toxic suppuration.
- Abatement – The absorption and elimination of exudates, pus, etc., takes place during the period of abatement. It is accompanied by a gradual lowering of temperature, pulse rate, and the other symptoms of fever and inflammation.
- Resolution or Reconstruction – When the period of abatement has run its course and the affected areas have been cleared of the morbid accumulations and obstructions, then, during the fifth stage of inflammation, the work of rebuilding the injured parts and organs begins.
It is extremely important not to interfere with any of these stages. The best action to take is to put the body to rest so that all of the energy can be utilized for healing. Lindlahr explains what may happen if healing is suppressed during any of these stages of inflammation.
10.1 Suppression During the First Two Stages of Inflammation
Lindlahr says that this practice always involves the danger of causing uneliminated poisons to overwhelm vital parts and organs, thus laying the foundation for chronic destructive disease.
10.2 Suppressing During the Third Stage of Inflammation
If suppression takes place during this stage, the affected areas may be left permanently in a condition of destruction and this also leaves the affected organs permanently in an abnormal condition.
10.3 Suppression During the Fourth and Fifth Stages of Inflammation
If these processes of elimination and reconstruction are interfered with or interrupted before they are completed, the affected parts and organs will not have a chance to become entirely well or strong. They will remain in an abnormal, crippled condition, and their functional activity will be seriously handicapped. Rebuilding has not been completed. The body will effect a thorough and efficient repair if allowed to do its work unhampered.
Often, people regard inflammation as a “disease” entity to be suppressed, but in reality it is a healing process where nature makes massive attempts to reestablish health.
10.4 Healing in the Skin
An excellent example of the healing powers of the body is seen in wound healing. When the skin is broken due to a wound, the tissue is first sealed by plasma that leaks from the severed ends of small capillary blood vessels. It clots forming a glue-like substance that binds the sides of the wound together. This substance is proteinaceous in nature.
Small buds of cytoplasm from the capillary lining cells move into the clot where they fuse in the middle. The neutrophils and macrophages now move to the site and remove debris by phagocytosis.
Fibroblasts begin to synthesize collagen fibers that are laid down in amounts greater than normally found in the skin. This forms the scar tissue that is normally seen after healing of any cut. The epithelial cells move and divide and eventually restore the skin to normal proportions.
Another example of the ability of the body’s own intrinsic forces to take care of every need is demonstrated in the newly-discovered enkephalins.
It was suspected that the brain and spinal cord contained narcotic receptors. These are sites on cell surfaces where a narcotic would have to bind in order to produce narcosis. It was reasoned that if the body has receptors for narcotics, then it must produce some narcotic-like substances.
On December 19, 1975, Hughes, Kosterlitz, and their coworkers discovered a new material from pig brain and reported its chemical structure. It turned out to be two substances, both peptides that were called enkephalins. It is thought that the enkephalins cause a reaction that inhibits the release of the sensory nerve’s neurotransmitter when they bind themselves to the receptors. This partially blocks the impulse to the brain and as more enkaphalins are available on the portion of the end of the sensory nerve, neuro-transmitter production is blocked and still less pain is perceived. If still more enkephalins are produced, pain may be greatly eased or eliminated completely.
It is suspected that enkephalins exist to a certain extent at all times but the levels greatly increase during times of need. A signal of pain would initiate further production of this chemical.
It is theorized that enkephalins may also play a role in mental illness. A normal amount in the amygdala (a mass of gray matter in the anterior portion of the temporal lobe of the brain) may act as the body’s own defense against disappointments and losses. A deficiency of enkaphalins in those brain regions that are involved in emotions may result in increased mental pain and depression.
It has been discovered that certain brain receptors still bind morphine more effectively than it binds enkaphalin. Now scientists have discovered small amounts of morphine in both human and cow’s milk. Plants in the diet are likely sources for this morphine. Lettuce, for example, has been found to have
- 1. Similarities Among The Primates
- 2. Man’s Fruit And Vegetable Culture
- 3. Food Self-Sufficiency
- 4. Fruit
- 5. Nuts And Seeds
- 6. Food Preparation
- 7. Sunshine, Fresh Air, Exercise
- 8. Rest, Relaxation And Emotional Well-Being
- 9. Our Body Is Self-Sufficient
- 11. Freedom From Reliance Upon The Medical Community
- 12. Questions & Answers
- Article #1: The Natural Food of Man By Emmett Densmore, M.D.
Raw Food Explained: Life Science
Today only $37 (discounted from $197)