The Human Immune System – What Happens During A COVID Infection?
Hi, dear friends cultural creatives, and seekers everywhere. Bruce has a very interesting story today a story about the immune system. Yes, I know every day with covid you hear about the immune system. Well, what is the immune system I mean if I ask you what the digestive system is you probably say yes so the others the mouth and the esophagus and the stomach and the intestines you get all those pieces?
What is the immune system? Well generally it's something that protects me from things that get inside my body and I said well why should things want to get inside my body in the first place? Let's set up a scenario you're out there in the world and I drop you off in the wilderness and I say okay survive and one of the things you have to do is start finding food and you're going to spend all your time maybe find nothing and you're going to be looking for food. And here's an alternative vision I drop you out and eat all you can buffet well you don't have to worry about food it's being served to you all the time what does this have to do with the immune system? These bacteria parasites that live out in the environment have to struggle for their survival to find food but underneath your skin, the tissues inside your body are flush with fluid from the blood, and in that fluid are all the nutrients and elements necessary for growth.
So if a bacteria could find itself inside your body it would be sitting pretty all it had to do was just sit there and food would be constantly delivered from an individual circulatory system. So the idea is well yeah then obviously this is a nice environment that uh invasive organisms would like to find themselves in because it's like free food. Well you know no probs so okay so what does this mean says well then we have to have a defense system because if invasive organisms get in there not only will they utilize the food we make but they could create a toxic waste environment that could actually undermine our health. So we can't afford to have invasive organisms come into us and take over and the immune system's job is an internal protection system as opposed to for example the adrenal system fight or flight which protects you from threats on the outside immune system protects you from threats on the inside.
So I said well how does it work? The immune system is an intelligent system because what is the function of the immune system to go out into the world of their body and look for things that are new that came in and then not only recognize them but learn about them so that they could create antibodies, for example, to effectively knock them out. The immune system's character is learning and memory. I go wow what a coincidence this is the character of the nervous system point the immune system is an extension of the nervous system learning in memory about the environment in which you live. How does it work? There are organisms that prefer to find the interior of our body as a place to live because it's so much easier for them just to sit there and ah live off of your energy and your nourishment. So the immune system protects my body against invading organisms. As everything else is called not self well I go that's a crude insight but it's not anywhere near accurate for a simple reason the immune system identifies things that get into the body that cause disruption of the system and its job is to identify mark them and eliminate them.
There you know there are many organisms that live with us that are part of us it's called the microbiome thousands of species of organisms bacteria and parasites living with us I say the immune system doesn't attack them. The reason is this they support our viability they support who we are so self versus not-self that's not the discriminating fact of the immune system factor the immune system is anything that's disruptive to the system. Well, guess what that not only includes organisms that came from the outside but even our own cells if they go rogue like go into a cancer state the immune system's job is to eliminate them. So basically the function of the immune system is to keep harmony in the system any organism that comes in that disrupts harmony function immune system eliminates it. There's an intelligence state to it and it's not self versus not self it's versus anything that brings harmony versus anything that disturbs harmony in the system. That's the focus of the immune system. The immune system represents a whole population a community of cells inside the body but here's an interesting fact the most important component of the immune system isn't even the immune system. The body is protected by a layer of skin. Skin represents an organization of cells forming like a membrane a layer it's called the epithelium. Every opening of the body is lined by epithelium. The throat has an epithelium as you go in okay the nose has an epithelium the ears have an epithelium the respiratory the digestive system the excretory the reproductive system point is very simple every system that's connected to the outside of the body has a protective layer of the epithelium as a border to prevent infection into the system.
The skin for example is a barrier that prevents things from attacking you so here's the important part the skin and now we know there's another layer called the microbiome which consists of bacteria and elements like that are two layers of the microbiome on top of the epithelium and underneath is the inside of the body these two layers aren't part by definition of the immune system but they represent the most important part of the immune system because with these two barriers they eliminate 99.99 percent of any infective agent doesn't even get past those barriers the immune system that we talk about. With the cellular involvement is if the invasive organism gets under the barrier now it's inside the environment and the function of the policing of that environment is due to the immune system. So I said well how can i explain it to you in a very simple way.
Here's a picture let's start off with this here's an aquarium there's fish in the aquarium there's water in the aquarium and there's a border all the way around the aquarium that contains the water and the fish well in addition to that if you have an aquarium guess what you have to filter the water. So you put in a pump that takes water out filters it and then puts it back into the system so now we have a pump and now a very important aspect of that pump which represents the circulatory system is that I could add nutrients to that pump so as it's pumping the fluid through the body. It's also pumping nutrients throughout the body. Here's our picture of the aquarium the pump is working food elements are coming out with the fluid and this draws the fish to the pump the vascular system the equivalent I go so what is this relevant I said well it's a circulatory system filtering the water adding the water back in and then uh taking the water out and filtering again. Then I say well there's one little component we have to add to that and I say what is it and I say when the fluid is removed from the blood by pressure blood pressure what happens is large blood vessels like an artery shrink down to a small blood vessel like a capillary so you have a large amount of fluid coming in and then a little tiny vessel to carry all that fluid out well that means there's a pressure on this side of the small vessel. Blood pressure and I say what does that mean well then as the fluid is being pushed through the capillary which is lined by epithelial cells that the fluid pressure causes the fluid in the blood which we call lymph to leak out between the cells lining a blood vessel so in a state of nourishment.
The blood that's coming to the area of the body carrying red cells which have oxygen in them and fluid the serum in the blood which has all the building blocks the nutrients and hormones and growth factors is carried in the fluid in a conventional situation blood pressure causes that fluid to leak out that fluid-carrying nutrition nourishes the cells and at the other end of the capillary where it joins the vein a process called osmosis which drives the fluid from the outside back into the capillary helps return the fluid that came out at the front of the capillary to come back in at the end. Now there's only one problem more fluid is coming out at the front of the capillary than is going back in at the other end of the capillary. The point is then the blood is continually putting more fluid into the body than is being taken back into the blood again so I said wow well you can't live very long like that because eventually then all the blood fluid would be leaked out and you wouldn't have any blood fluid in your circulatory system. The point is very simple at this point we need to return the extra fluid I say ah there's the equivalent of a floor drain a drain in the tissue it doesn't it all it does is collect the extra fluid out of the tissue brings it through a pipe and carry it back filter it and then drop it back into the heart so that we can replace the fluid that was coming out.
okay so this means capillaries are nourishing they don't let red cells out they let the oxygen out they let the nutrition dissolved in the fluid out so the blood cells don't come out they just keep moving down the capillary but pressure pushes the fluid out nourishing the cells significance now is this is that this fluid that comes out fills the spaces around the cells the body isn't solid cells the body is like a spongy network inside with matrix they call it with just like a sponge with cavities in it and the fluid coming out of the blood vessels goes through the sponge and cells are embedded in the sponge so as the fluid is going through the sponge the cells can use the nutrients and oxygen in that fluid so this is how the cells get nourished well the problem for the immune system is this this is a very rich environment for invasive organisms if a bacteria could get into that spotty it would be nourished by your effort to eat and create the building blocks of life so you would be feeding an invasive population so the job of the immune system is a whole series of cells that travel through the body and what do they look for anything that's creating a disturbance from homeostasis and the immune system's job then is to eliminate those things whether it's something foreign that came in or even one of your own cells that has gone rogue okay so that's a function of the immune system and i said well how does it work i say well look let's go back to the aquarium story right now and the cells are represented by the fish the matrix where the fluid is is represented by the fluid in the aquarium okay the pump that has been circulating the fluid is the equivalent of the circulatory system heart and blood vessels i say so what's relevant i say now take a perspective from an invasive organism an evasive organism can end up in either of three different places just as we've illustrated it could go into the fluid part in the matrix and just sit there and take all the nutrients out of the fluid or an organism like a bacterium can infect a cell and live inside the cell well guess what now it's protected from the immune system because it's not out in the matrix it can't be seen by the immune system but it's inside a cell taking over the function of that cell and living off of that cell and a third place for an infection is not only did it come into the fluid but it got picked up by the vascular system the circulatory system i say why is that relevant well that's the richest source of nutrients of all and it also goes for the entire body so if an invasive organism is in the blood it can be distributed anywhere throughout the body and take over this process is called sepsis this is the most uh disturbing form of inflammation because you're feeding everything with the purest nutrients in the blood and giving an opportunity to be distributed throughout the entire body so i say well then we have to deal with these infections and the two primary infection sites are either in the matrix where the fluid is or inside the cells there are two main cell types in the immune system that deal with this there's a whole community but two main characters that we talk about the lymphocytes are the scuba divers that come into this matrix one set t cells examining the health of the body cells as to whether they're healthy or infected one of them is called a b cell which means bone marrow derived cell a cell that evolved in the in the bone marrow in the red bone marrow which is generating blood cells it generates these white cells called b lymphocytes what's their function the function of a b lymphocyte is to go through the matrix and identify anything that doesn't belong there by glomming onto it with receptors and then this this invasive thing which we collectively call an antigen uh the b cell has a surface receptor uh that could plug into that antigen like a lock and key and if it can do that then that b cell is stimulated to make more of these receptors but release them free so they're floating in solution so wherever that target was the free-floating antibodies they're called can attach to the target mark that target for destruction and other cells like macrophages will take the marked structures with antibodies and and devour them and break them down and protect you so yes antibodies are created by b cells by recognizing a foreign antigen modifying the receptor so that it becomes a perfect fit for that antigen and then reproducing those receptors but releasing them out into the fluid in the blood serum and in the lymph and these antibodies floating around if they ever encounter the antigen that precipitated them those antibodies will bind to it mark it for self-destruction and that's how we eliminate it but now we're left with the last part and that is what what if the infective agent is inside the cell antibodies can't get inside the cell so how do i deal with an infection inside of a cell except a second group of immune cells are called t lymphocytes and that stands for thymus derived lymphocytes i said what's their function well these lymphocytes go around and can read the health of any cell in your system by looking at the surface of that cell is it a healthy cell or is it an infected cell well the t lymphocyte can distinguish between them and when it finds an infective cell the t lymphocyte cell itself kills the infected cell which then wipes out the infection so i have two main cells that part of the immune system b cells which release antibodies which flow through the system marking invasive organisms and marking them to be eliminated or t cells which are capable of traveling among all the cells and testing their surfaces to see are these cells infected and then the job is to eliminate an infected cell using the t cell to actually kill the infected cell so we have t and b cells running through our body with an intelligence they're targets were identified and when a target is identified for example by a b cell it causes the b cell to reproduce and create lots of versions to do what make lots of antibodies to go through the system and protect us and then there are memory b cells and memory t cells after the infection is gone these memory cells hold on to the history of what happened and if that invasive organism ever shows up again instantly the cells will be prepared to fight that and that's called immunological memory the immune system's job is to move through the biology of the body through the matrix where the fluids are or by identifying the individual cells comprising the body read for the expression of an infection and then identify the antigen causing infection and then create a complement be an antibody or a surface receptor on a t cell that when recognizing the foreign element will mark it and then kill it and protect us and this is the function of the immune system and the primary part of the immune system isn't even the t and the b cell the primary part is not even part of the immune system it's the barrier that prevents 99.99 of infective agents from coming in so i go okay let's take the story and put it in today's context of the covet inflammation i say so how does it work a covid is a virus what's a virus a virus is a device that carries memory that plugs into a cell and transfers the memory into the cell and the transferred memory takes over the function of the cell so a virus redirects the function of your cells to do what make more viruses so a virus infects a cell and then the cell creates more viruses and when the cell has so many viruses in it the cell breaks down dies releases the new viruses which then go on and infect new cells and it's a perpetuation machine i say so let's understand covet the mechanism because it's very important at this time number one the covid virus is called a cold virus i say what does cold have to do with it the answer is this when the virus injects its information into the cell that reproduction of the virus occurs at a temperature lower than body temperature 98.6 fahrenheit for example viruses in the cold version don't actually develop very quickly at body temperature they develop at colder than body temperature i say where in the body is the temperature colder i go the respiratory system because the respiratory system is taking cold air from the outside bringing it into the lungs and having to warm it up to body temperature so it doesn't shock the system but that means the air that's coming into the respiratory system is colder than 98.6 degrees relevance if the virus coming in that air hits the surface cells in the respiratory tract they'll infect them and they'll be able to grow and especially in the winter time because the air is even colder when it's coming in the cold air dropping body temperature down to an adequate temperature for reproducing the viruses so viruses grow like this in the cold okay well imagine you just breathe in a covid virus and i say where is it going to go it's going to go down the respiratory tract and i say what's its function the virus like a memory stick plugs into respiratory lining cells the epithelium the barrier that was protecting you of all the barriers protecting the body from outside influences the thinnest of all barriers is the respiratory tract and the reason why it's so thin what's the function it's to allow oxygen to move from the environment into the red cells and allow carbon dioxide in the red cells to be released by going back into the air again so in the lung are these structures like balloons called alveoli and alveoli are like balloons that blow up when you breathe and contract when you exhale and so every time you breathe you can bring in bacteria and viruses such as the covet so you breathing the covet virus comes down the throat it's a colder temperature than the rest of the body the covet virus has a plug that matches the barrier of the alveolus and i say so what does it do well it invades the lining of the respiratory tract then what well it proliferates then what it causes the lining cell to break down well if the lining cell breaks down there's a secondary consequence that is now the outside environment is no longer being walled off by an epithelium the outside environment can now enter into the body and guess what is the closest thing right there the blood vessels which were bringing red cells near the air so oxygen and co2 can exchange with each other and i say then what happens well the viruses cause the destruction of the lining but the destruction of the lining opens the system to further infection so viruses that were reproduced in that dying epithelial cell some of them go in some of them go out the ones that go out go out in your respiration so when you breathe you release viruses but some of the viruses go in when the lining got opened up and then what well now that you opened up the lining not only did viruses go in but bacteria and other agents that are in the air can now also go into the body so now there's a second part of the problem the first part was i destroy the lining cells with the virus covet virus the second part of the problem now that the lining cells are destroyed i've opened the doorway for invasive organisms to come in and take over the system and that's where respiratory distress comes from i go what's respiratory distress breathing becomes difficult i go how come breathing is difficult go back to the original story the alveoli the bubbles are like balloons they expand when you breathe in and they contract when you breathe out but i said but when the lining cells of the alveolus come off the fluid in the body remember the aquarium the fluid of the aquarium starts to come out and what does it do fills up the balloon with fluid i go why is there a problem i say air is supposed to be in the balloon so that the air could transfer oxygen co2 but when the alveoli become with fluid air can't get in there and i say what's the consequence you can't get fresh oxygen because the air can't go through all the water to bring oxygen into the blood and all of a sudden you have to breathe harder distress respiration and the more the infection takes place the more the fluid comes into the alveoli the less you're able to breathe and there's a point where if you can't get enough oxygen in the system it leads to death that basically what it's doing is it's attacking the lining cells allowing the reproduction of the viruses but simultaneously causing the lining cells to break down opening the body to the outside expression of organisms coming in and a secondary consequence of covet is now the infection has taken place because the barrier lining has broken down so kovitt didn't kill you directly but covid can lead to a worse situation involving failures of respiration and increased infections those are the elements that become lethal so then i say well what about the immune system i go well the job of the immune system is to identify those cells that are infected with viruses and kill them before the viruses can reproduce and if the immune system gets ahead of the game it can keep killing any infected cell replacing it with a normal cell before the viruses have a chance to replicate so that's when the immune system is working what if you compromise the immune system i said what do you mean what if you have something else going on that is demanding out of the immune system a lot of function and then you get an infection i say well now the immune system can't work up to its full capability because you're subdividing its effort so when we have a a chronic illness for example a chronic illness is debilitating the immune system why it's using it to fight cancer diabetes alzheimer's whatever else is going wrong in the system now covet comes in i'm compromised i don't have a full active immune system to fight the covid and as a result the covet can start to reproduce faster than my immune system can keep up with it because of the compromised influence and then all of a sudden well how is this going to work out well it's a race it's a race between the virus replicating causing more damage and a race between the immune system capable of tooling up to fight that infection to stop it before it overtakes the system why is the kovitch such a big problem well number one because we don't have an immunological memory of an earlier infection by this particular virus that means we're not prepared if this virus shows up to deal with it we have no previous experience so everyone is essentially now a person that can get covet because we don't have an immunological memory so this is the big problem but part two is yes i can get the infection but now the outcome is based on is my immune system compromised older people in nursing homes are already compromised people with chronic diseases in fact in the united states 40 percent of the population has two or more chronic diseases that interfere with the function of the immune system and compromise it the lethality in the united states is different than other places because we are not in harmony to support our immune system so now what we're facing is a virus that hasn't been around everybody is susceptible to the virus because it hasn't been around so there's no previous immunological memory when this first came the number of cases that were affected were so many that they put a stress on the health care system where the system couldn't keep up with the number of people being affected by the covet virus then there was an idea what if we have a lockdown and take all the people and put them away and that way we would slow down the pace of the covent infection giving the health care system an opportunity to catch up but then there was about some idea that now that that lockdown group has been put out of commission in a sense separate from the covet virus infection you think well does that protect them because they've been in lockdown i go no they just don't get to see the virus and i go what's the consequence i said the virus didn't go away because people went into lockdown so what would you expect to happen when you open up the doors and let people come back out of course there would be another spike why the virus is still here and here's a whole fresh population that's never even been exposed to it and we are now in that second spike does it mean the virus is more fear than i said you just kept the susceptible people out of the picture and then reintroduced them again and so the second spike is not a surprise it is an anticipation what is the problem i said the race between the virus replicating and the immune system capable of catching up is based on how can i increase the effectiveness of the immune system to get ahead of the virus and shut it off and the answer is well there are four fundamental things to enhance your immune system and these four fundamental things number one include providing nutrition the immune system uses so much energy that out of your nutrition if you are sick most of that energy is going into the immune system function so therefore it becomes incumbent upon us to make sure we have proper nutrition that feeds us and that means eating really healthy organic natural food and not industrial farm food which itself is toxic number two today's foods don't provide us with all the vitamins and supplements necessary to maintain a healthy body so in addition to eating well then taking supplements such as vitamin c enhances the effectiveness of the immune system vitamin d enhances the effectiveness immune system interesting human populations especially in the states are very low in those two vitamins without them we are compromising immune system so taking vitamins and supplements adds to our health thirdly exercise you go why because exercise is moving the blood oxygenating it moving things around cleaning the lymph of the body filtering out things which is different than a sedentary person the movement of the body is facilitating the movement of the circulatory system and the lymphatic system and especially the immune system and then the most important thing we must understand in enhancing the immune system and that is stress hormones shut down the immune system now that sounds like punishment like oh no it's actually an intelligent part of the system if you're being chased by a saber-tooth tiger and you have an infection remember the amount of energy used by the immune system is so great that when many people get sick they don't even have the energy to get out of bed so the relevance about all this is we don't want stress hormones in there because the function of the stress hormones is to conserve energy to run away from a saber-tooth tiger by shutting off functions not necessary to escape the tiger and that means shutting down the immune system stress hormones are so effective at shutting down the immune system that medical practitioners use stress hormones when they transplant a foreign organ from a donor into recipient they give the recipient stress hormones why to shut down the immune system to protect the newly transplanted foreign organ so my goodness the effectiveness of stress and shutting off the immune system it's used therapeutically what's the point watch the news go on the internet read the stories just start looking out your window and see all the crazy stress-provoking things going on i say that itself is increasing the virulence of the covet because the stress is preventing the immune system from fully functioning and these are the four elements that will help you and i said well how effective is i say up to 80 percent of the people are infected but don't really show the symptoms uh a mild fever nothing serious only a smaller percentage however seriously so what's the difference group the large group their immune systems are intact eating well taking vitamins and supplements exercising and being free of stress means that they can be infected by the covid virus and not have any real adverse effects that would cause them to go see a doctor or go to a hospital the small percentage that is affected the reason they're affected and having a negative consequence is their immune system is not working up to full capacity they are compromised while 40 of the american population have two chronic illnesses that compromise the immune system 60 of the american population have at least one chronic illness so up to 60 of americans are already compromised in their ability to withstand this infection and when you are in a state of health this infection is so minor that many people didn't even know they were infected the high death rate yes it is but that's not a reflection of the virulence of the covid as much as it is a reflection of the compromised health systems of those infected in conclusion the fear that has been motivated by the media that this is so deadly is not accurate it's really affecting those people who are compromised and if we make efforts on our part to take care of our immune system then we will not be subjected to the virulent activity that could lead to death in those people that are compromised we are capable of having a strength to resist the influence of the covid virus