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Evidence Based Scientific Research

What is Autoimmunity?

Autoimmunity simply means “immunity against self” or an immune system mistakenly attacking healthy body tissue.
The German immunologist and Nobel Laureate, Paul Ehrlich (1845-1915), described the body's immunological self-destruction as horror autotoxicus “the horror of self-toxicity”.

The 3 Stages of Autoimmune Disease

Autoimmunity involves a loss of self-tolerance, this is typically detected by the appearance of auto-antibodies.  Auto-antibodies may occur years before signs & symptoms or disease onset, where individuals may appear physically healthy and without organ damage.  There are 3 stages to Autoimmunity...

What causes Autoimmunity?

The precise pathogenesis of many Autoimmune diseases is still officially unknown.  Studies indicate that there are common mechanisms involving a close interplay between environmental triggers and genetic factors responsible for immune dysfunction and autoimmunity...

Immune cells & Autoimmunity

Understanding the complex interaction between cells of the immune system is key to understanding Autoimmune conditions.  
Autoimmunity has been considered to be driven mainly by the adaptive immune system i.e. auto-reactive B and T cell over-activity.  However recent research, indicates early innate immune system responses may also be implicated in the development of immune-mediated inflammation.

Chronic Inflammation & Autoimmunity

Uncontrolled, persistent, long-term, chronic inflammation is recognised in the pathophysiology of Autoimmune diseases. The inflammatory response is a complex and highly co-ordinated sequence of events by immune cells and signalling mechanisms.  So what goes wrong?

Cytokines & Autoimmunity

Cytokines, are signalling chemicals in the body used by cells.  They have been described as the 'software that runs the immune system'.  However, when that software malfunctions, dysregulation of the immune system can result in  Autoimmune diseases such as lupus, arthritis, and diabetes.

Self Tissue & Molecular Mimicry in Autoimmunity

The immune system's main job is identifying things that are a threat to us. In the language of immunology, this means distinguishing 'self' from 'non-self': The cells of our organs are 'self', while pathogens are 'non-self'.  However, as in any complex system, malfunctions occur, leading to diseases of immune dysregulation to our body's own tissues such as Autoimmunity.

Infections & Autoimmunity

Although some infections can protect individuals from specific Autoimmune diseases, infectious agents can play a pivotal role in the induction of autoimmune disorders. Autoimmune diseases are strongly linked to one or more infectious agent and in many cases chronicity of infection.  Understanding the mechanisms involved has been the focus of extensive research...

Toxins, Oxidative Stress & Glutathione in Autoimmunity

A number of experimental studies and clinical reports have shown that Autoimmune reactivity and/or Autoimmune diseases are induced in humans with chronic exposure to various chemicals.  This can disrupt the balance between antioxidant status and free radicals in the body, leading to oxidative stress.  Glutathione is the body's natural antioxidant and plays an important role in Autoimmunity...

Stress & Autoimmunity

Probably the first mention of linking stress to disease was the Greek physician Hippocrates (460-357 BC), who stated that to prevent an asthma attack ‘the asthmatic should guard himself against his own anger’...

Leaky Gut, Microbiome & Dysbiosis in Autoimmunity

Clinical reports suggest that Leaky gut contributes to Autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and celiac disease. Furthermore, the gut commensal microbiota plays a critical role in regulating host immunity; abnormalities of the microbial community, known as dysbiosis, are observed in patients with Autoimmune diseases.

Food Sensitivities & Oral Tolerance

Development of immune tolerance to dietary antigens is very important for intestinal and systemic homeostasis.  The more our immune system reacts to foods, the more sensitivities we incur.  Loss of oral tolerance, can amplify systemic inflammation and drive Autoimmunity...

Gluten & Autoimmunity

The Western diet includes an average daily gluten intake from 5 to 20 g/day.  Exclusion diets historically and consistently show wheat to be a common factor in gastrointestinal symptoms.  Coeliac disease and wheat allergy are well researched immune disorders associated with gluten, but is non-coeliac gluten sensitivity also implicated in Autoimmunity?

An Autoimmune Lifestyle -

Managing Autoimmunity

There is no single food, supplement or lifestyle change that will fix Autoimmunity.  Managing your condition may require a combination of strategies suited to you and may involve trial and error until the right balance is achieved.

Nutraceuticals & Autoimmunity

'Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food' Hippocrates.

The term 'nutraceutical' is a combination of 'nutrient' a food component, and 'pharmaceutical' a medical drug. 

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