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Cytokine balance supports immune health

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By Jack Menear, Chief Scientist and Patent Strategist

Cytokines are the work-horses of the immune system. They are indispensable messenger proteins that communicate among cells to orchestrate an overall immune response. Without them, the immune system doesn’t function.  

Having a balanced cytokine mix is important because a full response involves multiple stages. Different cytokines participate in different stages. Sometimes those stages are opposite in effect, but each stage is appropriate at its time.  

Consider a meal eaten at an unsanitary restaurant. Unfriendly bacteria (from the food) attack the intestinal wall. The first response stage will be inflammatory to destroy the bacteria. This will be accompanied by a first set of cytokines. The second stage might be removing the dead bacteria. A second set of cytokines will operate. A third stage might be to shut down the inflammatory stage because the inflammatory work is done. Stem cells arrive in a fourth stage guided by a fourth set of cytokines to replace damaged tissue. Through the four stages, the intestinal wall is eventually restored. 

Balanced cytokines generate effective responses and wellness.  

In contrast, unbalanced cytokines are associated with less desirable outcomes. First, consider an auto-immune condition. This is where an immune response runs out-of-control and damages the body. The message to slow down didn’t arrive, and the person suffers from too much of a (normally) good thing. Second, consider fertility where a specific cytokine ratio [Th1:Th2] is a known reliable indicator of women’s fertility. If the ratio is too high, conception is unlikely. If more balanced, conception probability will be higher. 

Cytokines work in combination, and their activity is influenced by other cytokines. For example, an increase of anti-inflammatory cytokines might decrease the level of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Some interactions contribute to macrophage activation. In turn, activated macrophages open additional pathways for viral defense. 

A full arsenal of cytokines is beneficial because more defense pathways are available. If a needed cytokine is in short supply, the pathway that requires it becomes compromised. Although the body may recover via an alternate pathway, the route is less than optimal and may take longer. 

Designed nutrition can help achieve cytokine balance. With a nutritional boost, disadvantaged pathways for defense are re-opened. The best options are re-invigorated pathways, optimizing the potential for immune system health. 

Learn more about CortControl products for supporting health here

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Dr. Menear is Chief Scientist and Patent Strategist for CortControl. Dr. Menear is an analytical scientist with a Ph.D. in Physical/Analytical Chemistry and extensive skills and experience that extend into marketing and sales and patent law.