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Episode 14 – Immune System

Transcript – Immune System

Welcome to the ATP Project. I’m your host, Jeff Dodge. Matt, nice to have you here.

Matt: Thanks, mate.

Jeff: Now Matt, the immune system, this is one that’s interesting for me at the moment. In Australia here we’re going to change of season, and I have got hay fever. So why – well, before we get there, what is the immune system, and how do you explain it?

Matt: It’s easy. I try to simplify everything. The immune system actually is quite complicated, as you can imagine. But to simplify things the way I like to, you can actually split the immune system into two parts. Part of the immune system that deals with small things, so if something comes into your body, and you have to induce a survival technique against it, if it’s small enough, the immune system will engulf it, meaning that it will eat it and remove it. So if the thing’s smaller than an immune cell, that’s one way of dealing with it.

If the thing that’s come into your body is too big to be engulfed and removed, it will be flushed away. So your immune system is split between what’s called cellular immunity and humoral immunity. And cellular immunity deals with things like all the small things, which is what we talk about with infections. So bacteria, fungi, protozoa, amoeba, those things are really small. They’re smaller than an immune cell. And then all the other things, parasites, allergens, pollutants, dust, pollen, food, they’re all too big to be engulfed and removed, so they get flushed away by the humoral defense mechanisms, which a flushing reaction.

Jeff: Snot.

Matt: Yeah, snot. So basically, yeah, speaking of snot, you can look at snot and determine whether you had a cellular immune defense or a humoral immune defense.

Jeff: Is that why people – it’s really weird – blow their nose and then look into their handkerchief. Do they do that subconsciously?

Matt: People do it for –

Jeff: Or are they just disgusting?

Matt: – people do weird things for lots of different reasons, Jeff. But I mean I don’t know. It might be why I look at it. But some people might be looking for a bug, a picture of an effigy or whatever, you know?

Jeff: A picture of the Madonna.

Matt: Yeah, that’s right. So basically, for example, if your immune system has engulfed and eaten something small, it usually makes green or yellow snot. But if your immune system is just flushing away allergens and hasn’t got some dead cells in there –

Jeff: It’s clear.

Matt: – it’s usually clear, watery snot. So you look at someone’s immune type of response, if it’s got lots of colored pus, lots of colored mucus and that sort of stuff, you know there’s been a bug that’s been killed and that’s in there somewhere. If someone’s got only flushing reactions like itching, sneezing, hay fever, itchy eyes, watery eyes, all that sort of – diarrhea, mucus, excessive mucus productions through the membranes, they’re a flushing reaction. All it’s trying to do is flush away things that are too big to engulf and remove.

Jeff: See, I get those reactions when I’m around a cat. Not the diarrhea part. That would be interesting. But you know, itchy eyes, like water. I can sneeze probably 30 times a minute. It’s crazy.

Matt: Yeah, I’ve seen you do it. It’s quite funny.

Jeff: Not for me.

Matt: So what happens is something big comes in, like an antigen, like an allergenic antigen, which is a large molecule that’s too big to engulf and remove, so your body goes, all right, just flush it away. Now everything’s linked. Your body can’t afford to wait to see whether you breathed it in, eaten it, inhaled it, got it through your skin. You know? Injected it. So what it does is it launches an immediate defense mechanism across everything. So you’re getting a local effect where it came across. You’ll get a rash on your skin or diarrhea from your gut, and then you’ll get a systemic effect, which triggers a systemic inflammatory reaction, in case it came from somewhere else and we weren’t sure.

So the important thing to understand about the immune system is that it’s like a see saw. When one side goes up, the other side goes down. So coming into the change of season, or if we just look at your case in particular, Jeff, you’re just being exposed to a whole heap of new things. Flowering, we’ve got a change in the wind, we have a change in the season. There’s a lot more allergenic triggers coming into your body. That is telling your immune cells that you’ve had a large dose or a large exposure to this particular type of challenge, which is an allergen. So your immune system then has to launch an anti-allergic defense.

You don’t have enough. It’s the same with everything in your body. We want to refine your response to get the best out of it. So your body doesn’t have enough resources to be able to have all parts of your immune system working at once. So when you get a large dose of an allergen, it sends a message to your other side of your see saw that kills off infections, to suppress and put your resources into making allergies. You’ve only got so many types of immune cells you can make at any one time. So what happens in your case, change in the season, exposure to dust and pollen and everything like that, has put up your allergic inflammation.

That has suppressed your cellular immunity, which will make you predisposed to infections, which is why coming into changing season, they call it the cold and flu season. Not necessarily because there’s more bugs around, but because your immune system is more challenged or has been suppressed because there’s more allergens around. So what happens is, as your allergic side of the immune system comes up, your anti-infectious side goes down. So you’re so busy making all that snot and flushing reactions, you’re actually susceptible to bugs coming in and making a home because your immune surveillance against bugs has been suppressed because your immune surveillance against dust and pollens has been picked up.

Jeff: So is that always coming into winter, Matt? Or is there a couple of times a year –

Matt: Any time. But also understand that that side of the immune cells, it will deal with – so your allergic inflammation, which suppresses your anti-infectious defense, anything that challenges that will suppress your immune system. So it could be food, it could be dust, it could be perfume, it could be chemicals, it could be colorings and additives, something you’ve eaten and held, rubbed on yourself. It could be a mild reaction you’re getting to your underarm deodorant that keeps it up. You know? It could be an overgrowth of parasites. Parasites are massive compared to immune cells.

So if you’ve got an overgrowth of parasites, your immune system has to keep firing up to kill the parasites. And in doing so, it will suppress your anti-infectious immune system and allow bugs to grow. If you have all the little bugs, all the little things on your mucus membrane, your gut wall and your respiratory tract, that membrane we mentioned previously on the gut episodes – we’ll talk more about the bugs and that sort of stuff there – but 400 square meter surface area on average, 10 times as many organisms cover that membrane as there are whole cells in your whole body.

So if your immune surveillance is suppressed, those bugs can overgrow. Normal bugs can overgrow. But then things like candida and E.colis and all these other organisms can overgrow. Your natural organisms can overgrow, causing infectious problems within your own digestive tract. Alternatively, when other bugs come in without the immune surveillance there because you’re too busy flushing away allergies, you’re actually predisposed to those things infecting your body.

Jeff: Wow.

Matt: Part of that flushing reaction, part of the allergic flushing reaction includes a flushing across your mucus membrane, which causes leaky gut wall, which makes your membrane more permeable for more things to come through. So you can see –

Jeff: It’s a vicious cycle.

Matt: – you can see how someone that’s got constant exposure to allergens, would be constantly getting sick or getting infections. So what you’ll see is if you don’t fix the allergies in those people, if you’re still pumping it out, meaning you’re hooking into these foods that you’re allergic to, your immune system is going to be suppressed. You get recurrent colds and flus. I spent a lot of time as a child in hospital with asthma and eczema.

Jeff: Yeah, right. Actually my sister did too.

Matt: Yeah, it’s so common. And you’ll see asthma and eczema – how many times I say asthma and eczema – they’ve got nothing to do with each other except it’s the same part of the immune system.

Jeff: Really?

Matt: So asthma is your mucus membrane, eczema’s on your skin. It just so happens that if your immune see saw is stuck with the anti-infection side down and the allergy side up, whatever you get an exposure to, it just triggers an allergic inflammation. So this see saw I’m talking about, it’s supposed to be a see saw. It’s supposed to be hovering from side to side. When you get lots of exposure to small bacteria and fungi, it’s supposed to fire up the side of the immune system that engulf and removes those. That causes fevers, aches and pains, typical cold and flu symptoms, which are caused by the immune system, not the bug. So as the immune system fires up to kill a bug, it makes the fevers and that sort of stuff.

So as our immune system fires up, it’s supposed to suppress the allergy side. So what you’ll find happening is vice versa. If you get stuck with your allergic immune system constantly being challenged, your anti-infectious immune system never gets a chance to work. It’s constantly being told to be suppressed.

Jeff: So you’re constantly sick.

Matt: So what happens is you’re just constantly sick. So you’re always manifesting some immune response as a flushing reaction. So you’re always snotty, flushing, itchy rash, reacting to everything that comes in. And then that whole time, you’re predisposed to an overgrowth of bacteria. So you hover from infection and colds and flus through to allergic inflammation.

Jeff: So it seems to me – and I don’t know if this is a correct perception or not – that kids seem to spend more of their time being sick than adults do.

Matt: Yeah.

Jeff: Is that true or not?

Matt: Yeah, that’s true. It’s a kid’s job to be sick pretty much because you think about a child. They’ve never seen a bacteria – oh sorry, you think of a baby inside your wife there, they’ve never seen a bacteria. All right? It’s sterile in there. Their immune system for killing off organisms does not exist. As they are born – so children are born, they have a flushing immunity. They have an ability to flush away toxins through an allergic response. That’s why it’s very easy for – you see kids, they start teething, they get a rash on their cheeks.

Jeff: Yeah.

Matt: Or you know, they’re constantly getting rashes. They’re constantly – they’ll sneeze really easily. You’ll see sneezing in the womb, you know, on ultrasound and things like that. But they’ve got that flushing reaction down pat. That’s their only form of defense. What’s supposed to happen then is, as the child – okay, let’s go right from the start – head first through the birth canal, there’s your first exposure to organisms. Okay, so a mouthful of bugs. So you’re pumping out the amniotic fluid, you’re taking a mouthful of mom’s bugs. Those bugs colonize – don’t look at me like that. That’s what happens. It’s nature, man.

Jeff: It sounds terrible.

Matt: No, it’s fantastic.

Jeff: Yeah, I know. Well no.

Matt: You wouldn’t make a habbit of it.

Jeff: No.

Matt: You wouldn’t make a ride out of it, in a dream world, would you? But basically, head first through the birth canal. As you’re squeezing out the amniotic fluid, you’re taking in mucus membrane juices and stuff. Okay? That’s full of organisms. That coats the mucus membrane. Those organisms, you will then nurture, grow and colonize for the rest of your life. And they will become the seeding cultures of your bacterial flora. So your mom will determine your first chances of immunity.

Jeff: But –

Matt: What?

Jeff: – what happens if you’re born C-section?

Matt: C-section, the research shows C-section, a child born C-section can take up to two years to catch up with bacterial colonies that a child born naturally has. That’s why it’s important, if you – and that’s pretty much one of the main – only differences is that if you’re born C-section, you’ve missed out on these very important colonies of organisms that are going to establish your gut wall – and children are born with a leaky gut wall – so that organisms will come in, they’ll colonize. Now your immune system – this will be a funny thing, for most people wouldn’t realize this, but your immune system doesn’t know or care if it’s a friendly probiotic or if it’s an infection.

That’s how probiotics improve your immune system. So basically what I’m saying is when your immune cells sample a bacteria, they trigger an anti-infectious defense. That’s how, when you give someone probiotics, they can actually reduce allergies and build up an immune system. So with children, they go through, head full of bugs, that stuff starts colonizing in their gut wall. It starts coming into their body, so the immune system has to fight against these organisms, but they’re not the sort that make you croak anyway. So the key is, is to keep challenging that immune system.

So by two years of age, children are born with high allergic – well pretty much only allergic immune activity and no anti-infectious immune activity. It takes about two years of age for that gut wall to establish, for the organisms to establish, for the immune system to get enough challenges, for that immune system to have picked up, to flatten out the see saw. Once that see saw’s flat, you get no symptoms. But in the meantime, when a child is born with no immunity, but lots of allergic inflammation, and then they go get some colds and flus.

If you go and hit that with antibiotics and then you go and suppress the immune system with Panadol’s and that sort of stuff – so if you are constantly suppressing the immune system, suppressing fevers, doing the job for the immune system through antibiotics and all that sort of stuff, the immune system doesn’t get a chance to challenge against the bugs and pick it’s immune surveillance. And then what happens is your child can polarize to the allergic inflammation, where it does not make those immune cells. All its resources are going into allergic immune cells because you’ve got allergens still coming in.

It might be dust mites, it might be dairy intolerances, all those sort of things, constantly challenging your allergic inflammation to stay high. Because there’s not enough challenge on your anti-infectious immunity, it never balances out. Then your child gets diagnosed with such things as flushing reactions, asthma, eczema, dermatitis, allergies, high fever, irritable bowel syndrome, all these sort of things we end up with these diagnoses of.

Jeff: Yeah, well it’s – I mean when Corbin was born, he tried to come at 26 weeks, little monkey, and Toni had to go and get an operation to keep him in there. But they pumped her so full of antibiotics that when the poor little guy was born, he didn’t really have much of an opportunity because he was just – as a result, he ended up getting plenty of eczema.

Matt: Yeah, that’s right.

Jeff: I know. You said to Toni, that’s why, “Look, go and have a look at some probiotics,” which she did. We got him that, and it’s actually cleared up almost all of his eczema. And his eczema was terrible.

Matt: Yeah, we’ve got to build it up.

Jeff: It took probably the best part of 12 months.

Matt: If we have a look at eczema then, while we’re talking about it, there’s lots of different types of eczema, okay? But what you’ll see, all we’re trying to do when we’re trying to diagnose the different types of eczema, is find out where the allergic trigger is coming from, so we can avoid it. Is it triggered by food? Or is it triggered by what we call atopic stuff, things you touch? So is it things you’ve touched and you can avoid through detergent, or is it things you’ve eaten, and you can avoid that way? Or is it infected? Because what happens on the skin, exactly the same thing happens, is on a microscopic level, this happens on the larger level.

At the site of the infection – sorry, at the site of the eczema, there’s two types of immune cells. One killing bugs and another one causing itching. So you’ve got to have a look at that eczema, and half of the diagnosis is trying to work out whether there are signs of infection there. Because when the immune system is polarized to be allergic inflammation only, it’s constantly triggering irritation and inflammation and scratching. That opens up the barrier and allows infection to occur. So in that situation, we might need to use an anti-microbial as well as an anti-allergic agent to fix it.

Jeff: Yeah, right.

Matt: So half the time with eczema, you’re just trying to work out is it infected or not? Or can I just go straight out and soothe? And where’s the trigger coming from?

Jeff: Well funny you talk about triggers. A friend of mine little girl hasn’t had eczema for ages, and all of a sudden, a huge amount of stress. She’s just having friendship issues and all the rest of it. Only a little girl, obviously very important to her. She’s talking in her sleep, grinding her teeth, all that sort of stuff. Well her eczema’s flared back up. So that’s funny. It’s almost to do with the stress response.

Matt: Yeah. Well the funny thing – yeah, cortisol, okay, which is our stress hormone –

Jeff: You were talking a lot about –

Matt: Yeah, I know. Well, it suppresses your immune system. Straight up. Cortisol will suppress your anti-infectious defense mechanisms, make you predisposed to allergies, including eczema. And it does that very, very effectively.

Jeff: Hence why you shouldn’t really go throw the weights around or do any hard training if you’re not feeling 100 percent.

Matt: Yeah, possibly. But you’ll notice that it does actually make you feel better.

Jeff: Yeah, with the endorphin release and all that stuff.

Matt: And also the cortisol suppresses both sides of the immune system’s inflammation, but actually suppresses the immune system’s anti-infectious surveillance. So it’s a tricky one. So basically it doesn’t matter which side of the see saw fires up, it’s a stress. Whether it’s anti-infectious or anti-allergic, it still triggers the stress nervous system – because the stress nervous system will release cortisol, and cortisol will dampen down the defense mechanisms. Hence why the medical world – yeah, hence –

Jeff: Whoa. Things are getting pretty serious.

Matt: – why the medical world will give people prednisone, corticosteroids, hydrocortisone creams. All those things are medical versions of cortisol to reduce the inflammation, regardless of which side the immune system goes. But think about this. This is what happens all the time. Your little children with asthma and eczema that have had the antibiotics and everything to kill off the bugs, they’ve had all the antihistamines, they’re doing all that sort of stuff, the place they go to next is prednisone. So if your child’s got bad asthma or eczema, they put them on prednisone, which is a form of cortisol medication.

Because it can reduce the amount of inflammation. It can reduce the severity of the asthma and the allergic thing. But it’s suppressing the immune system. So what happens when they’re isolated –

Matt: – when isolated into a little bubble in the hospital or kept at home and everything’s covered over –

Jeff: Pristine, clean environment.

Matt: – yeah, they can sterilize everything and they can suppress your immune system and they can break the cycle, but the moment you go back out, the immune system’s still suppressed, you get infections in your skin, you get infections into your lungs, and the whole thing starts again. So that’s that vicious cycle. We’ve got to always be thinking about balance. And then the whole key with balance, we talk about it all the time, is do you have too much of one or not enough of the other?

Jeff: Yeah, that’s right. I remember there was an article a while ago – I think it was in the U.K. – about all these children who were getting incredibly sick when they were going to kindergarten, and they couldn’t work out what it was. But they found a link that the mother were using all of these antibacterial wipes all over the home, so they had a perfect – everything was mopped and disinfected, bleached and hand sanitizers and all the rest of it. And when they got out to play at kindy, as kids do, they’re playing in the dirt and they’re licking, French kissing dogs and all that sort of stuff, which is going to happen, everybody couldn’t handle the bugs and they became quite ill and quite sick.

Matt: Yeah, yeah. Well that’s the hygiene hypothesis. It’s getting a lot of groundswell moment at the moment. When someone finds a solution to the problem, it’ll be interesting to see how much truly comes out in the media. But you have to understand that if you’re taking away the challenge from the immune system, the only thing left is allergic inflammation. So with that immune system being a simple see saw, if you’re constantly sterilizing the harmless bugs, then what’s going to challenge the immune system to pick up? There’s nothing there. The grubby kids are always the healthiest kids.

Jeff: And Matt, I want to touch back on what you said before in terms of the antibiotics. Now I know antibiotics are necessary –

Jeff: – I know you need them. If you need them, go get them. A few years ago – and you still hear it talked about quite a lot as well too, the over prescription of antibiotics is obviously a massive issue. People get a little bit of a sniffly nose or what have you, they go get the antibiotics, and then they don’t finish the course, which obviously then means that the bug or whatever is mutating and what have you. And I know also that a lot of antibiotics now are used in things like cattle and all the rest of it. We don’t have a chance not to be using them, which is then breeding these super bugs.

Matt: Exactly.

Jeff: So how – you know –

Matt: The big point to make here too, which I – and the funny thing is, I’m a naturopath and a hippie and all that sort of stuff. But doctors cop a hard times in Western countries. You have to understand that in Western society, Australia and America and the U.K. and places like that, we are aware of these situations, and we don’t want these super bugs in existence because they’ll end up taking us out. Understand that the super bug problem isn’t coming from Western doctors over-prescribing antibiotics. It’s actually coming from what you said.

It’s from industry. It’s where they’re putting in antibiotics into foods to prevent infection in the animals so they don’t lose opportunity to grow.

Jeff: It keeps the heel.

Matt: It keeps the heel and it’s not that it makes them grow. It just stops them from, when they get crook, they don’t continue to grow.

Jeff: It’s preventative as opposed to – yeah.

Matt: So they throw it all in and they’re creating these super bugs. There’s a lot of countries in the world where they don’t have good medical systems like ours, and you don’t need prescriptions for antibiotics. So you can just walk in and think, I’ve got a sniffle – you can have a massive stockpile of whichever antibiotics you like at home, and just self-prescribe, self-medicate. So it’s the self-medicating and it’s the industry and that sort of stuff. And the reason why I’m saying that is if your doctor is there advising you to take an antibiotic because the bug you’ve got has been shown to be sensitive to the antibiotic, then take the thing.

Because it can be the difference between life and death.

Jeff: Can I give you a little story?

Matt: Mm-hm.

Jeff: Clayton, at the beginning of the year, walked head first, full blooded drive into a cricket bat, which smashed his nose, poor little fellow. He went in to hospital yesterday to have a full reconstruction of his nose done, quite full on. He’s now on antibiotics for the next week at least. Absolutely have to take it. Poor thing absolutely hates taking them, but we’re following what the doctor said all the way through. After, Matt, what should he do? What are the antibiotics going to do? And for anyone else that’s had to take antibiotics, or children that have to take antibiotics, what would you recommend that they do next?

Matt: Yeah well

Jeff: Because obviously they’re there to protect you from serious infection and disease.

Matt: Well they’re going to be killing the bad bugs that could cause infection into the area. That’s what you’re trying to prevent. A lot of people would use probiotics with it. I think that’s a bit silly because you’re going to waste the antibiotic killing your probiotic, and you’re going to waste the probiotic, getting killed by the antibiotic. So you might as well wait.

Jeff: Wait until it’s finished?

Matt: Do your killing spree now, and then we’ll go back in with probiotics straight after. One exception to that rule is a yeast. Now what you’ll see is a common – probably not with your boy in that, but a common problem out there is when women in particular – and blokes, the same thing happens, but we just don’t realize because we have different bits – but women will often get thrush or a candida overgrowth with antibiotics. Because that’s a fungus, a yeast. It’s not a bacteria. So while the body is wiping out all the bacteria with the antibiotics, it’s allowing your natural yeast and fungi to overgrow because they’ve got no competition.

And then what normally happens then is you go onto an anti-fungal plan, and anti-fungals kill bacteria as well, you know. And then you’ve got a probiotic later if you get around to it. So while you’re on antibiotics, it is possible to use a protective yeast to stop the other candida and yeast from overgrowing, saturate –

Jeff: Is it more important to women than men?

Matt: No, blokes will do it as well because we just don’t get the vaginal thrush because we don’t have a vagina. But we get gut thrush, which is bloating, farting, gurgling, fullness, all that sort of stuff. So we can get candida overgrowth in the rest of our body, and it feeds on all our sugars we eat and ferment it.

Jeff: So what sort of – like a brewer’s yeast? Or –

Matt: Yeah saccharomyces boulardii which is a –

Jeff: That’s easy for you to say.

Matt: It is actually. Yeah, yeah –

Jeff: I can. Brewer’s yeast.

Matt: So you can use saccharomyces cerevisiae, which I think is the baker’s yeast, and then the boulardii – I can’t remember – but I just buy the flash ones from the chemist and stuff, rather than beer. Beer and bread would be awesome, but it’s not as therapeutic as the concentrated yeast. So you can use these yeasts while using antibiotics, and then as soon as the antibiotic’s finished, switch over to probiotic. What you’ll find is usually things like saccharomyces boulardii, you get a month’s supply anyway. You usually do a ten-day course of your antibiotics, and you overlap them.

So as soon as you finish the antibiotic, you start the other probiotics and finish off your yeast and probiotics at the same time. It’s not such a bad thing because it actually takes a big nudge off the colonies of organisms in your body. So when you put the probiotics in, they’ve got less competition to go in and thrive, so the antibiotics will take a big chunk off good and bad bacteria all over your body. A nice little opportunity to go through, sort of weed and feed for your garden.

Jeff: Yeah, yeah, it sounds like that. Yeah.

Matt: So if we look at things that way, we can come across some positives.

Jeff: So just talking about obviously traditional Western medicine, talking about for fever reduction, paracetamols, all that sort of stuff, the overuse when – now if you’ve got a ridiculously high fever and things are getting crazy, then you need to take action. Go to the hospital, call your doctor, you know? But for the average little fever, Matt, what do you recommend that people do? And again, go and always talk to your doctor.

Matt: I just put up a chart. I’ll give you a chart. I’ve written up a chart, a guideline chart with what to do, with what temperature. But I always get nervous talking about those things or publishing these things.

Jeff: But I mean for my mind, is that the fever is the body’s natural reaction to actually do something, which is to kill off bugs.

Matt: Well, it’s the immune system that makes the fever. It’s the immune system – see, this is the thing, man, yeah –

Jeff: All right. Go on, say it.

Matt: Well –

Jeff: We’re not giving this as advice to any particular person.

Matt: – well I used to – I didn’t want to say it because these people probably know who I’m talking about. But in my clinic, there used to be these people come in to me all the time and say they’ve got the toughest immune system on earth. They never get sick. They can’t remember the last time they got a cold and a flu. They’re the people I put a little note next to saying, “Keep an eye out for cancer.”

Jeff: Yeah, right.

Matt: Because it’s your immune system that makes you feel lousy, not the bug. It’s your immune system that causes fevers, aches and pains and snot and all that sort of stuff, not the bugs. So if you can’t remember the last time that you felt your immune system work, I’m going to ask the question, does your immune system work? And if your immune system isn’t doing immune surveillance against the constant bugs that are coming in, is it doing immune surveillance against such things as cancer? And so what I find in my clinic are these people that never get sick, these people that never get crook are the ones that come in with cancer, and they can’t understand how they got it, because they’re never sick.

Jeff: Well the people who I know that say that they’re never sick are normally the ones that never stop and are under a high amount of stress.

Matt: Yeah, so its immune system is suppressed. And now these people – the people with the tough immune system, they get exposed to something, bang, their immune system will launch a full-on defense, and then they’re over it. Or they’ll go out and they’ll get sand fly bites – their body will fire up and make everything really swollen and sore and itchy, and then a day later it’s all gone. But an efficient immune – it’s like anxiety and panic we were talking about the other day. It’s not a weakness. It’s a sign of strength that your body’s fighting against something. A weaker person just lets stuff come and go. You know?

They might be carrying all these bugs around and not know it.

Jeff: Yeah, right.

Matt: You know? So there’s one other thing I just wanted to say while we were talking about that. There’s another group of people though that seem to never have any immune responses. They never seem to get coughs and colds or they can eat whatever the hell they like, like my wife is the one I’m thinking of, there’s this part of the immune system, a third part called oral tolerance, or I like to refer to it as shit happens. Your degree of immune response for either infections or allergies, is dose dependent. Meaning the more of the dose that comes in, the more aggressive your immune response will be.

There’s a group of people that have this awesome part of this immune system called oral tolerance, which is a part of the immune system that says, a little bit from Column A, a little bit from Column B. That’s normally what we see in poo. Shit happens. Don’t worry about it. Let it go. They’ve got a very tough gut wall. They have a very tough first line of defense. They’ve got a very strong immune surveillance at that first line, and things don’t actually come into their body at that point of the gut. They’re dealing with it right there and then. And they’ve got very good oral tolerance. And that’s a lucky group, with a very thick gut wall, like my wife, who was born in Vietnam and grew up in India.

Jeff: We go out and we drink the water in Bali, and we get Bali belly. But the natives there, no problem at all. Is that –

Matt: That’s part of the oral tolerance. Their bodies just built up a resilience to it and they’ve got enough of those bugs that grow there, stop the others from coming in competition, and their levels of their gut wall, they’ve seen it all before, been there, done, bought the T-shirt. You know? Moving on.

Jeff: Yeah, right. So that’s not a big deal. And again, then you take over someone who’s living in a pristine environment with no bugs goes and they’re going to get slaughtered.

Matt: Yeah, exactly.

Jeff: Okay. One last thing I want to ask about children then as well too. With kids always getting sick, we know that obviously they’re building up their immune, they’re young, they’re going to get sick more often. But it seems to be at parties – and I seem to notice this a lot – kids go out, one kid’s sick, they all blooming well get sick afterwards.

Matt: Yup.

Jeff: We were talking about this, and you said it could have something to do with –

Matt: What they eat?

Jeff: – yeah, sugar.

Matt: Yeah, yeah, sugars, colors, preservatives. Anything that – so with that allergic side of the immune system, if that fires up, which happens with temperature changes, when we get really cold. You know, you say you go out in the rain, you’re going to catch a cold and the flu. Is the rain is delivering bacteria into your nose?

Jeff: Yeah, I always wondered about that.

Matt: So what happens is that’s another trigger for your allergic inflammation. Temperature changes will actually increase the amount of mucus or change the mucus on your mucus membranes and make you trigger an allergic inflammation.

Jeff: You’ll catch your death of cold.

Matt: Like sneezing. Yeah, like sneezing and all that sort of stuff. With colorings, preservatives, additives, all that sort of stuff, drives up the allergic side. Sugar directly feeds bugs. So if you’re got some bugs loitering around and you load up on sugar, they’re going to love it. They’re going to thrive on it. The other thing is the excitement of it all. The cortisol from all the fun and that sort of stuff suppresses the immune system. So it’s a perfect storm on that immune see saw. Allergenic exposure pushes up the allergic side, which already suppresses the immune surveillance. The cortisol and that sort of stuff and the sugar pushes that side down. So the immune see saw just tilts.

The anti-infection surveillance is just suppressed for a period of time, and allows things to move in. And because you’re surrounded by other kids, whose job it is also to be sick and carry bugs around, they’re just sharing the wealth.

Jeff: That’s too bad. Now let’s talk about supplements and nutritional advice for either preventing or dealing with sickness. Vitamin C, zinc, I’m just trying to think of some.

Matt: No, that’s a standard one. That’s good. Scurvy. So Vitamin C, if you don’t have enough Vitamin C, if you’ve got a Vitamin C deficiency, you can’t make white cells properly, which are your immune cells.

Jeff: Lymph site, phagocytes sites, all those things.

Matt: Yeah, yeah, you’re a phagocytes. I’ve got more neutrophils in me. But anyway – I don’t know how we get onto those things. But yes, a Vitamin C deficiency, you just can’t make immune cells, so your immune surveillance is down. You’ve got to discount that scurvy is something silly or something that happened only in the past. It’s becoming really, really common now because people just aren’t eating fruit and veg. There are so many kids out there just eating junk. And I sit there, and they come in and say, “Oh, I’m getting all these hair follicles infected on my legs, I’m catching all these colds and flus. I’m bruising. My gums are bleeding when I brush my teeth.”

Jeff: Is that scurvy?

Matt: Yeah, all these sort of signs. You’re just sitting there – and they have poor skin condition and infection.

Jeff: Wow.

Matt: And you’ve gone through all these symptoms, and you just go, bang, bang, bang, “Well if you were a sailor on the Endeavor with Captain Cook, I’d say you’ve got the scurvy. But now when I’m thinking about it, they actually did more to prevent scurvy than you’re doing.”

Jeff: They sucked on limes.

Matt: Yeah, so you know, it’s actually really – so don’t discount that, especially with kids. And you talk to them, they don’t eat fruit and veg, and they’re eating shit.

Jeff: Well not only that as well to Matt. Again, I keep talking about this in terms of the constitution of our food. There is a definite downgrade in terms of the nutrients that used to be in that food.

Matt: Yeah, nutrients, that’s right.

Jeff: Just with the harvesting and having it all fertilized and that. But in terms of quality food, if you are getting quality food, obviously everybody knows oranges.

Matt: Zinc deficiency is really common as well. Zinc is essential for the immune cells to know they’ve got to work. So zinc deficiency, with a zinc deficiency, the receptors that the immune cells use to be alerted that there’s an infection here, don’t work. So you might have all these immune cells, but they don’t do anything with a zinc deficiency. So loading up zinc will actually increase your immune activity. So zinc and Vitamin C are the most common deficiencies I see with immune problems.

Jeff: Good food for zinc?

Matt: Brazil nuts and seeds.

Jeff: Yeah, Brazil nuts, yeah.

Matt: Yeah, pumpkin seeds and all that sort of stuff.

Jeff: All right. What about some weird ones, Matt? What about colloidal silver?

Matt: Colloidal silver’s cool. It kills stuff it touches. I mean colloidal silver doesn’t necessarily have a systemic effect where it goes through your body killing things that are in your body. But if you’ve got something that you can touch with colloidal silver, like infections on your skin, your throat, your stomach, bowel, it’ll bind to it, and it inhibits their ability to use iron. That’s how it works. So it goes in –

Jeff: I thought it had something to do with oxygen.

Matt: Yeah, that’s iron, because of the oxygen. So basically it’s the iron influx that the organisms need to be able to survive. It blocks that.

Jeff: There’s a lot of companies bringing out silver technology now. Fridges are bringing it out in the lining. Clothes are bringing it out

Matt: My water filter’s got a lining of silver through it.

Jeff: With the Bali bombing, when they had a lot of people that had perished overseas and they were trying to stop the bodies from decomposing, they actually put a colloidal silver spray just over the top, which actually inhibited the –

Matt: Yeah, that’s right.

Jeff: But amazing stuff.

Matt: The only problems you can have with it are when people go weird with it.

Jeff: Too much?

Matt: I mean some people think more is better. And they go blue. They turn into Smurfs.

Jeff: That’s amazing. Papa Smurf, yeah.

Matt: And there are people that make it themselves. So people get the silver rods and actually make their own colloidal silver. They don’t know the strength of it. And then if you don’t know the strength, you can’t work out your dose, and you can get too much silver in your body, and it’s irreversible, and you’ll start to go blue, and you get nerve damage and you go a bit weird in the head, and you probably think the cure for that is silver, and you drink more of it, and then you get bluer. You know, so –

Jeff: Well that’s the way they came out with the aristocracy, like the blue bloods. They used to use silver often. They’d constantly be using silver –

Matt: And that was like during the Plague, the people that had silver cutlery got less infection.

Jeff: Is that right?

Matt: And that sort of stuff as well. But then they also think they had zinc plating in the paint on their plates. So whether it was the zinc they were getting or the silver or the fact that they just weren’t living in the slums.

Jeff: It’s interesting though.

Matt: But herbs are an interesting thing because people always come and ask me what’s the best immune stimulant herb? And it works out much as your favorite child. You know? And I’ve only got two, and I can tell you which one, but we won’t do it on air because I’m joking. No, the thing is with herbs, you can find a herb that specifically knocks out an organism, just like you can with an antibiotic that specifically smashes something. So you’ve got to get the right herb for the right immune problem, whether you’re trying to boost the immune system or suppress the allergic side, whatever.

So it’s too large a topic to go into which herbs for which part of the immune system are used. But we will do it at a later date.

Jeff: Well maybe when we launch our product.

Matt: Yeah, because we do have an immune product coming up. Yeah, but even then, you know, it’s complicated. The other way of doing it is adaptogenics. Adaptogenic herbs, I love them so much because it doesn’t matter which side of your immune system goes a bit spastic, they help you to bring it around the middle. So using adaptogenic herbs as part of your normal daily routine will actually often prevent the need for us to use herbs like a first aid remedy. So prevention is always better. So we always go for the prevention first, and then if we need to bring out the big guns, we will.

Jeff: So I mean adaptogenic herbs, if people are listening for the first time –

Matt: Turmeric, schisandra, withania, shilajit, rhodiola, I mean they’re probably the best. And then a lot of your mushrooms and that sort of stuff. But basically, get those good quality adaptogenic stuff coming in regularly. They’ll help your body adapt to whatever the stress is, regardless of the direction of change. Help you to bring it back to normal. So keep that immune surveillance good.

Jeff: So lastly, in summarizing, do you want to summarize it or –

Matt: It’s a tricky one to summarize. Because I usually wave my arms around because I do the see saw demonstration. But basically you’ve got –

Jeff: It kind of looks like you being a fighter pilot.

Matt: Yeah, yeah, I do a fair bit of that. And then when I show how it’s broken and that sort of stuff – but no, we’ll have to do a diagram. I’ll summarize it with some diagrams and get some nice little charts and everything up for the web page, and you can just see and do it that way. And what we’d probably have to do – because we didn’t cover it properly in this, is have another section to talk about autoimmunity. Because that’s quite big. And autoimmunity will lead in with the adrenal issues.

Jeff: Well I know at least my mother will tune into that because she’s got lupus.

Matt: Oh, that’s interesting.

Jeff: All right, FAQ time. We’ve got a lot, but I’m just going to pick one today, and then we’ll do some more – we’ve got Chris Thomas next week on carbs.

Matt: Mary.

Jeff: Mary. So that’ll be good. Lauren asks, Hi Team I have recently being diagnosed with early stages of adrenal fatigue from my saliva testing.” Oh, she had a saliva test done. You’d like that. “My results were 26, 8, 6, so not enough during the day to keep me going, and not low enough at night to get quality sleep. I’m also quite high in testosterone, almost double the range, progesterone and DHEA. I’m also low in Vitamin D and zinc. I have been given adrenal support herbs, as well as adaptogens. Also Vitamin D and zinc. I was wondering if you thought the alpha venus could assist in speeding up the process?

Besides always being tired, my weight is bothering me at the moment. I’m off to Bali next month and want to trim down a little bit, especially in my midsection. Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. Lauren.” Matt?

Matt: Venus probably won’t help, to answer that question. The reason why – see, it’s quite interesting. That always gets a little bit weird when we try to diagnose people when things don’t really exist. And now we don’t diagnose, treat or cure], so insert the standard statement here. Don’t replace my advice with what you get in a face-to-face consultation with someone.

Jeff: Well, I was about to say, Matt, we can only go on this little snapshot and this – he’s like Dr House. He likes to ask questions.

Matt: Yeah, I’ll go and rip this to bits otherwise. But the adrenal gland also makes DHEA out of the same materials that it uses to make cortisol. So if your adrenal is too fatigued to make cortisol, then how the hell does it have the resources and the motivation and energy to make DHEA?

Jeff: Yeah, right.

Matt: So it’s more of an adrenal maladaptation –

Jeff: Oh, can I say that? Adrenal maladaptation.

Matt: No, stuff it.

Jeff: I still stuffed it.

Matt: So basically when you see these androgens being high like they are, so DHEA, progesterone, testosterone are all referred to as androgens – that can backlog as a process of insulin resistance. Okay? So if your insulin doesn’t work real well, insulin can cause the androgens to backlog, from testosterone and then progesterone and DHEA can all backlog and build up. Very common finding with insulin resistance syndromes. As too is excessive weight, in and around the abdomen, and adrenal maladaptation. Anyway, so what, to me, this looks more like a priority would be targeting the insulin issue.

For example, if we were to give you the venus, that increases DHEA production and progesterone production and testosterone production, so it’s probably the worst thing. I would be even inclined to use something like –

Jeff: T4 –

Matt: – yeah, T432, and then focus your diet and training strategies with your personal trainer or coach to target insulin as your main priority. And get your insulin working well. So that might introduce stages of fasted cardio and carb levels up and down, and switching around the timing of carbohydrate to specifically target insulin. The adrenal stuff was more likely to be a consequence of this hormonal dysfunction from insulin. In saying that, going from the small amount of information we’ve got, it just doesn’t – the priority doesn’t look adrenal or hormonal. It looks like insulin because that causes all these other androgens to backlog.

To fix the adrenal issue in the morning, where she’s not getting enough adrenal cortisol to get her up and give her her big boost of energy in the morning because her body’s still pumping it out at night to deal with the insulin issues probably. So I would focus more on flattening the cortisol at night, and seeing if it just picks up by itself in the morning. If you focus on insulin, you get the insulin working and we suppress that cortisol release at night by using things like magnesiums and other compounds that put you into a nice deep sleep – like melatonin’s my favorite – if the doctor will prescribe that. There’s other things that get melatonin, no worries, you know?

Jeff: Well, I think Lauren might be in Australia anyway.

Matt: Anyway, people can get melatonin. Magnesium, melatonin, sedative herbs, things that force you into a nice deep sleep will get their cortisol levels really low at night, and they’ll just jump up in the morning naturally. Because that DHEA that’s high, you’re making that in the morning. And that’s being made from the adrenal gland. So most of your DHEA you’ve got, that you’re measuring, it’s coming up first thing in the morning, out of the adrenal gland and out of the same materials that should be making cortisol.

Jeff: So would Lauren be better training in the morning to give a bump to the cortisol?

Matt: Yeah, like a faster cardio in the morning, just to get that cortisol up, deplete that muscle glycogen. Should make her more sensitive to insulin for the rest of the day.

Jeff: And maybe throw in some CLA or something like that as well too?

Matt: Don’t worry about it.

Jeff: Don’t worry about it?

Matt: Yeah, just focus on the – you could, but CLA are used to protect people from high cortisol.

Jeff: Oh, okay.

Matt: You could use things that bump that cortisol up in the morning, but it’s so easy to bump it up in the morning through exercise and herbs, that might just give it a bit of a jolt. But the key is to force it down at night. You’ve got the pretty much – not far off the right amount of cortisol that you’ll need in a 24-hour period. It’s just that you’re not getting the ups and the downs. You’re just flat-lining a bit. So if we force it down at night, there’s a fair chance it’ll just pick up by itself in the morning.

Jeff: Cool. All right. Well thanks Lauren, Matt. Just capping, some zinc, magnesium at night, maybe a bit of melatonin. If I could –

Matt: Focus on insulin. Don’t bother with the alpha venous. If any ATP products, use the T432 because it won’t – it’s most effective at targeting the insulin.

Jeff: Yeah, and just take that in the morning and lunchtime?

Matt: No, three times a day.

Jeff: Three times?

Matt: The middle one’s the most important actually in this one.

Jeff: Okay.

Matt: So it would be one capsule three times a day with food.

Jeff: Right.

Matt: It’s easy.

Jeff: Does.

Matt: Send her something free.

Jeff: Oh, I’m sure Elsa will. Yeah. And I haven’t said it. If we mention your FAQ on the podcast, we send you out something for free. So Lauren, we’ll send you out a –

Matt: And see, that one didn’t even start with a compliment. So Jeff does read them out when they don’t start with a compliment.

Jeff: No, there was no compliment.

Matt: See? There you go.

Jeff: Well thanks, Lauren.

Matt: Thanks, Lauren.

Jeff: We will flick you out a free bottle of T432. Thanks for that. And just let us know how you get on. All right, Matt, that’s all that we’ve got time for. Last word? You’re still stuffed, aren’t you? Look at you. You look like a stunned mullet. Thanks, Matt. That was really good. Next week we’ve got Chris Thomas. It’ll be a round table discussion on the importance of carbohydrates and using them inside training. I’ve got some questions I want to ask Chris around body types and where the body holds fat in different areas, depending on what problems or issues you may have, as far as he’s concerned, that we might marry that up with some information about your take on that as well too.

Matt: Yeah, cool.

Jeff: Cool. All right. Thanks for joining us. And we’ll see you next week.

Matt: All right.