It’s already there: Your immune system. It is set to destroy all possible invaders – viruses, bacteria, parasites – quickly and effectively. Especially the ones it doesn’t know yet, the very small and very mean ones: viruses. They are a very simple species that challenges our immune system with different variants every year. Right now: SARS-CoV-2, or Corona for short.
A particularly nasty virus variant, because it is particularly quickly contagious and particularly quickly deadly – but only in people with inadequate innate defenses. The others: don’t notice anything. Or cough a little. Then: everything is fine again. A team led by Katherine Kedzierska of the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Melbourn, Australia, has recorded how this works.
The virus was gone on the seventh day
A 47-year-old woman from Wuhan goes to the emergency room of a Melbourne clinic. She has a fever, a pulse of 120, her lungs rattle when she breathes, they keep her there. After four days, the coronavirus is discovered, and further tests on the following two days are positive. The virus infiltrates more and more cells via the ACE-2 receptors to multiply. But not unnoticed: RNA viruses cannot hide in the genome of a cell (herpes does). When they try to bud on the internal components of cells, the body police notice. The result: fever, cough, heart palpitations. A violent immune reaction. On the seventh day, the virus is gone. The immune system shuts Corona down. The lab finds an enormous mass of T cells in the patient’s blood: cells that have “seen” the new antigen and split into two fighting groups: The cytotoxic T cells are now able to recognize infected body cells and kill them directly. And the T helper cells sound the alarm throughout the body with the help of cytokines. In doing so, they activate antibody production by B cells and the most important crime scene cleaners that eat up cell debris and whole pathogens: macrophages. Over the next few days, the patient recovers and becomes completely healthy – without an oxygen machine, without medication.
Good comes from within
Once again, it’s not about the evil from outside, but the good from within. Your immune system is powerful. There are: antimicrobial proteins on the skin, plasma proteins on constant alert in the blood, and messenger proteins (cytokines) that set immune cells in motion. Finally, antibodies produced by immune cells, proteins from the globulin class. All proteins. Protein! The more total protein in your blood, the stronger your immune system. That is the basis. It is measurable. And you can make it strong very easily: By eating protein, eggs, organic steak, protein powder, whatever you prefer.
However, the system only becomes really competent when you give it oxygen (exercise). Vitamins and co. and – as strange as this may sound in difficult times – good mood.
Please remember: protein makes you immune