13 April 2006
BOOSTING IMMUNE SYSTEMS FOR CHILDREN
A presentation prepared for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS), by David A. Nuttle. (Written to facilitate publication and public understanding. References are provided in an associated literature review.)
Today our children live a world more toxic than ever before. The air we breathe is often polluted. Water used for drinking may be an infectious, polluted combination of viruses, bacterium, and parasites. Our foods often contain hormones, pesticides, various chemicals, toxins, antibiotics, and GMOs (genetically modified organisms). We have limited research data on the true nature of these many threats to health. New diseases continue to occur and old diseases are more difficult to control with existing antibiotics ---- and we all live under the threat of bioterrorist attack.
Given all the above hazards, there needs to be far more work on ways and means to effectively boost the immune systems for our children, and for ourselves. There has been very minimal research on immune systems improvement. The limited research efforts completed, and the most important results of that research, are summarized herein. In addition, evidence of historical immune improvement techniques are presented.
Basic scientific research has established that an effective immune system primarily depends upon healthy bone marrow and a functioning thymus, spleen, and lymph nodes.
Almost all of us have innate immunity that we were born with. We also know that any healthy mother’s first milk (colostrums) acts to help improve immune function. After
this improvement to immune systems, other benefits come from adaptive or acquired immunity. (A vaccine is designed to facilitate acquired immunity for a specific disease.)
The immune system is the body’s first line of defense. That defense consists of very specialized cells and a separate circulatory system that responds to fight infection in the body. Any immune system interacts with the circulatory network for a body’s blood. In addition, tissues of the body are bathed in a clear fluid called lymph containing white blood cells (lymphocytes). The lymphocytes fight against foreign bacteria and any other invaders. This fight is aided by B-cells from bone marrow, and T-cells from the thymus gland. Stress, a hostile environment, dehydration, and a poor diet all act to reduce the effectiveness of any immune system. Deficiencies of vitamin A, zinc, and iron may also act to reduce immunity.
Vitamin C and echinacea have been used in attempts to improve immunity. There is some scientific evidence that benefits are limited. Echinacea generally does contain arabinogalctan (AG) known to help increase white blood cells. Vitamin C does help to increase T-cell activity, and thereby improve immunity. However, current research is not always conclusive. Parts of the puzzle have been identified; e.g. zinc is critical to the effective performance of the thymus gland. Beta glucan, extracted from baker’s yeast, has shown some evidence of improving immune systems by stimulating bone marrow production of immune-supporting substances. The Chinese rely on Huang Qi (astragalus) root to improve immunity. Again, scientific evidence is often lacking on most options.
Dr. Ronald E. Wrolstad, a Professor of Food Science at Oregon State University, has studied the health benefits of anthocyanin pigments, a class of flavonoid compounds. These pigments provide the red, purple, and blue colors of many fruits, vegetables, grains, and flowers. There is now considerable anecdotal and epidemiological evidence that anthocyanin pigments and polyphenolics may have preventative and therapeutic roles for a number of human diseases. Some 5,000 naturally occurring polyphenolics have been identified as phenolic-based compounds having similar solubility properties. The unique “French paradox” was observed when red-wine drinkers, of France and Italy, were found to have much lower rates of coronary heart disease. Scientific research has determined that phenolics contribute to this beneficial effect. Charles Brown, a USDA Research Geneticist, conducted research indicating that potatoes with pigmented flesh usually had antioxidant capacities 2 to 3 times greater than unpigmented varieties.
Dr. James A. Joseph, and other researchers at the Agricultural Research Service, studied blueberry polyphenolics and concluded that they may improve CBF (cerebral blood flow) and cognative performance. Dr. Alyson Mitchell, and other researchers from the University of California, Davis, concluded that organically grown berries and corn contained 58 percent more polyphenolics. This research also established that when plants
are attacked by insects, they produce high levels of bitter polyphenolics to drive away the pests. There is considerable early evidence that polyphenolics may reduce the risk of some cancers and heart disease. The health benefits attributed to grape seed extract and olive oil are credited to polyphenolics. The rural populations of Crete and Greece have the lowest rates of diet-linked disease and obesity, with a diet high in polyphenolics from vegetables, fruits, and olive oil. A book entitled “Practical Polyphenolics” by Dr. Edwin Haslam (Cambridge University Press, 1998) details the use of plants with polyphenols as herbal medicines.
The ancient Inca and Aztec civilizations were apparently aware of polyphenolics, although they probably didn’t know the name. These peoples harvested wild blue-green microalgae from lakes, and dried the algal harvest in the sun. Dried microalgae was added to typical bread flour (made from Amaranth & Quinoa), as well as being added to soups. Insofar as ancient records disclose, the Inca and Aztec had few health problems while this practice of algae eating continued. The Spanish missionaries helped to end the algae eating practice by claiming that microalgae was most unfit for human consumption. There are two tribes, in Africa, who have long followed a similar algae eating practice. These tribes are known to be far healthier than their neighboring tribes. Today, algae is grown, worldwide, for a limited health food market. The Japanese, Koreans, and Chinese peoples consume more microalgae than any other populations --- and the Japanese also consume large quantities of seaweed (sea vegetables) high in polyphenolics and vitamin C. These populations typically have better health than most Americans.
The pre-Columbian Aztecs consumed a Red Amaranth as part of their religious ceremonies. This Amaranth is high in polyphenolics and a squalene oil (very similar to shark liver oil). Squalene is believed to reduce stress and improve immunity. Medical researchers attempted to use squalene oil in vaccines to provide an adjuvant, but some
harmful effects seem to have resulted. When used as a dietary supplement, squalene does appear to reduce stress. Several African tribes have long used the seeds and fruits if the Moringa oleifera tree to purify water. The leaves of this tree are eaten as a vegetable, and the seeds also provide cooking oil. Current medical research is focused on the natural antibiotic properties of this plant. In the Amazon Rain Forest, the Graviola tree has long been used, by indigenous tribes, for herbal medicines. Resent cancer studies, using some extracts from the Graviola tree, have produced promising results. More research is clearly needed determine the benefits of such herbal medicines as regards improving immunity.
NPI’s new social enterprise, Preparedness Systems Intl., Inc. (PSI) ---an “S” corporation--- may join with the Center for Applied Aquatic Ecology at NC State University, to perfect the large-scale production of freshwater microalgae high in polyphenolics. PSI’s algalculture method, licensed from NPI, is proprietary and designed to create a new, profitable carbon sequestration crop removing excess CO2 (carbon) from the air. A university food lab will be added to the project to help test and develop polyphenolics supplement tablets. In addition, a College of Veterinary Medicine shall be added to test the level of immunity improvement (in lab animals) provided with a dietary supplement of algal-polyphenolics. (Based upon NPI’s and PSI’s preliminary research, and the historical evidence, algal-polyphenolics may provide an excellent option for greatly improving immunity for children and adults.)
With the many current threats to health, plus the threat of bioterrorism, the CDC is now obligated to dedicate more research dollars and efforts to finding the best possible means for improving immunity. This is a research area long given insufficient funding and support. We already have sufficient scientific evidence to justify extensive research on the means to improve polyphenolics availability, and thereby improve immunity.
NPI will also be contacting the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) as regards the use of algal-polyphenolics to improve immunity for pets, livestock, aquatic species, and wildlife, as well as for our population. Agro-terrorism prevention and bioterrorism tactics require a number of responses to include the indicated immunity improvement. To do less will leave “windows-of-opportunity” for bioterrorists. DHS will be funding two new Agro-Terrorism Prevention Centers (at universities), and has provided a $10.5 million grant, to Montana State University, for development of natural immune defenses. There needs to be effective coordination between these researchers, the CDC staff, and others (such as NPI and PSI) working on all aspects of such immune defenses.
There is a current gap, in research efforts, because the CDC’s SBIR and STTR funds are yet to be provided to support small businesses with innovations and research capabilities for developing subject innovations ---all related to improving immunity. For this reason, NPI and its affiliated for-profit, Preparedness Systems Intl., Inc. (PSI), will soon prepare and present unsolicited STTR grant applications. NPI and PSI have the proprietary and innovative technologies to facilitate the safe, efficient, economical, and large-scale production of algal-polyphenolics. I ask that you give these applications your careful consideration. Thank you.
David A. Nuttle, President
Needful Provision, Inc. (NPI)
P.S. Our objective is to develop a means for the safe, efficient, economical mass production of algal-polyphenolics as needed to provide polyphenolics food and feed supplements ---- to improve immunity for people, pets, livestock, aquatic species, and
wildlife, as necessary for effective biosecurity.
N.B. NPI will be producing algal-polyphenolics using U.S. Patent
No. 5,121,708 and associated Trade Secrets, by David A. Nuttle,
inventor. As noted above, this is a carbon sequestration method
of production whereby the carbon nutrient, needed by algae,
is provided using super-aeration allowing algae to obtain carbon
from surplus CO2 (in the air). The algae produced also provides
lipids that may be used as biodiesel --a byproduct of subject
algalculture. NPI plans to extensively license its technology
for polyphenolics and/or biodiesel fuels production using algalculture.