This report synthesizes three decades of investigations into the determinants of healthy and unhealthy immune defenses and repair responses. The function of Immune Defenses and Repair Systems (IDRS) in good health and in ill health are compared and contrasted[i]. An integrative approach to inter-dependent neuro-immuno-hormonal, digestive, and detoxification systems is included.
The Alkaline Way is a three-component approach that can be useful in addressing autoimmune and immune dysfunction conditions such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, through an individualized approach that includes:
- Lab testing for inflammation, detoxification, and antigens to food and chemicals
- An alkaline diet including supplements and self-testing to monitor pH levels
- Lifestyle management—with an emphasis on exercise and mindfulnessThe program described has achieved impressive rates of remission, demonstrating how forgiving and responsive the human body can be when biochemistry is restored to balance. Better outcomes are achieved by concurrently applying three interventions that reaffirm the body’s inherent healing abilities by removing obstacles to recovery.
AN EPIDEMIC OF EPIDEMICS: AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES
More than half of all American adults and a rapidly growing proportion of young people experience some type of autoimmune condition. Within the body this reflects a shift from an immune system that is resilient, self-regulating, and self-restoring into an imbalanced, aggressive and self-attacking mode known as autoimmunity (AI)[ii].
There is considerable diagnostic overlap of AI with chronic and degenerative diseases[iii]. It is increasingly clear that most heart disease and chronic vascular conditions are the result of loss of repair ability due to excess cell acid (metabolic acidosis) and oxidative stress due to deficits in essential antioxidant and buffering nutrients that cause losses of tolerance in the immune defense and deferred repair (IDRS dysfunction)[iv]. Case examples and outcome studies in fibromyalgia muscle pain, chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS) and other autoimmune conditions have been previously reported1.
Acidosis, oxidative stress, and inflammation—Metabolic acidosis[v], oxidative stress-makers[vi] and repair deficit inflammation[vii][viii] are the antecedents of autoimmune and immune dysfunction which functionally and metabolically overlap with debilitating chronic conditions that affect or are effected by the thyroid, adrenals, or reproductive glands. (See Figure 1. Common Autoimmune Diagnoses by Type of Immune Response. See also Table 1. Typology of Autoimmune Illnesses Based on Antigen Type)
Diabetes as an example of a chronic, degenerative, autoimmune condition.
“Type 1 diabetes results from a cellular-mediated autoimmune destruction of the beta-cells of the pancreas. In Type 1 diabetes, the rate of beta-cell destruction is quite variable, being rapid in some individuals (mainly infants and children) and slow in others (mainly adults). It is estimated that 20% of persons diagnosed as having non-obesity-related type 2 diabetes may actually have LADA. Islet cell, insulin, and GAD antibodies testing should be performed on all adults who are not obese that appear to present with type 2 diabetes.”[ix]
Costs. Diabetes cost to US for 2012 is calculated at $245 Billion.
Mortality. In all forms, consequences of diabetes are by far the greatest killer at over a million lives a year lost prematurely as a result of diabetes complications.
Nutrient deficits and impaired detoxification. Compromised repair can induce insulin resistance which can cause impaired energy production inside cells. This leads to metabolic syndrome X linked to weight management problems, and insulin glucose energy dysregulation, known as diabetes. As immune systems become increasingly under- fueled and overworked, repair deficits, more commonly known as inflammation, accumulate and are common causes of swelling and discomfort[x].
Sequella. The diabetic patient has a 65% chance of dying from a heart attack or stroke. Widely recognized downstream consequences include cardio-, neuro- and reno-vascular diseases that include heart attacks, vascular insufficiency, senility and stroke[xi]. Concurrently, innate anti-cancer surveillance mechanisms such as natural killer (NK) and cytotoxic T white blood cells are impaired[xii].
Acidosis, oxidative stress, and inflammation. Metabolic acidosis[xiii], oxidative stress-makers[xiv] and repair deficit inflammation[xv][xvi] are the antecedents of autoimmune and immune dysfunction that functionally and metabolically overlaps with major chronic, degenerative diseases such as diabetes[xvii]. Individual dispositions determine, for example, if the thyroid, adrenals, pancreas or reproductive glands will be most symptomatically affected by impaired stress adaptation. Depending upon which symptom complex is most prominent, the diagnosis might be either an AI condition or a chronic, degenerative disease; the causes being in common (See Figure 1. Common Autoimmune Diagnoses by Type of Immune Response. See also Table 1. Typology of Autoimmune Illnesses Based on Antigen Type).
Sustained Remissions by Integrative Management in Autoimmunity
Intact homeostatic mechanisms and IDRS reserves are rare in people with chronic, degenerative and AI illness, yet can be routinely restored in people who are unwell. In AI, homeostasis and IDRS are profoundly disrupted yet routinely yield to comprehensive care management. The earlier the start, the more cost and outcome-effective.
Physiologic markers of AI include intracellular acidosis that impairs electron transport and reduces energy production while also impairing detoxification. Other markers of AI risk include oxidative stress indicators such as otherwise unexplained elevations in sedimentation rate, ferritin, fibrinogen, TNF, CRP, prealbumin, IL-2, IL-6, and IL-12 among others. Underlying causes include cumulative antioxidant deficits often observed clinically as inflammation. Impaired methylation is also common reflected in elevations in homocysteine above the healthy value of <6 µmol/L. Problems with cell communication, detoxification, and transport result from such impaired methylation. This article reframes these common states in physiologic rather than pathologic terms, and offers integrative approaches to care as evidence-based options to be included as first line comprehensive care. This is what is synthesized as The Alkaline Way[xviii].
Advances in molecular biology allow clinical information to be organized on the basis of physiologic causes rather than symptomatic, pathologic consequences. Organizing diagnosis by underlying biochemical or attitudinal disturbance with emphasis on functional capacity and predictive tests provides earlier and more effective points of low risk, low cost therapeutic entry. In clinical practice this is outcome-effective and cost-efficient. This is particularly valuable for the chronic illnesses that have become endemic in our time. This is an application of nanotechnology that nature has conducted since cells were formed.
The main elements of Physiology First principles applied through The Alkaline Way immune-strengthening, neurohormone balancing, detox enhancing, health-restoring program include:
- Reduction of true immune reactive burden after predictive tests like LRA.
- Replacement of individually sufficient essential nutrient antioxidants, buffers, and required cofactors.
- Reduction of toxicant exposure and enhancement of detoxification competencies.
- Enhancement of IDRS competences along with restoration of tolerance and homeostasis, self-repair, and self-regulation.
- Mindfulness and relaxation response practices, active meditation, and therapeutic biofeedback provide effective tools for being more aware, more a witness to life than at the mercy of life’s vicissitudes.
- Activity and mobility that is enjoyed including aerobic, weight-bearing, as well as endurance-building, and sustaining movement.
Autoimmunity (AI): Loss of Tolerance and Homeostasis
When the IDRS attacks rather than defends and repairs, AI is present. Concurrent presence of multiple AI syndromes is routine. AI conditions such adult diabetes; thyroiditis and inflammatory pain conditions like fibromyalgia, arthritis, or migraine headaches are often concurrent[xix]. These are often treated in isolation because of the specialists involved in the diverse symptom expressions known as AI[xx].
When routine wear-and-tear is not repaired, the integrity of the extracellular connective tissue scaffolding is impaired[xxi]. This means the basement membranes glycoproteins, the structural collagens and elastins are not being renewed and the most stressed spots wear out first[xxii]. A result is increase in tissue permeability[xxiii]. Initially, this tissue permeability increase results in the entry of larger plasma proteins with platelets, dendritic first responder cells and, when needed, lymphocytes, all seeking to induce repair to ‘put things right’[xxiv]. When the intestines are affected, this is clinically known as leaky gut syndrome if the repair is incomplete. Too often the lack of essential nutrients or the burdens on the immune system prevent repair from being completed[xxv]. Cumulative repair deficits are commonly known as inflammation[xxvi]. Appreciating them as repair deficit opens a variety of integrative care options.
Repair deficit can be enhanced by over-production and imbalance of stress hormones such as cortisol and DHEA[xxvii]. Neurochemicals of distress such as adrenalin to serotonin imbalance add to hormone receptor resistance[xxviii]. Growth markers such as insulin (IGF1) go up when repair deficits increase and reduce when they are corrected[xxix]. This makes them useful as clinical correlates of outcome. Buffering mineral deficits result in intracellular metabolic acidosis linked to reduced energy production and impaired ability to safely remove toxins[xxx].
Increase in blood-tissue permeability sets the stage for AI and can be provoked by a variety of external or internal antigens perceived as foreign and thus overly burden immune responses.
Causes of repair deficit more commonly known as inflammation can be summarized as:
- Chronic deferral of necessary routine repair due to distress, toxin excess or lack of essential nutrient for IDRS;
- Depletion of buffering reserve with consequent intracellular acidosis;
- Immunologic overload from repeated foreign antigen exposure;
- Impaired activity patterns, and
- Unhealthful rather than healthful learned mental patterns.
THE ALKALINE WAY PROGRAM
The Alkaline Way plan described here assesses an individual’s metabolic balance. Sustained remission routinely emerges when these approaches are consistently applied[xxxi].
- LABORATORY TESTS: Assess causes more than pathologic consequences
Inflammation, Detoxification, and Immune Function
In ill health, tolerance and homeostatic resilience are reduced and in some cases lost. [xxxii]. Autoimmune and immune dysfunction occurs commonly, and commonly together[xxxiii]. They reflect the impairment or loss of immune defenses and repair tolerance and competences.
A Health Studies Collegium estimate is that loss of tolerance and homeostasis accounts for one third of all chronic disease. These are the inflammatory conditions, the conditions of cumulative repair deficit that reduce life quality and increase costs of mostly palliative care. Inflammatory markers of repair deficit include elevations of:
* Sedimentation rate (sed rate)
* Unexplained elevation of fibrinogen, ferritin, and microalbumin, among other inducible proteins
* C reactive protein (hsCRP)
* Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)
* Oxidative stress markers such as oxidized LDL/HDL & 8-oxo-guanine
* Prealbumin in urine
* IL-2, IL-6, and IL-12, among other cytokines
Food and Chemical Antigen Reactions
Immune system tests of delayed allergy—Various clinical tests are currently in use for assessing an individual’s adverse response to environmental antigens[xxxiv]. Antibodies capable of inciting a delayed response include IgA, IgM, or IgG. Only when antibodies are reactive do they provoke symptoms; neutralizing, protective antibodies are protective and helpful13,14.
Antibody assays are often performed for immunoglobulin G (IgG)[xxxv]. This has the advantage of examining the immunologic memory of the person. Note that most IgG antibodies are helpful; only a minority of antibodies is harmful[xxxvi]. Four subclasses of IgG have been identified,[xxxvii] which have different biologic functions and vary independently in different clinical conditions[xxxviii].
Clinical interpretation of total IgG antibodies against a specific antigen can be a challenge[xxxix]. For example, only IgG4 is cytophilic for mast cells[xl]. Thus, some IgG antibodies are protective and others reflect an adverse response[xli]. Measurement of IgG antibodies omits information about IgA and IgM offenders and requires multiple subclass assays to provide the most accurate clinical information[xlii].
Immune complexes can also be assayed through a variety of techniques, each with its own methodology limitations[xliii]. Measurement of this and other aspects of cell-mediated immune response can be particularly useful in immune complex disorders (See Table 1)
The LRA by ELISA/ACT™ technology—This lymphocyte response assay has been developed to evaluate the hypothesis that the causes of autoimmunity included exposures to foods or other chemicals to which the body had become hypersensitive, marked by unhealthy antibody, immune complex, or T cell lymphocyte responses.
This concept has been successfully tested in controlled outcome studies on fibromyalgia muscle pain and chronic fatigue syndrome, as well as diabetes. Clinical data indicate that all autoimmune conditions respond to this approach, which involves indentifying each of the specific foreign invaders known generally as antigens that wear down the immune defense and repair system.[xliv].
Evaluating lymphocyte response—Through this novel ex vivo technology, it is possible to allow living white cells to react in the laboratory just as these lymphocytes do in the body[xlv]. This ex vivo procedure measures lymphocyte reactivity to determine true delayed allergy / hypersensitivity based on the body’s long lived memory-carrying white blood cells.
Comparative methodology—Limitations of other testing systems such as antibody measurement and particle size determination have been elsewhere reported[xlvi]. Results of these tests usually involve simple avoidance. Simple avoidance often provides a symptom remission; however, new sensitivities and symptoms emerge within months if the underlying causes of maldigestion, and essential nutrient deficits and oxidative stress are left unattended[xlvii].
[i] Jaffe, R. Immune Defense and Repair Systems in Biologic Medicine: Clinical Relevance of Biological Response Modifiers in Autoimmunity: Diagnosis, Treatment, Tests and Interpretation-Part I, Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients 2009, 315: 82-89.
[ii] Rose NR, Mackay IR. The Autoimmune Diseases, Academic Press, 2006.
[iii] Kotler, DP, Gaetz, HP, Lange, M, Enteropathy Associated with the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, Ann. Int Med., 1984; 101:421-428.
[iv] Victor VM, Apostolova N, Herance R, Hernandez-Mijares A, Rocha M. Oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction in atherosclerosis: mitochondria-targeted antioxidants as potential therapy. Curr Med Chem, 2009; 16(35): 4654-4667.
[v] Guyton AC, Hall JE. Guyton and Hall Textbook of Medical Physiology with Student Consult Online Access (11th ed.), Philadelphia, Elsevier Saunders, 2006.
[vi] Glaser R, Kiecolt-Glaser JK. Stress-induced immune dysfunction: implications for health Nature Reviews Immunology, 2005; 5: 243-251.
[vii] Jaffe R, Functional Lab tests to evaluate immune competencies in chronic illness and chronic infection, Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, Jan 2009: 80-88.
[viii] Oxidized Cholesterol and Atherosclerosis, Common Knowledge.1980: 4;14-18.
[ix] Landin-Olsson, M. Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 958:112-116 (2002)
[x] Glenn FP, Mustoe TA, Lingelbach J, Masakowski VR, Gramates P, Deuel TF. Transforming Growth Factor β Reverses the Glucocorticoid-Induced Wound-Healing Deficit in Rats: Possible Regulation in Macrophages by Platelet-Derived Growth Factor, PNAS (US), 1989; 86(7): 2229-2233.
[xi] Jaffe R, Mani J, Trocki T, Mehl-Madrona L. First Line Comprehensive Care: The diabetes continuum of insulin, glucose, energy dysregulation: better clinical management of causes improves outcomes, reduces risks and vascular complications, Original Internist, 2004; 11(3): 11-27.
[xii] Grivennikov SI, Greten FR, Karin M, Immunity, Inflammation, and Cancer, Cell, 2010; 140(6): 883-899.
[xiii] Guyton AC, Hall JE. Guyton and Hall Textbook of Medical Physiology with Student Consult Online Access (11th ed.), Philadelphia, Elsevier Saunders, 2006.
[xiv] Glaser R, Kiecolt-Glaser JK Stress-induced immune dysfunction: implications for health Nature Reviews Immunology, 2005; 5: 243-251.
[xv] Jaffe R, Functional Lab tests to evaluate immune competencies in chronic illness and chronic infection, Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, Jan 2009: 80-88.
[xvi] Oxidized Cholesterol and Atherosclerosis, Common Knowledge.1980: 4;14-18.
[xvii] Thomas, L. The Youngest Science: Notes of a Medicine Watcher, New York, Bantam Books, 1983.
[xviii] Jaffe R. Immune Defense and Repair Systems in Biologic Medicine: Clinical Relevance of Biological Response Modifiers in Autoimmunity: Diagnosis, Treatment, Tests and Interpretation-Parts III, Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, 2009; 317: 76-81.
[xix] Deuster PA, Jaffe R. A Novel Treatment for fibromyalgia improves Clinical Outcomes in a Community Based Study. J Musculo Pain, 1998; 6:133-149.
[xx] Lahita RG, Chiorazzi N, Reeves WH. Textbook of the Autoimmune Diseases Philadelphia, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2000.
[xxi] Franzblau CF, Salcedo L, Jaffe R, Crombie G. Chemistry and Biosynthesis of cross-links in Elastin, In Chemistry and Molecular Biology of the Extracellular Matrix (Balazas, Ed.) Academic Press, 1970: 617-641.
[xxii] Jaffe, R. Platelet Interaction with Connective Tissue in Physiological Reaction of Blood Platelets, Gordon (Ed) Elsevier, 1976: 261-292
[xxiii] Jaffe, R. and Deykin, D. Evidence for the Structural Requirement for the Aggregation of Platelets by
Collagen, J Clin Invest 1974; 53:875-883.
[xxiv] Pullamsetti SS, Savai R, Janssen W, Dahal BK, Seeger W, Grimminger F, Ghofrani HA, Weissmann N, Schermuly RT. Inflammation,immunological reaction and role of infection in pulmonary hypertension.Clin Microbial Infect, 2010, Jun 8. [Epub ahead of print]
[xxv] Wan JM, Haw MP, Blackburn GL. Nutrition, immune function, and inflammation: an overview. Proc Nutr Soc. 1989 Sep; 48(3):315-35.
[xxvi] Jaffe, R. Immune Defense and Repair Systems in Biologic Medicine: Clinical Relevance of Biological Response Modifiers in Autoimmunity: Diagnosis, Treatment, Tests and Interpretation-Part I, Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients 2009, 315: 82-89.
[xxvii] Gill J, Vythilingam M, Page GG. Low Cortisol, High DHEA, and High Levels of Stimulated TNFα, and IL-6 in Women with PTSD J Trauma Stress, 2008; 21(6): 530–539.
[xxviii] Elenkov IJ, Chrousos GP. Stress system–organization, physiology and immunoregulation. Neuroimmunomodulation. 2006; 13(5-6):257-267.
[xxix] Franceschi C, Olivieri F, Marchegiani F, Cardelli M, Cavallone L, Capri M, Salvioli S, Valensin S, De Benedictis G, Di Iorio A, Caruso C, Paolisso G, Monti D. Genes involved in immune response/inflammation, IGF1/insulin pathway and response to oxidative stress play a major role in the genetics of human longevity: the lesson of centenarians, Mech Ageing Dev, 2005 Feb;126(2):351-361.
[xxx] Lim S, Metabolic Acidosis. Acta Med Indones, 2007; 39(3):145-150.
[xxxi] Health Studies Collegium, ELISA/ACT Biotechnologies Newsletter, 2010; 1(3).
[xxxii] Roitt I, Brostoff J, Male D. Immunology, St. Louis, Mosby, 1993.
[xxxiii] Jaffe, R. Immune Defense and Repair Systems in Biologic Medicine: Clinical Relevance of Biological Response Modifiers in Autoimmunity: Diagnosis, Treatment, Tests and Interpretation-Part II, Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, 2009; 316: 90-98.
[xxxiv] Scadding GK, Brostoff J. Immunological Response to Food, In Hunter JO, Jones VA (Eds.) Food and the Gut, Sussex, England, Saunders, 1985.
[xxxv] Walker WA, Mechanisms of Antigen handling by the Gut In Ballieux I (Ed) Clinics in Immunology and Allergy, Sussex, England, Saunders, 1982.
[xxxvi] Kotler DP, Gaetz HP, Lange M, Enteropathy Associated with the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, Ann Int Med, 1984;101: 421-428.
[xxxvii] Roitt I, Brostoff J, Male D, Immunology, 6th Edition, St. Louis: Mosby, 1993.
[xxxviii] Male D, Brostoff J, Roitt I, Roth DB, Immunology, 7th Edition, Mosby Elsevier, 2006.
[xxxix] Crisp HC, Quinn JM. Quantitative immunoglobulins in adulthood. Allergy Asthma Proc. 2009; 30(6): 649-654.
[xl] Lux A, Aschermann S, Biburger M, Nimmerjahn F. The pro and anti-inflammatory activities of immunoglobulin G. Ann Rheum Dis. 2010; 69 Suppl 1: i92-96.
[xli] Woof JM, Mestecky J. Mucosal Immunoglobulins- Review.Immunol Rev, 2005: 64-82.
[xlii] Woof JM, Kerr MA. The function of immunoglobulin A in immunity, J Pathol. 2007; 208(2):270-282.
[xliii] Laevy O. Unmasking IgG responses. Nature Reviews Immunology, 2006; 6: 632.
[xliv] Jaffe R, Mani J, DeVane J, Mani H. Tolerance loss in diabetics: Association with foreign antigen exposure. Diabetic Medicine, 2006; 23(8): 924-5.
[xlv] Jaffe R, Improved Immune Function Using Specific Nutrient Supplementatiom and ELISA/ACT
“Immunologic Fingerprint “ to detect Late Phase Responses Ex Vivo. J Am Coll Nutr,1989; 8(5): 424.
[xlvi] Hodsdon W, Zwickey H. NMJ Original Research: Reproducibility and Reliability of Two Food Allergy Testing Methods.Nat Med J 2010; 2(3): 8-13.
[xlvii] ELISA/ACT Biotechnologies, Report on Quality control and Reproducibility, 2010.
Scope of evaluation — Functional lymphocyte response assays is unique in concurrently measuring all hypersensitivity pathways, which allows more true positive reactions to be identified[i],[ii]. The acute and delayed allergy pathways are depicted in the “wheel of allergy” (Figure 3)[iii].
This ELISA test is unique in being done on the surface of a living cell. LRA by ELISA/ACT® tests are specific, sensitive and predictive for all three types of delayed hypersensitivity pathways, they are, according to Gel and Coombs[iv]:
* Humoral or reactive antibody (IgA, IgG, and IgM) (type 2 reactions as described by Levin[v]).
* Immune complex (IgM anti-IgG antigen complexes)
* Cellular immunity from T cell direct immune responses
In contrast, IgG assays measure only one antibody within one of three reactive classes[vi]. Limitation of the IgG assays includes being unable to distinguish helpful from harmful antibodies21. An additional limitation is not measuring any other immune reaction pathway[vii]. Similarly, automated cytotoxic cell size particle counters measure an in vitro size change subject to many artifacts, false positives and false negatives.
Accuracy of Functional Immunology Tests
The LRA by ELISA/ACT functional tests have a 97% accuracy rate[viii] higher than non-functional IgG testing and other automated cytotoxic, particle size procedures.[ix]
Fig 1. Wheel of Immune Response Mechanisms
- RESTORING ALKALINE BALANCE
The Alkaline Diet
The Alkaline Way includes a health promoting, nutrient, and fiber-rich diet that consists primarily of whole foods, along with targeted supplementation based on individual need[x]. Priority is given to locally vine-ripened, organic or biodynamic sources of foods. Mineral-rich water is the primary beverage.
A metabolically alkaline diet means that the food has a buffering effect on cellular chemistry[xi]. This can be different from the food’s primary chemistry[xii]. For example, citrus fruits are alkalinizing because the metabolism of citrate, malate, succinate, and fumarate generates more than twice as much bicarbonate buffer as there is acid itself in the food[xiii]. This means that citrus fruit and similar foods are acid in the food yet alkaline forming in the body. (See Figure 1. Food & chemical effects on acid/alkaline body chemical balance.)
Reducing the risks associated with acidity— The goal of this approach is to reverse intracellular acidosis, which impairs electron transport, reduces energy production, and impedes detoxification. Immune responses directly and indirectly generate substantial amounts of acidic products[xiv]. In the vulnerable patient with impaired buffering capacity, it is especially important to avoid as many sources of antigen-induced or other causes of acid formation as possible because of their adverse effects on cell metabolism[xv].
Enhancing immune defenses—The substantial reduction in immunologic load plus alkalinizing foods can improve immune defense performance[xvi]. This means reduced or eliminated host hospitality to chronic infection of any kind. This also means enhanced repair, reduced inflammation and better anti-cancer surveillance. Substitution for reactive items is coupled with health promoting diet substitutions, targeted supplementation.
Fig 2. Food and chemical effects on acid/alkaline body chemical balance
When dietary consumption patterns provide insufficient minerals to buffer metabolic acids, cell alkaline reserves can be depleted and the intracellular environment become acidic acetic acid (acetate). First morning urine pH is the predictive clinical tool to assess risk of net acid excess also known as metabolic acidosis.
Antioxidant supplementation—These supplements are provided to protect from oxidative damage, restore cell energy production, rehabilitate mitochondria and reset homeostatic mechanisms[xix]. Another goal of repletion is to reverse cumulative antioxidant deficits often observed clinically as inflammation.
B-complex nutrients to support methylation—Impaired methylation is also commonly reflected in elevations in homocysteine above the healthy value of <6 µmol/L. Problems with cell communication, detoxification, and transport result from such impaired methylation. This reframes these common states in physiologic rather than pathologic terms, and offers integrative approaches to care as evidence-based options to be included as first line comprehensive care[xx]. This is particularly valuable for the chronic illnesses such as fibromyalgia that have become endemic in our time.
Self-Testing for Alkaline Status
This test, a pH assessment of the first morning urine, provides a surprisingly good measure of metabolic acidosis risk. The urine pH is a good indicator of the body’s mineral reserve and its acid/alkaline state[xxi]. The body routinely uses overnight rest time to excrete excess acids[xxii]. This capacity varies based on toxin load and individual ability to make energy, to inactivate toxins, and to excrete those toxins[xxiii].
Using specialized pH Hydrion test strips (Figure 2) can effectively give one a reliable assessment of the body’s acid or alkaline balance[xxiv]. A value of 7.0 indicates the neutral state, neither acid nor alkaline[xxv]. Ideally, the first morning urine pH should be in a pH range of 6.5 to 7.5[xxvi]. A neutral or slightly acidic pH indicates that the overall cellular pH is appropriately alkaline and that the small amounts of acids built up from normal metabolism have been easily concentrated for excretion. Cell cytoplasm or “cell juice” functions best in a narrow, slightly alkaline range[xxvii],[xxviii].
Fig 2. Picture of the pH strips and meaning of 1st morning urine measurements
Physical Fitness and Immune Competence
Physical motion is necessary for physical health. The basic truth of physical activity is that we retain and restore what we use and loose what we do not use. This means that learning to move fluidly, to stretch easily and smoothly, to learn the links between breath and movement, and to move rather than be static are essential to physical well being, and immune defense and repair competence[xxix].
Exercise should be a pleasure, with a goal of adequate activity that is achievable rather than excessive activity that becomes a burden. When immune defense and repair systems are operating well, repair is efficient, effective, and prompt. This means feeling better rather than having to recover after being physically active[xxx].
Mindfulness Practice and Immunity
In this program, a comprehensive, patient-centered, motivational approach is offered to promote long-term sustainable healthy practices that restore health and resilience57,58. The mind and body are always connected and interactive. This means that every physical act has a mental component and vice versa. Only in the mechanistic, reductionist view of the world are mind and body disconnected.
The Alkaline Way recognized the intimate link between mind and body. This means that doing what we know and knowing why we do what we do are both important. This also means that if our thoughts or attitudes are unhealthy, they can be relearned in ways that promote rather than impair health. Distress is more about internal perception than external stress. Being at peace rather than anxious can be learned observationally through well-validated practices[xxxi]. Learning optimism is both possible and effective[xxxii].
One of the paradoxes of our time is that younger people are more and more often showing signs and symptoms of ill health that in previous decades were only observed in older people. These changes are occurring too quickly to be due to genetics. They are due to the losses in self-regulation/homeostasis and effective self-repair.
The immune system is not only our defensive system, it is also responsible for repair and systemic communication system.[xxxiii],[xxxiv] Restoration of immune competence depends on identification of elements in both biochemistry and lifestyle that need strengthening and substitution for reactive elements until tolerance is restored[xxxv]. The Alkaline Way programs restore tolerance, homeostasis, energetic balance, and resilience.
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The author gratefully acknowledges editorial assistance from Nancy Faass, MSW, MPH, The Writers’ Group; Jayashree Mani MS, CCN and Cheryl Banks for their editorial support, and Drs. Carl Franzblau, Donald Picker, Norman Schwartz and Patricia Deuster for their contributions to this work. Any deficits are the sole responsibility of the author.
About the Author
Dr. Russell Jaffe received his AB, MD (with Senior Thesis Honors), and PhD (In Biochemistry and Physiology) from Boston University, all in May 1972. Dr. Jaffe served his medical internship at University Hospital and was awarded a the United States Public Health Service Officer Commission, assigned to the Clinical Center of the National Institutes of Health, in June 1973. While at the Clinical Center, Dr. Jaffe served his residency in Clinical Pathology. He is board certified in Clinical and subspecialty certified in Chemical Pathology. Dr. Jaffe remained on the permanent senior staff of the NIH Clinical Pathology Department where he continued method innovation and was active in collaborative research with the Laboratory of Experimental Atherosclerosis (of the Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute).
Concurrently, Dr. Jaffe’s interests in the mechanisms of health and the evoking of human healing responses led him to apprentice in such healing arts as acupuncture, mindfulness, massage, music, art and color therapy and a variety of eclectic therapeutic approaches.
In addition, Dr. Jaffe performed innovative studies of platelet function and blood clotting in relation to the origins of coronary artery and cardiovascular diseases. Among the tests he developed are the early colon cancer-screening test using occult blood detection not interfered with by vitamin C consumption as well as a variety of tests related to the blood clotting and immune defense and repair systems. Dr. Jaffe developed the first method of measuring cell-mediated immunity using a modified ELISA system in a lymphocyte mitogenesis / blastogenesis brief cell culture known as lymphocyte response assays (LRA). This LRA by ELISA/ACT® provides an “immunologic fingerprint” of items to which the body is reactive or tolerant.
Dr. Jaffe has contributed over 100 symposium-invited talks, scientific articles or book chapters. Dr. Jaffe received the J.D. Lane award for original research from the USPHS, the Merck Sharp and Dohme Excellence in Research Award, and in 2002 was recognized as International Research Scientist of the Year, among other recognitions for his investigations.
Dr. Jaffe is a Fellow of the Health Studies Collegium and Director of ELISA/ACT Biotechnologies, LLC and PERQUE, LLC in Ashburn, Virginia. Dr. Jaffe may be reached at (800) 525-7372 x 5101 and by email at rjaffe@ELISAACT.com or rjaffe@PERQUE.com
[i] Deuster PA, Jaffe R. A Novel Treatment for fibromyalgia improves Clinical Outcomes in a Community Based Study. J Musculo Pain, 1998; 6:133-149.
[i] Jaffe R, Mani J, DeVane J, Mani H. Tolerance loss in diabetics: Association with foreign antigen exposure. Diabetic Medicine,
2006; 23(8): 924-925.
[ii] ELISA/ACT Biotechnologies Newsletter, 2010; 1(2).
[iii] Jaffe R. Functional Lab Tests to Evaluate Immune Competencies in Chronic Illness and Chronic Infection, Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, 2009; 306: 80-90.
[iv] ELISA/ACT Biotechnologies, LLC Report on Quality Control and Reproducibility, 2010.
[v] Gel PG, Coombs RR, Lachman PJ. Clinical Aspects of Immunology, Blackwell, 1975: 1399-1404.
[vi] Zavick J S. The Case For Testing A Chronically Ill Patient’s Adverse Reactions To Foods. The Original Internist, 2004; 11(1): 5-11.
[vii] Turner M, Antibodies in Immunology, Roitt I, Brostoff J, Male D (eds) St. Louis, Mosby, 2002.
[viii] Report on Quality control and Reproducibility of LRA by ELISA/ACT tests, HSC Report 022010.
[ix] Hodsdon W, Zwickey H. NMJ Original Research: Reproducibility and Reliability of Two Food Allergy Testing Methods, Nat Med J, 2010; 2(3): 8-13.
[x] Health Studies Collegium, The Joy of Food The Alkaline Way Guide, 18th ed. 1992-2010.