The helper cell – Excerpt from ‘Vaccine Science Revisited’

Posted: March 28, 2019 in Vaccine Science Revisited
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When we began researching our book Vaccine Science Revisited: Are Childhood Immunizations As Safe As Claimed?  we weren’t quite able to figure out why babies receive so many vaccines before they start creating their own antibodies. We also wondered whether a vaccine would have a different effect on an infant than it would on a child with a fully developed immune system. Although we came up short on some of these concerns, we were able to get some answers, which we share with readers.

Interested? Here’s an excerpt from the book:

 

The helper cell 

“The best advisers, helpers and friends, always are not those who tell us how to act in special cases, but who give us, out of themselves, the ardent spirit and desire to act right, and leave us then, even through many blunders, to find out what our own form of right action is.”Phillips Brooks (American clergyman and preacher).

When a woman is pregnant, she carries a fetus which has its own sets of cells, its own DNA. It is its own individual being, which presents a problem for the immune system as it is designed to attack whatever is foreign in the body. This is an issue humans have dealt with since the beginning of time. 

Nature has forced the female body to adapt and accept new life growing within. The body has had a long time to evolve and improve. Long enough that it now has the mechanisms in place to deal with the conundrum of new life smoothly. Nature itself has prepared the female body to allow a foreign entity to grow inside it. 

In order to protect itself, the body uses many types of immune cells. One type is something called T-helper (Th or helper) cells. We have many different kinds of helper cells and their functions are distinguished by adding numbers to their names. 

The most significant Th cells in relation to this book are the Th1 and Th2 cells. The main function of a Th1 cell is to help destroy our cells already infected by germs. The Th2 cells balance this out by helping destroy the germs outside the cells before they get the chance to attack them. This creates a Th1/Th2 cell balance. In other words, Th1 cells recognize your infected cells and help kill them before they produce other corrupted cells. 
The Th2 cells recognize the free-floating germs and help create antibodies against them. 

In the case of the fetus, the Th1 cells are the problem. These cells believe the fetal cells are corrupt, so they signal an attack to destroy them. Since life has continued on this planet for who knows how long, it’s apparent that nature has taught the body to bypass this fetal destruction. The body’s immune system restructures its purpose in order to protect the fetus. It does this by suppressing the production of Th1 cells until after birth . This way, the body doesn’t have enough Th1 cells to attack what it believes to be corrupted cells. 

This means the Th1/Th2 balance is interrupted and the future mother now has tipped the scales towards Th2 cells. This also means the mother has mostly Th2 cells and very little Th1 cells available to share with the fetus. 
Therefore, the placenta transfers almost entirely Th2 cells to the fetus. 

It should come as no surprise that when we are born our immune system consists almost completely of Th2 cells. It’s not until the baby is exposed to the outside environment that Th1 cells become stimulated and start multiplying until they become a balanced part of the immune system again. 

We rely almost entirely on our mother’s antibodies until we are about six months old, which is when we slowly start developing a more complex immune system. As a baby starts building its own immunity, the mother’s antibodies disappear from the baby’s body. 

Something we weren’t quite able to figure out was why babies receive so many vaccines before they start creating their own antibodies. A vaccine is meant to encourage the body to create antibodies against it. We can see how vaccinating an infant that’s not good at creating its own antibodies yet, would only have limited protective effects. We also wondered whether the vaccine would therefore have a different effect on the infant than it would on a child with a fully developed immune system. Although we came up short on some of these concerns, we were able to get some answers we’ll share with you in this book.

Hunt, eat and destroy

The first line of defense is the surface of our skin. The average skin pH is 4.7, which is acidic and ideal for our normal skin flora . Another acidic location is our gut. Those of you who are gardeners will likely know how difficult it can be to grow plants in an acidic environment. It’s the same with germs. Many germs don’t survive being in contact with such acidic environment. 

If the skin is compromised in any way, an open cut for instance, it will allow germs to make their way inside. This is where the germs meet our macrophages (i.e. phagocytes). They are called phagocytes because they eat everything foreign (phago = eat, cyte = cell). They are the first ones to the scene and will grab hold of the invaders then devour and destroy them. They don’t distinguish between the foreign particles. They don’t care what it is, as long as it’s foreign. The macrophages then gather genetic information about the invader and bring it to the lymph nodes where the T cells and B cells hang out. 

A quick recap: The T cells in question are the Th1 and Th2 cells. Th1 cells help destroy the infected cells and the Th2 cells help B cells make antibodies to inactivate the germs floating around outside our cells. 

We never forget

As we just mentioned, B cells and Th2 cells work together in antibody production.

Some B cells go by the name of memory cells because they remember information about the invader for the rest of our lives (or close thereto). This means that when the same invader attacks again, the memory B cells are alerted much quicker. The B cells carrying the information begin cloning themselves and start spitting out antibodies at a much faster rate. 

It will not pass

In nature, a germ is introduced to the body via the mucosal route such as the eye, nose or throat. When antigens (foreign invaders) enter the body naturally, the first defenders, which are a part of the innate immune system, respond instantaneously. 

Vaccines are designed to skip the first responders (innate immunity) and go straight for the antibody producing responders (acquired immunity). 

What’s worth noting is if a vaccine manufacturer states that its vaccine elicits T cell response, it doesn’t necessarily mean the vaccine elicits response from all types of T cells. This is because there are different types of T cells. 

We have explained that Th1 and Th2 are promoting an action and not actually performing the task itself. Hence the name helper cell. 
Like the Th1 cells. When we look at their function a little closer, their job is to relay instructions that tell Killer-T cells what to do. 
The Killer-T cells receive the instructions, multiply themselves until they are an army carrying the same instructions and then they go kill the corrupted cells they were instructed to kill. 

Once the Killer-T cells have destroyed corrupted cells, the macrophages come over to clean up the mess. The same goes for the Th2 cells. They carry instructions for the B-cells. After receiving instructions, the B cells will multiply until they are an army of cells carrying the same instructions. 

What good is a titer?

The way physicians check to make sure your body has become properly immunized against a specific disease is to send you to the lab for a blood draw. Then your blood will be tested for the presence of the antibodies against specific antigens. A quick reminder, B cells produce antibodies. 

When checking for vaccine immunity, the antibodies are often measured in titers. When we learned how vaccine immunity is measured in titers, we knew it was measuring the activity of Th2 cells and the B cells. What was completely missing was the activity performed by the Th1 cells and the Killer-T cells. 

Given the way vaccinations are presented to our system, it seems to us there may be other factors than antibody concentration to consider. We found an interesting older study in The Lancet that tested individuals who were unable to produce their own antibodies . When these individuals came down with measles, they showed all the natural signs and symptoms of natural disease. After the course of the illness, they became immune to measles. 

The scientists conducting this study had blood drawn from these patients and tested it for antibody levels. There were no antibodies for measles in the blood (serum) samples. This goes to show that the immune system can create immunity against a disease without producing antibodies. And this means the immunity had nothing to do with Th2 cells or B cells, which are a part of the acquired (adaptive) immunity. 

This study could be an example of the great importance of our first responders, the innate immune response, which reacts to the initial exposure of a disease. Our innate immune system is nonspecific, it attacks anything foreign. Our acquired immunity, the one that produces antibodies, the one lacking in the individuals in above study, consists of cells which only attack what they’re instructed to attack. 

The adjuvant rejuvenant

Most vaccines contain either inactivated germs or portions germs – an antigen nonetheless. If it were to be injected into the body all by itself, nothing would happen. It would just float uselessly around and the body wouldn’t view it a threat. 

The immune system needs to be artificially triggered and tricked into attacking these useless invaders. As a solution to this problem, scientists came up with the idea of attaching a substance to the vaccine antigen that would trigger B cells to produce antibodies. This substance is called an adjuvant.

Up until the early 2000s, mercury was often used as an adjuvant. As a result of some severe consequences and pressure from concerned citizens, mercury was eliminated from most vaccines. 

The scientists knew the vaccine still needed an adjuvant if it was going to elicit an immune response. So, they added aluminum (Al) instead to do the job. 

An adjuvant is designed to shock the B cells (and Th2 cells) into antibody production. Each vaccine antigen is coated with an adjuvant. 

This raised two important questions for us: How many antigens are there in a vaccine; and when injecting multiple vaccines simultaneously, could this accumulation of adjuvants be more harmful – especially for infants? 

Unfortunately, there are far too many antigens in a vaccine to be counted. 

When adjuvants trigger antibody production for multiple antigens, the B cells are instructed to produce a wide variety and magnitude of antibodies. Keep in mind, it isn’t natural for the body to be exposed to a variety of diseases all at the same time, especially all bypassing the innate immune system (first responders). And yet how many times have you heard of children being naturally sick with multiple childhood diseases all at the same time? 

The CDC’s recommended childhood vaccine schedule recommends 69 shots up until age 18. This is not 69 different diseases. As you may recall, some vaccines require booster shots, so this count includes each booster as well. Some of these will be combined in the same vaccine. For example, measles, mumps & rubella (MMR) would be considered three shots as would diphtheria, tetanus & acellular pertussis (DTaP). 

If the foreign antigens are too numerous and overpower the immune system, they will have the opportunity to run wild, and multiply within the body and vandalize it. Whatever the body is unable to eliminate stays there. 

Once the vaccine ingredients are inside the body, is the body able to take care of them? Are they being excreted or are they accumulating? If they are accumulating, where are they, where are they going and are they causing damage? We hope to satisfactorily answer these questions and more in the coming chapters.

References for Chapter 8: The helper cell:

Sykes, L., MacIntyre, D. A., Yap, X. J., Ponnampalam, S., Teoh, T. G., & Bennett, P. R. (2012). Changes in the Th1:Th2 cytokine bias in pregnancy and the effects of the anti-inflammatory cyclopentenone prostaglandin 15-deoxy-Δ(12,14)-prostaglandin J2. Mediators of inflammation, 2012, 416739.
Lambers H., Piessens, S., Bloem, A., Pronk, H., and Finkel, P. (2006). Natural skin surface pH is on average below 5, which is beneficial for its resident flora.” International Journal of Cosmetic Science, 28(5), 359-370. 
Burnet F.M. (1968). Measles as an Index of Immunological Function. The Lancet, 292(7568), 610-613. 
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018, May 14). Recommended Immunization Schedule for Children and Adolescents Aged 18 Years or Younger, United States, 2018. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedule…
Center for Disease Control. (n.d.). Recommended Immunization Schedule for 
Children and Adolescents Aged 18 Years or Younger, UNITED STATES, 2018. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedule…

VACCINE SCIENCE REVISITED: Are Childhood Immunizations As Safe As Claimed? (The Underground Knowledge Series Book 8) by [Morcan, James, Morcan, Lance]

Vaccine Science Revisited is available via Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MQTN3CG/

 

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