I mentioned in yesterday’s blog that homocysteine damages cholesterol in our blood. Those damaged cholesterol molecules can directly damage the walls of our arteries. Eventually, it creates a disease called atherosclerosis. Increased homocysteine in our blood drastically reduces the levels of nitric oxide (NO).
NO is required to keep the inner linings of our arterial walls healthy and flexible. Another aspect of homocysteine is that it promotes the increase of arachidonic acid and prostaglandin E2. Both these products substantially increase inflammation. Long-term low-level chronic inflammation leads to disease.
High levels of homocysteine accelerate the aging processes. It also decreases the strength of our immune system. Doctors can’t prescribe a medicine to counter the higher levels of homocysteine. There are no patented drugs available today. However, balanced nutrition should keep us at the proper level to make the precursors needed to increase glutathione and minimize the risk of creating elevated homocysteine.
There are other chemical compounds in your body that aid your immune system. They neutralize free radicals, supply cellular energy and provide assistance in the formation of proteins, enzymes, and antioxidants. Some of these are:
● Lipoic acid
● Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
● Polyunsaturated fatty acids
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is made in the adrenal glands. Our bodies use it for the production of estrogen and testosterone. DHEA is one of those compounds that we make a lot of early in life, and then the production rate drops as we get older. A decline in the production of DHEA also means that we will see a decrease in other steroidal hormones.
How does DHEA help your immune system? One of the metabolites (an intermediary compound that helps with metabolism) of DHEA is 7-keto DHEA. Double-blind studies using this compound showed a substantial reduction in the immune suppressor cells and a noteworthy increase in immune helper cells. DHEA is available as a supplement.