Understanding Immune Modulators

There are very few effective "natural" immune modulators. A true modulator will effectively regulate an underactive or overactive immune system back into normalization. It will do very little for those in perfect working order. The key is to adjust the balances between all the respective components that make up the immune system. Before nutrients, enzymes, EFA's etc.. start to play a role, the electrical communication between molecules has to be corrected ensuring that signals or information between cells, is transmitted and received accurately.

There are no true immune modulating pharmaceutical drugs due to their low efficacy and adverse side effects. The modern allopathic approach therefore favours immune suppressing or immune stimulating drugs, which they classify as immunomodulators. An immune suppressing drug will be utilized in diseases where there is an over reactive response by the immune system. This is found in diseases as lupus, arthritis, chrohns disease, colitis, eczema, asthma to name a few. the problem with this approach is that this treats the symptoms and never addresses the cause. When you continually suppress the immune system you are opening yourself up to a multitude of other illnesses.

In diseases where there is an under active immune response as found in AIDS and cancer patients an immune stimulant will be given in the form of ARV's with AIDS patients. ARV's are known to be toxic, hence the high rate of abandonment, but simply put this toxicity invokes the immune system to produce more markers and thereby "improve" the immune response. Once again the problem with this approach is the long terms toxic collateral damage that is caused. These synthetic molecules are not supposed to be in our systems over long periods.

Examples of incorrect balances within the immune structure, for instance: the macrophage cannot destroy the mycobacterium in the intracellular medium without the presence of IFN-α cytokine that is produced by the organism. In its absence, the macrophage will serve as a reservoir for the mycobacterium spreading the infection. In this case the presence of IFN-α would act as an immunomodulator, correcting the immunological defect.

Another example is in bacterial meningitis, that it is responsible for an intense inflammatory response of the organism, causing neuronal lesions, sometimes irreversible, that can be moderate in the presence of steroids, reducing the intensity of the inflammatory response of the host. We can observe that the role of the drug is to stimulate a function in the first case and to discourage another one in the second. Both are considered immunomodulators.