Have you ever heard the saying “one’s greatest strength is also his greatest weakness”. This is no truer than in the immune system. Many clinicians believe that every disease is essentially the result of a breakdown of our immune system. But in the bizarre case of auto immune disease, the immune system actually becomes the body’s worst enemy itself by attacking normal cells and tissues. If it attacks the joint space, we call it rheumatoid arthritis. If it attacks our bowels we call it Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, if it attacks the myelin sheath of our nerves, we call it multiple sclerosis, and when it attacks the connective tissue of our body, we call it lupus or scleroderma.
Why and how does this happen? In our medical schools it is told that auto immune diseases were the result of an “overactive” Immune system that begins attacking “self” instead of “non self”, But it made more sense to me that in the case of autoimmune disease, the immune system, rather than being overactive, has instead become confused and was now attacking the body rather than foreign invaders as it was designed to do.
In a review articles an autoimmune diseases reported in the New England Journal of medicine, the authors pointed out that no one really knows for certain why the immune system literally turns on “self”. But many researchers not only believe that oxidative stress is the underlying cause of every autoimmune disease, but that it also could be the culprit that causes our immune system to actually attack us.
Several studies have documented the fact that the root cause of autoimmune disease is oxidative stress. The antioxidant levels in process with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, MS, crohn’s disease, and scleroderma are significantly decreased low antioxidant levels have also been shown to increase one’s risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. The clinical indicators of oxidative stress are also very high in these patients, especially during the flare up period of these diseases.
Antioxidant supplementation would therefore be ideal for the patients with this anti-immune disease. Not only can antioxidant supplements optimize the natural antioxidant defenses system but they also can enhance our immune system and help control the inflammatory response in other words they can help bring oxidative stress back under control and circumvent this entire vicious cycle.