WARNING WARNING: Cell Danger Response - Part 2

Written by Anil Bajnath, MD
Posted October 28, 2021

Dear Longevity Insider,

So what happens to your body when your Cell Danger Response (CDR) sounds the alarm?!

Inflammation is a vital part of the CDR cascade. It's what helps cells fight off disease, but there are consequences if it goes on for too long or isn't properly regulated. Left unchecked, inflammation can lead to several chronic conditions. 

Inflammation has been linked to cardiovascular disease, arthritis, atherosclerosis, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and even depression. One of the most well-known links between inflammation and chronic illness comes from the research of Dr. Robert Ader. In 1974, he conducted a study in which two groups were given an antitoxin to protect against poison. 

Group A only received the treatment, while group B also had their spleens removed beforehand to prevent their immune systems from mounting an inflammatory response. After receiving the antitoxin, both groups were then injected with the poison. However, (unbeknownst to them) this second injection was not actually poisonous but just saline solution. (Therefore, they should not have gotten sick.)

To the surprise of the researchers, group B got just as sick as group A, even though they did not have an immune system. Basically, because their bodies had already mounted an inflammatory response when injected with the saline solution, it was interpreted by their brains to be a poison so they could become ill. This example is just one of many that illustrates how chronic inflammation can lead to the development of disease.

HOW CAN WE AVOID THE DANGER RESPONSE?

The answer to this question is multifactorial...

  • First, it's important to avoid or control infections with your immune system because that is what triggers the response in the first place.  
  • Second, it's also best to take care of your body. This means eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, practicing stress management, and more. 
  • Third, optimizing your immune system is important. The better it functions, the less likely you are to succumb to disease and the more effective it will be at fighting off infections.
  • Fourth, protect your cells from damage and stress by limiting exposure to toxins and sources of oxidative stress, such as UV radiation and environmental pollutants. This includes using antioxidants that can directly neutralize free radicals before they do damage: vitamin C, vitamin E, manganese, selenium, copper, zinc, and more.
  • Finally, genetic variation also determines how many times your immune system can mount a CDR response before producing dysfunctional cells. This means that although the danger responses in everyone are the same, there is a big difference in their potential scope because of individual genetics. Different single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have also been linked to an impaired danger response.

Although the danger response is an important part of fighting infections, it can also be responsible for chronic inflammation (which has been linked to many health problems). Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent this from happening. By implementing lifestyle changes you can help your body fight off disease while simultaneously protecting your cells from damage.

This 1-minute daily habit has improved my lifestyle and cell health the most.

To your longevity,

Anil Bajnath MD
CEO/Founder, Institute for Human Optimization
Chief Medical Officer, Longevity Insider HQ