On Fridays I have been joining the Five Minute Friday community. We write for five minutes on a prompt given by Kate Motaung. Sometimes my thoughts continue a little beyond the five minutes–marked by //. To visit this inspiring community of writers, click here. Today’s prompt is: SUPPORT
Yesterday I attended a seminar titled, Probiotics, Food & the Immune System. I sat next to a pharmacist. A physical therapist from my church was there also. There were about 100 people in attendance.
The lecturer was a petite, thin woman with dark hair and a face that was lit with passion for her topic. She was describing the microbiome to us. Medical scientists are uncovering the numerous and varied bacteria that live in the human gut and on mucous membranes. While some bacteria and fungi are harmful, others are very beneficial—and support health.
Ms. Pawlak explained the amazing network of communication that takes place via enzymes and proteins in our body. Bacteria in the gut are involved in this system.
I was fascinated as she talked about complex sugars, oligosaccharides, in breast milk. The infant does not digest these sugars. Instead the healthy bacteria in the intestine digest the sugars and are involved in insuring that the cells of the intestinal lining are fitting snugly together.
The microbiome supports health. //
She went on to discuss the cells in the immune system. There are many different types of leukocytes, myeloid cells and lymphoid cells. Each type of cell has a specific role in fighting infection. The lymphocytes target infectious cells and set in motion the development of antibodies. T– cells and B–cells are lymphocytes.
Ms. Pawlak was so happy to share a slide that showed a T– cell releasing proteins that were directed at a B– cell. The slide had been developed from an electron microscope. It looked like the round T- cell was releasing tiny crumbs that were floating towards the B- cell. The proteins contained the information needed to develop antibodies.
Our instructor shared her sense of wonder with us. The human body is amazing. We are constantly learning more.
We can say with the Psalmist: I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14
I have ME, an autoimmune illness, and the microbiome is something they’re currently investigating with regards to possible treatments. Really interesting!
Wow! Isn’t that neat? I’ve been breastfeeding for pretty much 11 years. Hahah! Six kids…that’s a lot of healthy gut bacteria digesting complex sugars. Thanks for reminding me of all the wonderful supports our body gives us. I take it for granted.
Kelly, blessings to you as you nurture your family. My daughter has six kids, too. I understand the sacrifice and hard work. It is all worth it!
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