Democracy is a good thing, right? We want to have all voices heard, and when some are suppressed, we consider that as anti-democratic. Funny thing though about human nature: majorities do not by nature honor and respect the voices of the minorities. Left to itself, a democracy can become a very restrictive society, degenerating to a form of mob rule. Pure democracy has been said to be when two wolves and a sheep get together and vote for what to have for dinner. Which is, by the way, why the United States is not a democracy. It is a republic or a representative democracy, built to make sure minority voices still get representation.
In the case of your body, cells in tissues function more like a pure democracy. In fact, they are basically a clique, where the rule is survival of the fittest. They don’t tolerate minorities very well.
Clique It or Ticket
Cliques are known for nasty behavior: they force people in the clique to perform in certain ways or be expelled. Cliques are democratic because the prevailing rules of the clique are those of the majority. The competitive nature of people in the clique eventually causes the group to be run by mob rule. The clique threatens to kick out those who do not conform.
The cells of your tissues have a low tolerance for diversity. Diversity means mutations. Diversity represents a threat. So, like a clique, tissues, which are specialized communities of cells working together for a common purpose, do not tolerate those that don’t conform. In fact, expulsion is one way they deal with non-conformists. Given that mutants are generally threats to your cellular communities, perhaps being a cellular clique isn’t such a bad thing.
The Empire Strikes Back
Tissues are kept “pure” by a process known as “cell competition.” Basically tissues are made up of the same types of cells, so the cell of a tissue expects its neighbors to be the same as itself. When they sense a competitor, they vie for supremacy and can literally kick a rogue cell out of the tissue. They are the “winners”, and the kicked-out cells are the “losers”. Losers die off or get expelled from the body entirely.
This is a good thing — for a healthy body. Pre-cancerous mutations must be losers. The process of expelling bad neighbors happens outside of the immune system killer cell action, and is another way that the body preserves its status quo. We don’t want these rogue cells to be welcomed into the community and given a voice. Harsh treatment of the aliens is a method of homeostasis.
One problem with cell competition: it is survival of the fittest rather than what is best for the body. The ability of your normal tissue cells to be the winners of cell competition depends upon their strength and health. Cancer cells can become “super-competitors” and can be the winners of cell competition when the healthy cells aren’t competing well. Weakened cells don’t compete well.
How Do They Know?
How do cells even know their neighbors? Cells can’t see inside other cells to know their DNA. Cells can only know their neighbors through the signals that they send out. Cells express genetics through proteins that carry the code of the genes, both inside the cell, and outside of the cell via little “antennas” called ligands. Cells that are genetically different from those nearby will only be detected as mutant if they are giving off different signals. Ligands selectively link to proteins outside of the cell which can carry information from nearby cells. Ligands can also link to ligands on adjacent cells for direct communication with neighbors.
The process of cell signaling is very complex, and the cells are talking a chemical language that seems very strange and confusing to us, but essentially cells are just passing coded proteins around to talk to each other. The possible combination of “letters” in the protein language is huge, so the cell language is actually quite complex and detailed. Since the proteins are reflections of the genetics of a cell, altered genetics may be represented in the proteins expressed by those cells. Altered cells speak a little differently, and that is basically how other cells recognize neighbors that are different.
How Expulsion Works
Besides acting as antennas, ligands can also exert force. The force is tiny, but if many ligands work together, the force can be significant. Basically, when ligands bind to proteins, those ligands change molecular shape in reaction to the bound protein, which may result in the ligand shortening or lengthening, which exerts a tiny force against whatever the ligand is attached to. When cell ligands attach to other cell ligands, they can push or pull the other cell mechanically. This gives cells a form of mobility to move themselves, or to exert force on others.
Ligands also attach to the cytoskeleton, which is sort of like the framing of a house — the cytoskeleton provides mechanical support to cells throughout the body. Ligands attaching to the cytoskeleton are anchored and have a strong structure against which they can push the cell. Cells anchored to the cytoskeleton with some of their ligands now have better leverage to push neighboring cells with their other ligands.
Published in Nature Immunology, researchers at Waseda University studied cell competition in epithelial cells to better understand the specific ligand interactions that lead to cell expulsion. Epithelial cells are tissue cells lining your blood vessels and organs, and occur in thin layers. It is in those tissue layers where cell competition occurs. The researchers found that the leukocyte immunoglobulin-like receptor B3 (LILRB3) protein of epithelial cells interacts with the major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC class I) that is expressed on precancerous epithelial cells, triggering a cellular pathway which utilizes cytoskeleton components to expel those cells exhibiting the MHC class I protein from the tissue. Their findings were showing how healthy tissue cells win the competition — the way the process should work in a healthy body.
Researchers at the New York University School of Medicine published a detailed examination of cell competition in Development. They referred to native healthy tissue cells as “wild-type cells.” Normally these cells are more fit than mutant cells, and outcompete the mutants, resulting in expulsion of the mutants. However, they noted that under conditions of poor nutrition, wild-type cells lose their competitive advantage over the mutant cells. Cells which could out-compete wild-type cells are called “super-competitors”, and these can crowd out the weaker native cells. In other words, just because the native cell is the type that should be predominant in the tissue, without sufficient health others can usurp its position and take over. Unhealthy native cells can become the losers, and disease can take hold.
What This Means to You
Since you can’t go tell your cells to just go and kick out mutant cells, what value is all this to you? Well, cell competition is so named because the cells are really competing within epithelial tissues to be in or out of their clique. The winners are determined by strength. If you want your healthy cells to be the winners, support them. Keep them strong so they in turn can win out over the bad cells.
Good health practices strengthen your good cells. Stress weakens them and opens the door for mutant cells to take over. Your job is to make and keep your cells healthy and fully competitive so disease can’t thrive.
Dr. Nemec’s Review
Look at all the cells as having antennas that communicate not only via biochemical messages but even more importantly by electromagnetic frequencies. What this means is cells know who is working as one with them and also who is trying to do their own thing. It is hard for a mutated cell to do its own thing when the cells of the colony that are called you are healthy. Why? Because mutations are generally not as strong as the natural cells. So if you keep your cells healthy, well-nourished and anti-inflammatory you would have a hard time developing a disease like cancer. This is because to have cancer you have to have a whole lot of weak sick cells and a very inflammatory and toxic environment to support the growth and spread of mutated cells. On the other hand if you have lived a standard American life for more that 40 years, you have picked up quite a bit of chemicals and toxins into your cells to weaken the healthy cells and strengthen the mutations.
What are some other factors that weaken your healthy cells? Inflammation — and what is the biggest physical cause of inflammation? Your diet. Each meal you eat either inflames and weakens your cells or strengthens and nourishes your cells. Why do most people develop disease as they age? Because these factors are occurring and they are not serious about making changes to the health of their cells until they have to, because they either have a disease or very strong symptoms that they do not want to live with. That is when people contact us at Total Health Institute to help them in their healing journey. It is important to understand after the age of 40 if you are not planning an anti-aging diet, lifestyle and way of living then you are planning a disease with a potential decreased life and health span. You cannot live as if you are 21 anymore even if you feel great. Now is the time to begin the training of your cells. You can wait until you get a diagnosis if you prefer to be forced to change but that is not the better way.
Here are the ways we can help you in your health journey:
- Outpatient Comprehensive Teaching and Treatment Program-has the most benefit of teaching, treatment, live classes and personalized coaching. This program has the most contact with Dr. Nemec with 3- 6 month programs that can be turned into a regular checking and support program for life. This is our core program that has helped so many restore their health and maintain that restoration for years.
- Inpatient Comprehensive Teaching and Treatment Program-is our four-week intensive inpatient program for those that are not in driving distance, usually over 4 hour drive. This is the program that is an intensive jumpstart with treatment, teaching, live classes and coaching designed for all our international patients along with those in the US that do not live in Illinois. This program is very effective especially when combined with our new membership program support.
- Stay at Home Program-is offered to continental US patients who cannot come to Total Health Institute but still want a more personal, customized plan to restore their health. This program also includes our Learn Membership Program.
- Membership Program is our newest program offered for those that want to work on their health at a high level and want access to the teaching at Total Health Institute along with the Forums: both Dr. Nemec’s posts and other members posting. And also, to have the chance to get personalized questions answered on the conference calls which are all archived in case you miss the call. The Membership Program has 3 levels to choose from: Learn, Overcome and Master. The difference is at the Overcome and Master levels you received one on one calls with Dr. Nemec personalizing your program for your areas of focus.