What makes humans unique among all other life? What is special about being a person? Are we all that different from animals?
We are different because we take life to another level — a whole dimension higher. There is an entire depth to life as a person which no other animal on earth shares. Animals have mates to reproduce and have companionship, but people bond to share life together and to give of themselves to each other. This oneness transforms into romance and love. Animals cannot ponder their purpose in life and work towards it — their purpose is usually limited to how to get their next meal and reproduce. Only we can imagine and design things which do not yet exist and then build them. We use tools, and even make tools that make tools. Especially, we can see the wonder around us and connect with the designer of that creation. Doing so gives us an appreciation of life and a purpose beyond our physical form.
We are more than the some of our parts. Our parts work together in synergies that we would not imagine when we examine the parts separately. This theme of an extra dimension of life shows in our very cells, and how they work together to give us sophisticated life. When we just look at components or pathways of the body in isolation, we miss this additional dimension.
No greater love
Few of us are called to make the ultimate sacrifice. Those who give their lives to help others are considered heroes — there is no greater love that they can show. They give their lives for the greater good. The cells in your body, if not diseased, often give their lives for your good. Sometimes there are too many of a certain type of cell, or the cell is old and starting to malfunction. Often cells that are damaged are called to sacrifice themselves to make room for healthy replacements. This is one example of how our cells, by working together even to the death of some for the greater good is a higher dimension of living: rather than the primitive instinct of survival at all costs, cells sacrifice themselves so the higher life — the body — survives.
Dealing with death
Cells have receptors that can receive the self-destruct message in the same ways that they receive other cellular messages. They don’t have to think about what to do next — a process is triggered to shut down the cell such that the remains can be easily and neatly removed. Because it is a controlled, programmed process, it avoids being a burden to your body. This programmed cell death process is named “apoptosis.”
There is another type of cell death that occurs in an out of control manner called “necrosis.” This happens when cell life becomes unviable, by oxygen starvation/low blood supply, poisoning, infection, or direct damage. Since this type of cell death is unexpected, but inevitable, it requires an emergency response to deal with the mess left behind. When cells die this way, they leave debris behind, which is basically the contents of the cell, now garbage that the body must get rid of.
The difference between apoptosis and necrosis is like the difference between a freight truck reaching its destination and unloading its contents there and the truck flipping over on the highway and spilling its contents all over the road. In the first case the unload process is orderly and proper, and in the second case chaos ensues, and the police and emergency clean-up crews are called to fix the mess so it doesn’t cause even more trouble.
No other way
The police and emergency crews in your body are the warriors of your immune system. In doing their work, they cause inflammation. They have no option — leaving the mess behind would be worse. Inflammation isn’t bad, but the cause of the inflammation often is. Inflammation is designed to be a healing process, but it will cause damage to nearby tissue. There is no other way to deal with the clean-up operation.
Inflammation needs to be rare, saved for real emergencies. Apoptosis does not cause inflammation, whereas necrosis does. Apoptosis is normal and proper, and the majority of your cells die this way if you are healthy. Necrosis is, unfortunately, more common than you would expect. Severe cases of necrosis happen with disease: you may know of a diabetic who had to have a limb amputated in advanced stages of diabetes. Severe physical injuries present danger of necrosis. But poor health can cause local necrosis in any organ or tissue, and any un-programmed cell death causes inflammation. Because most necrosis is due to low oxygen or toxins, we can do a lot to reduce necrosis and accompanying inflammation by staying healthy.
How does It work?
Since cell death and orderly recycling is necessary and frequent in the body, inflammation must not be triggered. When we study apoptosis, we see yet another example of multiple pieces coming together to reach a higher dimension of life.
The first way that apoptosis works to avoid inflammation is keeping the cell intact during the process. In violent, un-programmed cell death, the membrane breaks open and the cell contents spill out. But when a cell dies because it is told to do so, the membrane remains intact while the immune cells (phagocytes) eat the cell. †his keeps the cell contents away from other cells. This is a “clean” process where the clean-up crew is not needed.
But there is even more that occurs to prevent inflammation. Published in eLife, researchers at Kyoto University and the Osaka Bioscience Institute in Japan showed that apoptotic cells cooperate with phagocytes to prevent inflammation. The dying cell releases a molecule called adenosine, which activates the A2a adenosine receptor in the phagocytes, causing expression of anti-inflammatory genes such as Nr4a and Thbs1, which essentially tells the macrophages/phagocytes to stay calm. The signaling tells the immune system that the cell is cooperating with the program.
Another cooperation exists between two proteins (BAX and BAK) involved in programmed cell death. Published in Molecular Cell, researchers at the University of Cologne and Osnabrück University found that these proteins work together to control DNA release from the mitochondria in the dying cell. When in proper balance, these proteins together regulate the DNA release so that inflammation is not triggered. Both proteins are necessary for this to happen.
Our special privilege
We have been lifted to a life higher than the animals, and we live life at a dimension of life above theirs. But throughout creation the principles of cooperation and self-sacrifice are shown — even in mechanisms of our own bodies. For those mechanisms to work, we need to give them what they need — oxygen, water, nutrition, avoidance of toxins, and reduced stress in particular. Then they can do what they were designed to do — give us real life.
Dr. Nemec’s Review
When you study the cells, especially when they’re healthy, there is a uniform pattern which is: all work for the greater good of the whole. Your cells do not look at themselves as individuals, but as part of a community working together as one one organism, one body made up of many cells, and each one of those cell’s focus is health of the whole. You see this beautifully demonstrated in the difference between apoptosis and necrosis.
Apoptosis, simply stated, is when the cell knows that it’s time for it to die but it does not want to be an inconvenience or work to the other cells, so it sets off a molecular cellular chain reaction which contains the dying cell, and sends messages so that a particular immune cell called a phagocyte comes by and consumes it without disrupting any other cells. This is a very clean, simple process to remove the old without burdening or damaging any of the other present cells. This is such a symphony of all cells working together for the greater good because not only is the cell death totally controlled and contained, but this cell death also signals anti-inflammatory molecules to be secreted just to make sure any residual debris does not set off an inflammatory response.
Necrosis, on the other hand usually comes from an outside force. The whole or parts of the cell have been depleted of necessary elements to keep them alive: lack of oxygen, lack of blood flow, extreme cold, burns, or physical trauma. All these are unexpected events at the cellular level so when these things happen the cells die rapidly: it’s not programmed and is not on a certain preset timing like in apoptosis, but instead the shock to the system causes immediate and massive cell death. Unfortunately, there is no rearranged step-by-step timely cell disposal; instead, this damage massively opens up huge amount of cell membranes with all their proteins, fats, and nucleic acids being dumped into the extracellular spaces, and if not cleared will open the door for potential fatal infections. So this sounds the immune alarm, becoming a huge immune stimulus to clean up the damage. Many types of immune cells enter the area of damage and they bring their fire-like chemicals to cleanse the damaged areas. Fire is a natural cleanser. The immune system sets off this inflammatory reaction to clean up an area with fire, and once this is done then the immune system goes about the business of consuming all these released molecules. This is quite taxing to the body and the immune system.
The take-home messages is this: the body works perfectly as it was created to. It does get overwhelmed when natural things happen which tax it to the extreme. Most of these things can be avoided by living seven basic steps to total health, including getting enough oxygen in the body regularly with various forms of exercise and food choices, and also making sure that we do not stagnate blood with lack of exercise, or cooked animal protein/fat and carbohydrate meals which become very sticky in the blood — when the blood gets thicker and stickier, blood flow slows down and increases the chances of decreased oxygen, decreased blood flow, and greatly increases chances of necrosis. When you eat a living raw plant-based diet and exercise daily your blood flows extremely well — there is no‘s stickiness or sludging of the blood so this practically eliminates necrosis from internal factors. Eat what you were designed to eat, move as you were designed to move, live a life of fasting from what you know is not good for you, and prayer, which is listening to the words of life which energize every cell in your being. This is the best way. This is His 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.