Cellular Inflammation and Hormone Dysregulation – What Can We Do About It?
This article is really about what happens to the cell membranes when they are exposed to a chronic inflammatory response at the cellular level. Not just the outer cell membranes but the mitochondrial membranes as well. I can tell you it isn’t good. Cell and mitochondrial membranes are comprised of good saturated fat and cholesterol. Cholesterol, finally taken off the bad food list a few months back, is essential to the health of the cell membrane. This is why statin drugs can create problems, not only with the cell membranes but with hormone production (a topic for another blog). The cell membranes become more rigid and the hormone receptors embedded within the phospholipid bilayer become blunted or damaged and in some cases permanently destroyed. Why is this important? It’s important because when the cell membranes become inflamed and more rigid, we can’t get the good stuff into the cells (hormonal messages, vitamins, minerals etc.…) and we also can’t get the bad stuff (metabolic waste products) out of the cells, the cells become toxic and must adapt. This obviously isn’t a good situation. In addition to hormone dysregulation, adaptation can lead to mutation or cancer and the other option is apoptosis or early cell death.
Life literally starts on the cell membrane and the health of cell membranes in the body significantly impacts epigenetics (gene expression), energy production and detoxification of the cell. Many have thought for years that the nucleus held the key to the life of the cell. We now know that if you remove the nucleus of the cell that the cell can go on living for several months. If you remove the cell membrane the cell dies instantly further driving home the importance of having healthy cell and mitochondrial membranes. When intact we have normal ATP production, methyl group production and glutathione production all very necessary to maintain the health of the cell. When inflammation damages the membranes the production of these items needed for cellular health drops significantly paving the road for chronic inflammatory disease processes to settle in.
The good news is that we can significantly impact cell and mitochondrial membrane inflammation by removing sources of inflammation, namely sugar, bad fats (trans fats and hydrogenated fats), and toxins. Please read my earlier blog on removing sources of inflammation for more details. We can also assist with the repair of the cell membranes by going organic with our meat and dairy. They deliver healthy saturated fat, and Omega 3’s and 6’s in the right ratios to provide for healthy cell and mitochondrial membranes. Many times I will supplement clients with a product called Vista 1 & 2 which helps nourish these membranes. Other products that will assist with the cellular health are Spectra 1 & 2 (whole food cellular nutrition), MoRS (methyl donors for stress response and epigenetic support) and GCEL (support glutathione production to assist with detoxification).
Life begins and dies with the cell membrane so after removing sources of inflammation we must work on repairing the cell and mitochondrial membranes. Only then can we create lasting change, move toward and maintain health. We need energy to make all this happen so stay tuned. In my next blog I will discuss cellular energy and its role in maintaining health.