Blood is one of The Five Pillars of our Immune System.
Today’s post covers how blood pressure is regulated by the Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System (RAAS), blood's role in our immune system. what micronutrients are used to support the RAAS system and what micronutrients may be missing in your diet.
How RAAS Regulates Blood Pressure
1. The liver makes the protein “Angiotensin” that is used in several functions including regulating blood pressure.
2. The kidney makes the enzyme Renin that snips Angiotensin making Angiotensin-1 which hangs out in the blood stream doing well, nothing until...
3. it bumps into the Angiotensin Converting Enzyme - ACE-1. ACE enzymes are made in the cell plasma membrane of various cell types esp. in the lining of our sinus and lungs. When an ACE-1 enzyme combines with Angiotensin-1 it snips that protein forming Angiotensin-2
4. Angiotensin-2 instructs the adrenal gland to release aldosterone, a steroid that promotes water retention using salt. More water retention raises our blood pressure. Angiotensin 2 also interacts with and constricts the vascular system. Smaller pipes results in faster blood flow and higher blood pressure.
5. The ACE-2 enzyme is also is made in the cell-plasma membrane. When ACE-2 and Angiotensin 2 bump into each other, the ACE-2 enzyme snips angiotensin-2 into shorter proteins reducing water retention and opening up the vascular system and in turn lowering blood pressure.
So blood pressure is regulated by ACE-1 and ACE-2 enzymes and Angiotensin levels. Keeping this system in balance is critical to our overall health and wellness.
RAAS & The Immune System
Let's assume you are healthy but sprain your ankle or come down with a bacterial or viral infection. Local cells detect something is amiss and use eicosanoids to signal other cells for help.
The immune system leverages the RAAS system to increase blood flow to the site. Makes sense as blood carries various types of hunter (white blood) cells to the site to destroy pathogens and remove damaged or dead cells. Blood also brings macro & micronutrients to to the surrounding healthy cells to help them repair the damage.
Swollen sprained ankle? ACE-1 in action. ACE-1 is part of the pro-inflammation immune response.
When we detect a wound or an infection, the pro-inflammation response dominates. As we heal the anti-inflammation response dominates until we restore back to steady state.
What micronutrients are required to support the balance between the the pro-inflammation response and anti-inflammation response?
We need micronutrients to make the signaling cells that call for ACE-1 or ACE-2 production and cells need micronutrients to manufacture ACE enzymes.
The pro-inflammatory signals are formed from the micronutrients Omega 6 and arachidonic acid. The anti-inflammatory signals are made using micronutrients Omega 3 and arachidonic acid.
Look what happened over the years.
Our evolutionary diet contained 2.5 parts Omega 6 to 1 part Omega 3.
Modern diets contain 20 parts Omega 6 to 1 part Omega 3.
Hydrogenated fats (Omega 6) show up modern diets in fried food, and are used to improve the taste, lower the cost and extend the shelf life of many prepared products.
Omega 3 micronutrients came into to our diets from eating fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel, various nuts, seeds and their oils. Modern diets reduced wild fish intake and introduced cheap Omega 6-rich corn and soybean oils.
Industrial diets bias the command and control system in the pro-inflammation state.
Hello rising rates of chronic inflammation and high blood pressure.
What about ACE production? Our evolutionary diet presented bioavailable zinc to us by eating the red meat of ruminants (grass & plant eaters such as goats, sheep, grass fed cows), shellfish (oysters are loaded) and algae. To be bioavailable, zinc has to be free of phytic acid, oxides and phytates. Modern diets can be deficient in bioavailable zinc.
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