To safeguard our immune system, it is not just about taking vitamins and minerals, it is about maintaining a good equilibrium in life. This is achieved through these means of mental, psychological, social and physiological health. For the immune system to continue to stay healthy, all these bodily functions need to be well balanced. It can be difficult to spin all plates in these areas as it is challenging to keep up with all different variables of how to maintain homeostasis. The idea that our behavior and our personalities can be directed by our immune system is astounding and if you thought you had more control over your actions, think again. Our immune response is defining our social game in more ways than we realize. In this blog post I am going to talk about what causes social behavior.
What Causes Social Behavior?
Our immunity is based on actions it takes to help us survive by learning from our outside world, our ecosystems. The immune system’s agenda is to find out how to stay alive, how to protect, and how to learn about how to behave in its environment, acting in a proactive preventive way by influencing our social behavior. It does this because it is trying to learn where infection comes from and to remember how to fight diseases if those should interfere with a healthy living body. This makes me wonder what prompts our immune system to do this.
Our immune system is affecting our behavior by connecting with other bacteria and pathogens so that it can collect information. What advantages does this provide to our immune health?
A fascinating study was done in the understanding of the relationship of immune cells and the brain. Dr. Mercola has talked about this in his health article: How Your Immune System Helps Direct Your Social Interactions which states in this blog posts that bacteria and pathogens may possibly be partly responsible for directing our behavior making us want to gather in groups. Isn’t this amazing? It does this so that it can collect information about how to protect itself in its environment.
Put it this way, our immune system needs to get the “daily news” or “gossip” of what is going on out there in our world so that if it comes across something deadly, it knows how to react and respond to foreign invaders. Otherwise, it will not get this information being socially isolated. It is kind of weird to think that when we gather in groups or are social with others, our immunity is talking to the other person’s immunity. The thought that a silent almost metaphysical communication is taking place right under our noses is in progress. Connections that we may not even be aware of are underway just like normal body functions happen internally, our immune system is learning, studying and storing information about other bacteria, viruses, pathogens and infectious diseases. This is very intriguing.
A study done at the University of Virginia School of Medicine has found the interferon gamma molecule known as a cytokine which is produced by the immune system. This molecule plays a key role in affecting our behavior in social groups and possibly may affect our mental health as well. This cytokine molecule will connect to neurons in our brain by hindering them, helping it to respond to other foreign bacteria, any foreign viruses and any foreign parasites. If it does not contribute to this need to socialize with other pathogens, the frontal cortex of our brain can become hyperactive which causes us to become less social and interactive with others. This does not benefit the immune system to be isolated and lonely. So, we want those interferon gamma molecules to do their thing!
There is always a danger in being socially isolated. This study may be leading us in that direction in understanding the consequences of social isolation, its mental illness capacity towards disease and how in helping us mingle with others we are becoming stronger gaining much more vigor and in so doing becoming vibrantly Immune fit. While on the flip side, social isolation can lead to sickness and disease.
The study has possibly foreshadowed the different ways the brain may be operating when we are depressed, lonely and potentially developing such personality disorders such as schizophrenia, autism and others. Studies still need to be done and it makes me ponder and wonder about other internal forces at play here.
From the beginning of time we have been in direct contact with pathogens and our immune system responds to them. Without that response our interferon gamma molecules will cause social isolation which in turn is not healthy for our immune system. Our immune system needs to get information from these bacterial pathogens. This is also part of the agenda of pathogens which while in contact with others, they spread. Do not forget that our bodies are bacteria, and we have a symbiotic relationship with most of the friendly types. I quote from the article newsroom.uvahealth.com:
“The idea is that interferon gamma, in evolution, has been used as a more efficient way to both boost social behavior while boosting an anti-pathogen response.”
Dr Anthony J. Filiano, PhD, Hartwell states: “It’s extremely critical for an organism to be social for the survival of the species. It’s important for foraging, sexual reproduction, gathering, hunting.”
If our environment internally is healthy, i.e… inside and out, our immune system is strong and getting the right information to protect itself even if it does meet the wrong types of pathogens, they will not usually pose problems. If, however, the body is already ill, the immune response weakened and the overall mental and physical disposition of the human organism is faltering or fragile, danger can result from continued contact with the wrong pathogens and viruses. Sickness can get worse and death can come easily.
As you know when you see a baby, its immune system is not fully developed. Wouldn’t you think that our morality rate with infant survival would be lower? Afterall there is no fully developed immune system, yet! It is a wonder we survive at all and procreate as much as we do when babies have not fully developed their immune responses. There is a fine line here, don’t you think? There is something else going on that we may not understand.
So, how do babies survive the outside environment of the womb? They rely heavily on the immune system of its mom mainly by being born vaginally and getting the bacteria and pathogens from the birthing process, 2nd by being breast fed and 3rd by being in contact with its parents, siblings and extended family. If the two first sets of immune building blocks are not setting the stage for the infant at birth, children can have compromised immune systems, be sicker more often and struggle a bit more than those who have grown up healthy. So, what does the baby do in the meantime? If it does not get the first two requirements; it explores its external environment. All babies do this regardless of how they came into the world or wheather or not they have been breast fed.
Babies grab everything they can with their hands, all the time, without realizing what it is doing. How does it know to do this? Is the interferon gamma at work here? I wonder. Babies and toddlers put everything it grabs right into its mouth. They suck on everything they can touch from poo to dirt to any type of food, to almost anything; they do not know right from wrong, they are just exploring and learning and building up that immune system.
Babies do this so that it can build strong immunity and immune responses within its body. This is important so the young immune system can become stronger being able to identify how its organism encounters the natural world and how to fight and defend itself. It is a marvelous plan.
This reminds me of a commercial I recently saw on TV by Culturelle. The man yells at the dog for making so much noise because he is working and cannot concentrate. However, the dog does not have the dog toy, the baby does. The father turns around seeing his toddler chewing on the dog toy with a look of surprise. It is hilarious!
When I was a toddler, I used to chase the cat all around the house. I even ate the cat’s food because I was curious to what it tasted like, so I tried it. Obviously, I was not impressed so I did not continue to eat it. We have a family photo of my sister sitting on my mom’s lap sucking on the cat tail while I was sitting on my dad’s lap with my hands grabbing the head of the cat. This cat did not like us so much. His name was Aslan, and he was a Siamese Burmese short haired chocolate brown cat. He would run away from me at every chance he got. I thought it was a game and would try to do whatever it took to capture the cat. I was one and a half going on 3!
As we mingle with others socializing, our immune system is gathering information from the people that we’re coming into contact with and as a result, we are in affect helping ourselves to stay immune fit: learning to protect ourselves from others, spreading bacteria and providing an exchange of internal information all at the same time. It is a beautiful blueprint. It is making our immune system work as it is designed to do.
Keep in mind that being socially isolated hinders health, causes potential personality problems, may maintain depression and overall contribute to a shorter lifespan and a lower quality of life in general. In this day and age with Covid-19 this super virus going around our globe causing massive deaths or so we are told by the media, I am concerned for the elderly and the young babies that need to explore social activities with others within our communities.
Are we at some point shortening our own population’s lifespan? Are we not endangering our immune systems even more? What nature has designed for us, in a perfect natural way is just that, perfect for our continued existence. My question now is this, are we going against that direction? Are we giving up our God given rights? Is this the right thing to do? Especially, since the incubation period for COVID-19 is only 14 days? Is this the right thing to do to be stepping away from our interferon gamma molecules by not allowing them to activate our brain patters? I guess the question is, how do these interferon gamma molecules come about in the first place? Maybe that’s another study for science to give us.
In connecting with other bacteria and pathogens (i.e., other human beings), our immune system learns about how to become stronger at preserving itself and stores that information away for later use if it needs it. This is how the immune system learns and grows and gathers knowledge to make itself better equipped to handle life threatening situations, by building stronger immunity. This seems to be a particularly important process in our immune system development not just as this occurs in babies and toddlers, it is happening our whole life, all the way into adulthood and continues for the rest of our lives. Let us really question this social isolation tactic that is happening in our society today. Our science is saying something different. Let’s listen to that. I for one want to stay and continue to be heathy and immune fit.
Honestly, the issue is how do we identify how this disease spreads? Are we even carriers? How can we kill something we can’t identify with or know anything about? Not everyone is contagious. We are taking the wrong attitue without understanding any of it in the first place. There is so much confusion going on in this world with this viruses and what truly is going on. It saddens me that there’s so much missing information and lack of truth. Even I don’t understand this infectious disease.
How do we fight the enemy without understanding the enemy? What do we really know? Do we really know how COVID-19 is spread? No. This is what people are searching for, the truth. Going off blind faith and assumption is a bad idea. I do not know about you, but I was taught that when one assumes you make an ASS out of yourself and others. I want to know the truth. This is the knowledge I am not finding out there on the internet, yet. I am still looking for that answer.
In the mean time science is showing us about the Interferon gamma molecules. We are just now putting that toe into the water to what we can find out about social behavior and what dictates that social behavior. What do you think causes social behavior? Do you think that you are really are in control of your own behavior? Are you really in control over what you eat, what you crave, who you have a sexual relationship with or who your friends are? I wonder. How much control do we really have? How much of an influce does these interferon gamma molecules have? Do you think that interferon gamma molecules are important? Please leave your comments below and let us make friends with our interferon gamma molecules.