Apparently there is a connection between molecular mimicry and what we eat. And the cause has been connected to cow’s milk and animal protein. Wow! Can you believe that? How does that happen?
Here is an example. For the first few months of life an infant has an intestinal wall that is very permeable and for a good reason. Proteins that are found in mother’s milk can more easily get into the infants body and protect against disease. Well, that’s good. However, foreign proteins can also get through easily and in infants the first foreign protein is usually cow’s milk… baby formula is usually based on cow’s milk. These proteins are foreign invaders as far as the body is concerned. After all, they should not be there and could be a virus or bacteria and the immune system responds with an appropriate defense. Antibodies are made and immune cells (T cells) are sent out to destroy the invaders. Destroy the invaders? Now we see the problem.
Unfortunately in some infants, the immune system becomes a little confused (because of molecular mimicry) and attacks the foreign cow’s milk protein along with the insulin producing beta cells of the pancreas just because they are similar. Once these cells are destroyed the pancreas can no longer produce the insulin needed for the body to function properly. That’s pretty bad… people with type-1 diabetes need insulin every day.
Isn’t it amazing how well our bodies work? It is to our benefit to give them only the best nutrients to support all the systems we have including our immune system.
So… infants have a permeable intestinal wall when they are born but what about older children and adults? We’ll find out about the rest of us next time. Until then…