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327: How to Find the Root Cause of Autoimmunity?

Masterjohn Q&A Files Episode 327
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Question: How do we find the root cause of an autoimmune condition? One example considered where the root cause is energy metabolism.

Short Answer: Autoimmune conditions are likely driven by deficiencies of vitamins A and D, which contribute to post-infectious autoimmunity by compromising the rhythmic rise and fall of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), and to autoimmunity regardless of infections through impaired suppression of Th17 helper T cells. More broadly, infections and tissue damage are the most likely drivers of autoimmunity onset. However, energy metabolism governs everything through the second law of thermodynamics, which holds that energy must be used to prevent everything from randomly mixing, and this includes randomly mixing the immune defense against pathogens with immune attacks on the host. In this example, we discuss how a respiratory chain disorder would compromise absorption and distribution of zinc and compromise the oxidation of NADH to NAD+, and how both of these would interact with a genetic impairment in acetaldehyde dehydrogenase to prevent the activation of vitamin A to retinoic acid. Autoimmunity thus results as one of many symptoms of vitamin A deficiency driven not by lack of vitamin A, but rather by impaired activation of vitamin A, secondary to impaired energy metabolism. 

This episode was cut from the original Q&A session that you can find here.

DISCLAIMER: I have a PhD in Nutritional Sciences and my expertise is in performing and evaluating nutritional research. I am not a medical doctor and nothing herein is medical advice.

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The Masterjohn Q&A Files
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Authors
Chris Masterjohn, PhD