- How EBV Causes Autoimmune Disorders
- Important Factors That Influence CD8+ Cells
- How EBV and Viral Infections Cause Low Pregnenolone Levels
- Other Issues Caused by EBV
- Causes of EBV Reactivation
- Top Supplements to Increase CD8+ T Cells
- Natural Killer Cells, Their Activity, EBV and Autoimmunity
- Inhibiting EBV Reactivation AND Also Suppressing the Th1 system
- How Viruses Infect Cells
How EBV Causes Autoimmune Disorders
CD8+ T-cells are a kind of cell which inhibits viruses.
Its deficiency is a feature of many chronic autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjögren’s syndrome, systemic sclerosis, dermatomyositis, primary biliary cirrhosis, primary sclerosing cholangitis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, psoriasis, vitiligo, bullous pemphigoid, alopecia areata, idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy, type 1 diabetes mellitus, Graves’ disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, myasthenia gravis, IgA nephropathy, membranous nephropathy, and pernicious anaemia. (R)
If EBV isn’t controlled, it can wreak havoc on the body. When EBV infects B cells it can make them “autoreactive”, which means its products (antibodies) target our own tissues. (R)
- CD8+ T-cell deficiency – this is genetic
- EBV infection and proliferation of EBV because of CD8+ T-cell deficiency.
- Increased antibodies against EBV (kind of like the second line of defense),
- EBV infects a specific organ – and particularly B Cells in that organ. This corrupts the B cells to attack our own tissue. One theory is that since viruses and bacteria have proteins similar to our own proteins, we mistakenly attack our own proteins. This confusion by our immune system is called ‘molecular mimicry’.
- B Cells proliferate in the infected organ.
- T cells are drawn into the organ and also attack our tissue,
- Development of ‘structures’ in the target organ, which causes B cells to attack our tissues. (dependent on Th17 cells (R))
Important Factors That Influence CD8+ Cells
How EBV and Viral Infections Cause Low Pregnenolone Levels
I see it often being the case that after prolonged stress, pregnenolone levels dip and synthesis of downstream hormones decline.
Pregnenolone is the mother of all hormones and is a neurosteroid. The most obvious explanation is because cortisol is ‘stealing’ or diverting pregnenolone for cortisol production and depleting it. When pregnenolone is depleted, there will be less of it to produce future cortisol production.
However, there’s another possible contributing factor.
When you’re under high stress the body releases cortisol, which decreases your immune system.
This aspect of the immune system (Th1) protects us from viral reactivation.
When this arm of the immune system is suppressed, viral infections can then reactivate- including EBV, herpes and a host of other viruses.
When a viral infection becomes active it “hijacks” what’s known as the “mevalonate pathway.” Viruses use this pathway to make their protective outer coats.
In response, your body makes interferon, which suppresses the mevalonate pathway, which in turn suppresses the virus. However, inhibiting this pathway leads to a reduction in synthesis of pregnenolone and CoQ10.
Perhaps the most common virus that causes this pathway to be inhibited is Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) – over 90% of the population eventually gets this virus.
Acute infections respond well to this, as the interferon production is helpful in the short term. But in the long term, this can lead to starving your body of CoQ10 and key hormones. This appears to be part of what happens in CFS.
I was deficient in pregnenolone, even when I lowered my stress and I never understood why. It’s possible that by me having a Th1 dominant system, I produce higher levels of interferon, which suppressed the pathway that produces pregnenolone.
Red Yeast Rice/Statins mildly block the same pathway and can actually have a mild antiviral effect at a low dose and a strong effect at a high dose.
Supplements that increase your Th1 system will indirectly prevent EBV reactivation.
You can check your Pregnenolone levels.
Other Issues Caused by EBV
- EBV increases risk for some cancers
- EBV causes serotonin disturbances (R) and messes with methylation genes (R).
- EBV may also cause blood-brain barrier issues (R).
Causes of EBV Reactivation
- Emotional disturbances (R)
- Psychological stress (R)
- Cortisol/glucocorticoids (R)
- Sleep deprivation (R) ” EBV DNA level increased significantly at both stress intervals”
- Spaceflight (R)
- Resistant starch/HDAC inhibitors (R) – Helps kill the cancer cells, but induces EBV activation, but maybe only in the cancer cells. Need to read more.
- Parthenolide (R) Helps kill the cancer cells, but induces EBV activation, but maybe only in the cancer cells. Need to read more.
In a lot of my clients, I hear that their issues started after a highly stressful period. Reactivation of EBV could potentially play some role in the negative health effects of stress.
Top Supplements to Increase CD8+ T Cells
- Hi-Maize resistant starch (R) – The function of exhausted CD8 T cells in chronic viral infection was shown to be restored upon treatment with butyrate….Leads to higher numbers of CD8 T cells and mimics the effect of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-12 and IFN-α. Increases CD8 T cell activation and memory.
- Andrographis (R) – increased in CD4+ (40–61%), CD8+ (23–31%), and CD56 (2–3%), with as little as 0.1μM….
- Gynostemma (R)
- Schisandra (R)- prevents CD8+ decline from radiation
- NAC (R)
- Ashwagandha (R)
- Thymus glandular
- Spleen glandular
- Massage therapy (R),
- Other: Aldosterone (R) (hormone), ADA (enzyme) (R).
Natural Killer Cells, Their Activity, EBV and Autoimmunity
Many studies have reported decreased Natural Killer (NK) cell numbers or impairment of NK cell cytotoxicity in the peripheral blood of patients with autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), Sjögren’s syndrome, systemic sclerosis, and type I diabetes mellitus (T1DM), autoimmune thyroid disease (AIT), psoriasis, juvenile dermatomyositis and systemic-onset juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). (R, R2)
Indeed, NK cells are used to treat certain autoimmune diseases. (R)
So low NK cells can cause autoimmunity in some ways. But it’s not so simple.
You can also interpret low natural killer cells in peripheral blood in another way. Several studies show accumulation of NK cells in affected tissues of autoimmune patients. NK cells have been found to accrue in the pancreatic tissue of Type 1 diabetics, the hair follicle of patients with alopecia areata, the muscle of children with juvenile dermatomyositis, the skin lesions of psoriatic patients and the synovium of arthritis patients. Therefore, decreased NK cells in the peripheral blood with autoimmune disorders may result from them being shunted to diseased tissue. (R)
NK cells may be directly involved in these diseases through their potential to attack our own tissue, or by their interaction with (i.e. stimulation) dendritic cells, macrophages or T lymphocytes, thereby inducing excessive inflammation. (R)
But if you look at the big picture, it seems like NK cells and their function (cytotoxicity) do more to help prevent autoimmune disease, as a whole. However, the specific autoimmune disease and the environment of the person (what the rest of their immune system is like) probably plays a large role.
Bottom line: From my reading, NK cells seem like they can prevent autoimmune disease, overall, but in some ways, it can contribute to it.
Inhibiting EBV Reactivation AND Also Suppressing the Th1 system
This list is a group of supplements that inhibit Th1 but also prevent its reactivation. I plan on creating a list of EBV inhibitors that also increase Th1 cells.
To prevent EBV reactivation you want to take the Th1 supplements instead.
Methods for suppressing the Th1 system can be found by clicking here.
- Sun/UVB (R) – correlation between MS and UVB (R) “UVB exposure and IM (EVB) together can explain a substantial proportion of the variance of MS.”
- Sun/Vitamin D (R)
- Fish Oil/DHA+EPA (R)
- Vitamin A – retinol (R, R2, R3)
- Interval exercise/ L-arginine (R) or anything that induces NO release.
- Magnesium (R)
- Curcumin (R) – most potent out of 36 extracts (R)
- EGCG (R)
- Black Cumin Seed Oil (R)
- Andrographis (R)
- Lactoferrin (R)
- Aspirin (R)
- Artemisinin (R)
- Boswellia (R)
- Chinese Skullcap (R)
- Citrus (R)
- Quercetin (R)
- Milk Thistle (R)
- Resveratrol (R)
- Sesame oil (R)
- THC (R) – pot
- Olive leaf/Oleuropein (R)
- Licorice (R)
- Ursolic acid (R)
- Oleanolic acid (R)
- Corosolic acid (R) – potent. Banaba leaf.
- Honokiol (R, R2) – also inhibits negative effects of EBV activation
- Inositol (R) – inositol increases intracellular calcium and decreases extracellular calcium. Another piece to the puzzle about how inositol is beneficial.
- Pregnenolone (via inhibiting mevalonate pathway)
- Red Yeast Rice/Statins (R) (via inhibiting mevalonate pathway)
- CoQ10 – to protect a deficiency.
There’s probably many others, but these were the only ones that I could find sources for.
How Viruses Infect Cells
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