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   Apr 11

Had a heavy night drinking? Then eat KALE

Drinking makes body go under oxidative stress and weakens immunity

Study has shown that higher doses of vitamin E can mitigate this stress

Vitamin E can be found in high doses in foods such as kale and almonds

After a heavy night of drinking, your immune system is bound to be weaker.

This is because your body is under oxidative stress – a process that can also happen after smoking, breathing in pollution and even sunbathing.

Now, for the first time, researchers have shown that higher doses of vitamin E, found in foods such as kale and almonds, can mitigate the stress on immune cells.

Whenever a virus or other pathogen enters our bodies, a certain class of immune cells – the T cells0 jump into action, spreading rapidly.

One sub-class of these cells, the CD8+ T cells, eliminate the virus by killing cells it has infected. Other T cells, known as CD4+ T cells, coordinate the immune response to all kinds of pathogens.

But a week can pass before these T cells start to take their toll on a virus.

And with cells dividing every eight to twelve hours, it takes a few days to gather a strike force of cells in the hundreds of thousands: enough to overwhelm the infection.

But this immune response does not work if significant oxidative stress is damaging the T cells and depriving the body of the tools it needs to repair them, according to a new study.

A white blood cell, also known as a T cell, carries special structures on its surface with which to recognise specific pathogens

If the immune cells lack repair enzyme Gpx4, the T cells die off as they divide, which means the immune system becomes weak and the infection can be chronic.

This is the enzyme responsible for repairing oxidative damage to the cell membrane.


Your body constantly reacts with oxygen as you breathe and your cells produce energy. As a consequence of this activity, highly reactive molecules are produced known as free radicals.

Free radicals interact with other molecules within cells. This can cause oxidative damage to proteins, membranes and genes.

Oxidative damage has been implicated in the cause of many diseases, such as cancer and Alzheimer’s and has an impact on the body’s aging process.

External factors, such as pollution, sunlight and smoking, also trigger the production of free radicals.

Source: NetDoctor

When testing mice whose immune cells lacked the repair enzyme, researchers led by Manfred Kopf, a professor at ETH Zurich, were able to save the immune cells by mixing a high dose of vitamin E into the animals’ food.

That was enough antioxidant to protect the T cells’ cell membranes from damage, so they could multiply and successfully fend off the viral infection.

At 500 milligrams per kilogram of mouse feed, this quantity of vitamin E was ten times higher than was present in their normal food.

‘The benefit of vitamin tablets is a controversial topic,’ says Kopf. With little scientific evidence as yet making a strong case for vitamin supplements, he felt their study was all the more interesting because it proved the effectiveness of vitamin E.

‘Our work shows that even a genetic defect in a major part of a cell’s antioxidative machinery can be compensated for by delivering a high dose of vitamin E. That is new and surprising.’

What Kopf isn’t yet sure of is what impact the results of their study will have on human health.

He claims that people with a normal level of health and a balanced diet shouldn’t need vitamin supplements.

But he added a supplement of vitamin E or other liposoluble antioxidants could well make sense in the event of oxidative stress, which can arise in everyday situations such as an infection or exposure to sunlight.

Source: Daily Mail

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