Lysozymes, also known as muramidase, are the most important bactericidal proteins of the mucosal immunity. They are also referred to as the ‘body’s own antibiotic’, since it kills bacteria. Within the body, the mucosal surfaces such as digestive tract, eye conjunctiva, airways, ducts of exocrine glands etc. represent the largest area of exposure to potential pathogens. The mucosal immune system provides the first line of defense against these invading pathogens. So, the protective properties of the mucous membranes are dependent upon the action of various antimicrobial proteins including lysozymes.
Overview of antimicrobial proteins called lysozymes
Lysozymes, also known as muramidase, are the most important bactericidal proteins of the mucosal immunity. They are also referred to as the ‘body’s own antibiotic’, since it kills bacteria. Within the body, the mucosal surfaces such as digestive tract, eye conjunctiva, airways, ducts of exocrine glands etc. represent the largest area of exposure to potential pathogens. The mucosal immune system provides the first line of defense against these invading pathogens. So, the protective properties of the mucous membranes are dependent upon the action of various antimicrobial proteins including lysozyme. This magnificent protein was discovered in 1922 by Nobel laureate Sir Alexander Fleming, from the hen egg white.
Sources of production
Naturally, lysozymes are produced in our body by the secretory cells of the epithelia lining the respiratory mucosal surface, the middle ear and eustachian tube, which in turn inhibit the growth of otitis media pathogens. Owing to its wide distribution within the body, lysozymed are principally found in saliva, tears, mother’s milk, digestive system, and the reproductive organs; all are rich in nutrients for potential bacterial growth.
Impairment of mucosal immunity
The development of mucosal immunity is profoundly affected by exposure to infections and to a lesser extent by cigarette smoking, stress and humidity. The decrease in intestinal mucosal immunity with advancing age explains the increased susceptibility to infectious diseases. The degree and types of antigenic exposure determines the levels and patterns of mucosal antibodies. A positive correlation has been associated with smoking and certain inflammatory and malignant orogastrointestinal disorders. Smokers have been found to be mucosal immunodeficient. Mounting evidence has also indicated the negative role of stress on salivary lysozyme and immunoglobulin A levels. Last but not the least, low humidity during winter can dry out mucous membranes, reducing the protective effects of the mucous membrane and its arsenal of anti microbial proteins (AMPs).
Lysozymes: uses and supporting scientific evidence
Lysozymes protect us from ever presenting danger of bacterial infections by attacking the cell wall polysaccharides of different bacterial species ranging from bacilli, staphylococci, and streptococci, ultimately leading to their death. Apart from viruses and bacteria, lysozymes are also effective against fungi and its associated infections. Over decades, lysozymes have been supplied in the diet for many applications, particularly against viral and bacterial infections causing flu and cold, sore throat, fever blisters, etc. It is found to be effective in systemic or local inflammation as well and applied topically to heal lesions, wounds, etc. The presence of lysozymes in milk is one of the reasons why breast fed infants are immunized against localized or systemic inflammatory processes and gastrointestinal disturbances as opposed to their formula-fed counterparts.
Lysozymes: mode of action in the mucosa
There are several mechanisms by which lysozyme disrupts the bacterial activity and reduces the local inflammation.
- The antimicrobial proteins, lysozymes, compete directly with the pathogenic microorganisms for epithelial attachment sites in the gastrointestinal tract, thereby preventing the attachment and colonization of the gastrointestinal tract by way of adhesion and clearance of bacteria.
- Lysozymes bind to and destruct the cell walls of bacteria, triggering their autolysis and eventually cell death.
- Lysozymes also potentiate the activity of other immune factors such as IgA and AMPs in the mucous membrane to further restrict the entry and attachment of bacteria and viruses.
Need to supplement
Enzyme production relatively diminishes as we grow older. As a consequence, nutrients malabsorption, chronic ill-health conditions and tissue breakdown also increases to a much greater extent. It is therefore, advisable that one should include enzyme supplements in the diet in order to maintain the full nutritional value of food. Besides, the report of JEFCA-Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives has clearly designated the lysozymes obtained from edible animal tissue as class I enzyme, thus food. Lysozymes, these antimicrobial proteins, can be supplemented in various ways.
Balance in all things are key to good health and longevity but most people have no idea what the real balance necessity is! Our 65% to 70% overweight and obese society proves that!
Some very wise people once made the statement, “We are a nation of impending BIG BELLIES.” Those very same wise people also stated that;
“It is bad news to learn from our leading authorities that 99 percent of the American people are deficient in minerals, and that a marked deficiency in any one of the more important minerals actually results in DISEASE. Any upset of the balance, any considerable lack of one or another element, however microscopic the body requirement may be, and we sicken, suffer and shorten our lives”.
They go on to say “… each mineral element playing a definite role in nutrition. A characteristic set of symptoms, just as specific as any vitamin deficiency disease, follows a deficiency in any one of them. It is alarming, therefore, to face the fact that we are starving for these precious health-giving substances.”
“Our soils, which are seriously deficient in trace minerals, cannot produce plant life competent to maintain our needs, and with the continuous cropping and chipping away of those trace minerals and concentrates, the condition becomes worse. We are a nation of impending fat bellies!”
“We know that vitamins are complex chemical substances which are indispensable to nutrition, and that each of them is important for the normal function of some special structure of the body. Disorder and disease result from any vitamin deficiency. It is not commonly realized, however, that vitamins control the body’s appropriation of minerals, and that in the absence of minerals they have no function to perform. Lacking vitamins, the system can make some use of minerals, but lacking minerals, vitamins are useless”.
These statements were made in 1936 by the United States Congress, following a study of our food nutrient values, and reported in the Readers Digest that year. Those facts have only worsened with the years of land abuses, chemicals and pesticides introduced into our foods by the farmers and the fat bellies are now bouncing on every street in this world. Obesity is of epidemic proportions!!!
When my four children were born in the late 50′s and early 60′s the pediatrician recommended giving them vitamins but not once did that doctor tell me that minerals were required in order to absorb those vitamins. In the years I worked in doctor’s offices I did not once hear a doctor tell a patient how important it was to have sufficient balanced minerals in order to absorb those vitamins and nutrient intake from their foods.
Not until I read the Senate report in 1995 did I know that minerals are the catalyst to a healthy body and without them disease and obesity will happen.
Then as I studied more into that premise I found that a requirement for ALL minerals is equally important. I see minerals sold all over the place with 24 or 36 minerals but not the whole 84 minerals and trace minerals our body was created with and need to stay healthy and balanced. Why? Medical school isn’t teaching that necessity!
Without a proper minerals balance our bodies crave all kinds of unhealthy foods and empty calories hence creating the obesity now rampant in the world. This is not helped by all the fast food places that now exist putting out dead nutrient-empty foods.
Once the body contains the proper mineral balance and megavitamins then and only then can weight loss and a healthy body begin. For optimum health it also requires eating a balance of fruits, nuts and vegetables daily. That’s 7 to 9 servings daily in all. (a serving = ¾ to 1 cup per food group)
Vitamins sold on store shelves are seriously lacking in proper amounts just as minerals are. Studies done over the last decade show that the RDA’s (recommended daily amount) you see on vitamin bottles and in advertisements are so weak that the body is still malnourished and requires at least three times the amount recommended, and in some as much as ten times the amount. One-a-day just won’t balance it for you!
I have watched as people began to lose weight and regain health once they balanced their body with minerals, meganutrient vitamins and antioxidants and stop taking chemical medications. I’m watching cancer disappear with natural herbal and nutrition treatments balancing minerals and nutrition in the body. With proper balance I have seen manic depression subside, allergies become nonexistant, asthma disappear, heart irregularities normalize and diabetes eliminated, just to name a few… Balance is the key to a healthy body.
anti-inflammatory Anti-Microbial Proteins Causes of Gluten Intolerance Digestive Enzymes Eczema Natural Treatment Enzyme Enzymes Enzyme Therapy How to Test for Gluten Intolerance Lysozyme Function Microscopic Parasites Nattokinase Benefits Serrapeptase Benefits Serrapeptase Enzyme Symptoms Gluten Intolerance Systemic Enzyme Therapy Yeast Intolerance Yeast Intolerance SymptomsNo categories