Holistic Handbook on Immune Restoration

Jule Klotter

Immune Restoration Handbook

by Mark Konlee; foreword by Ron Klatz, MD

Keep Hope Alive, P.O. Box 270041, West Allis, Wisconsin 53227 USA; 262-548-4344 (voice mail); www.keephope.net

Softbound, c.2003, ISBN 1-887831-07-X, 304 pp., $19.95 (US)

Mark Konlee, founder of the non-profit organization Keep Hope Alive, Ltd., has published his first edition of Immune Restoration Handbook. Immune Restoration Handbook, which was preceded by eight editions of How to Reverse Immune Dysfunction, represents years of research, personal experience, and networking with other immune-compromised people. Mr. Konlee began investigating the immune system and ways to strengthen it in 1986, after he developed a number of health problems that included food allergies, hypothyroidism, hypoglycemia, digestive disorders, insomnia, fatigue, candidiasis, and depression. This volume includes an explanation of the immune system, factors that affect immune activity, and therapies that have been helpful to people in contact with Keep Hope Alive.

Immune Restoration Handbook begins with a lay-friendly explanation of humoral immunity (TH2), which involves an antibody response against pathogens located outside of the cells, cell-mediated immunity (TH1), which fights microbes within cells and destroys infected or cancerous cells, and mucosal immunity, located in the mucus membranes. Mucosal immunity is designed to prevent inhaled or ingested foreign microbes from crossing the mucus membranes (lining the mouth, nose, sinuses, lungs, and digestive tract) and entering the bloodstream. Without friendly intestinal bacteria and enough butyrate over long periods, mucosal immunity can deteriorate. Yeast overgrowth, leaky gut syndrome, and the development of allergies to chemicals and environmental factors eventually result. Mr. Konlee explains that leaky gut syndrome can cause humoral immunity to go into overdrive, producing an abundance of B cells (antibodies) and an inflammatory response, in reaction to the foreign bodies crossing the intestinal lining. As humoral immunity (TH2) becomes more active, cell-mediated immunity (TH1) becomes less active or suppressed. If cell-mediated immunity is suppressed over a long period of time, a person becomes susceptible to cancer and to infections that attack the cells from within: mycoplasmas, herpes, human herpesvirus 6, HIV, hepatitis, Epstein-Barr virus, etc. Because GI health is vital for immune function, Immune Restoration Handbook contains an entire chapter on healing leaky gut syndrome and implanting friendly acidophilus and bifidobacteria.

Konlee recommends several diagnostic tests to measure the various components of immune function. A skin test will show if immune function is active by the presence and size of a welt that develops 2-3 days after the injection (just under the skin) of inactivated antigens. Measuring selenium blood serum levels provides information about cell-mediated immunity because that arm of the immune system cannot function without this trace mineral. Another test measures natural killer (NK) cell function. NK cells identify and destroy cancer cells and pathogens that are inside and outside cells. Like cell-mediated immunity, natural killer cell activity lessens as humoral antibody (inflammatory) responses increase. A TH1 cytokine profile (measuring interleukin 2 levels) and a TH2 cytokine profile (measuring IL-6 or IL-10), provide further information on cell-mediated and humoral immunity respectively. A Lymphocyte Mitogen Proliferation Analysis or T cell and B cell function test indicates the immune system’s ability to respond to pathogens. Konlee recommends that people with CFIDS, MS, lupus, cancer, AIDS, hepatitis, candidiasis, and other such chronic illnesses find a doctor who is trained in immunology as well as nutrition.

Two simple, self-administered measurements that provide useful information are body temperature and saliva pH. “Temperatures even 1 degree below [98.6[degrees]F] indicate impaired energy in the white blood cell response to infections,” Konlee writes. “No treatment for any chronic infection will ever be completely satisfactory until body temperature returns to normal …. Low body temperature correlates directly to increased HIV, HHV-6A viral loads, increases thrush and fungal infections and growth of cancer cells.” Low saliva pH, below 6.4, also correlates to increased viral replication. Saliva pH parallels the pH of the blood and lymph; and if these fluids are too acidic, enzyme function and nutrient absorption are impaired and viral loads increase.

In addition to discussing gut health and pH, Immune Restoration Handbook also includes chapters on selenium, adrenal/thyroid function, and liver and colon detoxification–all of which support a healthy immune system. Many of the remedies in this book are natural or food-based, such as the use of lemon to alkalize the body, a garlic ointment to treat fungus and infections, castor oil packs, and food-based (instead of synthetic) vitamin supplements when needed. Herbs and bio-oxidative therapies are also presented. All of these remedies are subject to personal testing and re-evaluation by Konlee and people in touch with Keep Hope Alive. Some of the African herbs reported in the book, for example, have enthusiastic support according to information taken from the internet, but their effects among Keep Hope Alive networkers are lackluster (See Journal of Immunity Sept-Dec 2003 at www.keephope.net). Konlee also includes an evaluation of various AIDS drugs and combinations that he completed in March 1997. “The most important fact to note about drug cocktail combinations,” he writes, “is that all drugs in the same class are not created equal and neither are the combinations. There are both good and bad drug cocktail combinations.”

The empirical nature of Keep Hope Alive’s mission–seeking what works (or does not work) from a patient’s perspective–and holistic presentation of immune function makes this book unique in my experience. At times, such as Konlee’s recommendation to use eucalyptus oil for meningitis, I wished for references or more documentation. But I also realize that Immune Restoration Handbook is an abbreviated compilation of the research, lab tests, and anecdotal information gathered by Mark Konlee and Keep Hope Alive over many years. Keep Hope Alive publications–including this book–give people with immune dysfunction information that they need to understand their condition and make life-affirming choices. Immune Restoration Handbook and its supporting publications also give physicians a grassroots view of therapies that have helped immune compromised patients.

review by Jule Klotter

COPYRIGHT 2004 The Townsend Letter Group

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group

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