Everything is a balance! In life and in the body. Mast cells are no exception.
Why do mast cells matter? When we look at the body’s amazing ability to fight infection and repair itself after damage, we also need to consider how inflammation needs to be carefully balanced in the body. Too much or too little can be a problem.
Mast cells are an important inflammatory cell that helps us fight infection and repair our bodies. But like most things in life, too much of a good thing can be bad. When mast cells are out of balance and go unchecked, the chemicals they release can cause damage – and symptoms such as itching, flushing, digestive problems, surges of anxiety, low blood pressure, and others can become miserable.
What controls mast cells and makes sure they behave?
The parasympathetic nervous system.
How does inflammation help us?
Inflammation is critical in the repair of the body. If you sprain your ankle, for example, it becomes inflamed. It swells, becomes red (the vessels dilate), and it hurts. Inflammatory cytokines (inflammatory chemicals) are sent to the point of injury and cause the blood vessels to dilate allowing more inflammatory cells to arrive on the scene. These inflammatory cells then release even more inflammatory cytokines (what’s known as the “inflammatory cascade”) which magnifies the inflammatory response to allow healing as quickly as possible.
After healing (or “remodeling”) of the tissue has occurred, the cytokines exit and the cascade comes to a stop. Eventually, the inflammatory cells either move on or expire and redness, swelling, and pain stops. Healing has occurred and we can thank the acute inflammation for the repair!
This inflammatory response to both injury and infection is carefully regulated by the body because too much inflammation can actually damage tissue. if the inflammation continues when no longer needed for repair, the same cells, and chemicals that encouraged healing can now cause damage to the host. When the inflammatory response is poorly regulated, the same chemicals that cause vessel dilation, redness, pain, and swelling to assist healing, can ultimately result in chronic pain and inflammation.
What are mast cells?
Many types of inflammatory cells are involved in a typical inflammatory response needed to repair ourselves and to recover from illness, but mast cells have been under-recognized in this scenario. Mast cells have been typically viewed as allergy cells, that when activated can cause itching, redness, flushing, difficulty breathing, hives, and other symptoms. Relatively recently, they have been identified as critical players in both injury and infection. When activated, mast cells help recruit inflammatory cells to the site of injury, and they release antimicrobial peptides that help fight both viral and bacterial infection at a wound site.
And yet when the injury or infection has passed, they need to calm down! If they remain activated, they can continue to cause symptoms although the threat of infection or injury may have passed. Mast cells need to be regulated to keep inflammation properly balanced.
What regulates mast cells?
The parasympathetic nervous system is critical to keep mast cells under control.
The parasympathetic nervous system is part of the autonomic nervous system — the nervous system that regulates the functions of the body without your input. You can think of it as the “automatic nervous system”. Functions such as heart rate, blood pressure, and digestion are all part of the autonomic nervous system.
The parasympathetic nervous system is the “rest and digest” system of the body. It allows you to slow down a rapid heart rate, calm breathing, get some rest, and digest your food. Beyond these basic bodily functions, the parasympathetic nervous system is also the anti-inflammatory pathway of the body (via the vagus nerve). The communication between your parasympathetic nervous system your mast cells is critical to help control the inflammatory response.
We don’t want to kill our inflammatory cells, and we need mast cells to assist us when we are sick or injured. But they must be controlled and the parasympathetic nervous system is designed to control them, as well as help us with many other bodily functions.
How can you support your parasympathetic nervous system?
Parasym Plus™ is a patented product designed to support your parasympathetic nervous system. It is patented because it (uniquely) stimulates the vagus nerve to allow proper regulation of mast cells and other inflammatory cells.
Through proper vagus nerve function, the “anti-inflammatory pathway” is set in motion. This pathway is a major player in regulating, or balancing, your inflammatory response.
What else does Parasym Plus™ do?
Parasym Plus™ supports every aspect of digestion by supporting the vagus nerve. Your vagus nerve allows proper stomach acid production, normal gallbladder function as well as pancreatic function, and it allows proper motility (movement of food and stool) throughout your digestive tract.
Parasym Plus™ also provides what the vagus nerve needs to slow a rapid heart, calm breathing, and allow us to relax.
Importantly, Parasym Plus™ crosses the blood-brain barrier to support acetylcholine for the brain (the major neurotransmitter needed to think sharply and create short-term memories).
Parasym Plus™ is patented because it is unique. No other product can do what Parasym Plus™ can do.
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Bonaz, B., Sinniger, V., & Pellissier, S. (2017). The vagus nerve in the neuro-immune axis: implications in the pathology of the gastrointestinal tract. Frontiers in immunology, 8, 1452.
van der Kleij, H. P., & Bienenstock, J. (2005). Significance of conversation between mast cells and nerves. Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology, 1(2), 65.
Bienenstock, J., Macqueen, G., Sestini, P., Marshall, J. S., Stead, R. H., & Perdue, M. H. (1991). Mast cell/nerve interactions in vitro and in vivo. American Review of Respiratory Disease, 143(3_pt_2), S55-S58.
Marshall, J. S., & Waserman, S. (1995). Mast cells and the nerves—potential interactions in the context of chronic disease. Clinical & Experimental Allergy, 25(2), 102-110