Leukocytic Lifesavers & Endocytosis, Phagocytosis, and Pinocytosis

What is a leukocyte? A Leukocyte is a colorless cell that circulates throughout our vascular system and other bodily fluids that are custom built by the human body uniquely for each human to act against invaders, both foreign and domestic. We oftentimes simply refer to them as white blood cells. They are all amoeboid cells with a nucleus.

There are many players in this immune system of cells. Eosinophils, Basophils, Neutrophils, Lymphocytes, and Monocytes.

They do things like break down bacteria through a process called endocytosis, or cell eating. These are devouring cells. That is their job.

Some create antibodies to deactivate viruses, bacteria, and other things that could do harm. Some digest pathogenic fungi and bacteria through the process of phagocytosis(cell eating). Some of these are there to sound the sirens when there is something that needs to be addressed. Some help with allergic responses. And some kill cancer cells.

There are many players in this human army of white blood cells that help keep us healthy and well. And they are made in the marrow of our blood and once fully grown they are energetic little suckers ready to do the job they were created to do. These players ingest nutrients via that funny-sounding word, phagocytosis.

And they can drink too. That is called pinocytosis, sometimes called fluid-endocytosis. A means by which our cells ingest things like nutrients and hydration from around the cell. Also, a process that is used for cleansing and clearing extracellular fluids which are part of our immune system’s surveillance function.

We are not simply feeding ourselves when we put food in our mouths. It is our cells that we are ultimately feeding which is what makes the act of living a possibility. And the pleasures we experience when eating are by no means the primary value of the act, though it is a bonus for sure. And with all these things considered, we should be much more mindful about the things we are putting in our mouths.

This brings me to probably the most important point in mentioning all of this. The capturing of pathogenic and unknown substances that endanger the human organism. When these immune cells encounter something that is not a beneficial part of the overall function of the creature, they go to work eating them. Breaking down harmful things into less toxic substances for reuse or clearance including our own bodily structures that have gone beyond their useful utilitarian functions.

If you have ever heard the words autophagy or senescence you may already be familiar with this process by which our cells simply digest themselves. All of these processes work together for the overall good and homeostasis of the larger overall lifeform. Us.

So what are these lovely white blood cells being created for you ask? Like I said at the beginning of this essay. They act against invaders, both foreign and domestic. But they also work against injury caused by the foods we eat.

Ever heard of autoimmune disorders? Two different forms are abnormally low activity and then there is overactivity. Both are bad. One decreases the ability of the body to fight invaders(low), and the other attacks the body as though it is the foreign invader.

Would it be so strange to imagine your body fighting back against you if you are the one causing harm by the kind of lifestyle you are living? And it could be something you consider beneficial, like exercising a lot. Or something a little more obvious like eating fast food every day, eating carcinogenic foods, drinking, smoking, drugs, etc.

“processed meat causes cancer. Classified as a Group 1 carcinogen, it is connected specifically to colorectal and stomach cancer. Examples of processed meats that have carcinogenic properties include: Frankfurter hotdogs, ham, sausages, corned beef, beef jerky and canned or lunch meat.”

“Only marginally better for us than processed meat, red meat is classified as a Group 2A carcinogen, “probably carcinogenic to humans”. The strongest link between eating red meat and cancer is colorectal cancer, however, there is also evidence of links to both pancreatic and prostate cancer.”

https://www.aetnainternational.com/en/about-us/explore/fit-for-duty-corporate-wellness/cancer-causing-foods-cancer-fighting-foods.html

Should we really be shocked that our body would look out for its own best interest even when we don’t in ignorance?

Our body has one goal. Getting itself as far down the road as possible.

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