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.”


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.

Anti-fragility and Hormesis

What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You What?

Is it possible that a random bacon double cheeseburger could ultimately make a vegan live a longer, healthier life? What if a raw vegan or even a frugivore could live ten to twenty years longer by simply eating something that is not within their strict framework every once in a while? Is it possible that consuming a diet that is too easy on the system is actually worse than one that is not?

I am beginning to wonder. Because complex organic operating systems are weakened, sometimes even unto an early demise where there is a lack of stress. And as we have seen over the last few years, 2019-2022, Mother Nature does not favor the weak. On the contrary, she favors the strong.

I can’t imagine each and everyone one of us hasn’t heard this many times over. Kelly Clarkson made a hit song with this title in 2011. It’s not just a catchy song, it is also a very true statement within a complex system that has the ability to adapt. In the scientific and medical worlds, it is referred to as anti-fragility or hormesis.

In Greek mythology, there was a story about a creature with nine heads called Hydra. The monster would occasionally emerge to stir up the people and livestock of the mythical land of Lerna. When someone attempted to defeat this creature by cutting off one of its heads they would find that two more grew back in its place. What didn’t kill Hydra made him stronger.

This concept can also be seen in the plant world through a process called topping in which the main stalk of the plant is cut resulting in the plant redirecting its energy and growth hormones out to the side branches resulting in the branches growing more robustly in an outward fashion instead of continuing skyward. The intended result is a plant that produces more fruit.

And this is why you see so many humans working out. What doesn’t kill us does quite literally make us stronger. You see, some things benefit from a shock to the system that pushes a smooth running organic machine out of balance. Even our bones grow stronger when put under stress by physical activity. But there does come a point where that stress can become too much and the benefits are no longer as robust. This brings me to my another question I will address later. How much is too much?

So, back to the double bacon cheeseburger question. Could an occasional curveball actually be better for the human body than a perfectly executed raw vegan diet? It would seem so. Even Dr. Valter Longo, author of The Longevity Diet notes that those who indulge in a small amount of fish once per week ultimately live longer healthy lives than those on a strict, 100% uncooked whole-food/plant-based diet. Nonetheless, he still stresses the importance of maintaining a 95% whole-food/plant-based diet. But I don’t really remember ever hearing him clearly state what that mechanism of action is by adding a little fish to the diet.

My feeling is that it boils down to the hormetic/anti-fragile effects of the animal food product acting as a small amount of poison that kicks our body’s immune system into high gear. That just a few ounces of fish once per week causes our body to produce an excess amount of neutrophils, eosinophils, basophils, monocytes, and lymphocytes that then go out into the body to fix the problem.

And this is where the magic happens.

Not only is the specific poison addressed by all of those amazing immune cells that our body produces for times just like these, but they also go about cleaning up a whole host of other lesser things that were flying just below the radar at a subclinical level improving the overall health of the human body. Cleaning up other senescent cells that are no longer beneficial to life, but not quite problematic enough to trigger an immune response. Individually, those senescent cells won’t take out the creature(us), but over time they will and do build up to a level that eventually precipitates a health crisis that most aren’t even aware of until we start experiencing systemic inflammation requiring an interventional response.


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A Huge Discovery in the World of VirusesGiant phages have been found in French lakes, baboons from Kenya, and the human mouth. – Your mouth is currently teeming with giant viruses that, until very recently, no one knew existed. Unlike Ebola or the new coronavirus that’s currently making headlines, these particular viruses don’t cause disease in humans. They’re part of a group known as phages, which infect and kill bacteria. But while many phages are well studied, these newly discovered giants are largely mysterious. Why are they 10 times bigger than other phages? How do they reproduce? And what are they up to inside our bodies? “They’re in our saliva, and in our gut,” says Jill Banfield of the University of California, Berkeley, who led the team that discovered the new phages. “Who knows what they’re doing?” Read More…

Animal Data Shows Fisetin to be a Surprisingly Effective Senolytic It is exciting to see animal data arrive for some of the potentially senolytic compounds that may turn out to destroy enough senescent cells in mammals to be worth using as first generation rejuvenation therapies. As a reminder, the accumulation of senescent cells is one of the causes of aging; countless cells become senescent every day in our bodies, but near all are destroyed. A tiny fraction linger to cause significant harm through the inflammatory signal molecules that they secrete. If these errant cells can be removed, then inflammatory diseases and numerous aspects of aging can be turned back to some degree. The results in mice stand head and shoulders above all of the other approaches to aging in terms of reliability and breadth of benefits…Of the 10 flavonoids tested, fisetin was the most potent senolytic. Acute or intermittent treatment of progeroid and old mice with fisetin reduced senescence markers in multiple tissues, consistent with a hit-and-run senolytic mechanism. Fisetin reduced senescence in a subset of cells in murine and human adipose tissue, demonstrating cell-type specificity. Administration of fisetin to wild-type mice late in life restored tissue homeostasis, reduced age-related pathology, and extended median and maximum lifespan. Read More…

Flavonoids: An Overview – Flavonoids, a group of natural substances with variable phenolic structures, are found in fruits, vegetables, grains, bark, roots, stems, flowers, tea and wine. These natural products are well known for their beneficial effects on health and efforts are being made to isolate the ingredients so called flavonoids. Flavonoids are now considered as an indispensable component in a variety of nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, medicinal and cosmetic applications. This is attributed to their anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-mutagenic and anti-carcinogenic properties coupled with their capacity to modulate key cellular enzyme function. Read More…

Chemistry and Biological Activities of Flavonoids: An Overview – Flavonoids consist of a large group of polyphenolic compounds having a benzo-γ-pyrone structure and are ubiquitously present in plants. Flavonoids are hydroxylated phenolic substances and are known to be synthesized by plants in response to microbial infection. Many flavonoids are shown to have antioxidative activity, free radical scavenging capacity, coronary heart disease prevention, hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer activities, while some flavonoids exhibit potential antiviral activities. In plant systems, flavonoids help in combating oxidative stress and act as growth regulators. Read More…

Fisetin is a senotherapeutic that extends health and lifespan The natural product fisetin has senotherapeutic activity in mice and in human tissues. Late life intervention was sufficient to yield a potent health benefit. These characteristics suggest the feasibility to translation to human clinical studies.