How Vulnerable is Your Immune System?

This interview is an excerpt from Kevin Gianni’s Renegade Roundtable, which can be found at In this excerpt, Dr. J.E. Williams shares on our immune systems vulnerability and diseases like cancer or chronic fatigue syndrome.

Renegade Water Secrets with Dr. J.E. Williams, a pioneer in integrative medicine, an educational leader in “green medicines” and an internationally known speaker and published author, including his latest book, “Viral Immunity.”

Kevin: So let’s talk about the most common viruses that most people would have. What are the numbers? I’ve read that up to 90% of people have viruses.

Dr. Williams: [laughs] Well, I’d probably say 90 to 100, closer to 100. One time a very well known bacteriologist, a specialist in bacteria, was giving a lecture by my invitation at one of the medical schools that I worked with. I was in the audience and he was pointing out the number of cells in the body. It is fascinating that we have more bacteria by number, so many trillions of bacteria compared to so many hundreds of billions of living tissue cells. There’s four times more bacteria that actually compose who we are. Can you believe that? And all of those, except when we’re affected, are supposed to be there. That’s our robiotics. It’s not just in the gut, they’re through all our other tissues. And then he said, “Where viruses are not supposed to be there.” And then he looked up at me and said, “Well, Dr. Williams might have a different view because he’s kind of the pro-viral immunity doc!”

We kind of had a little eye to eye and smiled. Afterwards we chatted a little bit and realized that his information was from a different paradigm, more than 20 years ago. And mine was a little more current in that we get infected by viruses, and we used to think that the body cleared everything out, but now we realize that it doesn’t.

Anywhere between 90 and 95%, maybe higher, carry antibodies to a very common herpes virus called Epstein-Barr. And you can go, and this has been tested, into Brazilian Amazon natives along the river to the Northern Artic Eskimos to urban people in pretty much every country and every continent. So how did the virus become so global and so ubiquitous that it infects almost everybody? During childhood, it remains there. Another is roseola. The list goes on and on. Those are all herpes virus family microorganisms. So the number may be anywhere from 90 to 100% for carrying some type of virus around with us.

Kevin: So Epstein-Barr, for those people who don’t know, that’s what causes mononucleosis.

Dr. Williams: Yes, exactly. The kissing disease. It can be very severe. When I’m talking to people, for example, with chronic fatigue, one of the first things I want to track down is, is the fatigue caused by an infection, and what type of infection could that be? Could it be spyro-acute lyme disease, a type of bacteria, or another bacteria or parasites or yeast organisms or virus? Those are the main infectious microorganisms. And if it is, then I try to narrow it down further. Which type of infectious agent is it? If it’s viruses, well, then you’re in my domain!

Kevin: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Williams: But interestingly, probably the smallest percentage of chronic fatigue are really caused by infectious organisms, and only a part of those that are caused by infectious are by Epstein Barr. But in the history taking, what I’ll do is I’ll try to ask the patients, did they ever have mono, will be one of the main questions, and then to what degree did it make them sick. They could have been in bed for two months with an enlarged spleen; I mean, very, very sick. Or, they could have had almost nothing. Maybe it was just like a passing cold or they thought they had a flu but actually they had mono. And it may or may not, the degree that they’re infected originally, may or may not have a bearing on how their immune system and how their body is now responding to a reactivation to this latent viral form of Epstein Barr.

Every modern disease or most of them, but certainly cancer, diabetes, even all the auto-immune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and MS and not to mention chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia and the list goes on and on, the most common modern degenerative chronic ailments are linked by one thing, and that’s the immune system. And so, in researching viruses and in treating viruses what I found was that since there’s no drugs or even effective herbs or things that we have to come up with a strategy which I call the viral immunity or the viral immunity program or strategy, to strengthen and to modulate or to boost our immune systems, and what are the most important elements. And finally, by the way, I’m working, I’m just on the edges of working, concept only, right now, but with a very large international company with research in Canada and Korea and other places to develop a really world class immune-strengthening supportive formula that’s kind of broad based and would help the immune system in general, but particularly against viruses.

Kevin: What are the signs obviously that…people kind of know the signs of a weakening immune system, but what is the strategy, like what, how do you start, when do you decide to go on some sort of program that will help boost your immune system? Do you do it all the time? Is it something you go on and off of? I think this kind of encompasses a lot of questions that the audience is after.

Dr. Williams: Because there’s such a problem with dampening, weakening, or imbalancing immune system, and it tends to show up more under people with a lot of stress, and as you get older. But don’t just use those two as the only marker; it can happen to anybody at any time under many, a variety of circumstances, but the. And because all of these diseases I talked about are so linked to immunity, if there’s one thing that kind of linked them all together it would be an imbalanced or weakened or damaged immune system, that it’s important for everyone to start to take corrective action in their lifestyle, in their diet, their, the way they move, their exercise, to strengthen their immunity and to protect their immunity and to enforce it and maintain it lifelong.

Then the next part of that question is that for those people who do have the signs of a weakening immunity, then they should start to actively treat it in a, maybe we’d call it a soft way, but in a daily basis with nutrients and perhaps some herbal therapies. And then they should have the information and knowledge how to either, how to modulate upward or boost up the activity of some of those medications that they’re taking during like the fall and winter when the flu season is high, and, or if there’s, if they suspect they’re getting a virus or that they have a latent virus that’s reactivating. So, one is lifestyle part of it which everybody should do which includes also awareness of the severity of and the commonality of viral illness. And, two, a general program, sort of, almost kind of a one-sized general program that might fit everyone or close to it. And then some more specific boosting or modulating or up-regulating substances that you would only take when you need them for short periods of time, so a little kind of boost or jets of energy.

Kevin: And is it possible to eat your food so cleanly that you don’t need any of the extra stuff?

Dr. Williams: That’s a great question. I totally anticipated this one, Kevin. [laughter] I hear this so often that people say they live the perfect. . .I mean, in their own mind they, I’m exaggerating, but as if they lived the perfect diet. Nobody lives a perfect lifestyle and the perfect diet in our world, believe me. The foods that we eat in America; you could shop at the health food store and buy organic and everything; and that’s important, that’s a huge plus, and that’s going to help you a lot, but nothing in this country is pure or safe from genetically adaptation, and even trucking the fruits and vegetables, they have to be fumigated, and so forth. So, there’s no such thing as that; that’s like living in a bubble, in a pure world.

And even the places I go high in the Andes, these like Shangri-la type of places, they and other parts of the world, the living is rugged, and yes, the air is pure and clean, and the people have no disease, and etc., but it’s encroaching in on them. And it’s long, long, long ago, generations ago have encroached in on us, so our genetics have already been altered or modified. We can improve our genetic expression. We can help ourselves, in other words. But we can’t often undo the damage that our parents experienced before we were born. And so, the other thing is that if you have no immunity to infection, you’ll get infected, no matter how strong you are. In matter of fact, it will lay low the strongest of the strong, the youngest and the bravest of the brave, no one is spared when nature roars. And when viruses come in, if you don’t have the immunity to it and your immune system reacts aggressively, it’s the immune system that kills you, not the virus.

So the answer is, it’s very helpful, and it will help prevent a lot of immune system related conditions but it won’t make you completely immune or armor you to a point where you’re invincible or completely invulnerable. That’s not how biology works. And then there’s every shade of not only gray but every color of the rainbow in terms of viruses. It’s quite interesting.

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