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NK Cells

NK Cells

‘The Killers That Help Us Fight Infection’

When your immune system is compromised, whether by disease, stress, or an unhealthy lifestyle, you could experience these signs:

  • Frequent and recurrent sinus, ear, or skin infections.
  • Delayed or incomplete recovery from illnesses from which others recover far more quickly
  • Inflammation and infection of internal organs
  • Digestive problems such as cramps, loss of appetite, nausea and diarrhea

Your Immune System and Why It Is So Important
The immune system is the body’s defense against infectious organisms and other invaders. Through a series of steps called the immune response, the immune system attacks organisms and substances that invade body systems and cause disease. The immune system is comprised of various immune cells, each with its own set of functions. NK cells, or Natural Killer Cells, are one of the most important immune cells in the fight against infection, virus and even tumor cells.

The activity of your NK cells determines how well your immune system is working and reflects any impairments of its function. Common causes of poor NK cell activity are:

  • Cancer
  • A family history of cancer
  • An unbalanced lifestyle, for example, heavy smoking, sleep deprivation, high stress level, obesity,poor nutrition, insufficient intake of fruits, vegetables and protein
  • Specific medications such as immunosuppressive agents and chemotherapy drugs
  • Post-surgery complications

High NK cell activity reflects a good immune system. However, if the level is abnormally high, this could be an indication of the presence of infection or autoimmune diseases such as SLE or rheumatoid arthritis.

The NK Cell Activity Test
The NK Cell activity test is an in-vitro blood test that can help to quantify the competency of your immune system to defend against viral infections and cancerous cells. Once your NK cell activity is determined, you will discuss a personalized preventative program with our doctors to help support your immune system.