The unique combination of amino acids and omega-3 fatty acids naturally found in caviar directly promotes the production and activation of immune cells such as macrophages, neutrophils, dendritic cells, natural killer cells, and mast cells. Those nutrients also aid the body in production of the pathogen fighting proteins, interferons and immunoglobulins.
From our last article, you discovered that each minuscule egg in the wild Norwegian herring’s roe contains within it the miracle of life. You also got a brief explanation about bioactive compounds and their ability to positively impact wellness. We know, “positive wellness impact” sounds vague and scammy. In the wrong hands, maybe that is true – but when we talk about beneficial health effects at Cavi Pur, we mean it. Our team has decades of professional experience covering both Eastern and Western medicine, so we have seen firsthand the body’s positive response to dietary caviar.
In this article, we are going to dig into the specific physiological processes that are affected by the consumption of caviar. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a medical professional to follow along – we’ll break down complex topics into everyday language to teach you everything you need to know.
What is the immune system, anyway?
We all know the immune system lives inside our bodies and exists to keep us safe from illness. But what does that actually entail? Let’s start by going over the various elements – from individual cells and proteins to entire organs – of the immune system and their respective functions.
The first line of defense
The easiest way for our bodies to fight harmful bacteria is to keep them from getting in, in the first place. Our body has several mechanisms that act as a barrier to keep harmful bacteria and viruses (also known as pathogens). Skin is the most obvious impediment to pathogens, as it forms an external blockade around all of the precious organs and soft tissues in our bodies. Obviously, we aren’t covered entirely in skin – there are openings to eat, breathe, see, hear, and… you know. In these instances, we rely on our mucous membranes as the first line of defense against harmful bacteria. Some examples of mucous membranes at work include enzymes in our tears and saliva, mucus in our airways, and acids in the stomach. We’re also equipped with physical reflexes like coughing and sneezing to expel the errant pathogen that might enter the airways.
The lymphatic system
If pernicious bacteria or viruses manage to get past the front line defenses, our lymphatic system kicks in. The lymphatic system plays a key role in immunity and is primarily responsible for the mechanisms that create and deliver infection-fighting cells (also called white blood cells, or leukocytes) around the body. You can think of the lymphatic system as having two essential duties: creating leukocytes (this happens in the primary lymphoid organs like bone marrow), and actually fighting off foreign substances (in the secondary lymphoid organs such as the tonsils, spleen, and more mucous membranes).
Leukocytes are able to identify threats because each pathogen is coated with an antigen. Put simply, an antigen is like a big sign on the outside of a bacterium or virus-cell that reads, “Hey, I’m not from around here, I might be dangerous!” There are two categories of white blood cells that team up to attack the threat: phagocytes and lymphocytes. Phagocytes trigger immune response by sending specialized cells into the bloodstream. As these defensive cells circulate, they destroy any foreign cells they encounter by consuming them. By consuming the offending cells, phagocytes are able to absorb the information contained in the pathogen’s antigen. They are then able to broadcast this information to the lymphocytes, of which there are two categories (don’t worry, we are almost done with the complicated stuff!): T-cells and B-cells. T-cells kill infected body cells to keep the infection or illness from spreading. B-cells use the antigen insights transmitted by the phagocytes to produce millions of antibodies (immunoglobulins) and deploy them into the body to destroy pathogens.
What’s in your caviar?
Now, on to the fun part! Let’s talk about what exactly caviar does to give your immune system a power boost. You know already that we rely on one primary ingredient for Cavi Pur supplements: roe from wild-caught Norwegian herring. You may also remember that within each tiny egg exists all of the macronutrients and minerals needed to create and sustain life, even in an extreme environment. It’s within these basic compounds that the immunity magic happens.
“Amino acids are organic compounds that combine to form proteins. Amino acids and proteins are the building blocks of life.” Amino acids are the remnants after proteins are digested. Our bodies use amino acids to help break down food, grow, repair body tissue,” create energy, and perform other necessary functions. There are three classifications of amino acids: essential, nonessential, and conditional. Our bodies cannot create essential amino acids on their own, so they must be sourced from the food we eat. Nonessential amino acids can be produced in the body or consumed via food. Conditional amino acids come in handy when the body is ill or stressed.
When consumed, the amino acids naturally present in caviar assist T-cells in killing infected body cells and B-cells in producing antibodies. They can even help produce interferons, which are protein watchdogs that help to stop virus cells from replicating.
Omega-3 fatty acids
We promised you a breather from the heavy science, so suffice to say: there are four types of fatty acids that are found naturally in many of our food sources. They are necessary for human health but cannot be made within our bodies. You’ve likely been warned of the dietary risk of consuming a high quantity of saturated fat or too many trans fats. There are also monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, both of which can be considered ‘the good guys.’ Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat. 
The omega-3s found in caviar offer some of the most diverse and advantageous benefits that can be derived from caviar as a food source. Humankind is actively studying and has more to learn about omega-3s, but what we already do know about them is mind-blowing. These tiny chains of molecules play nearly limitless roles in the human body.
- Remember phagocytes? They’re the type of white blood cell that sends specialized cells out into the bloodstream to eat pathogenic cells and then circulate all their secrets out to the white blood cell army. Well, those virus-munching cells are called macrophages, and omega-3s are basically to macrophages what spinach is to Popeye. They supercharge the reconnaissance mission to absorb and transmit a virus’ antigens across the other components of the lymphatic system.
- Omega-3 fatty acids have also been found to activate neutrophils. These are a type of immune cell, and “one of the first cell types to travel to the site of an infection.” They emit enzymes that kill harmful microorganisms and are a type of phagocytic white blood cell, and in fact make up the majority percentage of your white blood cells. As a first-responder at the site of infection or inflammation, neutrophils produce chemicals that fight antigens and heal damaged tissue.
- We already talked about T-cells and B-cells (T-cells kill infected body cells and B-cells produce immunoglobulins, or antibodies, to destroy pathogens). The omega-3 fatty acids found in caviar activate T-cells and multiply the antibody production of B-cells.
- Omega-3s also build dendritic cells, which are a type of phagocytic white blood cell whose main function is to capture, process, and present antigens to adaptive immune cells (a.k.a. lymphocytes).
- You can think of interferons as the neighborhood watch of the lymphatic system – they’re on the lookout for suspicious activity and loudly announce the danger to anyone within earshot. When NK cells (yes, it really stands for natural killer cells) hear the interferon alarm, they set out to kill virally infected cells (similar to T-cells). Omega-3s in caviar activate the release of these NK cells to help neutralize an infection before it can spread.
- Mast cells are the multitaskers of immune cells. They are known to repair tissue, assist in the creation of blood, heal wounds, and were recently discovered to play a role in short- and long-term immunity. However, they can…well…overreact at times. Mast cells do their job by causing inflammation. “When it’s good, it fights off foreign invaders, heals injuries, and mops up debris. But when it’s bad, inflammation ignites a long list of disorders.” And mast cells are not only responsible for inflammation. See also: itch, rash, asthma, nasal congestion (need we continue?). Omega-3s reduce the potency of mast cell activation, which decreases swelling and protects tissues – if the inflammation spreads beyond the initial location of damage or persists longer than needed, it can cause harm. Mast cells don’t work alone – basophils are also activated by the presence of allergens, releasing histamine to spur an inflammatory response. Like its friends the mast cells and the basophils, the eosinophil participates in inflammatory processes, and could also play a part in the development of organs. Fortunately, omega-3s are effective at moderating the activities of all three of these specialized immune cells, drawing out the best of their abilities, and mitigating the impacts of the worst.
Caviar and immunity
Congratulations, you’re practically an expert on the lymphatic system now! After drinking from the firehose of human health, let’s review the main takeaway: amino acids and omega-3 fatty acids are paramount to the well-being of any individual, and since our bodies can’t fully satisfy our need for these compounds, we have to absorb them through the food we eat. There’s only one possible conclusion to draw now: caviar, an abundant natural source of both amino acids and omega-3s, is like the peanut butter to your jelly (or do you want to be peanut butter? You can be peanut butter). If your lymphatic system is a garden, caviar is like fertilizer – sure, you can grow a garden in any old soil. But if you really want your plants to thrive, you have to supply them with all the essentials they need to grow healthy.