ASIA Syndrome is an autoimmune/inflammatory disorder caused by certain adjuvants, which are immunological properties added to vaccines that modify the effect of other agents
Typically, adjuvants work by boosting the amount of antibodies in a vaccine to offer longer lasting protection against disease and minimize how much of the material is actually injected. Most are safe, however, one of the more commonly used adjuvants, aluminium, is known to cause autoimmune disorders.
ASIA syndrome was first coined in 2011 by Israeli immunologist Yehuda Shoenfeld. According to Shoenfeld, it’s caused by adjuvants such as silicone, tetramethylpentadecane, pristane, and aluminum, and he believes the HPV vaccine could be the main culprit. Luckily, not everyone exposed to these adjuvants will develop ASIA syndrome, although that makes it more difficult to bridge the connection between the two. He also broke down the disorder into four different categories: post-vaccination symptoms, macrophagic myofasciitis, Gulf War syndrome, and siliconosis. Shoenfeld has also named Sjögren’s syndrome as possibly being another aspect of ASIA syndrome.
A recent study published by the Israel Medicine Association Journal, led by Daphna Katz and Yehuda Shoenfeld, concluded that CBD’s anti-inflammatory benefits lie in its ability to decrease the number of B, T helper and T cytotoxic cells, reduce the secretion of B cells’ IgM and IgG antibodies and of T cells’ IL-17 and IL-6, and increase transcription of T cells’ IL-10. This research is groundbreaking and one of the biggest steps towards developing a reliable and safe treatment for ASIA syndrome, and many other autoimmune disorders.
According to the authors of this study, “Working on the assumption that CBD’s immunomodulating properties might be the source for this therapeutic potential raises the question whether measured outcomes should include markers for inflammation. Additionally, in light of the authors’ acknowledgment of a possible bias in the health survey questionnaire on quality of life administered to the study participants, the question of supplementary measured outcomes still remains. Tackling the issue of the subjective questionnaire also raises concern about a placebo effect, underlining the need for placebo control.”
How Does CBD Help?
In recent years, the cannabis compound cannabidiol, also known as CBD, has been well-touted as a sort of miracle medicine due to it’s versatility and capacity to treat many different ailments. But how exactly does CBD help with ASIA syndrome? To answer this question, it’s important to note that the overproduction of cytokines, a small protein released by immune systems cells, is at the root of many autoimmune disorders. The cytokines include interleukins, lymphokines and cell signal molecules, which also trigger inflammation. It’s possible for chronic inflammation to lead to an autoimmune disorder.
A colleague of the infamous Raphael Mechoulam, Marc Feldman from Imperial College in London, was the first to file a patent for the use of cannabinoids to treat inflammatory conditions back in 1998. He tested CBD on mice with rheumatoid arthritis and found that their inflammation decreased by 50 percent when using the correct dose, which is 5 mg/kg.
Other experts, such as former University of Texas Biochemist Dennis Hill, have also been promoting the use of CBD as an anti-inflammatory agent and immune booster. According to Hill, “cannabinoids have the ability to suppress the inflammatory cytokine cascade by inhibiting glial cell production of the cytokines interferon or interleukin, both of which are proteins used in the immune system response,” he stated. “Here we see the seeds of chronic inflammation dissolved by the modulation process of cannabinoids bringing homeostasis to systems out of balance.”
When we look at how cannabis works, it’s no shock that cannabidiol has this anti-inflammatory effect on our bodies. It all boils down to our Endocannabinoid system. We have CB1 receptors, which are found in the central nervous system, and CB2 receptors that are located in the peripheral nervous system. Experts believe that CBD’s anti-inflammatory benefits stem from its interaction with our CB2 receptors. CBD stimulates the vanilloid pain receptors in the peripheral nervous system and inhibits the breakdown of the body’s own cannabinoid, Anandamide, by suppressing the Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FAAH). This leads to a reduction in inflammation.
Why These Studies Are Relevant
In the United States alone, nearly 24 million people are suffering from some sort of autoimmune disorder. There are over one hundred varieties, but some of the more commonly known ones are Multiple Sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, Diabetes Type 1, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus. There are many theories as to why these illness are growing so rapidly in developed nations. One idea, as stated above, is the adjuvants in vaccines. Other people believe that our lack of exposure to bacteria and viruses is causing our immune systems to go awry and attack themselves.
Regardless, the increase is alarming. Because of this dramatic rise over the last few decades, cannabis studies are imperative as they offer a ray of light to patients and professionals who have been mostly stuck in the dark with no legitimate ways to treat or prevent these conditions.