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[av_heading tag=’h3′ padding=’10’ heading=’A lecture on fighting the ravages of aging’ color=” style=’blockquote modern-quote’ custom_font=” size=” subheading_active=’subheading_below’ subheading_size=’15’ custom_class=”]
BY HERBERT VEGO
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WE “young once” face the irony of spending more money to stay in good health. Yes, it’s truly ironic because, having gone way past our money-making season, we the elderly face the agony of wasting hard-earned savings in the war against age-related diseases. It pains the pocket most when one goes through the “luxury” of hospitalization.
Fearing that, I have been very receptive to radio programs glorifying alternative medicine as the cheaper way to fight the ravages of aging. An interesting school of thought they promote is “strengthening the immune system” through their products aimed at doing just.
Hoping to lose nothing but age-related diseases, I recently attended a lecture sponsored by a food-supplement manufacturer in a hotel.
I scribbled notes on the lecturer’s lecture. In his opening statement, he said that a truly healthy person does not have to rely on vaccines, antibiotics and antiviral drugs because “your body already contains all the bug-fighting medicines you’ll ever need!”
He said that by the time an infant turns one year old, he will have developed nearly a trillion different antibiotic and antiviral agents in his body to protect him from diseases. If the child retains them into adulthood, he remains protected.
With a trillion different antibodies and immune cell warriors ready to battle our bacterial and viral enemies, it’s a wonder that any foreign invader can penetrate our defenses and cause us harm!
So why do we get sick?
The speaker cited two reasons:
1. Our immune system fails to go into action fast enough; and
2. Our immune system gets beaten down and worn out.
In other words, bacteria and viruses are fast little critters – and they can attack without notice.
As we age, our immune system takes longer time to react to these attacks. That slow reaction time allows germs to break through and invade our cells.
And so we may find ourselves picking up every bug or virus we come in contact with as we get older.
Moreover, our modern lifestyle can literally wear us out – but not without reasons. “Robbers” out there are the culprits. Among them are:
Poor diet: Many foods are deficient in the nutrients crucial for peak immune function. Foods loaded with sugar, preservatives, refined carbohydrates and processed ingredients not only weaken our immune system but also promote inflammation of the blood vessels! This inflammation can trigger joint pain, heart disease, stiff arteries and blood sugar imbalance, among others.
Stress: Day-to-day stress from fast-paced modern living mimics our immune system’s “fight or flight” response – creating undue anxiety, fear and nervousness. This causes the release of unnecessary cortisol – a stress hormone – that can lower immune response!
Environmental pollutants: Every single minute, we breathe in, absorb or ingest microscopic toxic particles that are detected as a threat by our immune system. This toxic load puts a huge amount of stress on our natural defenses.
Overuse of antibiotics, prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines can rob nutrients and beneficial flora that are critical to a strong immune system. Doctors rarely prescribe probiotics to help restore healthy intestinal flora.
Global living and overcrowding: Overcrowding in the cities means faster spread of communicable diseases.
The immune system is our body’s defense against infectious organisms and invaders. It’s made up of a complicated network of cells, tissues and organs that work together to protect your body.
We have antibodies that recognize and trap bacteria, viruses, and toxins. Once these foreign substances are “tagged”, our body’s “killer cells” can easily destroy them.
Incidentally, this is no advertisement for the unnamed lecturer and the food supplement company he represents./PN