Immunity – The Immune System – Inner Fitness –  the best Defense immunity
by Lynn Hinderliter CN. LDN

The frequent mention in the news of the re-emergence globally of killer diseases thought to be under control adds urgency to the need to support one’s immune system.  For example, Tuberculosis, the stuff of tragic operas and gothic novels, is making a come-back with new and more virulent strains hard to dominate and harder still to resist because of the air-borne nature of the infection. The sad fact that overuse and misuse of antibiotics has gradually made more and more infections resistant to them is the second part of our quandary.  Immunity

Remember last year when the “flu bug” was going around? Why does one person get sick and the other stay healthy? Why do some people never seem to get sick at all, when others succumb to every passing ailment? The answer lies in the state of our immune systems, our ” inner fitness”.  Immunity

One of the major medical controversies of the 19th century was whether disease was more a result of bacterial/viral attack, or inadequate host defenses.  Immunity

We all remember the name of Pasteur, who supported the germ theory, but the name of the man* who said that host defenses were everything  is forgotten, and Medicine embarked on the course of disease control rather than health enhancement it mostly follows to this day.*( Bernard, whom Pasteur on his death bed acknowledged to be right, exclaiming with practically his last breath “Le microbe n’est rien: le terrain, c’est tout!”)  Immunity

Inner fitness has two parts:  Immunity

  • one is the avoidance of the things that undermine it,  Immunity
  • and the other is the implementation of things that support it.  Immunity
  • These all adversely affect our immune system  Immunity
    • stress  Immunity
    • allergies  Immunity
    • poor diet  Immunity
    • excessive caffeine  Immunity
    • sugar – particularly liquid sugar, as in sodas
    • alcohol to excess
    • air pollution
    • toxic overload  Immunity
    • emotional wear and tear
    • insomnia or too little sleep
    • digestive problems
    • colon dysfunction  Immunity

The first step is to correct these things, by changing them where we can, and learning management or support techniques where we can’t.  Immunity

For example,  a study at Ohio State University, introduced medical students  to a method of hypnosis which enabled them to significantly reduce exam-time stress.  Immunity

On testing, blood samples revealed that these students’ immune systems became stronger the more they practiced the techniques!  Immunity

Learning to manage stress; so it doesn’t manage you.  Immunity

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I think it is also important to make a distinction between nutrients we hold in reserve to address a developing problem, and nutrients we use to support our health and avoid problems.  The following list is limited to those substances that support our  immune system for optimal inner fitness.  Immunity

Let’s look at the positive side of the coin – all the things we can do to strengthen our defenses:

  •  proper diet , high in fresh, nutrient dense, unprocessed foods.  Immunity
  • fresh water, replacing the unhealthy beverages we often reach for in its place. These not only fail to address our body’s water needs, but in most cases have negative consequences.
  • regular cleansing of our digestive and eliminatory organs  Immunity
  • adequate exercise in a calm, fulfilling spirit, feeling that we are empowering ourselves by listening to our body’s needs.
  • balancing our health with appropriate supplements, from the basic life insurance of multi-vitamin and antioxidant formulas,  Immunity
  • answering needs unique to our own lifestyle and health situation with supplements known to support immunity
  • addressing our individual  imbalances that endanger homeostasis.
  • attempting to reach harmony in our mental life, using whatever method works: exposure to beauty of one kind or another (music, gardening, country walks), relaxation techniques, spiritual sustenance, hypnosis training.  Immunity
  • Think positive! Psychologist Robert Ader at the University of Rochester proved the power of mind over matter by giving rats saccharine water before giving them an immune-suppressive injection.  He found that after a while , he could induce the same reaction by giving them just the  saccharine water alone, without the injection. This interesting experiment showed that thoughts and expectations directly affect the  immune system strongly suggesting that mind-body strategies could be implemented to strengthen it.  Immunity
  • friendship and laughter  Immunity

Hopefully, most of my informed readers are already eating well, taking the basic supplements and the anti-oxidants and have an immune system in tip-top condition!  Immunity

For those who need some help, however, there are some successful strategies.  Immunity

  • An excellent immune system specific multi vitamin that is Thymate see below for more details.

  • Consider Whey Protein for its Glutathione enhancing qualities.  A good one will contain:  Immunity

    o Lactoferrin – an iron-binding, iron-modulating protein that enhances iron absorption when needed, also anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Viruses need iron!  Immunity

    o Immunoglobulins – contains numerous immune system benefits.  Immunity

    o Bovine Serum Albumin – along with Lactoferrin and Immunoglobulins contains generous amounts of Cysteine and Glutamine, precursors of Glutathione (GSH) production.  Immunity

    o Active Peptides – (specialized paired amino acids), exhibit a beneficial information transfer factor effect on the immune system as well as boosting intracellular Glutathione.  Immunity

    o Growth Factors – (growth promoting protein fractions) are contained within the protein bound fats. Their function is to: Regenerate all aged or injured cells in the body and fight infections.  Immunity

  • Arabinogalactans from Larch, particularly where there is gut involvement, such as permeable bowel (leaky gut) or IBS. Go here for more information.  Immunity

  • The sterolin Moducare. After more than two decades of clinical research, double-blind studies and literature indicate or suggest that Moducare™ may be effective at treating many diseases in which immune system imbalances are implicated.  The plant sterols and sterolins have also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, and help regulate cholesterol.  Immunity

  • Consider either Maitake Mushroom by itself, or a blend of medicinal mushrooms.   Immunity

Depressed immunity can be a particular problem for older people, but no matter what our age, implementing the strategies we have already discussed will positively impact immune function.  For instance, a 1999 study by Krause (published in Mech Aging Dev, 112:43-57) showed that well-nourished women in the 62 to 88 year age bracket showed no measurable decline in immune function as they got older.  Immunity

The problem is that many of our elderly are NOT well-nourished: they don’t eat optimally, and sometimes have dental problems that make it even harder to get the nutrients they need.   Nutrients that are commonly deficient are the B vitamins (especially B12) , C, D and E, zinc and selenium.  Faulty absorption plays a part in this – see my article on Digestion  Immunity

When we are young, we think we are immortal. Most remarks about guarding our health go straight in one ear and out the other, yet for some reason I clearly remember an elderly (as perceived by my arrogant self back then) friend of my mother telling me that she had been instructed by her mother to thump herself gently but firmly on the breastbone ten times each morning, and I should do the same. Such nonsense, I thought. Now I am thinking it probably wasn’t such nonsense after all.  Immunity

Just beneath the breastbone, there is a small gland called the Thymus. It is vital to immune function, as I will explain in more detail later. What I find particularly interesting, though, is that this  gland begins to diminish in size and function soon after puberty, and by the time most people are 40 years old or so, it has atrophied entirely. This goes a long way towards explaining why some elderly people have trouble maintaining immune function, and also vindicates the actions of that prescient lady! I can’t vouch for the effectiveness of her actions, but at least they had a certain logic. I probably should have listened to her.  Immunity

In any event, just recently a good customer brought to my attention a multiple vitamin called Thymate, and I was so impressed by it that I immediately ordered a supply:  you can find what the formulator (and others) have to say about Thymate here.   Thymate is a special blend of nutrients to support the immune system, with thymus fractions, thymus extracts, & other glandulars,  herbal extracts; antioxidants; vitamins and minerals  Immunity

Immunologist Dr. Terry Beardsley has spent many years researching the role of the thymus, and he explains that of all the cells in the immune system, T-4 helper cells are the most important. Over the past 30 years, research has shown that the thymus gland is the place where the immature T-4 cells are programmed to tell the difference between the body itself, and enemy invaders. T-cells are guided by the thymus to produce three main types of defensive cells: T-4 helper cells which regulate the production and function of antibody manufacturing B-lymphocytes, T-8 killer cells, which destroy invaders such as cancer, or viruses, and T-8 suppressor cells, which tell the killer cells to cease and desist once their work is done. Really, what we have described there is practically the entire work of the immune system.  Immunity

Dr. Balch (Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 3rd ed. p. 568)  mentions that raw Thymus glandular is specific to the cells in the lungs, and helpful in pneumonia.   Immunity

Dr. Beardley puts forward the theory that the gradual atrophy of the thymus gland is a part of nature’s programmed aging process, and that being able to enhance its function through natural means will be a big step towards protecting the body from pathogens which cause disease and death, as well as the diseases of aging.  Immunity

When we are doing everything we can to support our general health, and are living in peace and harmony with our bodies, we are doing all the right things to maintain impenetrable defenses against disease. In fact, inner and outer fitness have a great deal in common, and they certainly both have a common outcome: BETTER HEALTH – my wish for you.  Immunity

Find the recommended supplements here

QUICK LINKS

More about Immunity than you perhaps wanted to Know! – http://www.emc.maricopa.edu/faculty/farabee/BIOBK/BioBookIMMUN.html

Cancer and the Immune System – http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/understandingcancer/immunesystem/allpages

Help for Mind Control – http://www.hypnosisnetwork.com/hypnosis/stress_anxiety.php?hn=1632

How the Immune System works – http://www.howstuffworks.com/immune-system.htm

Insomnia and the Immune System – http://www.psychosomaticmedicine.org/cgi/content/abstract/65/2/211

Searching for meaningful  life may boost immune system – http://www.scienceagogo.com/news/20030330200744data_trunc_sys.shtml

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