Have you ever wondered why people tend to get colds and flus in the winter more often than in the summer or always seem to get sick during or right after the holidays? Or, perhaps of even greater interest, have you ever wondered what you could do that might help you keep from coming down with something during cold season?
For many, the coming of fall is a joyous time of year. The relentless, round-the-clock heat of the summer months gradually turns into the just right climate of Indian Summer -- warm but mild days, and crisp, cold, good-for-sleeping nights. Back-to school, football season, the gathering of friends and family for annual festive holiday feasts, the beauty of autumn colors, transforming the landscape are just a few of the pleasant times many look forward to. But, for others, the coming of fall equates with the imminence of illness. For them, anticipation of the trimesteral change is more one of dread than delight; from their point of view, fall heralds flu season rather than holiday season!
But, take heart O ye fearful of fall turnings. Illuminating research into the exciting field of Metabolic
Bio Typing, especially the ever-growing volume of empirical data from individuals working with their own uniquely-designed metabolic programs, has done much to explain not only why so many get ill this time of year, but also how illness can be effectively prevented!
Before we take a look at some of the specific, practical actions one can take in the name of prevention, let's first examine some of the underlying principles that can help us understand why certain nutritional strategies for warding off winter's woes might be successful.
ENERGY FOR LIFE
The quality of life of every living thing thrives or diminishes depending on its relationship to it's environment. All the life-sustaining processes of the human body (referred to in a word as metabolism), depend on the body's capacity for an energy exchange with its environment, whereby four major elements from the environment -- air, food, water and light -- are converted by the body into energy for life.
The ability to maintain life, especially in a state of perpetual health and well-being, is additionally reliant on the body's capacity for adapting to adverse environmental influences such as stress, toxins, temperature changes, and invading organisms (e.g., bacteria, viruses). Both the processes of metabolism and the adaptive capability of the human body are predicated on the body's capacity for the creation, maintenance and control of energy.
The creation of energy in the body takes place in the cells through complex chemical processes known collectively as oxidation. Of the four major elements necessary for sustaining life -- air, food, water and light -- three of them are relatively invariable. While it is true that the quality of air, water and light that different people are exposed to varies, relative to food, they tend to be essentially constant. Food, however, is a different story.
The food one ingests can vary dramatically in terms of the quality (organic, non-organic, processed, synthetic, whole, fresh, frozen, canned, packaged, etc.), the type (protein, fat or carbohydrate) and the nutrient content (specific balance of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, etc.). Due to the various components that make up our food, nearly infinite variation is possible in terms of the kinds of foods we ingest. Nonetheless, whatever the combination of quality/type/nutrient content, food is intended to serve as fuel for our cells -- our body's engines of metabolism.
In any engine, the kind of fuel that is used is important in relation to the maximum energy output of the engine. A proper fuel mixture, one specifically suited to the engine in question, allows for optimum energy output. An improper or poor fuel mixture results in degradation of performance (consider the disappointing outcome of using diesel fuel in a gasoline engine). So it is with the cells of the human body. For maximum energy, peak performance and optimum health, it is vital that the cells in the human body acquire the proper fuel mixture.
We are all different from one another -- in the way we look, our height, weight, personality, behavior, inherited physiological strengths and weaknesses. And, on a biochemical level, each individual is as unique as his fingerprints. The same genetic material which carries the blueprint for our individual, physiological selves (such as our length of bones, color of skin and eyes, efficiency of organs), also contains information concerning individual nutritional requirements.
This means that different people have different genetically-dictated fuel (nutritional) requirements. In order to be healthy and function at an optimal level of efficiency, each individual must provide his cells with the proper fuel mixture. He must ingest only those foods which provide the proper balance of vitamins, minerals and other intrinsic factors specifically needed by his cells to optimally convert the four elements (air/water/food/light) into optimum, life-supporting, health-maximizing energy.
IMMUNE EFFICIENCY . . .
THE ENERGY CONNECTION
So, how does all this talk about fuel and energy relate to immune efficiency? Well, to understand this, we need to know a little bit about how the body is structured. The human body is organized in a hierarchical fashion. Beginning from the grossest level moving to the subtlest level, the body is structured through seven basic levels of organization: systemic (e.g., immune system), organ/glandular (e.g., thymus), tissue (e.g., membranes, blood), cell (e.g., thymus cells, T-cells), nuclear (nucleus of cell), subnuclear (chromosomes) and genetic (genes).
Any bodily system (cardiovascular, digestive, immune, etc.) is comprised of various organs and glands. These organs and glands in turn are made up of numerous cells of like kind. The efficiency of any system is thus dependent on the efficiency of each of the organs and glands which comprise it, each of which in turn is dependent on the efficiency of its cells, each of which in turn is dependent on its cellular capacity for energy production in order to carry out its assigned role, which is ultimately dependent upon the presence of the proper fuel mixture, the right combination of nutritional substances!
More specific to our concern, an efficient immune system depends highly on an efficiently functioning thymus gland. The thymus gland is composed of a grouping together of similar (thymus) cells. In order for the thymus to function efficiently as a gland, the collective cells which comprise it must be functioning efficiently. In order for the cells of the thymus gland to function efficiently, the cells must produce sufficient energy to allow them to fulfill their specific functions. Finally, in order for each of the cells in the thymus gland to produce an optimum amount of energy by successfully and completely carrying out the processes of oxidation, each thymus cell must obtain the proper fuel mixture, i.e., the proper balance of nutrients.
In this way, we can see that the efficiency of the immune system is highly dependent on the presence of the proper biochemical, nutritional balance. And, that because each person has his or her own unique genetically-inherited requirements for nutrition, the nutrient balance comprising one individual's optimum fuel mixture which would support the functioning of his immune system, may in fact retard the immune efficiency of a different individual. Thus, perhaps the most essential, overall consideration in assuring immune system efficiency is for each person to maintain the proper nutritional balance for his or her unique
metabolic bio type.
(Note: The individualized Metabolic Bio Type analyses provided are designed for just this purpose.)
Without a doubt, eating the right foods for one's metabolic bio type and taking the correct balance of nutritional supplements (if supplements are taken) are the most critical factors regarding maintaining the body's proper biochemical balance. However, many other components can contribute to imbalancing body chemistry and directly or indirectly depleting nutritional reserves, thereby compromising immune efficiency.
Heavy metal toxins such as lead, mercury, cadmium and aluminum, so profuse now in our environment, displace organic minerals like calcium and potassium and disrupt enzyme activity in the body. Junk foods and other commercial, processed foods add over 10,000 synthetic chemicals to our systems which disrupt metabolism. Industrial pollutants in the air and water contaminate our bodies with toxic substances, adding to the ever-increasing burden our organs of detoxification must bear. Physical trauma, fatigue and the psychological stresses associated with our fast-paced modern lifestyle, deplete the body's vital nutrient reserves. The use of many prescription drugs often is accompanied by harmful side-effects which disturb the body's natural homeo-static balance. The excessive use of stimulants such as nicotine, caffeine and sugar disrupts normal autonomic and neuro-endocrine functions. Seventy-five years ago, the average person consumed 5 pounds of sugar a year. Today, the average consumption of sugar is up to 175 pounds each year. The excessive intake of sugar alone can cause severe mineral depletions and directly compromise the immune efficiency by stimulating the overgrowth of Candida Albicans yeast.
Even from just this cursory list, one can see that the immune system of modern man is overtaxed in its attempt to keep the body disease-free. It is at once both remarkable that the immune system can function efficiently at all, and not at all surprising that at times its efficiency breaks down and some manner of illness gains the upper hand.
The principle involved here is simple, really: If immune system efficiency is not compromised, the immune system will prevent illness from developing. So, if one feels that he is starting to come down with a cold or the flu, this should be viewed as a signal that body chemistry is out of balance and that the immune system is being compromised. At this stage, it has often been observed that it is possible to arrest the further development of an illness by restoring balance to body chemistry and providing some additional nutritional support, especially for the immune system.
GET PLENTY OF REST . . . One of the most common underlying causes of disrupting body chemistry is fatigue or exhaustion from physical and/or psychological stress. At those times when you start feeling under the weather, it is most beneficial to assure that you get sufficient rest. During such times, taking additional rest periods or extending normal rest periods can do much to rally your body's defenses. Remember, the quality of one's activity -- on all levels -- depends in great part on the quality of one's rest.
REGULARITY . . . It is believed by many that disease starts in the colon. A sluggish colon or constipation can allow for the proliferation of unfriendly bacteria. It is vital for good health that metabolic waste be fully eliminated on a regular basis. Autointoxication, the reabsorption of toxins from the colon, places a chronic burden on the immune system and may be responsible for the development of a variety of degenerative conditions.
It is always important to keep the colon cleansed, but it is especially critical when one feels the onslaught of an illness. Colonics or enemas may be helpful at this time should irregularity or constipation be present. For this purpose, coffee enemas may be employed (from organic coffee, such as KOSTA KOFFEE, only (commercial coffee is laden with pesticides). Coffee enemas were in the Merck Manual from 1890 to 1977 and were removed only for reasons of space. They were originally employed during World War I as detoxifiers and for pain relief.
Certain drugs, sugar, a poor diet and numerous other factors can alter the natural balance of intestinal flora. This can lead to constipation as well as disease, as the intestinal flora are a part of the body's immune system. They can be replenished through supplementing the diet with
Acidophilus Ultra by New Roots Herbal.
WATER . . . Every cell in the human body is bathed in water. In fact, the human body is composed of 70% fluid. Obviously, it is very important that one drink only pure water. This is especially critical during early stages of illness -- not the time to be drinking water with bacteria, heavy metals and other chemical contaminants which would only add to the challenge faced by your immune system. If purified water (distilled or from a
reverse osmosis unit, only) is available, it has been reported that drinking 3-4 swallows every 30 minutes for 10 hours a day is helpful in moving toxins out of the cells.
EXERCISE . . . The human body is designed to be active. The lymph system which is part of the immune system and is critical in the removal of toxins from the body, depends in great part for its normal function on muscular and skeletal movement. Exercise also increases circulation, tones the cardiovascular system, brings additional oxygen into the body, beneficially stimulates the neuroendocrine system and production of brain neurotransmitters, improves appetite and digestion and facilitates elimination. A brisk 1 to 4 mile daily walk can do much in helping to maintain metabolic balance. If one feels a cold coming on, however, exercise should be minimized as the emphasis at this point should be more on rest than activity. However, a short, untiring walk in the sunshine and fresh air can also be very beneficial. At such times, exercise for the sake of improving circulation and oxygen intake is desirable...but, not to the point of fatigue or over exertion.
FRESH AIR AND SUNLIGHT . . . Fresh air and sunlight, along with food and water, are necessary for our existence because they are converted by our bodies into energy for life. All too often in our modern style of living, we don't get enough of these life-sustaining elements. This is particularly true in winter months. Many people arise while it is still dark outside, in bedrooms with closed windows to keep out the cold (and fresh air), go to work in air-polluted cities to windowless offices with recycled air in heating/air-conditioning systems, only to return home at night, in the dark, to their warm but air-tight homes. In this manner, many people have very little exposure to pure, fresh air and natural sunlight. This lack of fresh air and natural light can only diminish immune efficiency.
Lack of sufficient sunlight can have other adverse effects as well. It has been estimated that up to a quarter of the population may suffer from a condition known as SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder. Typically, SAD sufferers become clinically depressed, many suicidal, with the approach of winter. Seasonal symptoms include weight gain, oversleeping, listlessness, social withdrawal, irritability, anxiety and loss of libido. Lack of sufficent natural light disturbs the body's inherent circadian rhythms which depend on the regular sequence of light (day) and darkness (night), resulting in abnormal production of the hormone melatonin and the neuro-transmitter, serotonin. SAD can be resolved with exposure to a natural full-spectrum light source (KIVA LIGHT) on a daily basis.
Air quality in homes or workplaces can be dramatically improved through the use of a combination air purifier/negative ion/ozone generator such as the ALPINE AIR unit, which is capable of destroying odors, gases, tobacco smoke, mildew, mold, pollen and replacing adverse positive ions with beneficial negative ions.
DIET AND NUTRITION . . . Along with pure air, natural sunlight, pure water, proper elimination, sufficient exercise and plenty of rest, what one eats is critical in relation to immune efficiency. Since the efficiency of the immune system is totally dependent on the proper biochemical (nutritional) balance in the body, what one eats can support or undermine immune activity during the onslaught of an illness. As discussed above, the immune system requires energy and if one eats those foods which his body cannot adequately transform into energy, then the immune system may be seriously compromised. So, the first consideration in the question of proper diet and nutrition is to eat according to one's individual metabolic requirements to assure optimum energy production.
SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS IN DIET AND NUTRITION
Aside from the need to eat according to one's metabolic bio type to assure the acquisition of the proper balance of vitamins and minerals, there are some special considerations that need be addressed during times of illness. Coming down with a cold, the flu, a strep or staph infection means that an invading organism has gained the upper hand over the immune system. So, besides considering what can be done to encourage our bodies' immune efficiency, we also need to consider what might be done to discourage efficiency of the invading organisms and bolster the body's resistance.
It is important to understand that we are not helpless in the face of viruses and bacteria -- the fault lies with the integrity of the immune system at the time of exposure to the organisms. This was clearly demonstrated in one research project where viruses were implanted in the nostrils of the test subjects; some became ill and others did not! Understanding why this occurred may be the key to your enjoying the holiday season or missing out on all the festivities and nursing that achy, sneezy, wheezy feeling, instead.
BIOCHEMISTRY OF INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Like ourselves, invading organisms depend on their environment, in this case our bodies' biochemistry, for their survival. This environment can be either conducive or hostile to their growth. Basically, infectious illnesses fall into two categories: bacterial and viral. Bacterial infections (like staphylococcus and streptococcus) tend to grow in an acid environment, while viruses (like flus and the common cold) tend to proliferate in an alkaline medium.
The most common forms of illnesses that come on in the cold seasons are viruses. This means that commonly during this time of year, one's body chemistry has a tendency to become too alkaline. The two major reasons for this are temperature changes, i.e., the coming of cold weather, and an alkalinizing diet.
The common phrase that is used is that one "catches cold." In actuality, this is a very appropriate description of what occurs. The eventual effect of exposure to cold weather is that the body chemistry becomes alkaline. Initially, the body reacts to cold by releasing fatty acids to provide fuel to accommodate the change in temperature. This catabolic reaction initially has an acidic effect. But, in an attempt to balance the acidic reaction, the body counters with an anabolic response with the release of sterols, which ultimately results in an alkaline shift.
In addition, the body responds to cold stimuli through the activities of the parasympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system which also causes a biochemical shift in the direction of alkalinity.
Compounding the situation, during the holidays many people indulge in a greater intake of carbohydrates, especially alcohol, desserts and other forms of sugar. However, carbohydrates, especially sugar and alcohol, and other substances such as nicotine, caffeine (in chocolate, tea, coffee) and salt, are all highly anabolic substances and are thus extremely alkalinizing to one's system.
The cumulative effect of all of this is an alkaline imbalance in the body's pH, making the body fertile ground for the proliferation of cold and flu viruses. Fortunately, this situation can often be prevented through diet and nutrition.
MAKING YOUR BODY A HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT TO ILLNESSES
Know one thing for certain . . . what you do can dramatically influence whether you and your immune system or the invading organisms win out. Whether or not you get sick is mostly up to you! Attention to the following areas may have a surprising impact on your well-being:
* The first and most important consideration is to identify your metabolic bio type
in order that your diet may consist mainly of foods that contain the proper fuel mixture of nutrients for your body's needs. Learn how to maximize your engines of metabolism. This will assure maximum efficiency on the part of the immune system. Remember, your immune system is totally dependant on the proper nutrient balance...but, what is a right balance for a friend or family member, may be exactly the wrong balance for you. "...One man's food is another's poison."
* The second consideration is to enhance immune system efficiency through getting sufficient and regular rest, assuring regular elimination, drinking only pure water and natural juices, exercising regularly, getting plenty of fresh air and sunlight and eating abundantly of whole, natural foods.
* Third, try to minimize immune efficiency inhibitors by cutting back on exposure to heavy metal toxins, industrial and household pollutants, stress, stimulants and junk food.
* And, finally, at those times when you feel that you're losing -- too much stress, fatigue, pollutants, junk food, alcohol, etc. -- and you feel as though you are coming down with a cold, use your diet as a weapon to create a biochemcial environment that is hostile instead of conducive to the proliferation of disease microbes.
Each of the diets recommended for the different metabolic bio types naturally includes proteins, fats and carbohydrates, but each varies in the kinds of foods recommended in each group, so one should always eat according to his
metabolic bio type requirements. Even more importantly, the proportions of the various food groups can be altered to influence the acid/alkaline balance of the body. Thus, in addition to eating the kinds of foods that are appropriate for one's
metabolic bio type, within the list of one's recommended Allowable Foods, one can also eat a balance of foods which are predominantly acidifying or alkalinizing on a cellular level, depending on whether one is fighting a viral or bacterial infection.
[It should be noted that eggs, if fried, should be in butter only, and the stimulants alcohol, caffeine (coffee, chocolate, tea) and sugar are not recommended at anytime. They are included on the list just to show their influence on cellular pH. They should especially be avoided during times of illness.]
When the pH shifts acid such as during the onslaught of bacterial infections, one may help shift the pH more alkaline by maximizing the intake of fruits and vegetables and their juices, and minimizing the intake of meats, nuts and cheese. Whole grains are the least acidifying so their amount may be increased relative to meats, nuts and cheese.
Conversely, when the pH becomes quite alkaline such as during viral infections, one may help shift the pH more acid by dramatically increasing the proportion of protein to carbohydrate in the diet. In addition, vinegar and water (e.g., 1 T. vinegar with 6 oz. water), or a little cherry juice or cranberry juice may be tried. Whole grains with some butter, fried or scrambled eggs (with butter), some tomatoes or tomato juice, and some meat or fowl as in a homemade soup made with stock and vegetables are also indicated. Note that for viral infections, citrus fruit or juice -- because it is highly alkalinizing -- would be very undesirable!
ADDITIONAL IMMUNE SUPPORT
Along with getting plenty of rest, drinking lots of pure water, breathing fresh air, getting plenty of natural sunlight, sensible exercise, and following a diet that is in accordance with your individual nutritional requirements and results in the proper acid/alkaline balance, there are some additional natural aids that experience, gleaned from reports from many hundreds of people across the country over many years, has demonstrated to be helpful in supporting the immune system.
Vitamins and minerals, like foods, can also have a direct impact on the acid/alkaline balance. Through their influence on the autonomic nervous system, the oxidative system and the endocrine system and from their innate catabolic or anabolic properties, individual nutrients can have a powerful impact on the immune system and the acid/alkaline balance.
Nutrients found particularly important in combatting viral infections include vitamin A, certain forms of vitamin C, bee pollen, pantothenic acid, propolis, acidophilus, fatty acids, calcium, hydrochloric acid. These nutrients are available in the ANTI-CVF PAK.(Ultra-Life)
Nutrients found particularly important in combatting bacterial infections include vitamin A, certain forms of vitamin C, bee pollen, propolis, acidophilus, fatty acids, potassium, trace minerals, adrenal, thymus, spleen, lymph, bone, liver and kidney substance. These nutrients are available in the ANTI-BI
Other useful agents are Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (HealthSmart
Nutrition), Grapefruit Seed Extract (New Roots), Oil of Oregano (SFHF of
Nature's Sunshine), Immunza (New Roots).
In terms of effectiveness, the kinds of nutrients employed are very important. Just as critical are the amounts and the proportions of the nutrients to one another. The forms and amounts vary depending on the kind of infection.
Rather than choosing over-the-counter medications that merely suppress the symptoms of a cold and have undesirable side-effects as well, why not try naturally enhancing your body's innate capabilities for fighting diseases and staying healthy? Armed with the information supplied in this article, one may learn how to assist the body -- by supporting it instead of working against it -- in its attempt through its marvelous and often wondrous immune system to keep you healthy and happy, regardless of the time of year!
ANTI-CVF PAK and ANTI-BI PAK mentioned above are available via mail order from:
ULTRA LIFE Contact your advisor if you are interested in these products.
Be healthy and enjoy!