Anti-Inflammatory/Anti-Aging Strategies
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Many more bacterial genes than human genes are found in the body. Samples from 124 healthy Europeans found on average more than 530,000 unique genes in each sample and 99.1% were from bacteria. These bacteria live symbiotically, on, or in, our bodies. While we provide them with food and lodging, they help us stay healthy in many ways including helping us to digest our food, and providing vitamins and other nutrients for us to use.

Dr. David A. Relman of Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA has found that when people take bacteria-killing antibiotics, the microbial ecosystem that returns is different from the microbe population prior to taking antibiotics. Moreover, if the same antibiotic is taken again, even 6 months later, the bacteria take longer to come back and the bacteria are even more different.

Dr. Relman says, “Everything comes with a cost,” he said. “The problem is finding the right balance. As clinicians, we have not been looking at the cost to the health of our microbial ecosystems.”*

Once again, the importance of balance in the body is paramount. Considering that over 75% of the immune system is represented in the gut, immune balance, inflammatory homeostasis, helps the body provide natural resistance to disease. If the immune system is not functioning properly, if it is in disorder, the physical and emotional aspects of our life and health will be out of balance and in disarray.

A body in immune homeostasis is able to respond appropriately to challenges by either “boosting” the “fire power” of an inflammatory immune response to “burn out” an infection, or suppress an inappropriately excessive immune response to the challenge. The key is to maintain immune homeostasis.

*http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/30/science/30microbe.html?pagewanted=2&ref=science

Dengue fever is caused by a virus that is carried by an infected female Aedes mosquito (called a vector) that injects the virus into a human while she is drawing her blood meal, a meal that she needs in order to reproduce. Over 50 million people, in over 100 countries, are infected every year with dengue. Until a report last week, there was still no way to control the disease. More on the study later.

The symptoms of Dengue Fever appear from a few days to two weeks after being bitten by an infected mosquito. The symptoms may be a sudden onset of high fever, nausea, vomiting, severe headache, muscle and joint pain, and pain behind the eyes, which worsens with eye movements.

The Response of the Immune System to Dengue

 There are four genetically similar types of Dengue viruses (subtypes). When a person is exposed to the virus, specialized immune cells produce large proteins called antibodies, also known as immunoglobulins (Igs), that attach to the virus particles and mark them for destruction by incoming inflammatory immune cells.

Unfortunately, exposure to one of the four subtypes does not confer immunity against the other three types. Even more troublesome, because of the peculiarities of the immune response, if one has been previously exposed to one type of Dengue virus, exposure to another subtype may result in Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever. In this stage of the disease, there is a significant amount of bleeding and a person may go into shock. Unfortunately, this disease is frequently fatal especially in children or the elderly.

As in all immune responses, a controlled, well-modulated response is needed by the body when it is exposed to a pathogen like Dengue. When the immune system has a balanced inflammatory response to disease, when it is in immune homeostasis, a person is more likely to successfully fight infection and survive. The key is that the body has to generate enough of an inflammatory immune response to destroy the pathogen, but not so much inflammation that nearby healthy tissue is damaged.

Inflammatory Cytokine Storm

Too vigorous, inflammatory response to infection, for example to the Dengue virus during Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever, may result in destruction of the walls of blood vessels, bleeding, abnormal clotting, and loss of fluids (which can lead to severe dehydration).

This sort of extreme immune response is also reminiscent of what is seen in diseases such as SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), in which the body has an inflammatory or cytokine storm directed initially against the lungs, and goes on to destroy many different organs, resulting in death. [Cytokines are small immune molecules that trigger immune responses].

Decrease Mosquito Breeding Opportunities

Prevention- It Only Takes 15 Minutes:
There is no treatment for Dengue Fever, nor has vaccine development been successful. For now, the best way to avoid infection is to lower the risk of being bitten by an infected mosquito. Unfortunately, since the Aedes mosquito is active during daytime hours, nets around the bed are not an adequate solution.

However, all mosquitoes need water to complete their life cycle, so it is prudent to eliminate any standing water around the home. Think like a mosquito that is looking to lay eggs—it can be in any container imaginable, or a puddle that will not dry out within a few days.

Keep plant saucers, tarps, coolers, tanks, barrels, drums, bottles, tins, coconut shells, tires, buckets, and trenches, free of water.

Empty, cover them, or turn containers over when not in use, so water does not accumulate.

Keep containers of stored water covered at all times.

Empty refrigerator drip pans at least every other day.

Mr. Minchington Israel, Environmental Health Officer of the Government of the British Virgin Islands mantra is: “It only takes 15 minutes to go around the yard, … in search of stagnant bodies of water and do[ing] something about it.”

Mr. Israel also points out that since so many people have moved out of the countryside and crowded into urban areas, family and community-wide efforts are needed to slow mosquito population growth. In addition to the suggestions above, Mr. Israel strongly advocates:

  • Maintaining properties free of rubbish, junk, and overgrown vegetation.
  • Managing empty lots and abandoned properties.
  • Becoming knowledgeable as to where mosquitoes breed and eliminate these breeding areas.

Promising New Approach:
Last week the prestigious journal Nature, published results from an Australian research group reporting that they were able to stop the transmission of Dengue virus (ǂ). Researchers infected the Aedes mosquito with bacteria that “completely blocks the ability of the virus to grow in mosquitoes” (◊). The bacteria do not kill the mosquito, so the mosquito can continue to reproduce itself, and pass the bacteria to other mosquitoes. The infection is highly contagious so it spreads rapidly throughout the mosquito population. Successful testing in the wild supports its promise as a way to control vector populations. According to Flaminia Catteruccia, who works with malaria-carrying mosquitoes in London, “It’s an environmentally friendly approach that does not affect the mosquitoes, just the [growth of the] virus”(◊).

Personal Defenses:
If this concept works, it will take time for further studies to be completed and vector control to occur, so for now, taking personal responsibility is necessary. So in addition to the recommendations above:

  • Dengue carrying mosquitoes are active during the day, so netting around beds is not as helpful as in other mosquito-borne diseases.
  • Use mosquito repellents on your clothing and person.
  • Screen windows and doors against mosquitoes and use bed nets around ill, bed-ridden individuals.
  • Wear light-colored long-sleeves and slacks with thick socks.
  • A body in immune homeostasis, in immune balance, is better prepared to defend itself against infection.

To optimize one’s immune system: walk or be physically active in other ways for at least 150 minutes a week; eat in a nutritious manner; control your weight; eat darkly-pigmented fruits and vegetables on a daily basis; and consume fish or omega-3 supplements 2-3 times/week.

In addition, it is important to help the body achieve immune homeostasis, immune balance so that the body can battle illness and yet, control unchecked inflammation.

Hyperimmune egg contains a cocktail of antibodies and other active immune factors that help the body balance immune function. Consuming two or more servings/day of hyperimmune egg makes a major difference in your body’s ability to support immune health and heal itself.

ǂ http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v476/n7361/full/nature10355.html#/affil-auth
http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110824/full/news.2011.503.html

A modified verson of this article can be found at: As Featured On EzineArticles
http://ezinearticles.com/?Inflammation-and-Autism-Spectrum-Disorders&id=6514261

Autism spectrum disorders are poorly understood disorders that affect a child’s communication, thought, and social processes, and often wreck havoc on families.*

Dr. Sally Ozonoff of University of California Davis, just reported on the results of the largest study ever of siblings with and without autism. The investigators of this international, multi-center study concluded that male infants with an autistic older sibling have a 26%increased probability that they too will develop autism. If an infant has more than one older autistic sibling, then there was a 32% probability that they would develop ASD.

Modulating immune responses, for example, maintaining immune
homeostasis or balance, may be a major contributor to getting individuals with ASDs healthy.

The immune system works constantly to maintain immune homeostasis (1). Immune homeostasis is important in the gut as well and to facilitate immune health the digestive tract contains one of the body’s largest immune compartments– gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) (2).

Organisms enter the body primarily through the mouth and end up in the intestinal tract. It is useful that 75-80% of the immune system is represented in the gut, to help defend thebody against infection. More immunoglobulin, antibody, is produced by the cells in the digestive tract, than anywhere else in the body. Embedded plasma cells, B-cells, produce large amounts of IgA, morethan the other antibodies, IgD, IgE, IgG, and IgM, combined (3,4).

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are multi-factorial conditions which involve interactions of the gut (5,6), hormones (7), nervous (7), and immune systems (8). The relationship between some of these pathways is so suggestive that often it is called the immune-brain-gut triangle of autism. Immunological imbalances, such as impaired immune responses to certain pathogens (8) or excessive inflammation and/or responses of an autoimmune nature are often implicated as well (9-11).

Levels of various immune related molecules including proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines, nitric oxide**, specific antibodies, and antibodies against self, are different from levels found in non-autistic individuals.

Other studies show that inflammatory mediators in autism involve activation of immune brain cells (9) of the brain which are play a role in neuron function and homeostasis.ǂ

Autistic children suffer from intestinal inflammation, colitis, and have large numbers of cells indicative of infection in the gut. When their digestive problems are treated, behavioral issues are positively effected (12,13).

Autistic children and adults that have approached immune homeostasis, have necdotally experienced significant differences in theirbehavior, grades, focus, cognitive function, and social abilities.

Polyvalent hyperimmune egg has been clinically shown to help the body support and modulate immune and digestive homeostasis (14-19). The ingredient is listed in the 2011 Physicians’ Desk Reference. † The technology is based on over 30 years of research and development, and is protected by numerous patents.

Hyperimmune egg has been shown to help the body support immune and digestive function, and modulate autoimmune responses. Consider incorporating hyperimmune egg to change the quality of life of children and adults with ASDs.

* http://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/asd.cfm

**http://www.nature.com/ni/journal/v2/n10/abs/ni1001-907.html

ǂ http://www.neuro.jhmi.edu/neuroimmunopath/autism.htm

http://www.pdr.net/drugpages/concisemonograph.aspx?concise=3209

1 Crimeen-Irwin B, Scalzo K, Gloster S, Mottram PL, Plebanski
M. Failure of immune homeostasis — the consequences of under and over reactivity. Curr Drug Targets Immune Endocr Metabol Disord. 2005 5:413-22

2 Bodera P, Chcialowski A. Immunomodulatory effect of probiotic bacteria. Recent Pat Inflamm Allergy Drug Discov. 2009 3:58-64

3 Brandtzaeg P, Baekkevold ES, Farstad IN, Jahnsen FL,Johansen FE, Nilsen EM, et al. Regional specialization in the mucosal immune system: what happens in the microcompartments? Immunol Today. 1999 20:141-51

4 van Egmond M, Damen CA, van Spriel AB, Vidarsson G, van Garderen E, van de Winkel JG. IgA and the IgA Fc receptor. Trends Immunol 2001 22: 205-11

5 Horvath K, Perman JA. Autism and gastrointestinal symptoms. Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2002 4:251-8

6 Horvath K, Perman JA. Autistic disorder and gastrointestinal disease. Curr Opin
Pediatr. 2002 14:583-7

7. Hu VW, Nguyen A, Kim KS, Steinberg ME, Sarachana T, Scully MA, Soldin SJ, Luu T, Lee NH. Gene expression profiling of lymphoblasts from autistic and nonaffected sib pairs: altered pathways in neuronal development and steroid biosynthesis. PLoS One. 2009 3;4:e5775

8 Kawashti MI, Amin OR, Rowehy NG. Possible immunological disorders in autism:
concomitant autoimmunity and immune tolerance. Egypt J Immunol. 2006 13:99-104

9 Cohly HH, Panja A. Immunological findings in autism. Int Rev Neurobiol. 2005 71:317-41

10. Castellani ML, Conti CM, Kempuraj DJ, et al., Autism and immunity: revisited study. Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2009 22:15-9

11. Enstrom AM, Van de Water JA, Ashwood P. Autoimmunity in autism. Curr Opin Investig Drugs 2009 10:463-73

12 Galiatsatos P, Gologan A, Lamoureux E. Autistic enterocolitis: fact or
fiction? Can J Gastroenterol. 2009 23:95-8

13 Horvath K, Perman JA. Autism and gastrointestinal symptoms. Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2002 4:251-8

14 http://www.HyperimmuneEgg.org

15 Trentham D et al. Hyperimmune egg in the collagen-induced arthritis model and
anti-inflammatory assays. Int Soc Rheumatol Ther (ISRT) 1998 [Abstract] p.23

16 Greenblatt HC Adalsteinssön O Kagen L. Administration to arthritis patients of a dietary supplement containing immune egg: an open-label pilot Study J Medicinal Food 1998 1:171-179

17 Jacoby HI Moore G Wnorowski G. Inhibition of diarrhea by immune egg: a castor oil mouse model J Nutraceut Function Med Foods 2001 3:47

18 US Pat # 5,772,999 Method of preventing, countering or reducing NSAID-induced gastrointestinal damage by administering milk or egg products from hyperimmunized animals

19 Kizito FB. Improvements in quality of life for HIV/AIDS patients using hperimmune egg 3rd Int AIDS Soc Conf HIV Pathogenesis and Treatment 2005 Abst #. MoPe11.2C43

 

In today’s Wall Street Journal*, Jonathan Rockoff reports on new cancer treatments that are “personalized” depending on whether one is carrying a certain mutated gene. When individuals with specific types of cancer carry the mutated gene, and are treated with these new medications, the results are impressive. Almost 50% of cancer patients taking these medications had shrinkage of tumors compared with 5.5% of those on conventional chemotherapy.

Some patients taking the medications report side effects such as fatigue and joint pain which led their physicians to lower their dose. Fatigue and joint pain are signs of immune dysfunction, typically excessive levels of inflammatory responses by the immune system. The key is to help the body return to immune homeostasis (immune balance).

Immune inflammation has two main functions: a) defending the body from infection, and b) healing the body when an infection has occurred, or if the body injured.

People are becoming increasingly aware that inflammation is also associated with other conditions such as atherosclerosis (1), autoimmune conditions, and even the development of cancer [2, 3].
The relationship between immune inflammation and cancer is not well understood, but it appears that inflammatory responses feed cancer cells and cancer cells trigger inflammatory responses.

The relationship between cancer and inflammation is not simple (4). But studies suggest that if approximately 15 percent of cancer [5], is associated with microbial infection one would expect that if infections were reduced world-wide, so would cancer.

There are certain “hallmarks of cancer” [4]:

Cancer cells:
Are often “immortal”. In a test tube, whereas “normal” cells will divide a number of times before they die off, cancer cells keep dividing and multiplying for a long time—they seem to disregard the natural “death” cycle.

Appear to stimulate blood vessels to grow to them bringing them “good blood circulation” and nutrients.

Are independent—they can grow without input or control from other cells.

Lack “contact-inhibition”. [Normal cells will stop growing when they touch one another, cancer cells will “overgrow” each other.]
Are able to invade other tissues and spread throughout the body (metastasize).

Some scientists consider pre-malignant tumors as being “wound-like” [6]. The body recognizes the presence of the tumor and starts to combat it using inflammation as its weapons system.

The inflammatory response produces immune factors that recruit other inflammatory immune cells into the area to “heal” the “lesion”. Unfortunately however, due to the nature of cancer cells, some of these molecules may only stimulate the growth of more cancer cells resulting in more tissue invasion and metastasis [7]. This is why immune homeostasis is essential to our health.

Taking the following steps may help decrease the chances of getting cancer:
a) Stop the use of tobacco.
b) Drink alcohol in moderation (if you consume alcohol).
c) Have moderate sun exposure (10 minutes/day) and plenty of fresh air.
d) Eat plant-based foods, especially those high in phytonutrients: berries, dark, green, leafy vegetables, cauliflower, broccoli, nuts (in moderation), are great choices.
e) Increase your physical activity. (Physical activity is associated with a reduced risk of cancers of the colon and breast, improved quality of life among cancer patients, and cancer survival (8)).
f) Maintain a healthy weight (obese people have higher rates of cancer)
g) Avoid risky sexual and chemical-abuse behaviors that may expose you to certain infections that may lead to cancer (for example: HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, etc.)
h) Screen regularly for cancer

Also, to help the body achieve inflammatory immune homeostasis, along with eating a healthful diet and controlling your portion sizes, consumption of on a daily basis of hyperimmune egg is prudent.

*http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903639404576514084262209282.html

1. Crandall MA, Corson MA. Curr Treat Options Cardiovasc Med. 2008 10:304.
2. Balkwill F, Mantovani A. Lancet. 2002 357:539.
3. Coussens LM, Werb Z. Nature. 2002 420:860.
4 Hanahan D, Weinberg RA. Cell. 2000 100:57.
5. Kuper H, et al. J Intern Med. 2000 248:171.
6. Coussens LM, et al. Genes Dev. 1999 13:1382.
7. Rakoff-Nahoum S. Yale J Biol Med. 2006 79:123
8. http://www.cancer.gov/newscenter/pressreleases/PhysicalActivity

Severe nasal reactions to medications, pollen, dander, foods, fragrances, and other environmental stimuli may occur as people age. These responses, often not a true allergic response, are termed vasomotor or nonallergic rhinitis (1), because they are not due to a typical “allergic” response.

Nonallergic rhinitis (“itis” as in inflammation) is associated with increased irritability, problems in focusing, sleep issues, and daytime sleepiness. Also individuals with rhinitis are at higher risk of getting asthma (2).

Hallmarks of nonallergic rhinitis include inflamed sinuses, drippy, congested nose, chronic sneezing or coughing. Nonallergic rhinitis is seen when inflammation occurs in the sinuses of the face, and the nasal membranes and blood vessels in the nose expand filling the lining of the nose with blood and fluids.

According to the Mayo Clinic specific triggers for nonallergic rhinitis also include (3):

Infections: Viral infections can result in nonallergic rhinitis due to postnasal drip and nasal discharge. Facial pain and sinusitis (inflammation and pressure in the sinus cavities of the face) may also be an unwelcome outcome.

Medications: Overuse of decongestant nasal sprays can cause rhinitis as can medications such as sedatives, beta blockers, antidepressants, oral contraceptives, erectile dysfunction drugs, blood pressure medications, aspirin, ibuprofen, and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Environmental: Strong odors, such as perfumes or cleaning fluids, smoking, secondhand smoke, dust, can become a cause of nonallergic rhinitis.

Foods and beverages: Nonallergic rhinitis may occur when you eat, especially when eating hot or spicy foods. Drinking alcoholic beverages, such as beer and wine, also may cause the membranes inside your nose to swell, leading to nasal congestion.

Weather: Temperature or humidity changes can trigger the membranes inside your nose to swell and cause a runny or stuffy nose. Dr. Rohit Katial, Director of Adult Allergy and Immunology at National Jewish Health, Denver, CO states “Even cold air becomes more problematic as we get older” (1).

Stress and Exercise: Stress and exercise have been shown to induce inflamed sinuses.

Hormonal changes: Changes in hormones due to menstruation or pregnancy, or a autoimmune hormonal conditions.

The majority of inflammatory illnesses result from over production of pro-inflammatory (inflammation enhancing) cytokines, and other immune cellular factors. Our survival on earth depends on the ability of the body to rapidly generate appropriate inflammatory responses to “burn out” pathogens that threaten to destroy us.

The body must be able to modulate the amount of inflammation produced and decrease its intensity as the challenge is met. The key to health is immune homeostasis. We must generate enough of an inflammatory response to meet the threat, but in controlled amounts so that bystander tissues and organs are effected.

1) http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903480904576510302458640840.html
2) http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/874171-overview
3) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/nonallergic-rhinitis/DS00809/DSECTION=causes

This morning I had a note from a client that said:
“I hope you can help me fight off the fungal, bacteria and EBV in me.”

Part of my response was: No I cannot. Neither I, nor anyone else, can help your body fight infections-
that is the job of an optimized immune system which you have to achieve yourself.

The key is to re-educate your body to learn to balance its inflammatory immune responses. One has to generate enough of an inflammatory response to destroy pathogens, but not so much as to cause the numerous health issues with which you are dealing.

Immune homeostasis, immune balance, is the only way our body defends itself against infection. Even if we are infected, the body is more able to resolve the infection if the immune system is functioning optimally.

Take the following steps to help your body return to immune homeostasis. Once you are in homeostasis your body will figure it out.

  • Incorporate physical activity into your daily life (burn off about 150 calories/day, or consume at least 150 fewer calories a day if you have a weight problem).
  • Eat nutritious meals and emphasize plenty of darkly pigmented vegetables and fruits (especially berries).
  • Get moderate amounts of sun and PLENTY of fresh air
  • Supplement your diet with vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids
  • Consume 1-2 daily servings of hyperimmune egg

An article in this week’s New York Times* focused on men and  women in their late 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s who decided to have face, neck,  (and for women) breast surgery to appear younger. As one woman, 83 years of age  says, “Physically, I’m in good health, and I just feel like, why not take  advantage of it?”

According to the article, Cleveland Clinic researchers reported no significant differences in the numbers of major or minor complications in well-screened, 216 patients, averaging 70 years of age that had undergone face-lifts, as compared to individuals averaging 57.6 years, despite an increase in such surgeries.

However, Dr. Michael Niccole, a plastic surgeon in Newport  Beach, CA. has found in his practice, “older patients may take longer to heal, and the results of plastic surgery may not last as long as in younger patients”.

As with any type of injury to the body, including surgery, the body has to heal itself when damaged.  Inflammation is the first phase of wound healing, but in some older individuals wound healing is delayed because of an impaired inflammatory response.

Healing is an immune inflammatory process requiring a balanced, immune inflammatory response to help clean up an area and rebuild damaged tissues. Pain (the result of an immune response), swelling and bruising, especially during the first few days after injury or surgery, are also involved in the healing process.

Certain specialized cells,  are then drawn into the area to lay down “biological fibers” such as collagen.  These proteins  are used by the body as scaffolding onto which to lay cells, which will replace  damaged and dead cells to regenerate healthy tissue. When the normal structure  of the skin cannot be rebuilt, and instead the collagen fibers are more closely packed and disorganized, then scarring may follow.

Just as production of collagen is essential for healing, it  is equally important for collagen production to be controlled so as to prevent  excessive scarring. Cells accumulate in the area,  collagen production is slowed, and less scar  tissue is formed. Interestingly, despite a decreased ability to heal, older individuals have less scarring than many younger individuals.

Optimal, rapid, healing — with minimal scarification– requires  a balance of the appropriate inflammatory responses. A body in immune homeostasis is body that heals well.

*http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/09/health/09plastic.html?

 

Today’s Wall Street Journal* reports on comments by Dr. Barbara Schildkrout, a psychiatrist at Harvard, stating that there are over “100 medical disorders [that] can masquerade as psychological conditions”.  Some of these conditions are lupus, heart disease, thyroid, dementia, Parkinson’s, diabetes, and Lyme Disease. The article goes on to quote Gary Kennedy, Director of Geriatric Psychiatry at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, NY : “[d]epression predicts heart disease and heart disease predictsdepression”.

 We know that much of heart disease stems from excessive inflammatory responses by the body.  The science also suggests that excessive inflammation, an immune disorder, leads to depression and vice versa.  People who are depressed have higher levels of specific immune inflammatory molecules (cytokines), than individuals that are more emotionally stable.  Cytokine production results in inflammation that affects and even damage brain cells (which adds to the emotional distress).  That is why immune homeostasis is so essential.

 Unfortunately, too many individuals are convinced that only prescription medications can make a difference in their depression and anxiety.**

 There are however, some powerful life style changes that one can make which will affect emotional health.  For example:

 EXERCISE: Researchers at Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, report that a brisk 30-minute walk, or jog three times a week, may be just as effective in relieving major depression as antidepressant prescription medications.  In the study, patients were assigned to
three groups: antidepressant medications only, exercise only, or a combination of both medication and exercise. The scientists found that the exercise by itself was just as effective as medication, and “was equally effective in reducing depression…”. 

One reason exercise may be effective in reducing the inflammation-depression cycle is that every time a muscle contracts, it releases anti-inflammatory immune cytokines that reduce inflammation and at the same time help to decrease anxiety, and improve mood.

SUNSHINE AND FRESH AIR: Moderate  exposure to sunshine and fresh air may contribute greatly to feeling less  depressed.  This may “simply” be due to  the fact that one is exposed to sunlight which then triggers the production of  the vitamin D by the body.

Although controversial, adding  vitamin D to one’s diet may help with moodiness since Vitamin D is more like a  “hormone” than a nutritional element.  Vitamin D affects hundreds of genes, and is a powerful immune system  regulator.

*http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904480904576496271983911668.html

 **Note: Do not reduce or stop  ANY prescription medications without consulting with the health practitioner  that prescribed them. You might  however, after consultation with a qualified health  practitioner, wish to discuss incorporating new lifestyle  changes into your daily regimen.

As predicted by microbiologists and immunologists,  the inappropriate use of antibiotics has resulted in the appearance of certain bacteria that are resistant to different types of antibiotics.  Last year an antibiotic resistant strain of E. coli was responsible for a serious outbreak of food poisoning in Europe, especially in Germany.

Now in the US, a food processor, in collaboration with the USDA, has issued a voluntary, nationwide recall of 36 million pounds of ground turkey.According to DNA analysis, the product appears to be contaminated with a multiple-antibiotic-resistant strain of Salmonella.  At least one fatality has been reported, and 38% of the individuals with this illness have required hospitalization.

Our intestines are constantly exposed to microorganisms that are ingested during the course of a meal. Embedded in the walls of the digestive tract is the gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) network.
The immune cells in these clusters mount inflammatory immune responses to protect the digestive tract, and the rest of the body, from being overwhelmed by pathogens.

Two stages make up the immune response. The first is the production of antibodies (immunoglobulins), large protein molecules, which like heat-seeking rockets, specifically bind to the  invading organisms marking them for destruction.  Other immune cells then enter the battle, mounting an inflammatory response that hopefully will be sufficient to destroy the pathogens.

Whereas in chronic (long-acting) illnesses it may be important  to down-regulate (inhibit) inflammatory responses, in acute,  short duration infections (such as food poisoning)  the body must rapidly increase, or boost, its inflammatory immune responses in response to the challenge. (This is termed the pro-inflammatory phase.)

In a healthy person, gastrointestinal distress, such as abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, possibly associated with a headache and fever, typically resolve within a few days.  Once the threat has been met, the body initiates a strong anti-inflammatory response to return the body to its appropriate level of immune homeostasis (immune balance).

A balanced immune response is the only way your body defends itself against infection.  Even if you are infected, you are more likely to quickly resolve the infection if your immune system is functioning optimally.

Read more about food-borne infections:
http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/bacteria/
http://www.cdc.gov/foodborneburden/

Aging typically does not occur overnight. Instead, it progresses gradually until you start feeling that you are indeed “aging”. You begin to realize that you cannot work or party as hard as you once did. You don not recover from workouts as quickly and you hurt the day after a hard work out. You are stiff in the morning or after a long drive. Your skin is not as tight as it once was, and winkles appear. You experience less energy, and your sexual drive suffers as well.

I am personally affronted when people share their complaints with doctors who respond that “there is nothing that can be done–you are just getting older”.
People who age poorly, are unable to control the amount of inflammation their bodies generate. Their immune cells are producing and releasing too many pro-inflammatory cytokines (1,2). These sorts of events can result in chronic inflammation, which is associated with heart and neuromuscular disease, diabetes, dementia, Alzheimer’s and autoimmune (3) conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s Disease, and multiple sclerosis. Chronic inflammatory responses have also been associated with certain types of cancers.

One would expect that if you have a “boosted” immune response, that you would be better prepared to fight infections and cancerous cells. Instead, there is a significant decline in immune responses in people that are not aging in a healthy manner. Their immune cells are not as effective as healthier individuals in recognizing and eliminating pathogens or stopping the spread of cancer cells.

Immune homeostasis, also known as immune balance, is the key to optimum health and healthy aging. The immune system controls the amount of pro-inflammatory molecules it produces by generating the right types and amount of anti-inflammatory molecules (4) to keep excessive levels of inflammation in check.

1 Pro-inflammatory -immune molecules that “up-regulate”(increase) inflammatory responses
2 Cytokines: http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/glossary=cytokine
3 Autoimmune- http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Autoimmune/default.asp
4 Anti-inflammatory–immune molecules that inhibit (“down-regulate”) inflammation

Selected references (others by request):
http://www.infection-research.de/fileadmin/user_upload/Perspectives2009/April2009/INFECTION-RESEARCH_Perspectives–Infectious_Diseases_and_Aging_FINAL_20_04_2009.pdf
http://www.onderzoekinformatie.nl/en/oi/nod/onderzoek/OND1295431

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