Building strong immunity has always been critical to the survival and success of mankind, but never more so than today. We live in a world in which our God-given dominion has been progressively compromised. Our soil nutrients have been largely stripped and replaced with synthetic chemical isolates. Our genetically modified food supply has been contaminated with pesticides, antibiotics and hormones.
Here in what is presumed to be the most modern and advanced of all civilizations, we have abandoned the wholesome foods provided by our creator for the convenience of fast foods and "man-ufactured" or processed foods. Unlike any generation before us, our bodies are constantly being bombarded with chronic low level chemical toxicity, electromagnetic and radiological exposures, and systematic poisoning from pharmaceutical and other government subsidized industries.
The Stress Factor
Living in the information age with nonstop accessibility to and from a virtually unlimited circle of people and influences greatly adds to our stress level further compromising immunity. The constant, instantaneous demands on our lives leave us with no down time and all too often, little time or energy left for our most important relationships.
The cumulative effects of our chronic exposure to stress are too numerous to calculate. Adrenal exhaustion and thyroid suppression for starters... it is no wonder that America is sick and tired of being sick and tired! Could these things have possibly been on the Apostle Paul's mind when penned (under Divine inspiration) his words of wisdom, "Be no longer conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds"?
What Can We Do?
Faced with these diverse challenges, what can we do to bolster our natural defenses and strengthen our cellular energy systems? As individuals, our daily choices determine the degree to which we avoid some of these exposures. We can reject the Standard American Diet of processed and fast foods that is responsible for the U.S. leading the world in degenerative illness.
We can reject the voracious and unquenchable sickness industry that now dominates our economy and return to our creator's plan and provision for our sustenance and vitality. That means fresh (organic when possible) fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, greens and quality animal based foods (grass fed or organic meat, wild caught fish, and organic dairy and poultry).
Of course, some of our exposures are hidden and therefore unavoidable. Several supplements can be helpful to augment essential nutrients and partially offset unavoidable exposures by:
- Promoting Detoxification Pathways
- Supporting Digestion and Assimilation
- Controlling Inflammation
- Strengthening and Balancing Immunity
Essential Flora: Critical to Life
Some nutrients are foundational to health; none more so than probiotics. The importance of beneficial bacteria in the gut has finally reached the mainstream consciousness, but unfortunately, most of the products being mass marketed today (it seems they are everywhere now) lack the potency and/or coverage to have an appreciable impact.
The GI tract holds the vast majority of our immune cells, and it is there that the ongoing battle for our health is won or lost. Therefore, every person who wants to maximize their health and minimize their risk for illness should be taking a broad spectrum(12-15 strains), high potency (at least 25 billion live cells per serving) probiotic that contains all of the essential flora.
Wake Up Your Thymus!
The thymus gland lies just beneath the breast bone. Often referred to as the "Master Gland of Immunity", it is large in infants and children and atrophies as we grow older. The thymus seeds the body with immature T-cells, the white blood cells responsible for cell-mediated immunity. This gland secretes special chemicals called cytokines (ie.- interferon, interleukins) that influence the specialization and migration of T-lymphocytes throughout the body. The thymus also releases hormones that regulate immune function. These thymic hormones help immune cells to mature, "programming" them to recognize tissues as either self or invader. Recognizing the enemy is the first and likely most important step in the immune response.
As we age, the thymus shrinks as its role shifts from immune cell production to regulation of the immune response. Lower thymic hormone levels in the blood are associated with depressed immunity, and are typical of the elderly, individuals with chronic infections, auto-immune disorders, cancer and AIDS patients. The thymus is extremely susceptible to free radical and oxidative damage caused by stress, radiation, poor diet, infection and chronic illness. People who have undergone radiation, chemotherapy or other immune-suppressing treatments also typically have low thymus function. Whatever the cause, depressed immunity can lead to an increase in the frequency and severity of colds, fatigue, allergies, or the onset of opportunistic infections.
Glandular Therapy: Like Cells
Help Like Cells Glandular hormone replacement therapy is an ancient form of medicine that leverages the wisdom that our Creator placed into all things. It is based upon the use of animal glandular and organ substances to bolster the function of the human body's corresponding organs and glands. Modern medicine replaces the thyroid gland with thyroid hormone, the adrenal gland with cortisone, the pancreas gland with insulin, and the ovaries with estrogen and progesterone.
However, physicians have not routinely replaced the thymus gland. As your thymus shrinks and weakens with age, the most effective and direct way to stimulate it is by consuming thymus tissue. Calf thymus has long been regarded as a delicacy, known throughout the world as "sweetbread", but cooking destroys many of the beneficial properties of the gland. Far more effective is to ingest raw, freeze dried thymus extract, which leaves the thymic factors intact.
The Best Offense is a Good Defense!
There are many ways to stimulate natural immunity and promote cellular vitality, but none more profound than building a strong foundation with probiotics and thymus gland support. In my next article, we will discuss some natural medicines that should be in every medicine chest to prepare for various microbial threats, but a strong front line of defense is most necessary to survive and thrive in these challenging times.