Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Real Age and Boost Your Immunities

A while back, there was a blogger, Fonzy, who was more here there and everywhere than . . . Here There and Everywhere. He found some of the most amazing resources, and Real Age was one of them.

I took the Real Age test, and got a shock; there were things I really needed to do to keep my health and fitness at peak. I hadn’t been doing them, thought I could slide. Real Age won’t let me.

Every week I get bulletins from them on new findings in health issues. They are always packed with valuable information. Here is one of the most recent ones:

Boost Your Natural Immunity
June 30, 2009 3:14 PM by Mehmet Oz, MD and Michael Roizen, MD

New flu strains. Antibiotic-resistant tuberculosis. Germs in and on the foods we buy in supermarkets and in restaurants. Flesh-eating bacteria. Feels like you’re in the midst of a scary twenty-first century germ invasion. And while you try your best to keep from meeting the nastiest bugs, there’s only so much you can do without living in a bubble. That means boosting your immune system matters more than ever.

And steps you take to boost your immunity may also protect you from the chronic diseases associated with aging. See, immune busters — everything from aging and stress to lack of sleep, too little exercise, and not-so-smart eating — can pull the plug on how well your white blood cells, natural killer cells, and chemical messengers can attack and destroy foreign invaders. Didn’t know you had an army of defenders, did you? Well, you do. And the very same actions that lessen their ability to fight off bugs also cause trouble by encouraging chronic inflammation — a hot-button health risk now linked with asthma, heart disease, diabetes, and even some types of cancer.

Keeping your own personal security force strong and disciplined is easy:

Feast on fin food. EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), the essential omega-3 fatty acid found in fatty fish (and fish oil, of course), limits several cellular processes (involving dendritic cells and interleukin 12; aren’t you glad you asked?) associated with inflammation, so they can’t do their dirty work. Serve yourself salmon or trout at least twice a week, or get 2,000 milligrams of EPA plus DHA, another omega-3, from supplements daily. Don’t like the fishy taste or the size of the pill? Just get the DHA from pills made from algae — that’s where the fish get it.

See red or go nuts. Red wine, red grapes, and peanuts are great sources of resveratrol, a compound that protects against immune system aging and inflammation.

Learn the art of ahhhh. Your nervous system and your immune system are linked more closely than fraud and Bernard Madoff. Extreme stress reduces your natural killer cell count — one reason widows and widowers are more likely to get sick after the death of a spouse. Even periods of short stress (say, road rage) can boost levels of proinflammatory chemicals called cytokines. Set aside 10 minutes a day for relaxation, whether it’s meditation, intimacy, a walk, or the pure bliss of playing with your kids or grandkids. And learn some coping skills that help you talk your stress level down while you’re still in traffic or whatever situation gets on your nerves.

Tuck yourself in. Sleep deprivation torpedoes immunity and increases levels of proteins associated with inflammation. Stop shortchanging yourself and jump into the sack a half hour earlier tonight . . . and every night this week. Add another half hour next week, and keep going until you’re getting 7 1/2 to 8 hours of shuteye per night. Every night!

Take a walk today. Regular physical activity can help keep immunity where it should be. You don’t have to be a gym rat: When a group of overweight couch potatoes started exercising five times a week, they gained a definite cold-fighting edge over nonexercisers.

Pop some vitamin D. This vitamin can’t do its immunity-boosting job if you don’t get enough of it . . . which includes at least 30% to 40% of us. Since it’s difficult to get what you need from food alone, get 1,000 international units a day from a supplement if you’re younger than 60, 1,200 if you’re 60 or older.

Munch apples, broccoli, and red onions. All are bursting with quercetin, a flavonoid that shores up immunity, even when you’re fatigued. The fiber and antioxidants in these natural goodies also help reduce or mute inflammation instigators.

Think zinc. Go to the end of the alphabet for a mineral that supports immunity (it may also thwart cancer cells). You can get the zinc you need — 12 milligrams a day — from crab, oysters, pork, poultry, beans, cashews, and yogurt. Or find a good multivitamin with less than 15 milligrams. Too much of the stuff could stop other important minerals from doing their jobs.

Don’t forget classic “C.” This vitamin helps you produce more bullets to kill invading germs. Bell peppers are chock-full of vitamin C; other good C options include strawberries, cantaloupe, and broccoli. Or take 400 milligrams of vitamin C as a supplement three times a day.

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November 15, 2009 - Posted by | Aging, Blogroll, Diet / Weight Loss, Exercise, Food, Health Issues, Living Conditions

12 Comments »

  1. […] Original post: Real Age and Boost Your Immunities […]

    Pingback by Real Age and Boost Your Immunities | Recent Health News | November 16, 2009 | Reply

  2. […] Original post:  Real Age and Boost Your Immunities […]

    Pingback by Real Age and Boost Your Immunities | health | November 16, 2009 | Reply

  3. By the way.. any idea where is fonzy now?

    Comment by Aromal | November 16, 2009 | Reply

  4. Don’t forget to take supplements, you can never get the optimum amount of vitamins from food alone, especially if you eat ”modern” foods.
    And to get the optimum amount of vitamin C you would need to eat about 7000 oranges.

    In a hot country like where you live you should go more for the omega 6 oils. The omega oils are better absorbed if you also take a vitamin E capsule. Make sure you get the natural E, the body can make very little use of the artificial E. The good stuff is L alpha tocopherol, the useless stuff is Dl alpha tocopherol.

    And make sure you get the vitamin D3. Not D2.

    Comment by Aafke | November 16, 2009 | Reply

  5. Aromal, last thing I remember, he was engaged and happy and still in banking. I wish him well. I’ve always thought maybe he was one of the brains behind Charts and Numbers, one of my favorite Kuwait blogs.

    Aafke, is that true? I thought we are supposed to get most of our vitamins from eating right, like salmon and things that have omega oils. I was told that the body excretes excess vitamin C, and that taking supplements is – literally – like flushing your money down the toilet.

    What kind of vitamin D do we get from the Qatar sunshine? 🙂

    Comment by intlxpatr | November 16, 2009 | Reply

  6. No, you do not get enough nutrients, (vitamins and minerlas) from ”eating right”
    Besides, eating right means live predominantly on raw vegetables, sprouts, beans, whole grains, nuts and fruit.
    And virtually nobody does that.
    And vitaminC is peed out when your body has a surplus, that is right. But what is that surplus?
    Fact is that how much you need is very different per person, and as a person it depends on your current state of health. And vitamin C is not retained by the body so you need to replenish the vitamin C several times a day.
    We are about the only mammals who cannot synthesise vitamin C in our livers therefore we have to ingest it.
    A dog, or goat, who do make vitamin C in their own bodies make about 4 to 5 grams a day.( So calculate what you would need) And that is when they are healthy. When they are hurt or depressed or have caught a virus that level goes up.
    That is also why rabbits or horses don’t get ill, living outdoors in the rain and cold: vitamin C makes it impossibble for a virus to spread in your body, but humans are at a chronically pre-scurvy level and catch all virusses and get ill from them all the time.

    So if you take the recomended 600mg you will be just about scurvy level (the last stage before death) but you will be still at a far too low level to maintain absolute health, that is more like 4 or 6 grams divided over your waking hours.

    The effect of too much vitamin C results in ”loose bowels” that way you can determine for yourself what the optimal dose is, because that will widely differ per person a we are all unique, also on the biochemical level.

    A therapeutic dose of vitamin C (when you have the bird- or swine-flu) is just below ”Bowel tolerance level”. Of course if you are really struck with a mean bug, that level goes up significantly as your body needs it to fight off the disease.
    The pharmaceutical industry (with the most powerful and well-funded lobby in the US) does not like this knowlege, proven by decades of scientists, to become known. After all, Pfizer has allready made billions on Tamiflu alone, and tamiflu doesn’t even cure you, it merely alleviates the symptoms a bit. Clinical dosing of vitamin C does not only relieve you of the symptoms, it actually stops a virus from spreading in your body.

    As part of their campaign to stop public awareness of Vitamin and health, they sponsor a lot of ”research” which is set up to fail, by using the wrong kind, and far to low doses of vitamins, and they pressure journalists to spread unfounded stories like the one that you pee out vitamins and that they are a waste of money.

    You get the best vitamin D from sunshine! 😉
    Our bodies can synthesise vitamin D from the sunlight on our skin, it is therefore more a hormone as a vitamin. But most people still have a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency is closely related to MS. MS patients are demonstrably low on vitamin D, it is therefore a good idea to supplement with D3. All vitamins are completely safe, you would have to take 2 pounds of vitamin D to get too much. But the problems reported with vitamin D were related to D2. Which I have been told is the most commonly available D in America. So make sure you get the D3.

    Basically you do not ”medicate” vitamins and minerals to your body, you give your body what it lacks to achieve optimum health.
    Our bodies are made to use vitamin C and as we cannot make it ourself we are in constant chronic need of it as a supplement.

    Comment by Aafke | November 16, 2009 | Reply

  7. Wow. Aafke, how did you get so smart about all this?

    Comment by intlxpatr | November 16, 2009 | Reply

  8. I read.

    Comment by Aafke | November 16, 2009 | Reply

  9. 🙂

    Comment by intlxpatr | November 16, 2009 | Reply

  10. Nice article 🙂

    Comment by Mathai | November 17, 2009 | Reply

  11. hey there intlxpatr 🙂 yup its me, being here there and everywhere 😉 today was the first time in a long time i checked the blogosphere and ur blog was one of the first i clicked on… interesting post, impressed u still link to that site 🙂 and thanks for the very nice words, i really appreciate it. I gotta admit i do miss blogging but i doubt i can commit as much as i used to. Work has taken a big part of my time and i rarely have any free time now, since i am out of banking and into investment banking. And yes, i am engaged to be wed end of the year so planning the wedding has been quite hectic too. But it does feel great to be remembered by u and others like Aromal 🙂 be sure will visit more often 🙂 glad to see u hung in there with the blogging 🙂

    Comment by Fonzy | November 18, 2009 | Reply

  12. Fonzy, I am so glad to see you. I had a feeling you were well and happy, just entering into a new stage of your life. 🙂 While I am happy for you and all the good things going on in your life, you were one of the best and most interesting bloggers out there, intelligent, compassionate and with a wildly curious intellect, way beyond finance. I miss you; the blogging world misses you. 🙂 Please come by here anytime. You are always welcome. My greetings to your bride-to-be and our best wishes for a lifetime of loving partnership together.

    Comment by intlxpatr | November 18, 2009 | Reply


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