Our immune system is the primary force that allows us to fight off harmful bacteria and thereby stay alive and healthy. Let me repeat that. Our immune system is the primary force that keeps us alive and healthy. In fact, a balanced and strong immune system is what survival is all about. All of human history could be summarized as our human struggle to survive against the trillions of bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungus forms that are everywhere around us. To these microbes we are little more than soft thin walled flasks of culture media.
We stir up millions of microbes that are capable of infecting and killing us every time we eat, brush our teeth, scrape our skin, have sex, hug our cat, get bitten by insects and breathe air from polluted air conditioning systems in airplanes and hotels. Only the strength of our immune system keeps us alive. Between the twelfth and eighteenth century is when great pandemics of bubonic plague, also known as The Black Death, swept across the world every 50 years or so leaving millions to suffer a horrible death. Just that one harmful bacteria, known as pasturella pestis, killed off one-fourth of the entire human race, turning entire cities into ghost towns from which the few survivors fled in terror. Only those with a strong immune system survived.
Today we still face new and deadly epidemics. The influenza epidemic of 1918 killed millions. And just since 1973, twenty-nine new and previously unknown infections have appeared on our planet, including Lyme Disease in 1975, the deadly Ebola virus in 1976, Legionnaire’s disease in 1978, toxic shock syndrome in 1978, AIDS in 1981, Hepatitis C virus in 1989, Hanta virus in 1993, the lethal 0157 strain of E. Coli contaminating hamburger meat in 1998 and the more recent American outbreak with Africa’s West Nile Virus. We are all at risk in these days when an airplane air conditioning system can spread the germs of anyone on the plane to everyone on the plane.
Now all this may sound somewhat alarmist, but it's the reality of how dangerous the world we human beings share with trillions of potentially lethal microscopic life forms. Millions of people will still die each year from these microbes living in our soil, in our air, our water, and our food. And scientists agree that a weakened and unbalanced immune system make us more susceptible to virtually all known diseases. Allergies, asthma, arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, attention deficit disorders, frequent colds, flus, sinus infections, inflammatory bowel disorders, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue are everywhere today. Strong signals that are immune systems can no longer cope with our stressed out junk food lifestyles and our overuse of toxic drugs.
I can tell you we are only as young and healthy as our immune system. Our quest to stay young and fight the aging process, and our quest to survive will depend more than anything else on keeping our immune system balanced, healthy, and strong.
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