Keep the body operating flawlessly

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By The Staff

As we begin a new year let’s review some fundamentals relating to attainment of optimal health. The first item is one we normally don’t think about.

When nature gave human cells their biochemical programs, our forebears were hunters and gatherers. Virgin, fertile land produced fresh, wholesome food — loaded with essential vitamins, minerals and enzymes.

People drank clean water directly from lakes, streams, and springs. The air had no industrial pollutants — and it contained more oxygen than our present atmosphere.

Here’s the clincher. To have excellent health today our genes demand that same “stone age” environment. But, in all the time from stone-age man until now, human genes have changed very little.

This presents a major problem.

Nowadays, food grows on land depleted of essential nutrients. Large corporations process food to extend its shelf life and increase its sales appeal.

But processing seriously reduces food’s nutritional value and increases the content of additives to totally unacceptable levels. Sadly, many food additives are foreign to our bodies.

Water and air are intensely polluted. Even well-water must be purified to make it safe for drinking. Our atmosphere is a giant sump, where we dump all kinds of air-born waste products. These include smoke from industrial and domestic chimneys and the ever-present exhaust from gasoline, diesel, and jet engines.

Water can be treated with filtration, distillation, ion exchange, reverse osmosis, and selected chemicals. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do about the major pollution of our atmosphere. But you can minimize exposure by use of air conditioning and filtration techniques.

We confront a difficult task. In this environment you must strive to get the nutrients your genes demand — and avoid the toxins they were never intended to encounter.

Nutritional deficiencies cause many of life’s disasters. Mineral deficiency places young athletes at risk of sudden death. The same minerals could markedly reduce rampant violence in prisons, as well as crime in our open society.

Deficiency of only one essential, minor nutrient can lead to illness and death.

In your own life, mineral deficiency can lead to long latency degenerative diseases. A glaring example is the ever-present heart disease.

Homeostasis is a big word physicians use. But in simple language it means all of your body’s processes are operating flawlessly.

You must strive to maintain homeostasis. It is the ideal condition of health. In that happy circumstance:

3 You have a totally positive mind-set.

3 You have an active social life.

3 All joints move freely with no pain.

3 It feels great to flex your muscles and do all kinds of exercises.

3 You have no “heart-burn” or other digestive problems.

3 You have no allergies.

3 You have no diseases.

3 All of your cells function with unrivaled precision.

Attaining this optimal status, and retaining it, requires that you begin now. You must carefully plan your lifestyle — your habits.

Read, listen, learn. In fact, everything you do toward attaining homeostasis accrues to your benefit.

Exercise and good hygiene are important. But you must nurture your body with the nutrients your genes intend it to have.

The second basic principle is this. As years pass, biochemical processes become less efficient. The change may be slow and elusive. But it is cumulative. And it happens to everyone. Don’t let it sneak up on you.

The key to optimal health in your sunset years:

3 Recognize the gradual erosion of your health.

3 Take positive action to compensate as these changes take place.

We shall continue this discussion next week.

I am not a physician. I am not a licensed health care professional. I never advise people about their medical conditions.

The point of view you read in this article is from a consumer’s perspective for you to use as you see fit. I am a consumer of services from licensed health care professionals, just as you. I write as a reporter.

James B. Pierce, Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus, Department of Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Massachusetts Lowell.