The Immune System
A healthy immune system is the best way to prevent the occurrence of an autoimmune disease, such as myasthenia gravis.
The human immune system is complicated in that it affects the whole body system in many different ways. As such, it can heal you but it can also harm you. It protects your cells and maintains your overall health through its production of antibodies (specific proteins) to fight against antigens (invaders to your body system). However, an impaired immune system can adversely affect your health because it is the common denominator of more than 100 autoimmune diseases.
The Cellular Health
Cells make up your organs. When cells die, your organs fail and health deteriorates, and you age and die.
To maintain and sustain life, some of your cells replicate themselves continually, such as epithelial cells in your intestine, while others do not divide, such as your heart cells and neurons in your brain.
The good news is that, on average, most normal human cells have more than 100 years of lifespan built into them.
The bad news is that all human cells require energy and oxygen to function normally, and in this oxidative process free radicals are created. For example, when you breathe in life-giving oxygen, you also breathe out harmful carbon dioxide. This oxidative process is how your Creator has ingeniously built normal cell death into your body system to ensure your immortality. Slowly and accumulatively, these free radicals build up in your cells, leading to premature cell death. You cannot prolong life indefinitely, but you can extend lifespan by slowing down the oxidative process of free radicals. In other words, eradication of free radicals holds the key to health and longevity.
Premature cell death is due to both human and environmental factors, such as bacteria and viruses, free radicals, toxins, and trauma, which can cause irreparable damage to your cells, and thus instrumental in accelerating the demise of these cells. However, many of these factors are not only avoidable but also preventable.
Essentially, genes play an important role in determining the quality of your genes. In other words, your genetic time clock governs how long your cells will live, and this is partially determined at birth. However, your objective is to outpace your genetic time clock. Remember, nothing is set in stone; you always have a choice—the choice is all yours.
(Next time: how body cells may damage your immune system)
Copyright© by Stephen Lau