What do I mean by that – well simply that too much of the majority of people’s lives is spent suffering – and eventually dying – from what are known as the chronic degenerative diseases. Too much of one’s life is spent battling against lack of energy, aches and pains, headaches, digestions problems etc, that gradually leads into an ever worsening picture that becomes a diagnosed disease. Very few of us will die of old age – the vast majority of us will be picked off beforehand by one of the myriad different causes displayed on death certificates. By the time we are in our 60s, 1 in 5 of us will suffer from one or more of these chronic degenerative diseases. Shocking isn’t it!
Average life expectancy is around 75 years for a man, and 82 for a woman. But did you know that scientists now believe that a natural lifespan is 110 -120 years? A common myth nowadays is that we’re all living longer – but a close look at statistics doesn’t bear this out. Life expectancy hasn’t changed for over 20 years, and the current generation of 40-somethings are predicted by some to be unlikely to live as long as their parents did.
Going back to previous centuries the killers were infectious diseases such as influenza, diphtheria and tuberculosis. Today’s killers are very different – the metabolic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimers, multiple sclerosis, Parkinsons and osteoporosis, to name but a few. And that doesn’t take into account the misery caused by arthritis, macular degeneration, fibromyalgia, depression, IBS etc. These are all chronic degenerative diseases – they have a long latency period, and by the time symptoms appears damage has already occurred.
Fortunately, modern medicine can offer drugs to help you deal with the ever more severe symptoms. Unfortunately it does little to address the underlying causes. Research scientists have made great strides in getting to grips with these causes, and there is now a lot of information available, but unfortunately their results are taking a long time to trickle through to the front line.
So what is really going on? What are these studies showing?
Well, our bodies are miraculous mechanisms, delicate and finely balanced with a variety of systems constantly working to keep us fit and healthy. They are in a perpetual state of flux with the processes of decay and regeneration going on ceaselessly. If the rate of repair is slower than the rate of decay, you have problems, if the rate of repair is faster you have both healing and health. Simple isn’t it.
So what causes our repairing mechanisms to become inefficient, or even ineffective? Time and time again this is being traced back to depletion of the macro and micro-nutrients needed to both slow down and repair tissue decay and give our body systems the fuel they need to work properly. Scientists have even given this problem a name – Type B malnutrition. This basically describes a condition where there are more than sufficient calories, but insufficient nutrients!
You are what you eat. We are all familiar with this saying, but over-familiarity perhaps blinds us to the fundamental truth and simplicity of its meaning. Overweight, tired, lacking energy, no libido, indigestion, poor focus and concentration, PMT, poor memory, recurrent colds, mood swings etc – these are all warning signs that something is amiss, they are an early wake up call that most of us don’t heed. We say ‘It must be my age’ or ‘I’ve been working hard recently’ or even ‘I need a holiday’.
Various surveys have shown that most people are depleted in most micronutrients to some degree. Over a period of years this sub-optimal intake leads to a host of problems that inevitably shorten our lifespan – and ensure a miserable time of it for the last 30 years or more. We need a wide variety of ‘fuel’ to ensure we are performing at optimum – macro nutrients, micro nutrients, amino acids, enzymes, water, oxygen etc. When we are not getting this in sufficient quantities things quietly start to lose that delicate balance which is fundamental to good health.
But I have a well balanced diet I hear you cry. Well yes – a well balanced, nutritionally deficient diet is probably more accurate. And anyway, what is a balanced diet??
Looking at why the traditional diet doesn’t quite cut the mustard any longer with regards to our nutrient requirements, and what we can do about it is a topic in itself. Until next time…
© Saira Salmon 2006
Your Health at Risk, Toni Jerrfeys Phd
We Want Real Food Graham Harve
Health Defense Dr Paul Clayton
What Your Doctor Doesn’t Know About Nutritional Medicine May be Killing You, Ray Strand