|Mending Your Terrain|
Except for accidents, all the repair and regeneration of our body must come from within. --Dr. Morton Walker
Imagine for a moment driving to an important business meeting and upon getting out of your car, you accidentally rip your pants or skirt. By chance, you happen to have a needle and thread in your glove compartment, and you quickly repair the slight snag, and all is well. The temporary chip in your outward armor is repaired, and you are once again ready to take on the world. This scenario signifies the constant battle your inner terrain faces as the body seeks to maintain homeostasis or internal balance.
Dr. Andrew Weil, in his book Health and Healing, states that it is important that you become conscious of the dynamics of internal change or disrupted equilibrium that occurs almost endlessly within. As expressed by Dr. Weil, and I quote: "We are an island of change in a sea of change, subject to the cycles of rest and activity, of secretions of hormones, and of the rise and fall of powerful drives, subjected to noise, irritants, agents of disease, electrical and magnetic fields, the deterioration of age and emotions. The variables are infinite, and all is in flux and motion. That equilibrium occurs, even for an instant, in such a system is miraculous since equilibrium is constantly destroyed and recreated."
Dr. Weil went on to say that, far from being simply the absence of disease, health is a dynamic and harmonious equilibrium of all the elements and forces making up and surrounding a human being. When you view health from this standpoint, it is miraculous that the body maintains health in the face of infinite variables that can disrupt this internal tranquility.
In The Healer Within, Dr. Deepak Chopra, MD, a world renowned healthcare professional and author, reminds us that the mechanisms for healing lies somewhere within each of us. This same sentiment is expressed by Dr. Morton Walker in the opening remarks of this article, which focuses on the body’s incredible ability to repair itself, not outwardly, but from within. While we have learned thus far that the chemical repair of these minor snags, tears, splits and chips to our inner terrain may not be the most appropriate way.
There are, however, a number of natural compounds that are as effective, in reality prescribed by nature itself. Rather than overriding natural pre-determined physiological mechanisms, these substances actually assist in repairing the damage initiated by these hostile outside forces. The following accessory compounds are great to use in supplemental form to complement your body’s natural innate ability to repair and heal itself.
Natural Medicinal Agents
Within the large intestine or colon, there resides literally millions of bacteria both beneficial to human health as well as harmful. In fact, there are about 400 various kinds or species of bacteria and yeast that are known to inhibit your colon. In an adult, healthful colon flora consists of 80 to 85% protective lactobacteria. Among these lactobacillus acidophilus and other members of this family are the most abundant. Flora, which means flower, refers to the internal environment of the colon. Like plants, acidophilus and other beneficial bacteria are unable to survive in unfavorable ph conditions. Colon ph which is acidic in nature will foster growth and replication of this important medicinal agent. Acidophilus can help restore supportive bacteria to an intestinal tract whose normal flora has been disrupted by disease, antibiotics, or proliferation of harmful bacteria. Acidophilus, like all bacteria, are living creatures. In fact, bacteria have the same basic needs as we do. They eat, excrete waste and protect themselves from harm and reproduce. They primarily use carbohydrates you consume to live and flourish by fermenting (metabolizing themselves.) During this process acid secretions occur which assist in preserving the acidic ph concentrations for its own survival and thus yours against bacteria like E. Coli. We tend to forget that E. Coli is one of the most common bacteria found in human intestines. It can cause (when not kept in check) urinary tract infections, diarrhea and serious damage to the lining of the intestinal walls. In addition to the above acidophilus helps metabolize, or breakdown, many essential nutrients beneficial to human health. Acidophilus also prevents chronic constipation, diverticulosis (inflammation of small pouches or diverticuli in the large intestine), yeast infections, hypercholesterimia (high cholesterol levels), digestive disorders, acne, bad breath, ease irritable bowel syndrome symptoms, and control diarrhea. Please Note: While antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections, they do not differentiate between good and bad bacteria. In many cases they upset this natural balance. For this reason, I highly recommend the use of acidophilus when coming off a regimen of antibiotics to help restore the body’s natural flora.
Glutamine is one of the 22 known amino acids which are proteins that have a profound influence on how our body rebuilds, restructures and repairs itself. Glutamine is used extensively in bodybuilding circles for its ability to help build lean muscle, prevent muscle wasting and stimulate growth hormone production. Growth hormone has been and continues to be researched because of its ability to slow down the aging process. Glutamine also is the chief fuel source used but various cells of the immune system such as the lymphocytes and macrophages. In times of metabolic distress the body’s need for glutamine increases. Additionally, glutamine is one of the most vital nutrients for your intestines. Glutamine is responsible for assisting in the repair and maintenance of the structural integrity of the bowels. The small intestines, the cite of nutrient absorption, also requires glutamine to maintain its membrane integrity. In fact, the enterocytes of the small intestine consume 40 to 50% of glutamine present. In essence glutamine is the chief fuel source the cells that line the intestines use to perpetuate their physiological activities, such as proper ph balance. Serving as a source of fuel for the cells that line the intestines, glutamine prevents them from simply washing away, leaving one susceptible to a host of pathogenic (disease producing) agents. Aside from the above, glutamine plays a key role in modulating the acid/base axiom serving a buffering agent of urinary ammonia. As cited by Dr. Tomas Welbourne, PhD., professor of molecular and cellular physiology at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, the kidneys paradoxically will produce a form of ammonia scientifically referred to as ammonium from glutamine which the body uses to eliminate access acid. Glutamine also serves to control acid secretions due to the carbon (Co2) atoms present within its molecules. This natural phenomenon in times of physiological distress (acidosis) allows glutamine to increase the production of bicarbonate which serves as a buffering agent. This, as you know, serves to reduce harmful acidic concentrations. Furthermore, when the body needs increased energy capacity to sustain and fuel innate physiological processes, glutamine, like a super nutrient, leaps into action. Being a key component that controls and regulates gluconeogenesis, glutamine is converted into glucose (gluconeogenesis) serving as a backup energy source to fuel life’s processes.
Mineral Salts or Ions
Researchers now know that organic minerals naturally occurring in fresh fruits and vegetables are key elements responsible for maintain the healthy alkaline environment the body seeks to maintain. Due to the body’s continuing efforts to neutralize acid, it uses several sources to accomplish this. Mineral ions (dissolved minerals in their smallest and most biologically active state) are of vital importance. Minerals serve as buffering agents to neutralize strong acids. Sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium and manganese are examples of these buffering agents. These mineral elements also modulate and reduce the harmful ph concentration of the acid forming minerals such as sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine.
The Master Neutralizer While mineral elements like potassium and sodium are critical to maintaining electrical impulses and fluid balance, calcium is the most important buffering ion in body. When the body has inadequate calcium stores to support constant buffering efforts, the body will leech calcium from your existing stores found within your skeletal (bone) structures. As you have probably summized, this over time, can have serious consequences, causing brittle bones and osteoporosis later in life. Due to the above factors, health professional today highly recommend that calcium be supplemented to offset this positive action, but possible negative outcome of this backup mechanism. This is especially important when dietary intake largely consists of acid producing foods.
Being one of the chief buffering compounds (calcium) the body uses to neutralize excessive acid buildup, mounting evidence suggests that coral calcium may be very instrumental in accomplishing the above. Extracted from the coral reefs in Okinawa, Japan, coral calcium exists in a natural ionized form, biologically active and ready for immediate use by human tissue. This fact concerning the use of coral calcium is monumental, as many forms of supplemental calcium have very poor absorption rates, as well as, problems associated with the body’s inability to metabolize it properly. The forms of calcium in question are calcium carbonate, oyster shell, bone meal and dolomine. Coral calcium’s rate of absorption is nearly 100% and has shown a remarkable ability to stabilize ph concentrations. According to the late Dr. Bruce Halstead, MD, a pioneer of chelation therapy, coral calcium’s proposed absorption rate is due to the fact that the calcium and other elements found in coral calcium occur as natural chelates. Chelates are natural compounds that assist the body in making mineral elements much easier to be metabolized and used by human tissue.
Colostrum is the non-milk fluid produced by female mammary glands during the first seventy-two hours after birth. Colostrum provides nutrients that support a new born infant’s immune system response which has yet to develop. After years of extensive research colostrums has shown to provide a multitude of health restorative benefits to adults as well as in supplemental form. Researchers have found that colostrum contains a wide range of growth factors that put the body in a defensive state to assist the body in its efforts to maintain health. Dr. Lance S. Wright, MD, a founding member of the Association of Holistic Health, as associate professor of child psychiatry at Hahneman University in Philadelphia, (PA) and a professor of integrative medicine at Capital University of Integrative Medicine in Washington, DC, states that the growth factors found in colostrums have amore profound effect in promoting health more than any disease fighting drug in existence. According to Dr. Wright, not only does colostrums protect the body and rid it of disease, the growth factors initiate repair and can reverse the damage to body systems encountered during states of distress. It is important to remember that in most cases of illness, toxic elements leave some part of the body at the cellular or physical level in a weakened state.
The Growth Factors
The growth factors known to occur in colostrum are the:
1. Epithelial Growth Factor (EgF)
2. Insulin-like Growth Factor I and II (IGF-1 and IGF-II)
3. Fibroblast Growth Factor (FgF)
4. Platelet-Derived Growth Factors (PDGF)
5. Transforming Growth Factors A + B (TgF A + B)
6. Growth Hormone (GH) All of these growth factors have shown the ability to promote cellular and tissue growth. Data has conclusively revealed that colostrums mode of action is a result of its ability to initiate the replication of DNA. Deoxyribonucleic acid, the genetic material of the cell (your body’s physiological blueprint) determines the health and survival of every cell in body.
As you know drinking cranberry juice is very beneficial in alleviating the symptoms associated with urinary tract infections. Cranberries modes of action centers on increasing the acidic ph concentrations within the urinary tract. This will diminish the ability for bacteria like E. Coli to survive that embed themselves within the uroepithelial cells which line the walls of the urinary tract. Recent research conducted by Dr. Amy Howell, PhD, a researcher at Rutgers University and Dr. Jess Reed, PhD, professor of nutrition at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, confirmed previous studies done supporting the hypothesis that cranberry juice has the ability to prevent adhesion of E. Coli (the bacteria responsible for the majority of urinary tract infections) to the lining of the urinary tract. As cited by Dr. Howell, although the benefits of cranberries were widely known, the mechanism responsible for the above outcome was not. Dr. Howell and fellow researchers found that compounds known as condensed tannins or proanthocyanidins were the agents in cranberries responsible for preventing the bacterial adhesion of Escherichia coli(E. Coli) to the lining of the urinary tract. According to Dr. Howell, a 10-ounce glass of cranberry juice cocktail consumed daily would prevent E. Coli from sticking to the walls of the bladder and kidney. Please Note: Do not utilize cranberry juice loaded with large amounts of sugar as sugar will promote bacterial growth and a state of alkalinity. Cranberry tablets also are a viable option. Additionally, although fresh fruits and vegetables are suggested to re-alkaline an over-acidic internal environment, cranberries will perpetuate acidosis. Pineapple, lemon juice or most other fruit juices would be more applicable in the above case.
Green Foods and Drinks
One of the best ways to mend and defend your inner terrain is via the rejuvenation powers of green foods. Greed foods have the ability to rebuild, recharge, and refuel your body’s own natural cleansing and revitalization mechanisms. Dr. Michael Rosenbaum, MD, a well-known healthcare medical professional and a nutritional biochemist reminds us, as cells go, so goes our whole body. Dr. Rosenbaum states that toxins and chemicals can easily invade your cells breaking them down, causing damage and even cellular death. He went on to say once imbedded, toxins like chemicals are difficult to get ride of. Green foods are rich in chlorophyll, which is considered one of nature’s best internal cleansers. Green foods, according to Dr. James F. Balch, MD, a fellow of the America College of Surgeons and author of the bestselling book, Nutrition For Prescriptional Healing (Avery) green foods help to:
1. Purify the body
2. Detoxify and heal the body
3. Provide the body with an immediate energy source
4. Build red blood cells
Chlorophyll is the green pigment that performs photosynthesis. As you know, this is the process where green plants capture the ultraviolet and radioactive light from the sun. This conglomeration of explosive energy is bound and within the green pigment of plants made readily available for our use. This high energy source turns our bodies into high level energy factories to carry out life’s processes and ward off disease and pathogenic substances. The power of green foods to fuel activities deep within cellular recesses can correlate to the pigments found in green foods. Chemically, these pigments are also identical to hemoglobin found within our blood stream. As a point of reference here, hemoglobin is the iron containing protein in red blood cells that transport oxygen. If you recall in the opening comments of this book in the prologue, the acidity present in the body tends to drive oxygen from the body. This state will encourage cellular damage, aging, heart disease and cancer development. Green foods promote oxygen production and serve as catalysts that assist chemical chain reactions that discourage the manifestation of the above maladies. Greed foods by nature are key elements involved in modulating the negative aspects of acidosis. Please Note: There are many different whole green foods to choose from. Some of the most well-known and widely used ones barley grass, wheat grass, spirilina (blue-green algae), chorella, spinach, green sprouts, kale and alfalfa.
Arousing The Protective Fury Within
As stated earlier by Dr. Andrew Weil, our inner systems are in constant flux amidst a constant sea of change. Like a roaring sea in the midst of a storm, equilibrium is constantly destroyed and re-created. In this calm but changing environment lightening the load of resistance the body has to contend with will greatly assist it is freeing up energy to promote healing and repair caused by hostile organisms, environmental pollutants, harmful free radicals, as well as poor lifestyle and nutritional habits. While the listed medicinal agents have tremendous value in fortifying the recuperative powers of the inner terrain and connecting systems, it is equally as important to strengthen and compliment your supplemental efforts with sound, solid, nutritional foods.
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