IMMUNITY FOR SENIORS – a practical approach
As we age so our immunity goes into decline . This is partly determined by Genetics but also our lifestyle and envoirnment have a role to play . We are told if our forebears died at an early age then we can modify our gene expression to some extent and extend our life if we do the right things ? But what are the right things? The word senior also is a misnomer as some may be classified as “ senior “ at the time they are 55 years old and others are “ senior “ at over 75 years old . Age does not matter perhaps but our biology does ! Perhaps a good bench mark for this article is that “ senior “ applies to those over 70 . Certainly that is the age where things tend to go into decline and one feels one’s age . Some say that happens at 50 so I am being generous here .
Digestive issues can arise such as Gastric Reflux , we cannot eat the same foods as we did before : our joints become creaky and there is a tendency to Arthritis : our energy levels are not as good as they once were and it seems like we are off to the Doctors for this and that . The end of life is looming and god’s waiting room is around the corner !! Wow what a gloomy outlook !
No Seniority does not have to be all that but it depends on whether one is embracing life or just waiting for things to happen . Well i digress this article is about health , not the keys to the fountain of youth but practical approaches about challenging the aging process .
The big issues as i see it of becoming senior is cognitive decline and Lowered Immunity. We become Sinecent – our Immune system does not work as it should . The cuts and bruises take a lot longer to heal and of course colds and flus can feel more severe . We are offered Flu vaccines – but are they effective ? Reports are conflicting with research showing flu vaccines for those over 65 range from 20% to 50 % effective for any given season . So what do we do about the rest of the Percentage ? Do we take it for granted that we are fully protected when the doctor says that flu vaccines will provide immunity for the season ? Now i am not anti – vaxx but there are some questions to be answered . How about next season ? Do I have to be Vaxxed every year ?
What about the dreaded Cancer ? is there a VAX for that ? Well not at this stage so perhaps it is good to look at some things one can do to boost one’s immunity before either the dreaded C or some aggressive virus puts us somewhere we do not want to go .
OK so what do we do ?
- Eat right ! Since recent studies have shown that 75% of adult males in Australia do not eat the daily requirement for fruit and veg then this is a good place to start ! Nutrition is everything to the immune system and it relies on vitamins and minerals to work right . A good rule thumb is 20 % protein and 80% fruits and vegetables each day . A little Protein with each meal is best to help balance blood sugars and a high protein meal such as eggs is good to start the day !
- Exercise , especially weight bearing exersise which stimulates muscle growth is particularly good for maintaining the immune system . A minimum of at least two weight bearing exercise workouts week is required . Women require the same amount of training as men no matter what the age .Somehow a litte resistance training amps up the hormones and has an effect on the body;s ability to make red and white blood cells . A good thing when we are senior .
- A herbal supplements -Herbs are here to help and have been used since Adam and Eve and for good reason . The nutrients of the herbs and their phytochemicals are easily absorbed and recogised by the body as the body has developed over millennia to see the herbs as foods . There is no one herb or supplement that will suffice or one size suits all as the body needs a variety of vitamins , minerals and phytonutrients to maintain Equilibrium . Each individual has slightly different nutritional requirements so customisation must be engaged . A consultation with a Naturopath or Herbalist can determine the best options . Recommended supplements for immune health may. include use of herbs such as Ashwaganda , Ginseng , Astragalus and Reishi mushroom and others. Natural supplements are synergistic with others and there is no end to what can be taken that will boost the immune system – zinc , Grapeseed extract Vit D , Fish oil etc -the list is endless . So what is a simple Immune supplement ? Well there isnt really ? The body relies on synergy and balance so the correct amout of vitamins and minerals and phytonutients is better than overloading on one or another . Herbal supplments for seniors are covered in another blog on https://adelaidenaturopath.net.au . Pehaps the best overall one supplement is called Astragalus 8 which is famous as a Immune enhancing formula that imroves energy and adrenal response as well as stimulating whitle blood cell count .
- It would be remiss to dismiss the positive effects of social company , social groups and hobbies . Studies have shown those who embrace community groups and friends live longer than those who are isolated . This obviously has an effect on Immunity and whites blood cell count -they say laughter is the best medicine !
For further information go to www.Adelaidenaturopath.net.au – Peter Farnsworth ,681 Grange Rd Grange SA 5022