THERE is nothing on earth more amazing, more wonderful, than the human body. Even the most powerful computers and artificial intelligent robots we have today pale in comparison. The most sophisticated artificial heart, liver, pancreas, kidneys (dialysis machines) are so large, bulky, much less efficient, cumbersome, inconvenient, fully dependent on limited power source, and fraught with complications when implanted, not to mention most expensive and still impractical.
All our organs are self-contained within our body, came free with our body when we were born, with its own auto-power-generator for energy (fuel), very efficient, functioning automatically, chemically and intricately in-sync with our entire system, and responding to our thinking, feelings, and activities. It also has a built-in chemical laboratory, which processes the food and drink we ingest into chemical energy, maintaining a healthy level of glucose (blood sugar) and all hormones, enzymes, minerals, electrolytes, with the help of our GI system, liver, pancreas, and endocrine glands, in normal situation.
Medications we take are converted to molecular substances that help heal our ailments. Our body system maintains normal homeostasis, automatically keeping our entire internal environment on an even keel, and in maximal electrolyte and acid-base balance at all times. Its inherent immune system protects it from infections and diseases.
Hormones are produced by our body when our glucose level is low, which tells our stomach to feel hungry, and another hormone tells us when we are full, to stop eating. When we ingest anything alkaline, the buffer system automatically adjusts to neutralize the alkali, to preserve our homeostatic balance. When we sense danger, or are angry or upset, our glands automatically produce adrenalin to prepare us in protecting our body. When we laugh, sing, eat chocolate, or are in a happy countenance, our system excretes happy hormones that soothe us and prevent depression. When expose to hot or cold weather, our system has an auto-adjust thermoregulator to keep us comfortable.
‘Octane’ in food
And like a vehicle or any engine, what fuel we put into them (like what food or drink we put into our mouth) will greatly determine how well the engine (or our body) functions and lasts. Healthy lifestyle must start from the womb and dieting initiated in the crib to protect the DNA from damages, as advocated in the pro-active and pre-emptive book on disease prevention, Let’s Stop “Killing” Our Children, which is listed in the US Library of Congress (featured in amazon.com).
The common impression and conventional belief that the major diseases, like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, stroke, Alzheimer’s, and even cancers are “natural” and expected illnesses of old age is scientifically inaccurate and flawed. These diseases could be prevented or avoided, or minimized, by protecting the DNA from damages from the time we are born. The human body, if properly cared for from day one, by shielding the DNA from any destruction while in the womb and in the crib, could be “exempt” from developing the wrongly termed “natural and normal diseases of middle to old age.”
Healthy lifestyle must start from the womb and dieting begins in the crib, purposely to protect the DNA and stave off having those major illnesses we now attribute to aging. Yes, future children do not have to acquire those diseases when they grow up to maturity or seniority. The human species can pro-actively pre-empt these common major illnesses that afflict almost all of us today, like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s and even cancer!
Diet and exercise
Exercise is great and most valuable, but diet appears to be of greater significance to many persons when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. Of course, not taking in toxic
substances, such as tobacco, alcohol, illicit drugs, and other harmful substances, behavioral modification, and stress management, are vital to health. For those with arthritis and other inflammatory diseases, a variety of vegetables called Nightshades cause exacerbation and pain. They include tomatoes, eggplants, potatoes, paprika, pepper.
Evidence-based clinical data today show that together with daily physical exercise, a diet of low-carb, consuming a lot of multi-colored vegetables, with some nuts and fruits (calories adjusted among diabetics and weight-watchers), eating minimal or no red meat at all, and staying away from processed meats, is the healthy prescription for optimum health and maximal longevity.
It is obvious then that a healthy lifestyle could outweigh genetics in most cases, and that our health is not only within our reach, but it is actually in our hands.
Talking about healthy lifestyle reminds me of my mother, who passed away in Raleigh, North Carolina, November 8, 2019, at age 102, and interned last Friday. The way she had managed her own healthcare is evidently a great factor in her longevity, a strategy worth medical mention.
My Mom had diabetes and high blood pressure, but no arthritis to the end. She was a health freak, doing her own finger-stick herself to monitor her blood sugar level 3 times a day to guide her how she should adjust her caloric intake and medications. She did all this herself for more than four decades, following her physician’s instructions. She also took her blood pressure and adjusted her pills, with the help of my three sisters, one of them a registered nurse. My mother was doing daily exercise watching and following Leslie Sansone video exercises, a routine she did up to her mid-90s.
While she loved pork, she concentrated more on oatmeal for breakfast and mostly fish and vegetables for lunch and dinner. She was very compliant with her medications and vigilant in her food intake. She was able to ambulate with a walker and doing all this, with her brilliant mind and a memory better than mine, till she developed pneumonia and renal failure about three weeks ago. Pneumonia is usually deadly for seniors.
I alluded to my Mom’s diligence in her own healthcare to highlight the importance of a disciplined self-restricting (no tobacco, alcohol or illicit drugs) behavior, diet, exercise, compliance in medications, and positive attitude in life. She listened to her body seriously.
Whatever imperfections her genes may have had, it seemed obvious that her system was able to neutralize and compensate for them through a healthy lifestyle. Indeed, living a healthy lifestyle could far outweigh genetics and maximize health and longevity.
Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, a Cardiac Surgeon Emeritus based in Northwest Indiana and Las Vegas, Nevada, is an international medical lecturer/author, and Chairman of the Filipino United Network-USA, a 501(c)3 humanitarian and anti-graft foundation in the United States. Visit our websites: philipSchua.com and FUN8888.com Email: [email protected]