Immune Aging

Studies have shown that the immune function of the human body will gradually age when we get older. Roy Walford, the well known  immunologist, called it immunosenescence, which combines the words of  immunity and aging. 

 

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As we age, the macrophages and fibroblasts of the human innate immune system will produce more pro-inflammation cytokine (Pro-inflammation cytokine), leaving the body in a chronic and continuous inflammation state. 

This chronic inflammatory response state is closely related to many of our chronic diseases related to aging such as diabetes, osteoporosis, atherosclerosis, tumors, cardiovascular diseases, chronic inflammation, and autoimmune diseases. 

Chronic inflammation in our body damages our immune system and systemic functions every day. It not only makes us vulnerable to various viruses, bacteria and toxins in the environment, but also reduces our ability to fight infections.

Our body will produce an inflammatory response in the face of tissue damage, irritation, or infection. This response is a part of our body's natural process of repairing damage, which is normal. However, if this process becomes chronic, the inflammation will quietly cause harm to our health. It will become the chief culprit that consumes the immune system and other systems of the body.

Therefore, reducing inflammation in the body can not only help control chronic diseases, but more importantly, slow down the aging process. How to fight inflammatory aging and slow down immune aging?

 

Four effective ways to slow down immune aging caused by inflammation: 

Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Reduced Calorie Intake

Nutrient Supplements

Balancing Yin and Yang Energy

 

  • Anti-Inflammatory Diet

There are many parts of our body where chronic inflammation occurs, such as chronic respiratory tract, digestive tract, genitourinary tract, mouth and skin. Factors that may cause inflammation include pollen, viruses, gluten, bacteria inhaled from the air, chemical color and other additives in food.

Chronic infection reduces our body's sensitivity and causes long-term damage to our body.  Therefore, it is key to understand and eradicate these sources of chronic inflammation, such as finding out which foods make our body sensitive and treating chronic inflammation in the body. We can also increase our body’s ability to fight inflammation by adjusting the food we eat.

 

Typical anti-inflammatory diet-Mediterranean diet: The Mediterranean people live longer and have fewer cardiovascular diseases, which are related to this diet. This diet is characterized by a lot of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, soy products, and olive oil.  The Mediterranean diet does not have a lot of animal protein, especially red meat and cured bacon.

 

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Studies have found that the Mediterranean diet can reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the body, maintain the balance of the nutrition intake, and improve immune function. The Mediterranean diet can also reduce the chemicals in our body that are involved in inflammatory reactions, such as C-reactive protein, interleukin 6, and so on.

Anti-inflammatory foods include avocados, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, tomatoes, cherries, turmeric, mushrooms, salmon and deep-sea fatty fish, lentils and kale, dark chocolate and cocoa powder, broccoli, grapes, peppers and Green peppers, and chia seeds.

 

  • Reduced Calorie Intake 

 

Controlling calories can activate the anti-aging and anti-inflammatory chemical pathways in our body.

For example, it can reduce gene expression of interleukin 6, interleukin 1 Beta, and tumor necrosis factor. Intermittent fasting can also stimulate the circulation of hematopoietic stem cells in our body. Hematopoietic stem cells can differentiate into a variety of immune cells needed by the human body.

Obesity itself can harm our immune system. Our body’s T lymphocytes recruit human macrophages to adipose tissue to produce inflammatory cytokines. This inflammatory cytokine increases our body’s resistance to insulin and leads to diabetes.

Since ancient times, people have said that fasting can improve their health and regimen. The Chinese call it bigu, and the Westerners call it fasting. In fact, by reducing the energy and waste produced by the body during metabolism, it promotes the elimination of damaged cells and the production of new functional cells, which promotes the body's anti-oxidation and anti-inflammatory abilities. This not only plays a role in fighting immune aging, but also alleviates the inflammatory aging response.

In the health preservation of traditional Chinese medicine, there has always been a saying that one should never eat a full meal (too much).  

However, people should not go to extremes. Elder people may experience insufficient and imbalanced nutrition. Reducing food intake may cause malnutrition and greatly damage immune function. 

 

  • Nutrient Supplements 

 

Some nutrients can relieve anti-inflammatory and anti-aging effects, such as vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin E, essential fatty acids, B12, folic acid, probiotics, and trace elements  such as zinc, copper and iron, etc.

 

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Zinc, for instance, participates in almost all chemical reactions of the body. It is the coenzyme of more than 300 enzymes and the guarantee for the health of our digestive tract endothelial cells. The signal transmission of our immune system, cell proliferation, differentiation and dying are not separate from the trace element zinc.

Two groups studied were between the ages of 55 and 87. They consumed 45mg of zinc gluconate everyday for 12 months. Compared with the placebo group, the group supplemented with the trace element zinc not only had a much lower chance of infection, the level of trace element zinc in the plasma was also higher, and the indicators of tumor necrosis factor and antioxidant stress are greatly reduced.

 

  • Balancing Yin and Yang Energy

Chinese medicine teaches that the balance of yin and yang is the key to health.

The same is true for our immune function in modern medicine. Cytokines that promote inflammatory response and cytokines that inhibit inflammatory response are such a pair of yin and yang relationships. Their balance is the key to our health and our aging status. 

Yin and yang is not a theory or doctrine, but a description of the real phenomena that exist in our world from the micro to the macro, from the human body to nature.

 

Healthy Aging Program at Yang Institute

The Wellness and Healthy Aging Program at Yang Institute applies Advanced Nutrient Therapy to help supplement the insufficient nutrients in order to slow down the aging process.  The program  combines acupuncture and Chinese medicine to replenish the loss of Qi and essence, and free up blocked or trapped energy due to long lasting effects of physical and emotional stress. The program helps restore the energy balance of Yin and Yang and slow down the aging process.


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