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Immune System (very LONG post)

Posted by IsoM on January 5, 2002, at 13:52:24

In reply to Re: Immune System IsoM, posted by Lorraine on January 5, 2002, at 11:44:48

So many alternative treatment for illness, depression, etc are controversial & I've found people can get such hurt feelings or such anger discussing this that I've veered away from saying much. But I'll give a quick breakdown. If anything seems offensive to anyone, I'm sorry - this is just my opinion.
First, I'll say that I managed a health food store many years ago & am a firm believer in good, solid nutrition & a healthy life style. But I feel most naturopaths are simply experimenting or trying different products as a rebound for the overdependence on meical & chemical interventions in our health. I've never seen anyone who's had continued benefits from seeing chiroproactors or naturopaths. They seem to go from one doctor to another, trying one treatment after treatment. Most seem to help initially, but soon fade away. Placebo effect? Possibly. I've tried these treatments too but found little help & heard far too much mumble-jumble from the practicioners. My science/physiology background is solid enough to know that they were spouting nonsense.

Okay, here's what I opine is the main cause of my good immune system, but I've done this for ,30 years. I don't think there's any magic overnight change that could happen. Three possible interactions:

1. I've always eaten soy (in the form of soy flour & soy beans) for < 30 years. I started doing it as a cheap way of including protein in my diet. All my bread & other baked products is made with added soy flour. I read years ago how the Cornell University had developed a bread with the protein content of meat with added soy flour, wheat germ, & milk powder. that's what started me. I'll snack on roasted soy nuts too. I happen to enjoy the taste! I make my own huumus with 1/3 cooked soy beans & 2/3 chick peas. I love it too. My 3-bean salad has cooked soy beans & my baked beans use soy beans. I use tofu, soy & other beans in many foods. If done properly, they taste great. I don't use expensive soy products that are now on the market. Soy milk is still just basically water & I don't like the taste of soy cheeses. While I ate soy to increase protein in my diet, soy has been found to boost the immune system wonderfully - honest research behind these claims. (See my note at the end of all this about soy.)

2. I just happen to love the taste of vegetables that belong to the brassicae family & is supposed to be so good for us. I never tire of brocolli, Brussel sprouts, kale, cabbage, etc. And tomatoes! Mmmmm! Also supposed to have so many health benefits.

3. Vitamin D. I'm not a sun-lover - my Mom has had & keeps on too, having pre-cancerous spots removed from her skin from sun damage. Because I've avoided the sun, I always took extra vitamin D. The 400 IU recommended is actually very low. It's to prevent any possible overdoses from this vitamin as it's stored in the liver & high continued doses can be toxic. I researched as much as possible & have taken about 1000-1500 IU daily instead. I want strong bones after menopause. I never thought vitamin D did anything else, but in reading science/medical journals recently, vitamin D has been found necessary in maintaining a strong immune system. Does the amount I take help me this way? Possibly.

It's not genetics. My two brothers look so old & both are overweight; one a little, the other very much so. Both get sick a lot. My poor dear Mom is sick a lot too with frequent colds, so I don't think it's good genetics. I haven't had a flu for 27 years now, don't get colds, or other infections. I did get pneumonia when my marriage was breaking up & one son was suicidal & had to be hospitalised. The stress at the time was overwhelming.

*About soy. There's a professor, Dr. Claire Hasler, at the Universtity of Illinois who's been researching soy benefits for over 20 years. She's a firm believer in using the whole soy bean & not just extracting the isoflavones & other components from soy. She believes (& so do I) that there may be other components in the whole food that acts synergistically together to bring the greatest benefits. It's similar to how beta-carotene was isolated from foods & made into capsules. The benefits were almost nil as it needs to be in the foods to have the most effect. In fact, isolated soy extracts has sometimes been thought to have an opposite effect from strenghtening the immune system. What I've read is not from sites promoting their own products & interests, but from bonafide science journals written about the research that's being done.

If you want to check out some of Dr. Hasler's views, here's a site she has:


> Wish I could convince you to keep it on the board--there are a number of people here who are working with the natural/immune system approach that could benefit. I know that I am trying to work with mine and I know Shelli is planning on seeing a naturopathic doctor in DC.




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