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This Quiet Cause of Cancer Strikes Everyone Over 50

By Lee Euler / June 1, 2014

Here’s some irony for you: Most people want to live as long as possible. Yet that very thing we all strive for – old age – is actually hazardous to our health. The older we are, the more susceptible we are to all kinds of diseases.

But it’s not so much wrinkled skin and other age-related changes to our biology that are the reason why we get sick more as we get older. Rather, it’s a deterioration of our immune systems.

Keep reading and I’ll explain why. But I’ll also tell you how to outsmart this nasty “wrinkle” in the aging process.

Continued below…

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Why your immune system
erodes over time

The gradual decline of the immune system as you age is called immunosenescence. That’s just a Latinized term for “aging of the immune system.” I just saved you three years of medical school and hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The sad fact is, the immune system breaks down as you age. In fact, both the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health consider this condition a significant threat to everyone over the age of 50. Everyone. Because not only does the aging process make it harder for your body to ward off infections, it also subdues your body’s long-term memory, meaning vaccinations are less effective.

Let’s face it, we all face age-related biological changes. But this isn’t about the development of wrinkles or a slightly stooped posture. Immunosenescence is not the deterioration of average cells. It’s the decline in some of the key cells that run your immune system.

T-cells appear to be the most affected by aging, as their function noticeably declines over time. Aging also means you no longer produce an abundance of antibodies or lymphocytes, all key players in immune function. In addition, immunosenescence marks a dramatic increase in inflammation, which leaves you susceptible to just about every chronic disease out there. That’s why illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer can have such a significant and dramatic effect on the elderly.

You also become more vulnerable to viral outbreaks, leaving you exposed to debilitating bouts of cold and flu.

Anecdotally, I notice that I take longer to get over a cold than when I was young, even though, in many ways, my general health is better than when I was young and I actually get fewer colds. When I do get one, it hangs on like crazy. The immune system just can’t seem to shake it off.

It’s quite clear that once your immune system is thus impaired, the body becomes more susceptible to infection and cancer. And sure, we’re all vaguely aware that the likelihood of getting cancer increases with age. But the question here is can we counteract it?


How to stop the stealth-progression
of immunosenescence

Immunosenescence is not just a product of being human. All kinds of species suffer decline as a function of age. But we’re the only ones who can do something about it. You can’t stop aging completely but you can darn well slow it down.

First, be aware of the signs of immunosenescence. Think of it as a stealthy thief in the night. It starts by robbing you of energy. You might feel a little slower, or a little sluggish. Usually, this happens in your 50s. While most people rightly attribute this to age and a general slowing down of the body, that’s a different thing from a dwindling immune system.

Stress is the next thing to keep your eye on. Take any aspect of your health and expose it to stress, and it’s probably going to get worse. That may be more true for your immune system than for any other bodily system. Even a young person’s immunity is compromised by stress. The best ways to combat stress include meditation and yoga – and just getting plenty of sleep.

By now, you’re certainly aware of the risks of poor diet and obesity. Naturally, both these things suppress the disease-fighting power of your immune system. Sugar consumption is one of the most effective ways to knock your immune system out. In fact, research shows sugar has a dramatic, negative effect on your immune system within a half hour of eating it. The simple answer is to avoid sugar and eat whole, organic foods.

Next – and I’m sure you knew this was coming – not getting enough exercise puts a marked damper on your immune system. Regular physical activity purges your body of toxins and keeps your immune system in fighting shape. Even something as simple as a daily 30-minute walk around the block can be an effective tool against immunosenescence.

In addition, certain herbs and supplements can keep your immune system up to par. Traditional Chinese medicine has long made use of Reishi mushrooms to promote a vigorous immune system. Scientific studies support this – apparently a mix of compounds in this mushroom make it a medicinal powerhouse. It wards off the effect of immunosenescence and increases life span as well. In fact, one 2011 animal study suggested the regular use of Reishi may add seven to 16 years to your life span, on top of restoring your immune strength.

To be fair, other mushroom remedies are also highly effective. Just last week we wrote about enoki mushrooms (the article is reprinted below). And another great move is to supplement with beta glucans – one of the most powerful active ingredients in medicinal mushrooms and other species of fungus.


Get yourself in “fighting shape”
no matter what your age

A functional immune system is your body’s most potent weapon against cancer and every other health risk out there. And understanding the role played by immunosenescence in cancer development is especially useful when it comes to helping elderly cancer sufferers.

So — just as any wise soldier keeps his blade sharp for battle, you should keep your immune system in fighting shape. If a long life of vibrant health doesn’t tempt you, I don’t know what will.

As I just mentioned, our previous issue wrote about one of the most effective ways to boost your immune system. If you missed it, you can catch it now here.


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Kindest regards,

Lee Euler,

Publisher



 

References:

“Epidemic of Immunosenescence.” By Maegen Rawlls for Life Extension Magazine Winter Edition 2012-2013. http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2012/ss2012_Epidemic-Immunosenescence_01.htm
“Immunosenescence.” Wikipedia, Retrieved 14 May 2014. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immunosenescence
“Immunosenescence and cancer.” By Grapham Pawelec, et al. Journal of Geriatric Oncology. Volume 1, Issue 1 , Pages 20-26, June 2010. http://www.geriatriconcology.net/article/S1879-4068%2810%2900008-1/abstract
“Immunosenescence of ageing.” By Gruver A.L, et al. J Pathol. 2007 Jan;211(2):144-56. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17200946
“Potential role of immunosenescence in cancer development.” By Fulop, T., et al. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2010 Jun;1197:158-65. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20536845
“Understanding immunosenescence to improve responses to vaccines.” By Jörg J Goronzy & Cornelia M. Weyand. Nature Immunology, 14, 428–436 (2013).http://www.nature.com/ni/journal/v14/n5/full/ni.2588.html
About the author

Lee Euler

Hi I'm Lee Euler, I’ve spent over a decade investigating every possible way a person can beat cancer. In fact, our commitment to defeating cancer has made us the world’s #1 publisher of information about Alternative Cancer Treatments -- with over 20 books and 700 newsletters on the subject. If you haven't heard about all your cancer options, or if you want to make sure you don’t miss even one answer to this terrible disease, then join our newsletter. When you do, I'll keep you informed each week about the hundreds of alternative cancer treatments that people are using to cure cancer all over the world.

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