immune system

Is God a Male Chauvinist?

A common objection against the God of the Bible is that He is a male chauvinist. Leviticus 12: 2-5 is one of the Scriptures objectors cite, in which God commanded Israel that “If a woman has conceived, and borne a male child, then she shall be unclean seven days; as in the days of her customary impurity she shall be unclean… And she shall then continue in the blood of her purifying three and thirty days; she shall touch no hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying be fulfilled. But if she bear a maid child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her separation: and she shall continue in the blood of her purifying threescore and six days.” Notice that God did not say the woman would be dirty during this time. He said “unclean.” Tumah in Hebrew is unclean, but its best English translation is actually similar to the word “taboo” or “off limits,” Why would God call what He had created dirty or sinful such as the monthly menstrual cycle or childbirth when, at the end of the creation process Scripture says He looked at all He had created and said it was very good?
After the Fall of Man, sin pervaded human nature to such an extent that in ancient Israel (an in other nations) women had no rights and were at the mercy of their male counterparts.
During pregnancy and childbirth, a woman’s body undergoes drastic physiological and psychological metamorphosis. Loads of hormones are secreted to prepare the body for the changes of pregnancy and childbirth. Significant modifications to the immune system take place due to increased levels of cortisol. Pregnancy can increase women’s susceptibility to disease. The immune system changes during pregnancy to protect both the mother and the baby. But after giving birth the immune system can be weakened by varied factors that include loss of blood during delivery, exertion from both the delivery process and from sleepless nights of caring for a newborn. After the work of giving birth is done, the stress on the mother only increases. Her body, which has been through incredible challenges still faces the task of caring for the newborn baby. Her body also has to provide the resources for accomplishing this stressful transition from pregnant woman to new mother. This taxes the immune system.
In modern times, physicians advise new mothers to rest for a minimum of 3 days to regain their strength. The isolation instructions found in Leviticus 12: 2-5 gave women living in an agrarian community that was characterized by manual labor the much needed resting period to regain their strength. God created the human body. He understands the toll it takes on the human body to carry a fellow human being for almost one year, and then push them out into the world. In an age when people did not know about infection or germs, God gave instructions to isolate the new mother from the rest of the community in order to protect her from disease including puerperal fever, which was discovered about 3,000 years later by an Austrian physician known as Ignaz Semmelweis. Isolation gave her exemption from cooking and other forms of physical labor. She was also protected from possible sexual demands from her husband before her body fully recovered. A midwife took care of her food and nursing needs. During her purification period which lasted between 33 to 66 days depending on the gender of her baby, the new mother continued to avoid contact with crowds from which she and the baby could easily come into contact with deadly pathogens at a time when there were not clinics or hospitals. Does that sound chauvinistic? The most dangerous thing is to give an opinion about something we know so little about.

To read further about how God cares for the general health of human beings, get a copy of The Perfect Prescription from: http://www.wmturls.com/pp

When Once Is More than Enough!

A new study finds that when young people binge drink alcohol, it disrupts their immune system, and that disruption happens more quickly than drinkers might think.

Published in December in the journal, Alcohol, the study found that within just two hours of young, healthy adults drinking up to five shots of vodka, their immune systems were less active than when sober. The findings are particularly relevant as binge drinking increases the risk of a number of injuries that might land young people in the emergency room, where physicians could benefit from knowing that a patient’s immune system may be impaired due to too much alcohol. Majid Afshar, MD, MSCR, the study’s lead author and an assistant professor within the Loyola University Chicago Departments of Medicine and Public Health Sciences, said the findings illustrate the importance of asking about a patient’s alcohol consumption. He added that some patients are likely arriving at trauma centers with alcohol-related injuries at a time when their healing capacity is weakened.

“This supports the idea that physicians should be aware of these patients and be more aggressive in how they treat them,” Afshar said.

To conduct the study, researchers recruited eight women and seven men, with an average age of 27, who each drank enough vodka shots to meet the definition of binge drinking, which was defined as reaching or exceeding the legal blood alcohol limit for driving. Study participants’ blood was collected and tested before drinking as well as 20 minutes, two hours and five hours after peak intoxication. The study found that 20 minutes after peak intoxication, participants’ immune systems exhibited increased activity; however, at the two- and five-hour marks, their immune systems exhibited decreased activity. The study found that such effects happen after just one episode of binge drinking.

“The clinical impacts of these changes are not yet known but occurred during the post-alcohol ingestion time frame when trauma victims are exposed to (internal) activators of inflammation and microbial pathogens,” the study concluded.

Afshar said that while he and his colleagues expected some type of immune system disruption, they were surprised that it occurred so quickly. From a public health perspective, he said the study’s findings are another reason to support alcohol-related education and prevention efforts.

“The idea that one single episode of binge drinking can cause such a significant disruption — it’s something we can take to the public and show them that there are harms even for those who don’t consider themselves problem drinkers,” Afshar told The Nation’s Health. “We need to do a better job on educating the public about the harmful effects of heavy drinking in people who otherwise consider themselves healthy.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in six U.S. adults binge drinks about four times a month and consumes about eight drinks per episode. Binge drinking is more common among adults ages 18 to 34, with more than half of the alcohol consumed in the U.S. drunk in the form of binge drinking.

Study: One episode of binge drinking enough to weaken immune system. The Nation’s Health. http://thenationshealth.aphapublications.org/content/45/1/E3.full

Association between Worship and Health

One remarkable discovery by science is the relationship between the strength of the immune system and worship. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a protein our bodies use to counter inflammation and to boost the immune system. High levels of IL-6 are indicative of a compromised immune system whereas low levels are often associated with a strong immune system. In a longitudinal study, scientists at Duke University discovered that participants who were frequently engaged in active church worship had lower IL-6 levels in their blood than their counterparts who never went to church, after controlling for many factors; meaning that regular worshippers manifested a stronger immune system than non-worshippers.

“…I am the Lord that healeth thee,” Ex. 15:26. Explore the relationship between spirituality and your health in the book, The Perfect Prescription from: www.wmturls.com/pp

View also our latest release: www.wmturls.com/bp

Love Your Way to Longevity

The cosmetics and dietary industries incessantly bombard us with messages about how to look younger and enjoy a vibrant life and live a longer by procuring and utilizing their products. Marketers of novel dietary trends and latest fitness fads are constantly waving their products in front of us, urging us to take up the challenge to buy them and live longer. In our desperate attempt to lengthen our life expectancy some of us have succumbed to the pressure only to be told a few years down the road that some of those products were detrimental to health. However, researchers have recently stumbled upon a much safer and less expensive secret for longevity. It is called love. Science claims that being involved in a social relationship is a predictor of 50% longevity. However, most of the benefits of this virtue are dependent on our attitude toward those relationships. Most people are concerned about finding someone to love them. But this research posits that we draw the greatest benefits not in receiving love but in giving love. For example, volunteering to do good for others out of love without expecting any form of acknowledgment or reward was found to be positively associated with longevity in a research study by Konrath of University of Michigan. A later study by Hoge et. al (2013) demonstrated that generating thoughts of love toward others and thoughts of benevolence on regular basis reduces cellular aging (telomere length) considerably. Disseminating love in a manner that enriches the target of that love is linked to mental well-being and physical health. This can even speed up our recovery from illness because of its ability to buffer us from the ravages of stress, and to promote in us a positive outlook to life. Another benefit of loving others is that it strengthens our immune system. The genes that are impacted by our social relationships and love have been found to code for the functions of the immune system and inflammation.

The Bible instructs us to “thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am the Lord,” (Leviticus 19:18).

Jesus reiterated this instruction when He said “The second [commandment] is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these,” (Mark 12:31).

Loving others is a win-win situation.

Read more about this in the book, The Perfect Prescription, by Reigh Simuzoshya on Amazon.com

A Moldy Threat to Health

Statistics from 2007 studies conducted at Berkeley reveal that about 21.8 million individuals have asthma in the United States. The pathogenesis of 4.6 million of these cases has been attributed to exposure to indoor dampness and mold. Overall, approximately 30 to 50% of asthma-related health problems are linked to building dampness and mold. The cost for treatment of indoor mold-related asthmatic problems was estimated to be $3.5 billion. The World Health Organization claims that about 1.5 million deaths worldwide each year are linked to indoor air pollution of some sort.

The main element of indoor air pollution is microbial pollution caused by a myriad species of both bacteria and filamentous fungi also known as mold which grows in moist and damp places. Mold was discovered by William Yobe in 1827. The Institute of Medicine has linked exposure to mold to upper respiratory tract problems. Certain types of toxic mold such as aspergillus, fumigatus and histoplasma can cause severe infections in vulnerable individuals with compromised immune systems. A product of mold is mycotoxins. People are often exposed to mycotoxins by ingesting contaminated food, by skin contact or by inhaling these toxins. If exposure to mycotoxins is protracted and unmitigated, the results can be serious adverse health outcomes. Clinical effects resulting from exposure to mycotoxin fumonisins include pulmonary edema, esophageal cancer and many others. Mycotoxin ochratoxins can cause kidney and liver damage over a long period of time. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis, an immune-mediated health condition can also be exacerbated by exposure to mold.

What is astonishing is that millennia before Yobe’s time the Bible already had cautionary counsel against exposure to mold and fungi. Although the process for remediation of mold infestation has improved in modern times due to technological advancement the approach remains largely the same as the biblical one. Buildings with serious mold infestation often need to be vacated. Recently, in 2002, a South Atlanta apartment complex showed “a serious mold problem” in at least 37 of its 119 units. This necessitated evacuation of dozens of families from the apartments and the property manager and complex owners ended up with numerous compensatory claims from residents exposed to the mold. In Leviticus 14:34-39 the Bible says “When you enter the land of Canaan, which I am giving you as your possession, and [there is] a spreading mildew in a house in that land, the owner of the house must go and tell the priest, ‘I have seen something that looks like mildew in my house.’ The priest is to order the house to be emptied before he goes in to examine the mildew, so that nothing in the house will be pronounced unclean.” The Bible is an amazing repository of health guidelines. Learn More at: http://youtu.be/9TOcHIb8N5k

Anger-A Prescription for Negative Health Outcomes

We live in era in which hearing phrases such as “he easily flies off the handle…be careful not to cross her path…he walks around with a huge chip on his shoulder…he always looks for a fight and never walks away from one,” are chillingly normative. Some people take pride in being associated with these behavioral traits- they brook no nonsense from any one. They do not take insult, implied or explicit, from anyone sitting down. Maybe you happen to be in one of the above categories. But anger is not your friend. Do not embrace it because anger can dispose you to myriad health disorders and conditions. A meta-analysis of studies conducted between 2000 and 2010 assessing the effects of anger on health revealed that any form of anger whether suppressed or expressed can be a determinant of various diseases including coronary heart disease (CHD), diabetes, bulimic behaviors and high blood pressure (Staicu & Cuţov, 2010) . Anger is correlated with cardiovascular diseases because of the bearing it has on the HPA axis as well as on sympathetic nerves. The result of this bearing is an excessive secretion of corticosteroids and catecholamine, which are stress hormones that are capable of triggering a flood of health problems. Anger is also associated with inflammation of the immune system. This situation gets worse if an individual harbors prolonged or chronic anger. Anger can also lead to irrational decisions with terrible repercussions. As such, anger is a self-destructive tool. Next time you want to get angry think about what it might cost your health. An even tempered individual is likely to enjoy better health than a short-tempered individual.

No wonder the Bible says that “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath,” (Ephesians 4:26).

Learn more about how fearfully and wonderfully made you are from the book, The Perfect Prescription. Catch a glimpse of it from: http://youtu.be/9TOcHIb8N5k

Science Concurs: Your Faith is Your Perfect Prescription

Historically, religion has been implicitly correlated with improved health. Later, this belief piqued the interest of scientists who have since measured and documented the connection between the two. A review of literature which includes findings by Dr. Howard Koenig and associates (2001) informs us that science attests to the fact that practiced religion is correlated with significant longevity and a reduced risk of myriad diseases. Since the 1800s when biostatistician Francis Galt’s study affirmed the positive health outcomes of intercessory prayer many more similar studies have been conducted and scientists have been astounded by the strong correlation of spirituality with general health. The quantified health effects of spirituality are reportedly the same as the effects of quitting smoking on health as far as years added to the individual’s life are concerned. Some of the specific benefits of religion include lower levels of stress; better coping skills; improved mental health; less substance abuse; healthier dietary habits; better sleep and greater social support.

Another remarkable discovery by science is the relationship between the strength of the immune system and worship. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a protein our bodies use to counter inflammation and to boost the immune system. High levels of IL-6 are indicative of a compromised immune system whereas low levels are often associated with a strong immune system. In a longitudinal study, scientists at Duke University discovered that participants who were frequently engaged in active church worship had lower IL-6 levels in their blood than their counterparts who never went to church, after controlling for many factors; meaning that regular worshipers manifested a stronger immune system than non-worshipers “…I am the Lord that healeth thee,” Ex. 15:26. Explore the relationship between spirituality and your health in the book, The Perfect Prescription from Amazon.com