Balance is a traditional concept. When you live in balance, your body heals itself. This used to be common knowledge. We need to relearn balance. Balance is a concept that used to be taught and practiced in the family. A positive, encouraging family can help us reach our best potential.
Diet is critical to balance. Many people in the modern world eat diets that emphasize meat and processed foods. Fruit, vegetables and traditional foods are being ignored. The body needs a balanced diet to keep the guts healthy. Insoluble fiber from fruits and vegetables are necessary for gut health and for the health of the immune system.
Toxic lifestyles have become normal in the modern world. Regular daily exercise is considered nonessential. Exercise is critical to health because muscles need exercise in order to make myokines that maintain the health of the heart, brain, kidneys and other organs. Obesity has become normal in the modern world. Visceral adipocytes secrete inflammatory proteins called adipokines that cause heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis and promote cancer.
The immune system includes the Peyer’s patches in the gut which are sites of maturation of many immune cells. Macrophages, T cells, B cells and dendritic cells in the Peyer’s patches are critical to immune defenses against bacteria, viruses and fungi introduced into the gut. Gut health is compromised by alcohol, obesity, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory and other drugs.
The endocannabinoid system derives from arachidonic acid. Prostaglandins, thromboxanes and other arachidonic acid metabolites are in balance with endocannabinoids to regulate pain, inflammation and other processes. Endocannabinoids and prostaglandins are made where they are needed and have very short half-lives. Diet, chronic pain and other lifestyle factors can alter the endocannabinoid system.
The antioxidant system depends on vitamin E, vitamin C, glutathione and other factors that protect the body from oxygen radicals and other radicals. The vitamins come from food. Glutathione is made in every cell of the body. Diet and lifestyle can alter the antioxidant system.
There is an energy balance in the body that depends on ATP, cAMP, NADPH, NADP, NADH and other factors. These factors protect DNA, mitochondria, proteins and lipids that are vital for cell repair and survival.
Spirituality is neglected by the modern approach to healthcare. Balance is included in spirituality in some religious beliefs. Spirituality is a choice we can make and can help promote our mental and physical health.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
The author declares no conflict of interest, financial or otherwise.
CONSENT FOR PUBLICATION
James David Adams
School of Pharmacy University of Southern California