Throughout history, scientists have been successful in developing drugs that treat specific diseases. But they have yet to create an adequate substitute for a healthy immune system – a substitute that most likely does not exist.
We used to think illnesses were linked mainly to infectious agents. Throughout medical advances and the improvement of living standards, scientists have used all kinds of chemical drugs to inhibit the spread of viruses and bacterial agents. In today's world, we are facing a new kind of health challenge: illnesses related to our modern diet such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer. When faced with the challenge of these degenerative diseases, we realize the importance of prevention through balanced diets.
Eventhough "nutrition" and "immunology" were once two separate disciplines, today we realize the importance of combining the two sciences for the improvement of our immune systems. Imbalanced diets, unhealthy living habits, and insufficient health knowledge are all causes of suppressed immune function. Without a properly functioning immune system, we cannot face the microbial, health hazards of daily life.
Simply searching for cures is no longer enough to combat disease; prevention is the key to greater health, and nutritional immunology can provide the knowledge to obtain it. According to nutritional immunology, when the body is deprived of essential nutrients, the immune system is weakened and loses its ability to defend us against illness. However, when functioning properly, the immune system has the ability to combat disease and illness, and even overcome the constant attacks of environmental pollutants and toxins.
Recognizing that disease prevention addresses the problem of poor health more effectively than searching for cures, Dr. Chen has discovered definite connections between the nutrients found in plant foods and immune system function. According to the science of nutritional immunology, plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, and herbs provide a rich source of nutrients that the body needs. In fact, the phytochemicals found in plants are believed to prevent dietary fat from promoting tumors, inhibit the growth of microbes, and improve blood lipids and cholesterol levels. The American Cancer Society maintains that nutrition is a major player in preventing cancer deaths.
Living in this new millennium and facing different health hazards on a daily basis helps us see that continuing research and education is important to bring health to the world. After all, it is only when we have good health that life truly begins.