It does seem, doesn’t it, that it doesn’t matter where we turn these days, there are news stories and advertisements, alike, promoting the stupendous studies on a plethora of natural supplements, not to mention the newest health claims of coffee and red wine that, indubitably, guarantee to reduce or eliminate all causes of mortality? It would almost seem, in fact, that a quest for immortality has replaced our search for longevity!
Let me clarify, first of all, that I am a believer in taking supplements and take them, myself. Secondly, I would like to be candid and say that I am one who enjoys a glass of red wine. Therefore, the idea that it might genuinely be good for my health, especially my heart, simply adds to my enjoyment. And, if something as simple as drinking coffee could actually prevent the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, then I’d be tempted to give up my practice and open a Starbucks.
However, before perhaps, acting irrationally, and haphazardly adding another cup of coffee to your morning habit, an extra glass of red wine to your evening meal, or an additional expenditure of your hard-earned cash on exotic herbs that promise to make you live forever, let’s rationally think about a couple of things.
For example, let us think about the human condition. We are dynamic, biological beings, free to vigorously participate in life. We have not been restricted to a cage all our life, and we have not been bred to “unnaturally” incur the age-related afflictions that lab animals do, disease and debilitation that is then “eliminated” by resveratrol, caffeine, or some “amazing” supplement.
In addition, our being dynamic and biological means that we are not “robots,” and that we are more than the sum total of our parts. We are each organically unique in certain ways, which is to say, we react differently to internal stimulating factors and external instigating influences. For example, though generally, smoking cigarettes is harmful, there is a small minority of people who appear to be able to smoke and live to be ninety years old without any obvious ill effects.
The results upon which scientific research and testing are based upon the isolation of a particular variable. That is the method that gives scientific inquiry its legitimacy. However, since tests related to human health issues occur through this very method, and are most often done on lab animals, when it comes to human beings, the effects are very likely to be quite different. In fact, to paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, what might benefit some of the people all of the time, most likely won’t work for all of the people all of the time (and sometimes won’t work at all!).
Everyday you make considerable choices that affect both your health and longevity. Decisions such as what you’ll eat and how much exercise and rest you’ll get will either be good for you, or not so good. Obviously, your unhealthy choices are not beneficial for your long-term health. And, even though you know, by the way your individual body responds to certain things, you may often ignore these important health messages.
Then you, like many others, may enthusiastically jump on the bandwagon of the latest report that announces that researchers have uncovered THE VERY THING that has the potency to reverse all of the excessive and unhealthy things you have been doing to your body on a routine basis! Talk about wishful thinking!
The elegantly balanced system of your body (homeostasis) is highly responsive and intricate. This delicate system becomes “off balance” when you live an unhealthy lifestyle. Eventually, the imbalances nurtured through poor health choices, result in diseases.
As a chiropractor who supplements daily, I suggest that you supplement, too, if they help you to feel vigorously healthy. I agree, as well, that if it feels like the thing to do, an extra cup of coffee might actually be personally beneficial for you. And, if it truly feels healthy, have a little more red wine. Just keep in mind, however, that the only authentic way that you can prevent or reverse age-related health problems is by changing an unhealthy lifestyle. You won’t become healthier or live longer by waiting for the discovery of a “magic potion.