Symptoms of “Aging” May Mask a Much More Serious Threat

High Res Dr. Pescatore Headshot

(DGIwire)   Ebola continues to make headlines on a daily basis. And this year’s flu season is just getting started. But there is another serious health threat sweeping through the country right now that very few people are aware of. Yet if you are over the age of 55, chances are good you may be suffering from it already…along with 40 million other adults in the U.S.

It’s called immunosenesence—a condition marked by the gradual erosion of immune defenses with age.

Researchers have been studying this phenomenon over the last half century. Since then, both the CDC and NIH have admitted immunosenesence is a real threat to overall health and longevity. Three separate international conferences have also convened to try and further scientific understanding of it.

What health authorities have discovered so far is that immunosenesence gradually breaks down immune defenses, impacting everything from sleep to energy to strength. It also significantly increases the risk for any number of serious health threats.

According to Manhattan-based physician Fred Pescatore, M.D., the first signs of immunosenesence, or “immunity rot” as he likes to call it, start to appear around the age of 50. Symptoms include increased fatigue and general malaise, more frequent illnesses, and slower recovery time.

“Unfortunately,” says Dr. Pescatore, “most people dismiss these symptoms as simply ‘getting older.’”

But picking up on these subtle clues could make a tremendous impact on public—and personal—health.

Fortunately, health authorities believe it is possible to halt or even reverse immunosenecence with simple lifestyle modifications: Stress management, regular physical activity, and a healthy diet are all known to positively impact immune health.

One food, in particular, directly impacts immune function. According to Dr. Pescatore, “the immune-suppressing power of sugar is absolutely shocking.”

Research shows that consuming 100 grams of sugar—the amount in roughly two cans of soda—weakens the immune system by 40 percent. This immune-suppressing effect takes hold within half an hour of consuming sugar, and it lingers for up to five hours afterwards. Eat or drink something else containing sugar within that window, and the whole cycle starts over again.2

“Essentially,” says Dr. Pescatore, “if you consume sugar on a daily basis, your immune system is perpetually suppressed.”

In addition to effective stress management, regular exercise, and a healthy diet that limits sugar, there are some specific measures that can further support the immune system and stem immunosenesence.

Dr. Pescatore notes several nutritional supplements he recommends to his patients:

  • Dimethylgycine HCl. This is a naturally occurring amino acid and antioxidant. “Research suggests it may help optimize both humoral and your cell-mediated immune responses,” says Dr. Pescatore. “This keeps your immune cells and your antibodies on guard—offering two layers of defense.”
  • Larch tree extract. Larch tree extract contains natural sugar molecules, or polysaccharides, known as arabinogalactins. Clinical research shows that taking larch arabinogalactan may raise the odds of staying healthy by more than 50 percent. Studies also show that arabinogalactins call natural killer cells to action. Natural killer cells are the immune system’s first and most critical line of defense.
  • Vitamin D3. Research indicates vitamin D plays an integral role in immune function. But current figures estimate that more than 60 percent of adults have levels of this nutrient that are insufficient for optimal health and immunity.

“These are measures I recommend to every patient over the age of 50,” says Dr. Pescatore. “I tell them, ‘You only get one immune system. And it needs to be operating at peak performance if you’re going to avoid ANY illness—from the common cold to serious infectious outbreaks.’”

In light of recent headlines, it’s certainly a message that bears repeating.