Diet, Age & the Immune System
As we age, one of the inevitable effects is that our immune system gradually declines. As individuals get older they are more likely to acquire many infections that they are not able to fight. In addition, cancer, one of the leading causes of death, increases in its rate of occurrence as we age. The production of aberrant cells through mutations happens in all individuals, but as we age, these mutagenic features are more likely to slip past a weakened immune system and become a permanent cellular agent within the body that leads to disease and even death.
Many of these causes of illness have been frequently associated as natural occurrences of age. Although some of these diseases are part of immunosenesence, or the gradual reduction in the efficacy of the immune system to fight disease as we age, this does not mean that there is nothing that can be done to slow the immunsenescent process. Although we are more susceptible to diseases as we age, often many individuals are more susceptible to diseases than they need to be. One area of enhancing the aging immune system is through our diet.