The Role of Diet in Human Health
The human immune system is highly developed and complex to ensure that it fights with a wide range of microorganisms, viruses, bacteria, particles and other foreign objects that may affect the body in any way. The system is made up of various components within the body, and all are in some relation with each other to ensure that there is an effective immunity against any foreign body capable of causing some pathological conditions in the body. The major components of the human immune system include a group of immune cells such as the T-lymphocytes, B-lymphocytes, natural killer cells, memory cells, and other proteins such as antibodies and alternative immune system (Edelstein, 2010). To ensure that this system is effective, the body must get some of the components used to synthesize some of these components from the diet taken by the person. This could be directly from the nutrients in the gastrointestinal tract or indirectly from other cellular components. Vitamins are known to enhance the human immune system in one way or the other depending on the situation and the type of vitamin involved. Looking at each type of vitamin-involved at a time, one is able to realize that the amount of vitamin taken in is important in improving the immunity against pathogens and other bodies (Edelstein, 2010).
Vitamin A is composed of a group of compounds that are involved in the regulation of the immune system. It helps in the synthesis of leucocytes cells and lymphocytes, which are involved in the phagocytosis of foreign bodes and production of antibodies. In addition, the vitamin is also an important component of the human skin, lining of the eye, respiratory tract, urinary tract and the gastrointestinal tract systems (Edelstein, 2010). This implies that apart from making the cells, it is also involved in ensuring that microorganisms do not access the human body through these surfaces. Vitamin B6 is water-soluble and assists the immune cells to adhere to and phagocytes the foreign bodies such as microorganisms (Williams & Frühbeck, 2010). It helps in supporting lymphoid organs such as thymus, lymph nodes and the spleen. These organs are involved in the making of the white blood cells.
Vitamin D is highly required by the immune cells during their manufacture in the organs named above, while vitamin E supports the cells and protects them from damages by charged particles in the body. Apart from vitamins, ions of certain minerals are also important in the immune system. Selenium is used in the control of the thyroid function in the body, thus it is required in the development of the human immune cells. In addition, selenium is involved in controlling free radials and thus prevents them from harming human body cells. Zinc is found in trace quantities in the human body, and is involved in the production of enzymes, as well as activation of T-lymphocytes and in the function of macrophages, which invade and neutralize foreign microorganisms. Looking at the ‘my diet’ in the list provided, there ar4e several conclusion s that can be made involving the relationship p between the persons diet and the immune system as far as the role of vitamins and minerals are considered. The least amount of vitamin A needed by the body is 700 mcg; that of Vitamin B is 18.9 mg, vitamin C is 75 mg, and vitamin D is 5mcg while that of vitamin E is 400 mg. the person seems to have taken into account some of the requirements in this case, while still violating others.
The amount of vitamin A taken in the case is more than the required 700 mcg; vitamin B complex and vitamin C taken in is within the range (over 95% correct) (Williams & Frühbeck, 2010). However, the person has violated the rule of taking substantial amounts of vitamin E because the amount taken is only 17% of the required, while that of vitamin D is 50%. From these figure it is possible that the immune system for the person is highly effective given that the amount of vitamins taken in is quite good (Williams & Frühbeck, 2010). They are on the average, with only vitamin E trailing, but since it is taken in only small amounts, it means that the immune system will function normally and the person is quite healthy. Looking at minerals level is the person, it is possible to make some conclusions. The person takes in the minerals required in enhancing the immune system, while others are lacking.
The amount of selenium in the food consumed in this case is quite substantial, given that the total taken is 50.1 mg, far beyond the required. The quantity of Zinc mineral taken is quite enough for the body immune system, since it is 68% of the recommended. Taking into consideration that the person has taken almost all of the vitamins in his or her diet, one can conclude that the immune system will be normal. However, it is recommended that the person increase the amount s of the vitamin and mineral intake to reach at least 90% of the recommended. This could be made effective if the person considers increasing the amount of vitamin and minerals in the diet, which are provided by cold liver, deep yellow and orange colored fruits such as oranges, lemon, passion fruits, and vegetables such as kales, spinach, and asparagus. Wheat germ oil and oils from corn and sunflower are rich in vitamins D and E, while pumpkins, salmons, whole grains and lean meat are rich in minerals. It is highly recommended that the person increase the amount of these foods in the diet (Williams & Frühbeck, 2010).
Research on the causes, progression, and etiology of cancer has shown that the disease is actually a group of more than 100 different but related diseases. Each of these groups has its own risk factors, which may be similar or totally different in others. For instance aging, poor diet, genetics and family history are common risk factors in almost all types of cancer. Certain infections, exposure to radioactive elements and other chemicals as well as certain type of diet cause some cancers types but not others. Dietary risk factors are very prevalent, and are increasingly becoming the common factors that cause and enhance the progression of certain group of cancer in the modern world (Craig, 2008).
Cancers that affect mouth and other organs in the oral region are common in almost all parts of the world. One of the major dietary factors that predispose people to cancers of the oral region is the intake of foods low in fruits and vegetables. In addition, high ion intake of alcohol whether in the diet or in the mouth wash is also a risk factor to cancers of the mouth. Cancers of the digestive system such as colorectal, pancreatic, stomach (gastric), live4r, esophagus an d the gall bladders are mainly common in the developed nations. This is due to dietary factors. For instance, diet high in fat and low in fiber, fruits ad vegetable content, obesity, excessive alcohol, consumption of excessive tea, slated foods, smokes foods, poorly stored foods such as meat and peanuts, in adequate diet, low value nutrition, decreased levels of vitamin B complex, as well as high fat intake, especially the yellow fat found in most animals (Craig, 2008).
Several groups of cancers affect the respiratory system such as the lungs, larynx and the bronchioles. Although there are few dietary factors known to predispose people to the form of cancers, it is still believed that poor diet, such as the ones named above, are factors that increase and enhance the progression of cells towards a cancerous state. In addition, it has also been shown that high levels of fats in the diet, low amount of fiber, highly salted foods, low vitamins, obesity, excessive amounts of sugary foods and other carbohydrates are the main risks to cancer of all types. Low proteins, smoked foods, poor physical activities and high consumption of alcohol are the main risk factors than either trigger, enhance the progression of and increase the chances of development of cancer in various people or groups of people. Looking at the qualities and quantities of the food consumed by the person in this case study, it is quite possible to make some derivations and conclusions for the person, and thereafter make some recommendations. For instance, the recommended amounts of fat in any one diet requires that one should not exceed 193.36 calories of SatFat and 598.36 calories of other fats (Williams & Frühbeck, 2010).
In contrast, the person in this case has been exceeding the rate, or even coming closer to the optimum mark. The amount of other fats consumed by the person is 95% and 101 % for the SaFat, which is highly risky. The person is also utilizing excessive amounts of saturated fats; which is the most risky factor of all. Such fats are known to be involved in more than 90% of all the cases of cancer of any type. In addition to the excess fats, the person has been taking lesser amounts of fiber, while the amounts of cholesterol are very high (at 102% of the required). In addition, the amounts of sugary foods are also being taken in excess. These factors mean that the person is likely to become obese. Obesity is a risk factor, which has been found to be involved in almost all types of cancers and in many cases worldwide. Obese people are also likely to develop diabetes, which is also a step towards some types of cancers. Given that the person has been taking lesser amounts of vitamins and minerals, while some types of foods such as vegetables, fibers and other grains have been omitted in the diet, the person is also at arise of developing many forms of cancers (Craig, 2008). It would be important if the person considers increasing the amounts of vegetables, fruits, milk, and grains in the diet. In addition, if the person tried to reduce the amount of fats of all types, replace meat with fish, increase the amount of cod liver oil and reduce the intake of alcohol, then the risk factors to cancer would be reduced significantly (Williams & Frühbeck, 2010).
Hypertension and diseases of the cardiac are associated with poor and the wrong diet. Hypertension is the condition in which a person suffers from an increase blood pressure due to accumulation of fats in the main arteries, heart valves and the cardiac muscle (Pierdomenico, Nicola, Esposito, Mascio, & Ballone, 2009). The risks of developing cardiovascular diseases are very high in the patients who suffer from high blood pressure, implying that these groups of diseases are related. People with high body weight are very likely to develop high blood pressure, and it has been shown that they are candidates to other disease including stroke and even cancer. Dietary factors are the main causes of these 2 conditions and in more than 90% of the cases studied worldwide involve poor and the wrong diet. Among the major factors that predispose people to cardiovascular diseases and hypertension, it has been found that dietary factors are the most important and the most prevalent. In fact, most hospital settings use a diet therapy in addition to pharmacology and physical activity therapy to manage these conditions. Stroke normally results from these two diseases, thus implying that one risk factor may lead to several diseases and even death of the patient. Some of the most important dietary factors in these conditions include high levels of serum cholesterol, obesity, increased amount of fats in the diet, hypertension, alcohol and high amount of sugary foods (Pierdomenico et al., 2009).
Obesity is the major cause of death in most people who suffer from heart diseases. Change in the diet is one of the best-known interventions so far. It is understood that reduction of fats ion the body and the diet, change of fats in the diet from animal to plants oil, including whole grains and fibers in the diet reduces the risks to such diseases (Lip, & Nadar, 2009). In addition, additional of legumes, fish, reduction of sugars in the diet, increasing the amounts of vitamins E, C and D helps the patients to cope up with the increased amount of fats in the body (Pierdomenico et al., 2009). Moreover, the vitamins increase the immune capability of the body in order to deal with infections that occur when the person has developed full conditions of heart disease. Looking at the dietary condition of the person in this case, one can conclude that there are certain areas that need some dietary intervention in order to reduce the risk factors that may lead to hypertension and cardiovascular diseases (Pierdomenico et al., 2009).
The amounts of calories obtained from animal and related foods are elevated in this analysis. The person has a tendency of taking in foods with high amounts of foods in the diet, while fiber levels are minimal. The person has also been utilizing large amounts of fats, thus the risks of developing obesity are quite high (Pierdomenico et al., 2009). In general, the person in this case is at the risk of developing obesity, which makes the body be a candidate to hypertension. In turn, once a person becomes hypertensive, the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. To ensure that this is corrected, the person ought to change the diet in various ways. For instance, the amount of fatty foods should be reduced greatly, and if possible, the person should consider doing away with saturated fatty acids and glycerol. Instead, the diet should be enriched with plant oils such as salads, corn oil and sunflower oil (Pierdomenico et al., 2009). All food that is likely to increase body weight and cholesterol should be avoided at all times.
Specifically, the person should consider including some amounts of corn, wheat, fish, cod liver oil, sunflower oil, lean meat, vegetables, carrots, fruits and grains. The amount of junk foods should be reduced significantly, and so does the amount of alcohol consumed per day. Animal derived foods and milk should be minimal, while margarine and other manufactured products should not be included in the diet (Pierdomenico et al., 2009).
Diabetes is one of the diseases that have the highest mortality rates in the world, especially in developed nations. In fact, some research has shown that diabetes could be the world’s number one killers in the modern times (Kumar, 2009). Even in developing nations, the prevalence of the disease has increased significantly, and it is increasing at an alarming rate. Although the actual causes of the disease are not known, the disease is known to be common in people with certain conditions (Craig, 2008). In addition, there are factors, which predispose the people to diabetes, some of which are controllable while other cannot be controlled. Among the human controllable conditions are obesity and other diet related conditions. In other worlds, dietary factors play the biggest and the most important role in the progress of the body towards diabetes. It is also known that diabetes results from lack of insulin or inefficiency of insulin in the body, which increases the levels of sugar in the serum. This leads to several other diseases including secondary infections due to reduced immunity in the body. Dietary behaviors, which increase the risk factors to hypertension, are the general risk factors that predispose the person to diabetes. Increased amount of animal’s fats, sugars, cholesterol in foods, low amounts and qualities of vitamins, fibers and minerals are other main factors in this disease (Kumar, 2009).
Looking at the diet for the person in this case study, it is possible for the person to develop diabetes. This is because he or she has a behavior of eating junk foods, saturated fats are high in the diet, fibers are low and lacking in some cases, there is low amounts of plant-derived oils and the vegetable and fruit consumption has not reached the optimum levels (Kumar, 2009). In order for the person to reverse the situation and avoid developing diabetes, all the foodstuffs that leads to obesity should greatly be reduced (Williams & Frühbeck, 2010). These include junk foods, fats and large quantities of carbohydrates. In their part, the p-person should consider including vitamin rich foods such as kales, fruits of all types, plant derived oil, fibers whole grains such as wheat, corn, green grams, peas and millets. In addition, the frequency of taking alcohol should be reduced significantly (Kumar, 2009).
In conclusion, this person has a good diet in some sense, given that it is quite balanced. However, with the current trends of development of diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular pathologies, cancer and loss of immune systems, it is important that the person replace some diets with others. This is especially in the cases of the amounts of fats that is taken in the diet. Given that the majority of animal derived fats are unsaturated fatty acids which are a risk factors to almost all the diseases in this case, the person should try and replace such fats with other fats such as those contained in plant oils like corn and sunflower oils (Williams & Frühbeck, 2010).
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Lip G., & Nadar, S. (2009). Hypertension. London: Oxford University Press, USA.
Pierdomenico, S.D., Nicola, M., Esposito, A. L., Mascio, R., & Ballone , E. (2009). Prognostic Value of Different Indices of Blood Pressure Variability in Hypertensive Patients. American Journal of Hypertension (22), 842–847. Retrieved from http://www.nature.com/ajh/journal/v22/n8/pubmed/ajh2009103a.html
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Edelstein. (2010). Nutrition in Public Health. Washington, DC: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Kumar, S.(2009). Obesity and Diabetes. London, UK: John Wiley and Sons.
Williams, G., & Frühbeck, G. (2010). Obesity: Science to Practice. New York, NY: John Wiley and Sons.