A New Perspective on Health
We approach human health from a new and practical perspective. Our core concept is that healthy blood is the key to a healthy body. We study historical and scientific evidence that explains how blood is a central part of the human body (especially on a biological and functional level) and how its health is critical to the health of the body. These studies also analyze the impact the environment and nature have on blood and thus on overall health.
In order to understand why healthy blood is the key to a healthy body, one must understand how the blood functions on a biological level in the human body.
How blood works in the body
Blood regulates all the systems of the body. All things must pass through blood. Blood gives life, prevents waste buildup that would lead to death, and protects and defends the body against foreign agents.
Blood makes up about 8% of our body weight and contains 20-30 trillion red blood cells – about one quarter of the cells in our body. Each of our physical organs performs a service for the blood, and with 5 liters of it flowing throughout our systems, it in turn performs essential functions for the body.
Blood serves as a remarkably efficient transport system. The oxygen we inhale, the nutrients and water we consume, and the hormones needed to regulate our body, all of these rely on the blood system in order to reach the 100 trillion cells in our bodies.
While delivering these life-giving elements, blood also removes the harmful metabolic waste products from the cells of the body. Waste is removed from our bodies through breath, sweat, urine and stool.
Blood also provides a protection system for our bodies. The immune system, in which white blood cells play an important part, protects the body from foreign agents in the environment, such as the bacteria in food, water and the air. It also protects us from dangers from within; our blood defends us from the quadrillions of bacteria that reside in and on our bodies. It also forms antibodies in response to infection from bacteria, viruses, and parasites from the environment.
Finally, blood protects itself. Blood can prevent its own flow by clotting damaged blood vessels using platelets. Blood must continuously flow through the body’s vast network of blood vessels that makes up the blood stream; if any red blood cells escape from blood vessels or if blood stops flowing, it will clot. This delicate balance between clotting to prevent hemorrhages and not clotting when the blood is flowing normally is essential to life.
Why what we breathe, drink, and eat matters
There are three major ports of entry into the blood: the lungs (breathe), the digestive tract (eat and drink), and the skin. These function as both the barrier and the doorway to and from the body, and to and from the surrounding environment.
We breathe, drink and eat in order to build and nourish the 100 trillion cells in our body, helping to prevent disease, aid growth and maintain energy levels. Every day, our bodies need to regenerate over 200 billion cells, all while maintaining the existing 100 trillion cells. That takes a lot of energy.
The cells in our brain would die without oxygen for more than 5 minutes. Afterwards, blood would stop flowing, and we would die. The lungs, which have a surface area equivalent to a tennis court, work continuously to sustain life. The lungs supply the blood with oxygen, which then supplies the entire body. The lungs, in turn, filter carbon dioxide from the blood.
Fluid loss of more than 1% of our body weight, the equivalent of 5 days without water, leads to severe dehydration. Without proper hydration, the chemical reactions that we need to live would begin to fail, and blood volume would drop. This would result in low blood pressure, leading to loss of consciousness and death.
5 weeks without food starves the energy sources of the nutrients needed to maintain and regenerate cells, eventually resulting in death.
Oxygen, water, and nutrients must enter our blood in order to reach the cells in our bodies.
As we breathe, drink and eat to live, we also need to be conscious of the chemicals and pollutants that can enter our bodies through these activities. These chemicals or pollutants, such as fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, and growth hormones, are associated with increased incidence of chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
We should always be aware of the types of things that are entering our blood stream, from the air we breathe to the food we eat.
The importance of exercise
Blood must circulate throughout the body for it to perform its essential functions. Blood travels through over 90,000 miles of blood vessels, the equivalent of more than 3 times around the earth! These blood vessels are made up of arteries, capillaries and veins. At any one time, 7% of our blood is in our hearts, 9% in our lung circulation, 13% is in our arteries, 7% in our capillaries, and 64% in our veins.
Blood circulation transports blood to and from every cell in the body, maintaining an optimal environment for cell survival and function.
The heart pumps blood through the arteries to the capillary beds where all nutrient, water and gas exchange occur. When cells are active, they can require up to 30 times more blood flow than when they are at rest. When the heart pumps maximally, however, it can increase flow no more than 7 times its regular rate. Therefore, blood is distributed according to the specific cells’ needs, redirected from cells that do not require nutrients or oxygen. It’s an amazing, dynamic system.
Since most of our blood sits in our venous system, the pressure from the pumping of the heart is not strong enough to bring the blood back to the heart. So how does the blood in the capillaries return to the heart?
Blood flows back towards the heart by a combination of mechanisms. The first is the contraction of muscles as your body moves, pushing the blood up one-way valves in the veins. The second is breathing, which creates negative pressure in the chest, assisting in pulling blood towards the chest.
Active movement, then, helps our body circulate blood. Conversely, cells that are not active receive less blood flow, and the blood will not return as quickly. One of the keys to healthy blood is regular exercise. This exercise should be something you can do anywhere, anytime, until the day you stop breathing.
The connection between exercise and the prevention of major health issues like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity is well documented.
Keeping the blood clean and body healthy
While we must drink, eat, and breathe to provide the nutrients needed to build and maintain our bodies’ cells, we must also remove any metabolic waste products produced by these cells. Plus, we must also rid our bodies of any substances that are either harmful or no longer of use.
We excrete these wastes by breathing, sweating, urinating and defecating.
Breathing facilitates the removal of metabolic by-products like carbon dioxide. Breathing can also eliminate volatile toxicants such as ethanol or pesticidal fumigants, as well as volatile metabolites including acetone and carbon dioxide.
About 2.6 million sweat glands regulate body temperature via sweating. While sweat consists mostly of blood plasma, apocrine sweat from our armpit and genital areas also contain proteins and fatty acids. Sweat is odorless. Odor comes from the bacteria, present on our hair and skin, which metabolize the proteins and fatty acids in apocrine sweat. Without regular washing, some of this sweat can be reabsorbed back into the blood via the skin.
The kidneys are primarily organs of excretion and elimination. The activity of the kidneys account for most of the by-products of normal body metabolism. They are also the primary organs responsible for excretion of polar drugs and metabolites, such as pesticides and drugs. The kidneys remove urea from protein metabolism, creatinine from muscle metabolism, uric acid from nucleic acids, bilirubin from red blood cells, and broken-down products of hormones. One liter of blood flows into the kidney every minute and from that, one milliliter of urine is produced every minute.
The liver produces bile, which aids in the digestion of fats in the small intestine. Excess bile is stored in the gall bladder. Bile is made up of bilious salts and pigment, which come from the breakdown of red blood cells, cholesterol, and lecithin. Bile emulsifies fats, making them easier to digest. It also helps eliminate toxins, heavy metals, drugs, and other harmful chemicals. These toxic materials are delivered to the small intestine and removed in the feces. Some of these can be reabsorbed through the enterohepatic cycle back into the blood from the small and large intestine.
Undigested food enters our colon, which is about 1.5 meters in length. It takes from 8 to 12 hours for this stool to pass through our colon into our rectum. During this time, up to 10 liters of gas is produced in our colon daily. Less than 1 liter exits as flatus. Where does the remaining gas go? Where does this gas come from?
The quadrillion bacteria in our colon feast on the undigested food and multiply, producing metabolic waste products, such as acids, enzymes and gases. Most of this gas is absorbed into the blood and transported to the liver, which detoxifies the majority.
A rising epidemic of constipation from a diet of processed foods lacking fiber, and a lack of physical activity, compounds the problem of waste retention. This can also add pressure to the abdomen, when wastes should instead be excreted from the body regularly.
Timely, regular elimination of metabolic waste products and harmful chemicals is an important part of keeping our blood clean, and our bodies healthy.