God, the great governor of the universe, has put everything under law. The tiny flower and the towering oak, the grain of sand and the mighty ocean, sunshine and shower, wind and rain, all obey nature’s laws. But man has been placed under a higher law. He has been given an intellect to see, and a conscience to feel, the powerful claims of God’s great moral law, the expression of what He desires His children to be.” The Signs of the Times, July 31, 1901.
“In the beginning God placed man under law, as an indispensable condition of his very existence. He was a subject of the divine government, and there can be no government without law.” Ibid., July 23, 1902.
In outline form, we will look first at those factors that weaken the body’s ability to ward off disease. These are the habits we want to overcome or avoid. Next we will look at those factors which help the body ward off disease.
Factors Associated with Increased Risk of Disease
1 Certain nutritional supplements.
We do not have complete information on all of the nutritional supplements that might increase the risk of disease, but a few include beta-carotene supplements and large supplements of vitamin A. Beta-carotene supplements have actually been shown to increase cancer risk. It can also cause depletion of vitamin E. Large amounts of vitamin C and vitamin E supplements can actually favor the development of free radicals in the body.
2 Cow’s milk formula for infants.
Infants given cow’s milk formula are over 50 percent more likely to develop diarrhea and ear infections than infants who are breast-fed. With the development of antibiotics, we have become unaware of the dangers of cow’s milk for infants. In a 1930 study of 20,000 infants, before the development of antibiotics, the death rate for infants fed cow’s milk during the first nine months after birth was over 50 times the death rate of infants who were breast-fed. The breast-fed infant receives antibodies and white blood cells from the mother. Human breast milk is usually sterile which is never the case with cow’s milk. The mother’s milk can also help the infant avoid a deadly build-up of E. Coli bacteria in its intestine.
3 Use of cow’s milk by adults.
Cow’s milk has been shown to have a relationship to many serious and deadly diseases, including coronary artery disease, cancer, neurological diseases, allergies, and even Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Multiple Sclerosis.
4 Use of tobacco.
Smokers have twice the risk of colon cancer as non-smokers. Smoking one “joint” of marijuana does the equivalent damage to the lungs as a full pack of 20 regular cigarettes.
5 Use of alcohol.
Even moderate consumption of alcohol can significantly damage the immune system, making the person more susceptible to cancer and other serious diseases. As few as two drinks can reduce antibody production by two-thirds.
6 Excessive exercise.
Exercise to the point of exhaustion, as in competitive sports, can result in a decreased immune response by the body.
7 Meat eating.
Animal protein has been shown to be a cancer-producing substance. Women who eat meat every day have a higher risk of developing breast cancer than those who do not eat meat at all (over eight times in one study). Regular meat eaters have a colon cancer risk of about three to four times those not eating meat at all.
People who are not coping with major stressors in their lives have a greater chance of developing life-threatening diseases.
9 Use of refined sugar.
Refined sugar reduces the ability of white blood cells to destroy bacteria. For example, one study showed that one white blood cell could destroy 14 bacteria before sugar had been consumed, but after consumption of 24 teaspoons of sugar, only one bacterium could be destroyed.
Factors Associated with Decreased Risk of Disease
One researcher has estimated that regular, moderate exposure to sunshine could prevent 30,000 deaths caused by cancer per year in America.
2 Regular, moderate exercise.
Cancer deaths are significantly lower in those who exercise regularly.
3 Foods rich in carotene (pro-vitamin A).
The high-level carotene foods are those that are deep orange in color—such as carrots, yams, pumpkin, cantaloupe, apricots, mangos, persimmons, sweet potatoes—and those that are dark green, such as spinach, kale, turnip greens, broccoli, collard greens, and beet greens.
4 Foods rich in vitamin E
The high-level vitamin E foods are nuts, seeds, and the germ of grains—wheat germ, sunflower seeds, and almonds and the dark greens as mentioned above in the rich carotene foods.
5 Foods rich in vitamin C.
These vegetable foods include bell peppers, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, potatoes, tomatoes, and cabbage. Fruits such as kiwi, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and citrus fruits are also
6 Foods containing natural chemicals.
Only a few of these phyto-chemicals are presently known, but if you use a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains, you will get all of these chemicals—even the ones that are not well-known. The secret to helping the body resist disease is not in finding the protective elements in a food and mega-dosing on those through supplements, but consuming foods that contain a balanced form of many compounds. This balance will help the body, but the artificial use of supplements often unbalances the chemistry of the body.
7 Trust in God.
It has been statistically demonstrated that unresolved stress can both cause and exacerbate some of our most serious health problems, such as cardio vascular disease, cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, ulcers, and, of course, depression. God has given the answer to stress in Matthew 11:28–30.
8 Adequate water drinking.
Adults generally need eight glasses or more of water per day, depending on their activity and the climate conditions.
9 Cleanliness of person, clothes, and living environment.
About 100 years ago, Ellen White published the following counsel, which, if heeded, would decrease infectious diseases throughout the world approximately 85 percent (according to the estimates of some researchers)!
“Every form of uncleanliness tends to disease. Death-producing germs abound in dark, neglected corners, in decaying refuse, in dampness and mold and must. . . . Nothing unclean or decaying should be tolerated within the home. In towns or cities regarded perfectly healthful, many an epidemic of fever has been traced to decaying matter about the dwelling of some careless householder.” The Ministry of Healing, 276.
10 Adequate rest.
The exact amount of needed rest varies with different individuals, but the vast majority of human beings need between seven and nine hours of sleep per day.
Many people are looking for the miracle food or the miracle vitamin, mineral supplement, or herb that will cleanse the body of all problems and disease. “Miracle foods” come in and out of vogue. The secret of health and long life does not reside in finding the miracle potion, medicine, or herbal supplement but in following, in moderation and with good judgment, all the laws of health that the Creator has made and provided for our use.