When we think of health it's generally when something has gone wrong, as so the focus is how to get the unwell body back into a state of wellness, for the most part, while we are healthy we take that state for granted and get on with stuff like education or earning a living.
I wonder what would happen if instead of focusing on making drugs for sickness we focused on optimizing our own natural immune systems?
Our immune systems kill cancers and wards of germs every single day, comparing our immune systems to modern drugs would be like comparing the SS Enterprise with a wheelbarrow.
For the most part our immune systems do a great job until we are the age evolution thinks we should die at (around forty) and then weakens, so (if along with other healthy ideas like sound nutrition and basic exercise that doesn't stress our joints - walking, swimming, cycling etc...) what if we worked on optimizing the immune system?
What would that mean? Well, we evolved with dirt in our environments. Most kids of my generation played in the dirt and grew up healthy, our homes were less sterile and we did great; I still walk my dog in the forest, throw sticks. wipe my hands on my jeans and then eat a sandwich (but that's just me, feel free to sterilize your hands if you wish!)
Some folks have below average immune systems, so the question for them would be - how do we boost theirs? Some folks have "over active" immune systems that lead to auto-immune issues/allergies that lead to treatment with steroids/antihistamines. So clearly an intelligent and scientific approach would need to be taken along side "the wisdom of Granny." There is no one-size fits all solution.
So how about it? Can we reduce the effects/casualties of hundreds of diseases (and even cancer) all in one go with Immune System Optimization? Could we have non-toxic immune system boosters - like vaccinations - but just intended to give our systems a healthy and safe challenge as we age? I don't know, I've been out of Biology for some time, but working with our biology in a pre-emptive and clever way instead of fighting it with chemicals that have terrible side effects makes sense to me.
Reply to comment below - Hi Alan, I think it would be best done at an individual level according to the person's own immune system, but I would imagine that in general it would be best to boost/challenge a little before the decline.