An illustration of how mental trauma diminishes the immune system is given by Dr Laurence E. Badgley of San Francisco in his books Choose to Live and Healing AIDS Naturally:

"T4 white blood cell counts are intimately related to mental focus. One of my patients was without symptoms and went to another doctor for an AIDS test. The doctor did the test, which was positive, as well as the T4 helper cell count which was 494 and normal. Upon learning that his antibody test was positive, the patient went into a tailspin of depression and fear. One week later he returned to the doctor because of his anxiety, and his T4 helper cell count was taken again. After one week of depression and no other symptoms his T4 count fell over 50% to 234.

This intimate relationship of the mind and body raises a question about the true nature of the AIDS epidemic. It is not far fetched to postulate that much of the immune system depression among AIDS-test-positive patients might be the result of doctors telling them that it is likely they will get AIDS and die. The brain is a giant immune system gland that operates on hope, joy, and optimism. The gland turns off in response to mental attitudes of fear and depression.

The question is raised as to how many people are dying because they have been programmed to die. The observation is made that doctors who tell their patients they have a terminal disease are programming their patients to die. The charge is made that these doctors are performing malpractise."

Thus to obtain the best chances for a patient's recovery it behoves a doctor to not only avoid programming his patient negatively, but to go further and program the patient positively by encouraging optimism, hope and confidence. It is the capability to do this that allows some doctors to constantly achieve better results than others.

All vitamins and minerals * are important for proper immune function, particularly vitamin C and the generally inadequate amount of this vitamin in the Western diet, together with excessive quantities of fat, cholesterol and protein, are two of the main reasons for the mediocre standard of immunocompetence displayed by most people. A recent report in the Cecil Textbook of Medicine stated that sixty per cent of all human illness occurs in the upper respiratory tract in the form of colds, influenza and secondary bacterial infections. The survey showed an average of 5.6 infections per adult per year. Whereas a fit and healthy person is resistant to all infections and in ordinary circumstances suffers no respiratory problems at all year in year out, the 5.6 average shows that the average standard of immunocompetence is disturbingly poor. However, by comparison, our general standard of immunocompetence is superior compared with that of some other countries, but this proves only that the people in those countries are sicker than we are. In some countries where the majority of people are underfed and malnourished all the time, epidemics occur frequently, and history reveals that epidemics were often consequential in the wake of wars or natural disasters when shortage of fresh food resulted in widespread malnutrition. Such epidemics occur not because germs and viruses automatically increase in numbers during wars and floods; they occur because malnutrition weakens the people and reduces their powers of resistance.

See Mineral Deficiencies, Chapter 15.

Whereas there are people in the world such as the Hunzas, who as a race maintain better health and greater resistance to disease than we do, they are by no means perfect specimens. Perfect specimens are only to be found in environments perfectly suited to them where the food perfectly suited to them is plentiful and not altered from its natural state. Thus the only perfect specimens to be found in the world are wild animals. While their natural food is plentiful, wild animals never get respiratory infections, tooth decay, skin complaints, venereal diseases and so on because they lack the skills to "improve" their food and otherwise complicate their lives. Their immune systems are not one scrap better than human immune systems--they are to all intents and purposes exactly the same--it's just that their immune systems are fully functional while human immune systems are always to a greater or lesser extent handicapped by toxemia and stress. Animals, too, can in this way be handicapped and thereby suffer infections, but investigation shows that these are always animals domesticated or confined by man and fed unnatural food. The most common examples of this are pet dogs and cats fed on "perfectly balanced" canned and packaged foods. These animals not only get sick from time to time, have tablets and injections, but even get heart disease and cancer. Perhaps the best example of both impaired and unimpaired immunocompetence in animals is the comparison between the cattle managed by Sir Albert Howard and the cattle of neighboring farmers where Sir Albert's herds at times mixed freely with others suffering foot and mouth disease, etc without ever getting sick.

It's pretty simple--look after your immune system and it will look after you. It is immensely powerful in sound health but it becomes diminished in many people because of the many challenges it receives, challenges for which it was not designed.