"Among human beings,
some are subject to diseases, and others are immune. Such a state of resistance is due to
the individual constitution of the tissues and the humors, which oppose the penetration of pathogenic agents or destroy them when they have invaded our body. This is natural
immunity. This form of immunity may preserve certain individuals from almost any
disease. It is one of the most precious qualities for which man could wish. We are still
ignorant of its nature. It appears to depend on some properties of ancestral origin, as well
as on others acquired in the course of development. Certain families are observed to be
susceptible to tuberculosis, appendicitis, cancer, or mental disorders. Others resist all
diseases except the degenerative ones occurring during old age. But natural immunity does not exclusively derive from our ancestral constitution. It may come also from the mode of life and alimentation, as Reid Hunt showed long ago. Some diets were found to
increase the susceptibility of mice to experimental typhoid fever. The frequency of
pneumonia may also be modified by food. The mice belonging to one of the strains kept in the mousery of the Rockefeller Institute died of pneumonia in the proportion of fifty-two per cent while subjected to the standard diet. Several groups of these animals were
given different diets. The mortality from pneumonia fell to thirty-two per cent, fourteen per cent, and even zero, according to the food. We should ascertain whether natural
resistance to infections could be conferred on man by definite conditions of life.
Injections of specific vaccine or serum for each disease, repeated medical examinations
of the whole population, construction of gigantic hospitals, are expensive and not very
effective means of preventing diseases and of developing a nation's health. Good health
should be natural. Such innate resistance gives the individual a strength, a boldness,
which he does not possess when his survival depends on physicians.
In addition to an inherent resistance to maladies, there is also an acquired resistance.
The latter may be spontaneous or artificial. The organism is known to adapt itself to
bacteria and viruses by the production of substances capable of directly or indirectly
destroying the invaders. Thus, diphtheria, typhoid fever, smallpox, measles, etc., render
their victims immune to a second attack of the disease, at least for some time."

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Copied from the Book *Man the Unknown* by Dr Alexis Carrel.
This book was written by French Medical physiologist and Noble Laurette in 1935.

Brahmanyan,
Bangalore.