How Protected are you and your loved ones? Immunization

From conception up until the nine months gestation period, a baby is fully protected from infections and most other diseases. A change in this equilibrium however begins to occur right from the delivery process, when the baby is passing through the mother’s vagina. The baby becomes exposed to a number of microorganisms which presents a condition different from what it had experienced for the last nine months of its life. This differing condition portends both positive changes and negative threats to its continued existence. To mitigate some of the negative risks or threats that could occur, especially from microorganisms’ infection, the baby begins to develop its own defence system known as the immune system. The major function of the immune system is to recognize foreign bodies (pathogens, nonself cells, etc), respond to these foreign bodies and remember the foreign bodies. The immune system responds to these foreign materials by producing antibodies and activating the white blood cells (lymphocytes) to fight against the invasion by these foreign bodies or pathogens. The essence of remembering these foreign bodies is to ensure that should the immune system encounter them again the body will be able to carry out an immediate elimination of such foreign bodies. This process of responding to and remembering foreign bodies is referred to as acquired immunity.

There are two major types of acquired immunity. They are:

(1) Naturally acquired immunity and

(2) Artificially acquired immunity.

I am focusing on the artificially acquired immunity in this post.

Artificially acquired immunity occurs when an individual is intentionally exposed to a foreign material and induced to form antibodies and activated lymphocytes. The foreign material introduced here is known as a vaccine and the process of doing this is known as vaccination or immunization. It must be noted that this vaccine that an individual is exposed to could be composed of a weak preparation of killed microorganisms; living, weakened (attenuated) microorganisms; genetically engineered organisms; or inactivated bacterial toxins. What these vaccines do is to simulate the disease in the body system which will cause the immune system to produce antibodies to combat the effect of the disease. The end result of immunization is to ensure that the individual immunised develops a natural defence mechanism to combat the effect of a particular pathogenic organism before the person naturally comes in contact with that pathogen. This is to ensure that when the attack happens the memory function of the immune system kicks in and eliminates the pathogens before they can cause disease in the individual. Immunization can be said to be a pre-emptive strike against pathogenic microorganisms.

It is recommended that vaccination of most children should begin when they are two months old. Prior to this age, they get passive natural immunity from maternal antibodies, usually through the placenta when they are still in the womb, and through breastfeeding after delivery.

Types of Vaccines and their Schedules

It must be stated that a vaccine only works for one pathogenic microorganism except in the case of combined vaccines. As such different types of vaccines and vaccination are carried out for different types of microorganisms. These vaccines are also administered routinely on the basis of age, and gender of the recipient, with most of them being administered to children. Below is a list of some common vaccines available, the diseases they are guiding against, and the age at which they are to be administered:


immunize nigeria

immunize nig


The above tables do not list out all the available vaccines however, as Scientists keep making advancement in the field of vaccine production.Most of these vaccines are administered to children within the 0-6 years’ age bracket. This is not surprising as they are the most immuno-compromised amongst humans.  Particular attention must be paid especially by parents to ensure their children get the needed vaccination as at when due. A visit to the hospital, either private or government-owned, will provide necessary information as to when most of these vaccines are administered. Although most of the vaccines for babies are free, a couple of those needed by adults are to be paid for and are also a bit expensive. Prevention is always cheaper than cure though, and getting vaccinated is definitely a cheaper alternative to trying to cure any of the infections that could occur.





Antioxidants are substances that prevent oxidation of some other substances, i.e they fight oxidation.
In the body antioxidants help to protect the cells from the effect of free radicals.

Free radicals are substances that are produced in the body as part of the many processes that occur in it. They have some beneficial effects in that they help to destabilise some harmful cells. On the flip side though they are linked to increased aging and other damage of body cells.

To neutralise the effect of these free radicals the body needs antioxidants. Antioxidants are able to react with free radicals and halt their harmful activities.

It must be mentioned that both free radicals and antioxidants are present in the body. The body cannot produce antioxidants by itself though and must get them from food consumed.

Common examples of antioxidants include vitamin A vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein and selenium.

What are the benefits of consuming a diet rich with antioxidants?

The main benefit of antioxidants in the body is to neutralise and remove free radicals from the bloodstream. The resultant effect of this is found in the following other benefits:

1. Antioxidants slow down the aging process in the body. This includes aging of the skin, eye, heart, etc.
2. They help lower the risk of having cancer
3. They help with detoxification, that is removal of toxins from the body
4. They give the skin a glowing, healthier, youthful look.
5. They protect against heart disease and stroke
6. Beta carotene helps with eye health and reduces the risk of vision loss.

So which foods contain the most antioxidants?

Antioxidants are gotten from fruits and vegetables. Below are some foods that are rich in antioxidants and that you can get easily:

1.  Carrots
2. Berries e.g strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries etc.
3. Apples
4. Sweet potatoes
5. Tomatoes
6. Spinach
7. Cabbage
8. Green tea
9. Oranges
10. Lemon
11. Whole grains like wheat, oats, cornmeal
12. Fish like Salmon
13. Grapes
14. Mangoes

Some people do not like to go through the process of buying fruits and vegetables, washing, and cooking them though. They prefer a more direct solution to getting the antioxidants they need. This is where supplements come in.

There are a varied number of antioxidant rich supplements available in the market to give the body the required antioxidant dosage. You may ask your local pharmacy, personal doctor, or buy directly from online stores or direct sales reps.


Maybe you are like me who only came across the concept of detoxification last year and have not fully integrated it into your health routine yet. Or you probably haven’t even heard the term before. Or maybe you have heard the term but only in passing; you are yet to fully understand what it means or how it affects you. Now is as good a time as any, to both learn more about detoxification and know why you should incorporate it into your routine.

In this post I will be talking about the origin of detoxification, what toxins are, why we should do a regular detox, the organs involved in detoxification, the various types of detox diets, a popular detox programme you most likely have been using without your knowledge, and useful supplements you can use to detoxify your body system.

Definition of Toxins and their types

A toxin is defined according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “a poisonous substance that is a specific product of the metabolic activities of a living organism, and is usually very unstable, notably toxic when introduced into the tissues and typically capable of inducing antibody formation”. To state it in simply, a toxin is a substance that is capable of causing harm or disease when introduced into the human body.

There are basically two types of toxins; these are the exogenous and endogenous toxins.

Exogenous toxins are those harmful substances that are found outside the human body, that is, they are poisonous substances present in our environment; the food and drinks we consume; the many products we use in our personal care routine. They also include environmental pollutants like vehicle exhaust fumes, industrial fumes, and other substances like alcohol, cigarettes, pesticides, Lead, ChloroFluoroCarbons (CFCs), Benzene, Mercury, etc. Stress and anxiety also act as exogenous toxins.

Endogenous Toxins: from the word “endo”, we can easily deduce that these are toxins that arise from the inside of an organism. They occur as a result of the many metabolic activities that goes on in the body which are usually carried by different body organs or by the activities of the body’s normal flora. If you don’t know what normal flora is read this



To a large extent our bodies have a natural system in place to battle/combat most of the ills that we encounter in the course of living, and in terms of toxins this is no different. As toxins get into the body, there is a continuous process of getting rid of these toxins, so that they cannot cause untold damage to the body. This process is what is known as detoxification.

Simply put, detoxification is the removal or elimination of toxins from the body. There are a number of organs responsible for carrying out this elimination of toxins, with each organ eliminating a form of toxin through its own specialised process.

Organs of Detoxification

There are five major organs responsible for the removal of toxins from the body. They are the liver, kidneys, colon (large intestine), lungs, and skin.

The liver rids the body of toxins gotten mainly from foods ingested, and from the by-products of metabolic activities. Sweating is the preferred method of toxin removal used by the skin. The lungs eliminate toxins from harmful gases and chemicals. Constant blood filtering to remove toxins is carried out by the kidneys. The colon acts on food and drinks consumed, to separate the nutrients for absorption, and process the waste products for ejestion out of the body.

Why detox?

Since detoxification is a natural process already put in place in our body, why then is there a need to consciously detoxify, and why are there so many detox diets, supplements, and much noise about detoxification? The answer is not far-fetched really. It is a well established fact that apart from the function of detoxification, the above listed organs also carry out a host of other functions. Also due to whatever habits or conditions we as humans subject our bodies to, our exposure to toxins vary on a day to day basis.

What this means is that our bodies natural abilities to get rid of toxins will not remain the same, also these organs at times become overwhelmed and cannot carry out their duties as efficiently as they should. The resultant effect of this is an accumulation of toxins in our bodies which then causes a number of diseases or ill-health generally. The solution to this then is a conscious decision to facilitate detoxification by following some special diets or using detox supplements. It is this man-influenced effort to rid our bodies of toxins that is popularly touted as detoxification in today’s parlance and its history can be traced.

History of Detoxification

While there is no specific date to be stated as the date detoxification was established or the first time someone carried out a detox, history shows that humans started using one form of detox or the other around 3500BC. Early detoxification procedures include fasting, colonic irrigation, dry skin brushing, meditation, use of saunas, and exercise.

10 signs you need a detox

There are a number of signs that our body give to tell us it is under a toxic overload and it needs a detox. Typical ones include:

  1. Indigestion
  2. Unexplained weight gain
  3. Lethargy
  4. Depression
  5. Restriction in nutrient and vitamin absorption
  6. Dehydration
  7. Sudden onset of body/mouth odour
  8. Fatigue and muscle weakness
  9. Bloating
  10. Insomnia/poor sleeping habits

Benefits of Detoxification

The benefits of including a regular detox as part of our routine cannot be overemphasized but major ones are listed below:

  1. It rids the body of toxins. This has a huge effect in that it helps speed up the body’s metabolism.
  2. It gives the skin a fresher, more appealing, glowing look.
  3. It leads to better digestion as the colon can now focus better on absorption of nutrients from foods consumed.
  4. It leads to increased energy.
  5. Generally has an overall effect on the body by enhancing overall health.


Now I will mention typical ways of detoxification and foods that enhance detoxification, including a very ancient method that you probably didn’t know was a detox method.

  1. Fasting: I’m sure you are surprised to see fasting here but it is one of the very first methods of detoxification that has been used for ages now. While there is a bit of controversy about whether or not fasting actually helps eliminate toxins, proponents of this method say that it allows the different detox organs an opportunity to rest, especially the liver and the colon. This rest from constant digestion then allows these organs get rid of toxins that had stored up in the body.
  2. Cut out Sugar: I know for some of us this may be difficult, but the health benefits in the long run pays more. This includes both brown and white sugar.
  3. Water and Lemon: Drinking lots of water is a very important step of getting rid of toxins from the body. Especially that all important glass of water taken first thing in the morning. It is even better if juice from a half slice of lemon is added to warm water and taken first thing in the morning. Maintaining hydration level by taking at least 8 glasses of water daily is a routine we should adopt.
  4. Exercise: getting at least thirty minutes of exercise three days a week is also a good way of eliminating toxins. Exercise helps to stimulate digestion, combat tension, and strengthen the body.
  5. Swap Coffee for Tea: Tea is known to contain lots of antioxidants which help in combating the effects of free radicals (toxins). Green tea and Hibiscus tea (zobo) are very good for detox.
  6. Exfoliation and dry skin brushing: we already established that the skin helps in detox. So to ensure it is not hindered regular exfoliation and dry skin brushing is important. This opens up the pores so that they are not clogged with sweat crystals.
  7. Get rid of bad habits: Case in point, smoking, alcohol consumption, and skipping meals.
  8. Include more fibre in your diet
  9. Vegetable and Fruit diet: there are a number of fruits and vegetables that have been discovered to have a huge effect in detoxification. Some of the fruits include: grapefruit, avocados, carrots, apples, artichokes, bananas, kiwi, blackberries, walnuts, raw tomatoes, lemons, oranges, limes, etc.  Vegetables that help in detox include spinach, cabbage, green, onions, garlic, ginger, mung beans, broccoli, asparagus, beets, turmeric, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, etc. As much as possible these fruits and vegetables should be eaten in their raw state, with little or no heat. This is because heating them denatures or alters the state of the essential nutrients they contain, which makes them less effective and useful to the body. There are supplements that contain some of these vegetables and they could be taken if for a reason we can’t stand to eat them raw.
  1. Include omega 3 rich oils in diet: Oils such as olive oil, avocado oil, hemp oil are also useful in elimination of toxins from the body. Some fish such as Cod, Salmon also contain omega 3 and they could be taken instead. There are also omega 3 supplements that can be used instead.
  2. Sleep well and reduce stress: I know this can be difficult as professionals, but to ensure that we do not make ourselves unnecessary prone to diseases/infections we must adopt a practice of getting regular sleep, and also manage our stress levels.
  3. Eat organic as much as you can
  4. Use cleansing supplements: In addition to all of these rich foods, usage of detox supplements is also recommended. There are a number of detox supplements in the market with each claiming to be the best. I have however used the Forever Living Aloe Vera Gel and I recommend it in case you are looking in that direction
  5. Do a full body cleanse: it is recommended that we do a full body cleanse on a quarterly basis or at least twice yearly. This usually goes on for a number of days,- 3, 7, 9, etc, and it involves fasting and adhering to a special diet. For a full cleanse I recommend Forever Living’s C9 Detox Programme

In conclusion, we have discussed toxins, types of toxins, detoxification, organs that carry out detoxification, why detoxification, history of detoxification, signs you need to detoxify, benefits of detoxification, and various methods and diets of detoxification.

For more information as to where to get the products recommended or for any other questions, feel free to drop your comments below or send me a mail at


You may have a toxic colon! Detoxification-1

Can you remember the last time you defecated? Eewww, gross question right? But I want you to pause and answer that question. Let me help you. Was it this morning (today), two, three, four days ago? Or maybe two weeks ago? (Yes, it is possible.) If you gave any other response than today, then you should know that your colon may not be healthy. What do I mean, you ask? You will get your answer by the time you finish reading this post.

In this post, I will be talking about what a toxic colon is, signs you may have a toxic colon, effects of a toxic colon, and what you can do manage this problem.

Healthy /Toxic colon

To start, another word for colon is the large intestine. Medical professionals say that one of the signs of a healthy colon is the regular passage of excreta or what we know as bowel movement or defecation. It is actually said that we should have bowel movements proportional to the number of times we eat on any day. This is to say if we eat three times a day then we should defecate three times a day. As this may not be totally feasible, it is expected that we defecate at least once a day, on a daily basis to be considered to have a healthy colon.

By now I’m sure you are wondering what it means if we do not defecate daily or what could happen if this is not the case? I would answer that by explaining briefly the digestion process in humans.

Digestive Process

We all eat, and digestion starts from the mouth, where enzymes are produced by the salivary glands to begin the breakdown of food. From here the food moves to the stomach, where more breakdown occurs and then on to the small intestine. In the small intestine, further breakdown occurs and nutrients are absorbed and the leftover food is passed to the large intestine. A final breakdown and absorption of nutrients occur here and what is left at this stage is most times waste matter. This waste matter then moves to the rectum waiting for a final passage out of the body through the anus.

In a healthy, normal body, the above process occurs up until the passage out of the body on a daily/regular basis. A problem, however, begins when the process ends at the movement of the waste matter to the rectum without it being passed out from the anus. What happens in this situation is that over time there is an accumulation or build up of these waste matters in the colon. What this means is that toxins are trapped in the colon with no possibility of eliminating them. If this continues it could result in a condition known as autointoxication.  


Autointoxication is a process of self-poisoning, where a person’s body is producing toxins that can cause illness or disease in the body. It must be noted though that autointoxication does not occur as a result of a toxic build-up in the colon alone since there are other metabolic activities going on in the body that could also cause this.

10 Signs you have a toxic colon

Below are 7 signs that show we have a toxic colon. The list is not exclusive though.

  1. Abdominal bloating
  2. Migraines
  3. Unexplained weight gain
  4. Heartburn
  5. Low energy levels
  6. Painful bowel movement
  7. Acid reflux
  8. Constipation
  9. Diarrhea
  10. Insomnia or poor sleeping habits

Effects of Toxic Colon

Not paying attention to the signs the body gives of the presence of a toxic colon could lead to more disastrous results. Common ones include:

  1. Chron’s disease
  2. Gastrointestinal disease
  3. Prolapsed colon
  4. Joint pain and stiffness
  5. Memory problem
  6. Inability to process cholesterol
  7. Skin irritation, wrinkles, and blemishes
  8. Irritable bowel
  9. Irritation of the lungs
  10. Inability to absorb nutrients from food
  11. If the colon is left to deteriorate correcting it may mean performing a colostomy


How to detoxify the colon

To detoxify simply means to get rid or eliminate toxins. This detoxification is a natural process that occurs in the body and the colon plays a major role in it. Apart from the colon, there are other organs in the body that perform the function of detoxification. They include the liver, kidneys, skin, and lungs. Over time though these systems get overwhelmed, at times because of the stressful conditions we subject our bodies to (commuting for long hours and working under other stressful conditions for example). The resultant effect of this is that these organs become overwhelmed and unable to carry out their function of detoxification.

The solution to combat this is to perform a regular detoxification. Since the focus of this post is on the colon, 3 major steps to detoxify it are listed below:

  1. Regular drinking of water: Taking as much as eight glasses of water is recommended on a daily basis
  2. Consumption of fruits and vegetables: A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and fibre also help in colon detoxification.
  3. Use of Supplements: There are a number of nutritional supplements that perform the function of cleansing the colon of toxins. It is also recommended that a quarterly thorough detoxification is done. This thorough detox may include fasting and going some days on a special diet. So many detoxification products are available but it is always best to get guided help in choosing the one to use.

We have talked about what characterises a coon as healthy or toxic, what autointoxication is, signs of a toxic colon, effects of a toxic colon, and ways to detoxify the colon. I am certain that by now you know the state of your colon. Is it healthy or not? If it is, thumbs up to you. If not, why not do a detox today? Ask me how!


Hello and welcome wonderful people to the ‘healthmatterswithyomi’ blog. From the name I’m sure you can easily deduce that this is a health focused blog. The essence of this blog is to share timely, relevant and useful health tips for young professionals; both individual and family-centred tips. The objective of this blog is for it to be the go-to resource place for every question you may have about your health.

A little bit about myself…. My name is Oriyomi Adebare. I have my first degree in Microbiology, and a Masters degree in Managerial Psychology. I am also a certified Human Resource Professional. I have always been interested in having more than average knowledge about health and good living and making this information available to family and friends. The birthing of this blog stems from the need to share this information to a wider audience so that we can be better informed and also make more informed decisions about our health.


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