“Immune system” is a term that sounds simple. It is not. The immune system fights infections, diseases, bacteria, viruses, illness, germs, and parasites. Even more interesting, on occasion the immune system fights the healthy workings of the body by incorrectly identifying a healthy biological process as something that needs to be attacked. This is called an “autoimmune disease.”
Furthermore, the immune system may overreact to forgiven substances that are not harmful, for example pollen and grass. This results in what we know as allergies. The immune system is responsible for many issues of chronic inflammation. The list of the biological variances of the immune system goes on and on.
So how do we make our immune system stronger?
Walk into any health food store and you can find rows of shelves advertising immune system supporting, enhancing, improving, and/or boosting supplements. While being malnourished or having an unbalanced diet may require some micronutrient supplementation, herbal immune support pills haven’t been proven to “boost” your immune system. Although there is a lot of anecdotal evidence that they do help, the biological process has not been determined.
Fun case study – “….a 2013 review of 29 randomized trials with more than 11,000 participants. Researchers found that among extremely active people—such as marathon runners, skiers, and Army troops doing heavy exercise in subarctic conditions—taking at least 200 mg of vitamin C every day appeared to cut the risk of getting a cold in half. But for the general population, taking daily vitamin C did not reduce the risk of getting a cold.” Harvard Health
We are not poo-pooing vitamin C. The problem is that the ones benefiting from the supplementation are already incredibly fit. This article does go on to say that Vitamin C reduces the length of a cold and is great supplement for overall health, but if the average Jane is taking it avoid getting sick, it won’t help as much as you think.
Sorry folks, there’s no magic pill. The best way to stay healthy is by living a healthy lifestyle…dang it!
Here’s a quick list of things that will actually “boost” your immune system.
In a time when the stock market has crashed, jobs have been axed over night and the kids are home from school, this may be easier said than done. Parasympathetic actives are mainly solo activities, you just need to make time for them. Go for a light jog or bike ride, meditate, do yoga, pet the dog or cat, journal, take some CBD and chillax!
Hope this helps!
Stay Healthy, My Friends!