Yes it’s that time of year again when all the cold and flu remedies come out of the cupboard and all of us health care practitioners start harping on about how to keep your immune system primed.
Well this year I decided to do something different and go with the crowd…yes I detect the irony here. The reason I have decided to do this is well because it is actually pretty relevant.
“How?” you ask. Well, I am glad you did.
When we are under a heightened state of stress we generally are running our body with our sympathetic nervous system. This kicks us into our fight flight response by releasing adrenalin into our bodies supply via our adrenal glands. These are tiny little glands that sit above the kidneys and without them it was discovered in the early 1900s we will die. So yes they are rather important.
The fight flight response is designed to protect us. In the process of this it shuts down all responses of the body that are not immediately vital for survival…and guess what…that includes our immune system.
So just to S.P.E.L.L. it out when we are highly stressed we kick into our adrenal response, which suppresses our immune system. If we are stressed for long periods it leaves us open to invasion from foreign pathogens and particularly at this time of year this means colds and flu.
So what do we do to reduce this issue?
- Vitamin D3 as I mentioned in one of our previous newsletters has become heavily researched in the past couple of years in relation to our immune system and has been found to have great influence. A recent study found that Vitamin D3 supplementation appears to have an 800% higher rate of success than influenza vaccines in reducing influenza. I know…pretty amazing stuff. And yes ok there are lots of ‘research’ articles out there claiming this and that and many of them are dubious in their make up however only rigorous papers make it into the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. http://www.naturalnews.com/029760_vitamin_D_influenza.html
- Vitamin C and bioflavinoid supplementation has also been shown consistently to keep colds and flu at bay. High levels of supplementation boost the immune systems capacity to fight off the dreaded lurgy. Fresh fruits and veggies that are brightly coloured contain these
- Zinc is also integral in keeping our immune system in check and our zinc levels are also affected by stress.
- Sleep….yes sleep has a huge impact on our immune system and if you don’ get enough because you are burning the candle at both ends then expect a visit from Mr or Ms Sneezy.
So this chilly season take the time to consider your immune system. Get good amounts of sleep, keep up your fresh fruits and veggies and make sure you have a good supplementation regime.