Every year, the same people seem to miraculously escape the epidemics of flu or gastroenteritis. The fact is though, luck has nothing to do with it: it’s the quality of their immune response which ensures they sail though winter untouched by these illnesses, and what lies behind that response are eight, well-guarded secrets which these individuals exploit to the maximum. Now you too can be part of this enviable group by adopting the secrets of their success...
1) They have a diet rich in micronutrients.
In affluent countries, the diet has paradoxically become so poor that deficiency in micronutrients is widespread. Studies have shown that an inadequate intake of just one of the following micronutrients is harmful to immune function: zinc, selenium, iron, copper, calcium, folic acid and vitamins A, B6, C and E.
supplementing with micronutrients significantly increases the activity of glutathione, and the production of antibodies and immune cytokines1-2
increase your consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables and treat yourself to Daily 3
a far-reaching and practical multivitamin which has already won over millions of people.
2) They get enough sleep.
Too little sleep doesn’t just affect your work efficiency. When you habitually sleep five hours instead of eight, your body interprets the deprivation as physical stress and significantly raises its level of immune cells to overcome it. This, in turn, disrupts the activity of granulocytes (white blood cells) and reduces the efficacy of your immune system for days, if not weeks.
a person who sleeps fewer than six hours a night over a week may be 4.2 times more likely
to catch a cold than one who gets more than seven hours of sleep over the same period3
And that’s not all: other studies have shown that a chronic lack of sleep has an even greater impact on the immune system, paving the way for more serious health problems than the common cold.
restore good sleep patterns by taking advantage of plants that have been widely shown to promote drowsiness (valerian, hop, rhodiola) or by choosing a supplement that combines them all such as Natural Sleep Formula
, and avoid at all costs drugs such as sleeping tablets and benzodiazepines that cause side-effects and dependency.
3) They find ways of reducing their stress levels.
Stress triggers the release of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenalin. These molecules are useful in the short-term but when produced over a long period, they have an adverse effect on the immune defences by inhibiting cytokine production.
a study has shown that in cases of chronic stress, leukocytes (white blood cells) become abnormally active and may eventually damage healthy tissue4
Yoga, tai-chi and physical activity in general are all good stress-busters. Though unjustly passed over in favour of drugs, a number of plants such as passiflora, magnolia and jujube contain natural compounds which act synergistically to calm the body. Supplements such as Stress Relief Formula
are specially designed to combine the most active natural ingredients against stress: don’t miss out on the chance to try them and judge their stress-relieving effects for yourself.
4) They are physically active.
Research shows that physical activity stimulates certain components of the immune system5
. In particular, it improves the distribution of circulating cell populations involved in the immune response6
provided the type of exercise is not too demanding on the muscles.
: immune function is directly affected by excess fat which may specifically increase the risk of catching "flu"
: make a gradual return to physical activity and support your efforts with scientifically-recognised "hunger-suppressing" plant extracts such as konjac7
which features in the enhanced weight-loss formulation Weight Loss Formula
5) They eat pesticide-free fruits and vegetables.
Exposure to toxins and air pollutants reduces the quality of the immune response. Pesticides, in particular, inhibit the ability of human NK cells to secrete lytic proteins and have a harmful effect on T lymphocytes8
: studies clearly show that chronic exposure to pesticides can play a role in the development of respiratory diseases such as asthma and bronchitis9
: If you are regularly exposed to pollutants (you live in a city for example), increase your antioxidant intake by eating more organically-grown fruits and vegetables or by taking AntiOxidant Synergy
, a synergistic formulation containing several potent antioxidants.
6) They are happy.
Voltaire summed it up like this: "I have decided to be happy because it’s good for the health!"
. And he was right. Being happy is a simple decision and has a profound effect on our health and well-being.
: people who are more socially connected to their family, friends and community are happier, healthier and live longer10
: achieving happiness requires a positive attitude. Don’t believe anyone who claims to have a magic formula. You have to work at happiness, develop it and take ownership of it.
7) They commune with Nature.
Living in a town or city has many advantages but also brings with it a higher risk of depression which in turn impairs immunity. In particular, depressed individuals have excess levels of cytokines in their blood which induces an inflammatory syndrome and a reduction in the quality of the immune response.
: the prefrontal cortex is in a hyperactive state when we think dark thoughts, but a 90 minute walk in the great outdoors reduces the demands made on it which in turn decreases the risk of depression11
: spend more time walking in the open air, in a forest or park if possible, and surround yourself with greenery! A study has shown that even the act of "seeing" Nature may accelerate the healing process12
8) They don’t smoke.
Smoking has catastrophic effects on immunity13
. As well as compromising mechanical defence methods such as bronchial cilia, smoking cigarettes drastically increases inflammation levels while reducing the quality of the immune response (decreased lymphocyte activity, lower antibody production, inhibition of cytokines).
: the risk of catching flu is increased four-fold in smokers compared with non-smokers. Smoking also doubles the risk of contracting a respiratory infection and complications are more likely14
: The solution is obviously to stop smoking but for those unable to achieve that straightaway, supplementing with vitamin C
should be considered. Research shows that smoking leads to more rapid depletion of vitamin C reserves which further impairs smokers’ immunity15
1- LESOURD (1990) le vieillissement immunologique, influence de la denutrition. Ann. Biol. Clin., 48, 309-318
2- GIRODON (1997) Effect of a two-year supplementation with low doses of antioxidant vitamins and/or minerais in elderly subjects on levels of nutrients and antioxidant defense parameters.J Am Coll Nutr. Aug;16(4):357-65.
3- Aric A. Prather, Denise Janicki-Deverts et al. Behaviorally Assessed Sleep and Susceptibility to the Common Cold, SLEEP, Vol. 38, No. 9, 2015, https://doi.org/10.5665/sleep.4968.
4- Powel ND, Solan Erica et al. Social stress up-regulates inflammatory gene expression in the leukocyte transcriptome via ÎÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ²-adrenergic induction of myelopoiesis, September 23, 2013, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1310655110
PNAS October 8, 2013 vol. 110 no. 41 16574-16579
5- Immune function in sport and exercise. Gleeson M. J Appl Physiol. 2007 Aug;103(2):693-9. Epub 2007 Feb 15. Review.
6- Horn PL, Leeman K, Pyne DB, Gore CJ. Expression of CD94 and 56(bright) on natural killer lymphocytes - the influence of exercise. Int J Sports med 2002; 23: 595-9
7- M. Chua, T. C. Baldwin, T. J. Hocking, and K. Chan, "Traditional uses and potential health benefits of Amorphophallus konjac K. Koch ex N.E.Br." Journal of Ethnopharmacology, vol. 128, no. 2, pp. 268-278, 2010.
8- Rowe, A. M., Brundage, K. M., and Barnett, J. B., 2007. In vitro atrazine-exposure inhibits human natural killer cell lytic granule release. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 221(2); 179-188.
9- Karmaus, W., Kuehr, J., and Kruse, H., 2001. Infections and atopic disorders in childhood and organochlorine exposure. Arch Environ Health. 56(6); 485-492.
10- MD. Robert J. Waldinger (Harvard Medical School ), Longitudinal study of two groups of men over the adult lifespan, tracking major domains of mental and physical health, social functioning, and work life. Harvard Study of Adult Development, https://www.maelstrom-research.org/mica/individual-study/hsad
11- Nature experience reduces rumination and subgenual prefrontal cortex activation. Gregory N. Bratmana,J. Paul Hamilton et al. PNAS, 2015, 8567-8572.
12. Ulrich, R.S. View through a window may influence recovery from surgery. Science 1984, 224, 420-421
13. Y Arnson, Y Shoenfeld, H Amital. Effects of tobacco smoke on immunity, inflammation and autoimmunity. J of Autoimmunity; 2010, 34 : 258-65
14. Almirall J et al. Proportion of community-acquired pneumonia cases attributable to tobacco smoking. Chest. 1999;116:375-379.
15. Lykkesfeldt J, Christen S, Wallock LM, Chang HH, Jacob RA, Ames BN. Ascorbate is depleted by smoking and repleted by moderate supplementation: a study in male smokers and nonsmokers with matched dietary antioxidant intakes. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2000;71(2):530-536.