STOP Trying To Boost Your Immune System

December 28, 2014

STOP Trying To Boost Your Immune System

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The first rule of magic is misdirection. 

Getting your audience to focus on something inconsequential so that they don’t see what is really going on, like for example, you picking their pocket for everything they've got.  

Now, I would never dare to say that this type of misdirection is going on as you stroll through the cold and flu aisle at your local pharmacy or when you watch certain famous doctors on TV, but I am certain that each of you has at some point (daily) encountered a number of products claiming to boost your immunity, “naturally.”

The Misdirection?


Well, that would be these “authorities” telling you that you need to boost your immune system with vitamin C lozenges, ground up deer antler powder or some other mystical substance that apparently your body needs desperately.

Brilliant marketing, I must say, but unfortunately, research has shown that these products are nothing but expensive placebos. 

Not only do they NOT help your immune system, but they may in fact be making it less effective at its job.


Perhaps I should explain a little more about what I mean, since I am essentially telling you the exact opposite of what everyone else says (including those pesky TV doctors).

First, a little background on how your immune system actually works.

Your body, in all of its amazingness, has two basic components to its immune system:

  1. The innate immune system
  2. The adaptive immune system
The innate immune system is the first responder to a viral attack and it creates what you recognize as the “symptoms” of being sick:
  • Fever
  • Phlegm
  • Coughing

These reactions occur regardless of which of the several hundred typical cold viruses happens to be invading your body at the time. The “symptoms” are your body’s way of holding off the enemy attack while your adaptive immune system revs up for its own response.


The adaptive immune system is the laser-like focused response that creates antibodies that target the specific virus you have been infected with.  Once these antibodies are created, not only will they destroy the virus cells that have worn out their welcome, but you will forever have them standing guard over your body ensuring you’ll never have to deal with that bad guy again.

Herein lies the problem with all of these products claiming to either help your immune system out, or enable you to get over your cold/flu sooner.  The majority of the products out there go about “helping” you with fever reducers and antihistamines, which means they suppress the very mechanisms of your innate immune system so that it cannot do its job properly.

Yeah, that might not be a good idea after all, right?

Perhaps if any of these remedies actually DID work, we would be worse off than if we hadn't taken them to begin with.

Confusing, isn't it?

Let’s look at it this way folks: Your body is a beautiful system of checks and balances. 

It is constantly seeking out homeostasis and trying to avoid extremes.

  • Too “strong” of an immune system (eg: autoimmune diseases) can lead to allergies, tissue damage, and even anaphylaxis.
  • Too “weak” of an immune system, due to things like chemotherapy or HIV/AIDS, and you're at risk of deadly infections that most people recover from with ease.

Perhaps we should stop trying to look for a quick fix and rather let our body’s own natural defenses take their course and heal us as nature intended.

stop chicken

Not everything should be rushed and being healthy is a journey of patience, not quickness. While you’re getting over that pesky cold, sip on some hot chicken soup and watch some re-runs of Dexter to keep your mind off how crappy you feel.

It’ll all be over soon, I promise. 

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