The head is winter-tired, a constantly thick neck and the nose is dripping like a leaky faucet - if our immune system is cracked, pathogens have free rein and every few days the next annoying symptom greets us. In the long run it gets to the substance. Fortunately, you can take countermeasures and make your defenses fit again. Stiftung Warentest explains how.
Without our immune system we would look pretty bad in the world, it is vital to us. It protects the body from pathogens, toxins and pollutants, fights inflammation, germs and disease-causing cells. And all in secret. Because only when our immune system is no longer running at full speed do we feel that something is missing: the immune system.
The immune system can be weakened by stress, nutrient deficiencies and diseases such as diabetes and autoimmune diseases, among other things. Even an unhealthy lifestyle works like poison. "The immune system cannot be trained like a muscle, but it is extremely capable of learning," writes Stiftung Warentest: It is partly innate, partly acquired: "The acquired immune system consists of antibodies and memory cells that collect information about contact with pathogens."
The immune system cannot be trained, but it can be supported. This is not so hard. As is so often the case, factors such as a healthy diet, plenty of exercise and enough sleep are good for the immune system. However, you cannot push it. "What is not possible: to optimize the defense beyond the normal level - for example with the help of very high doses of food supplements," says Warentest. Oversupply can even be harmful.
A healthy psyche is also important to keep the immune system in balance. It doesn't handle constant stress well. Since stress hormones are released during this time, the body's defenses have to work continuously. Even a walk in the fresh air can contribute to relaxation. Warentest also recommends meditation or autogenic training.
You can read more about the immune system at test.de