The secret connection between cold weather and the common cold
The cooler time of the year is here, and with it you can more often than not hear statements such as “don’t get cold or you’ll catch the cold” or “be careful not to let your immune system weaken, it’s the common cold season”. So what is the connection between cold weather, the immune system and the common cold?
First and foremost, the term “immunity” should be defined. Immunity is the ability of an organism to defend itself against various infections, diseases or other biological and chemical invasions. It is a complex system aimed at protecting our body from external and harmful influences, various bacteria, viruses and parasites.
But what exactly makes us more susceptible to the common cold during the winter months?
At lower temperatures, the activity and function of our immune system weakens. In addition, staying indoors in spaces that are less frequently ventilated while also being in contact with other persons caters to the spread of viruses.
Moreover, a lower temperature causes an increase in the rate at which rhinoviruses – the usual common cold pathogen – multiply in the body, meaning that a higher amount of infectious particles is produced.
Here are several recommendations that we can easily introduce in our daily life that have a significant impact on our body and that can help us prevent the ever-present common cold:
- A balanced diet and proper nutrition are essential for a well-functioning immune system. Try to have as many cooked meals as possible, and as little fast food as possible. Remember to eat chicken soup. This is not just a myth: eating chicken soup has been shown to have a mild anti-inflammatory effect due to the slowing of neutrophil migration (neutrophils are cells of the immune system engaged in the inflammatory response).
- During the winter months we require more zinc, iron, copper, selenium, vitamin A, B6, C and E. Try to consume as much foods rich in these vitamins or minerals as possible, especially vitamin C. Due to its antioxidative effect, vitamin C reduces the duration of the common cold and the severity of its symptoms. Specifically, leukocytes are activated during infection and produce oxidizing compounds that are released from the cell, but by reacting with these oxidants, vitamin C can reduce the inflammatory effects they cause.
- Pay attention to your digestion. Good bacteria in the colon and a balanced intestinal flora are very important: the intestinal flora is crucial for having a good immune system and its protection against pathogens and infections. It’s no surprise then to hear that nearly 80 % of our immunity is found in the gut. Avoid highly refined and fatty foods, and consume as many fibre-rich foods as possible. Remember to drink plenty of fluids: apart from water which is essential, teas are quite popular in wintertime.
- Be physically active. The temporary rise in body temperature that occurs during exercise can prevent bacteria from multiplying, thereby helping the body defend itself more quickly and effectively against infections. White blood cells circulate faster, which enables them to identify diseases early on and start fighting them as soon as possible. Accelerated blood circulation also encourages the release of hormones which alert the cells to bacteria or viruses.
- Get a good night’s sleep. Good sleep is associated with the release of hormones that are important for our body, so it not only affects our mood throughout the day but also strengthens and recovers our body and improves our immunity.
There are a number of reasons why we become easy targets for viruses during winter. However, there are various preventative mechanisms we can actively employ to defend against them, which are primarily intended to strengthen our immunity.
In addition, today there are many food supplements available for boosting our immunity, and this is where Marti Farm comes into play by assisting our clients in the process of placing food supplements on the market or obtaining a decision on the inclusion of food supplements into the monitoring program.
Lucija Bedeniković / Mpharm
Lašćinska cesta 40
Planinska ulica 13/2
Office: +385 1 5588 297
Pharmacovigilance: +385 1 5588 297
Clinical trials: +385 1 5614 330
Registration: +385 1 242 0873
Marketing: +385 1 2420 890
Fax: +385 1 2420 860
Tel: +385 1 5588 297
Full company name
Short company name
Marti Farm Ltd. Trade and Services
Marti Farm Ltd.
Lašćinska cesta 40, HR-10000 Zagreb
Planinska ulica 13/2, HR-10000 Zagreb
a limited liability company
Commercial Court of Zagreb
HRK 20,000.00 (paid in its entirety)
Martina Diminić Smetiško, director of the
company (Representing the company
individually and independently, Responsible
person for data protection)
HR3623600001102197724 (Zagrebačka banka)
HR4324020061100628669 (Erste banka)
Full company name: Marti Farm Ltd. Trade and Services
Short company name: Marti Farm Ltd.
Headquarters: Lašćinska cesta 40, HR-10000 Zagreb
Office: Planinska ulica 13/2, HR-10000 Zagreb
Legal form: a limited liability company
Court register: Commercial Court of Zagreb
Registration number: 080751121
Share capital: HRK 20,000.00 (paid in its entirety)
Authorized representative: Martina Diminić Smetiško, director of the company (Representing the company individually and independently, Responsible person for data protection)
Bank account: HR3623600001102197724 (Zagrebačka banka), HR4324020061100628669 (Erste banka)