How Weather Affects Your Immune System

We all know that feeling unwell is fairly common during the colder months, but do you know the reasoning behind this? It’s important to understand how temperature variations affect your body, so proper precautions to support a strong and healthy immune system can be taken this winter.

Woman protects her mouth and immune system from cold during winter months

Cold temperatures can bring forth a variety of obstacles to your immune system that make it more difficult for it to function properly, such as:

  • Decreased levels of vitamin D. Colder weather and shorter days result in us staying inside for longer periods of time. This lack of sunlight exposure poses the risk of decreased levels of vitamin D in the body – a nutrient that plays a key role in supporting a healthy immune system.
  • Impaired immune response. Results from a recent Yale study show that lower temperatures can weaken your body’s immune response, weaken the nose’s first line of immune defenses, and increase susceptibility to infection.
  • Narrowed blood vessels. When you breathe in cold air, it causes the blood vessels in your upper respiratory tract to narrow in an attempt to conserve heat. This could make it more difficult for white blood cells to reach the mucous membrane, thus weakening your immune response.
  • Pathogens spread and replicate more easily in colder and dryer temperatures. While the temperature might not affect your immune system itself, pathogens are more likely to spread and enter the body during the winter time.
  • People spend time in closer proximity when it is cold. Groups of people migrate toward indoor shelter when the weather does not permit them to be outdoors, resulting in air sharing and greater likelihood of pathogen transmission.

Support Your Immune System in Colder Weather

Luckily, there are several steps you can take to support your immune system:

  1. Incorporate nutrient-rich foods that aid in immune support into your daily diet – especially foods that are high in vitamin D.
  2. Take daily immune-boosting supplements.
  3. Get enough
  4. Stay hydrated.
  5. Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently.
  6. Sneeze and cough into a tissue or your elbow rather than your hands.
  7. Avoid sharing foods, drinks, and utensils with others.

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Scientists are finally beginning to understand how the weather affects the immune system. While we might not know the exact reasons for how it occurs, we do know this—you must take extra precautions to support your immune system during winter months and Results RNA formulas can help.