Take vitamin C supplements when you feel a cold coming on? The problem is, you can’t actually “strengthen” your immune system, says Dr. Jen Gunter. Diving into the elegant network of cells, tissues and organs that protect us every day, she introduces two kinds of immunity that specialize in recognizing and fighting off bad bacteria, viruses, fungi and toxins — and shares what you can do to keep your immune system healthy.


問題は、実際に免疫システムを「強化」できないことだ、とジェン・ガンター博士は言う。私たちを毎日守っている細胞、組織、器官のエレガントなネットワークに飛び込み、悪玉菌、ウイルス、真菌、毒素を認識して撃退することに特化した 2 種類の免疫を紹介し、免疫を維持するために何ができるかを共有します。システムは健全です。

タイトル Can you actually boost your immune system? Here’s the truth
アップロード 2021年6月18日
キャスト ジェン・ガンター

Can you actually boost your immune system? Here’s the truth(実際に免疫力を高めることはできるのでしょうか?これが真実です)



  • 多くの人々は、抗酸化物質やサプリメントで免疫システムを強化できると誤解している。しかし、免疫システムは筋肉のように強化することはできない。


  • 免疫システムは、細菌、ウイルス、真菌、毒素から体を守り、傷の治癒に重要な役割を果たす。大きく分けて自然免疫と適応免疫があり、自然免疫は非特異的防御、適応免疫は特定の病原体に対する防御を行う。


  • 自然免疫は最初の防御ラインであり、病原体が侵入する前に撃退する。適応免疫は病原体を特定し、特定の免疫細胞を生成して攻撃し、病原体を記憶して再侵入時に迅速に対応する。


  • 免疫システムの各部分は異なる役割を持つため、「強化」という概念は誤解を招く。特定の部分を強化すると、アレルギーや自己免疫疾患のような問題を引き起こす可能性がある。


  • 免疫システムは庭のように多様な成分があり、バランスが重要。特定のビタミンやサプリメントを過剰に摂取しても免疫システム全体の機能は向上しない。


  • ワクチンは特定の病原体に対する免疫反応を強化するため、効果的な手段として認められている。予防接種や健康的な生活習慣(バランスの取れた食事、禁煙、十分な睡眠)が重要。


Turmeric ginger shots, elderberry syrup, vitamin C tablets. No one likes to be sick, so it’s 100 percent understandable why we’re all intrigued by products that promise to boost our immune system.

(Music) [Body Stuff with Dr. Jen Gunter]

The problem is that we often think about the immune system in the wrong way. We think of it like a muscle that we can strengthen by feeding it lots of antioxidants and supplements. But that’s just not how the immune system works. While the immune system can be suppressed and can be less effective — for example, in people receiving chemotherapy — the reverse, strengthening the system overall, just doesn’t happen.

Our immune system is what protects us from the bacteria, viruses, fungi and toxins we encounter on a constant basis. It also plays an integral part in wound healing.

**Innate Immunity**

It’s an elegant network of cells, tissues and organs, all working together. You can think of the immune system in two broad terms, innate immunity and adaptive immunity. Innate immunity means nonspecific defense mechanisms, and this is our first line of protection. It helps fight off pathogens before they cause a problem. It’s like a bouncer at the door of a club. The innate immunity keeps invaders out or neutralizes them shortly after entry so they don’t start a fight inside. It can only recognize self, meaning what’s allowed in the club, and nonself, meaning what’s not allowed inside. Think the physical barriers of our skin, the hairs in our nose, the eyelashes that blink out dirt, even vaginal discharge that prevents infections.

**Adaptive Immunity**

Now if a pathogen does manage to get past the first line of defense, we have another layer of protection, the adaptive immune system, which is more complex and targeted than our bouncer. The adaptive immune system responds to antigens. Antigens are unique proteins on the surface of pathogens, which helps identify what kind of pathogen it is. Kind of like a name tag. Your immune system is constantly reading name tags, and when one is recognized as being on the no-entry list, the adaptive immune system creates special immune cells to attack, which are specialized white blood cells called lymphocytes. Here’s what’s really amazing: our immune system remembers this process. So the next time we’re exposed to that same pathogen, our immune system recognizes it and remembers how to respond. While we’re not sure how many different antigens we can recognize, some scientists think that we produce over a billion antibodies.

**Boosting the Immune System**

But the important thing to remember is that our immune system has many different parts playing many different roles. That’s what makes this concept of “boosting” so problematic. When people say “boost the immune system,” what do they even mean? Do they mean boost the histamine that’s released when exposed to poison ivy? Well, that would make you itch a lot more. Do they mean supercharge your T and B cells? Might that lead your body to attack its own cells, as we see with autoimmune conditions?

Instead of thinking of a muscle that you can strengthen with one simple exercise, a better analogy may be a garden. Your immune system has many components, just like a garden has many kinds of plants. Each plant needs just the right amount of sun, shade and water. Too much sun might help one plant but destroys another. Increasing any single element can throw off the balance of the ecosystem overall. If you’re getting all the nutrients you need from a healthy, balanced diet, taking more of a single vitamin won’t help your immune system function any better overall. For some vitamins, if you take in more than you need, your body will just get rid of the excess as waste. Vitamin supplements are only needed if you have a true real deficiency. In fact, some studies tell us that vitamins and supplements, when they’re not medically needed, may have negative effects.

Things can go wrong with our immune system for sure, like allergies or autoimmune conditions and failure to catch abnormal cells. But the reasons for each of these things are complex and often not fully understood. And they certainly won’t be solved by some immune-boosting miracle pill.

There is however, one thing that has been shown again and again to be incredible for your immune system. Vaccines. Vaccines are truly genius. They contain a weakened or inactive part of a pathogen, like the flu, that includes its antigen name tag. They trigger the body into making antibodies without needing to get sick from an illness first. Instead of boosting the immune system overall, they give the system exactly what it needs to respond to a specific pathogen quickly and aggressively.

So get your immunizations and get your flu shot every year. Eat a healthy, balanced diet. If you want a healthy immune system, don’t smoke and try to get enough sleep. And otherwise, just let your immune system do its thing.



(音楽) [Body Stuff with Dr. Jen Gunter]