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Winter returns: infection alert!
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Winter returns: infection alert!

2018-11-29
With the arrival of winter and falling temperatures, health professionals are stressing the importance of boosting our protection against infections. Why does the risk of infection increase in the colder months? How can we protect ourselves? Read on to find out how to avoid falling ill this winter.

Beware received wisdom!

You’ve no doubt heard it said that ‘the cold kills germs’. But this is hardly likely given the epidemics of ‘flu and gastroenteritis we see over the cold winter months. Indeed, this notion has been refuted by numerous studies: a great many infectious agents are perfectly able to withstand the cold. Some are even more resistant during winter. A dramatic fall in temperature may make germs slightly more passive for a time but it won’t kill them. Easily reactivated, they go on to infect the body, which at a constant temperature of 37°C, provides the ideal conditions for the rapid growth of infectious agents. One of the best ways of killing germs and preventing illness is aromatherapy, ie, the use of anti-infectious essential oils .

Conditions that encourage the spread of germs

The return of the cold weather does not kill germs and may even encourage the spread of infectious agents. One reason is that we tend to retreat indoors as soon as the temperature drops. Thus the cold brings people together in close confinement, so increasing the risk of transmission. Another contributing factor is the heating in our homes and workplaces which dries out the nose and prevents nasal mucus from blocking infectious agents. What’s more, these living spaces are often less well-ventilated in winter which also encourages the accumulation of germs. To avoid falling ill in the coming months, it’s therefore a good idea to wash your hands frequently, turn the heating down and think about ventilating your living/work space.

A weakened immune system

It has been repeatedly shown that the return of the cold weather impairs immune system function. The body’s defence cells become less mobile which allows germs to move in and start to spread. A fall in energy linked to the change in season can also weaken our defences. That’s why we’re often advised to take vitamin supplements to prevent winter infections. Multivitamins are popular as in a single capsule, they provide a concentrate of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients that support all the body’s functions. Scientists have also identified powerful immune-stimulant agents that boost the body’s defences and protect against illness. Discover, for example, our colostrum supplement and its benefits for fighting winter infections.

Risk of infection exacerbated by pollution

Studies increasingly show that air pollution raises the risk of infections. And winter is particularly conducive to peaks in pollution, both inside and out. Heating our living spaces can increase fine particle emissions. Low temperatures and an absence of windy weather prevents the dispersal of pollutants in the atmosphere, leading to regulatory levels being exceeded. For individual and collective protection against winter infections, we therefore all need to ‘do our bit’ to lower our own fine particle emissions. Antioxidants can also help fight the effects of atmospheric pollution. Found in certain winter fruits and vegetables, these natural protective agents are also available in the form of a powerful complex: AntiOxidant Synergy. In a single capsule, this dietary supplement combines a selection of the best natural antioxidants: curcumin from turmeric, polyphenols from grapes, EGCG from green tea …

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