Vegan Immune System

Any queries about vegan diet, nutrition, dieting, bulking and healthy eating in general. Diets and food from vegan perspective.

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Vegan Immune System

Postby Marcel » Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:22 am

Hey folks!
So, I've been living here in Japan for about 3 years and find that each winter season I'm susceptible to colds and flu bugs unlike at home in Vancouver, Canada. The seasons are just starting to change and I've already gotten my first cold. Since I've arrived here, every November/December I lose my voice for a few days and, as mentioned, I'm constantly dealing with colds and bugs.

So, my question for the board is: what do you do to boost your immune system?

I usually dose with a combination of gold seal and echinacea. I always get plenty of alkalanizing goodness in my morning smoothies, eat well and dress warmly. But, for some reason, this isn't enough. Should I just wear sweaters and wool hats 24/7? What do you folks do to stay cold-free during the winter months?

Cheers! :lol:
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Re: Vegan Immune System

Postby V VII Hero » Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:32 am

chelated ZINC supplement. this boosts the immune system.

also MISO soup. especially if youre living in Japan.

no wool hats, wool isnt vegan.
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Re: Vegan Immune System

Postby Marcel » Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:21 am

Zinc supplements, hey? OK.

Miso soup isn't a problem at all, naturally. It' the ONE thing that's cheaper and easier to source here than anywhere in North America!

Of course, I can Google, but any ideas off the top of your head as to the immune boosting properties of zinc and miso?

Thanks again for the comment!
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Re: Vegan Immune System

Postby hardcore iv » Wed Oct 13, 2010 8:39 am

Here's an interesting article about the immune system and colds

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/05/opinion/05ackerman.html?_r=1&th&emc=th
"When you are born, you are set forth to die. The fact that you live or don't live between these two dates depends solely upon your own will, opportunities and desires. The weight exerciser, of course, indicates that he chooses to live." Joseph Curtis Hise
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Re: Vegan Immune System

Postby Darcy » Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:30 am

Since going vegan perhaps the single biggest difference is that I hardly ever get sick, and I certainly don't get all the rounds of colds that everyone else seems to. Alongside veganism I also have a healthy degree of paranoia about germs when everyone else is sick - wandering round with a little bottle of hand sanitizer and opening windows everywhere ;-)
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Re: Vegan Immune System

Postby Gelert » Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:49 am

Marcel wrote:Hey folks!
So, I've been living here in Japan for about 3 years and find that each winter season I'm susceptible to colds and flu bugs unlike at home in Vancouver, Canada.


I think this is your answer. There will be many strains of respiratory viruses circulating that have not gone "global" that you will be catching up with season by season.

hardcore iv's article is pretty reasonable. Absence of disease does not mean that you're not infected.

Darcy's comment about hand sanitizer - it seems a bit keen, but regular handwashing with soap is probably the best thing that can be done to cut down the transmission of these viruses.

I'd post in a little more detail, but I'm down with a gift from the first year students....
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Re: Vegan Immune System

Postby Darcy » Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:55 am

Gelert wrote:There will be many strains of respiratory viruses circulating that have not gone "global" that you will be catching up with season by season.


This sounds likely to me. I've also heard it said that that's why first year students are always getting sick - so many new germs in one place?
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Re: Vegan Immune System

Postby fredrikw » Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:04 am

Darcy wrote:Alongside veganism I also have a healthy degree of paranoia about germs when everyone else is sick - wandering round with a little bottle of hand sanitizer and opening windows everywhere ;-)

This is probably why you're not getting sick. You can eat very unhealthy as a vegan, and you can eat very healthy as an omni, so veganism in itself has nothing to do with healthy eating, that's a separate choice.
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Re: Vegan Immune System

Postby Darcy » Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:14 am

fredrikw wrote: This is probably why you're not getting sick. You can eat very unhealthy as a vegan, and you can eat very healthy as an omni, so veganism in itself has nothing to do with healthy eating, that's a separate choice.


Yeah you are absolutely right - I became a healthy vegan. It's not just the absence of animal products in my life but the fact that I've mostly replaced them with vegetables! So not an entirely unrelated choice but yes, good to make the distinction.

Sorry, we've gone off topic a bit!
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Re: Vegan Immune System

Postby xrodolfox » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:58 pm

I used to not get sick.

Then I got kids. Holy crap. Then again, I've never been good at germ-free hygiene. Either way, I'd wager that 70% of the illnesses I've had in the last 10yrs have been since I've had kids.
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Re: Vegan Immune System

Postby Marcel » Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:39 pm

Thanks for the replies, folks.

Yeh, being in Japan sets me up for all kinds of whacky bugs. Add to this that I teach kids, a LOT of kids. Add to this that if an adult comes down with something, one-to-one lessons places us in close proximity for an hour--sometimes longer. So as far as exposure to bugs is concerned, I've got it GOING ON!

Which returns me to the original point of immune system boosting. There are hand sanitizers virtually everywhere in Japan. Since the Bird Flu emerged everyone here freaked and you can't pass a door frame without a handy dandy table and sanitizer at your service. I suppose I could use 'em more often than I do (they dry my skin).

Any other tips are more than welcome! Thanks a bunch to all thus far!
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Re: Vegan Immune System

Postby Gelert » Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:04 pm

Yeh, being in Japan sets me up for all kinds of whacky bugs. Add to this that I teach kids, a LOT of kids. Add to this that if an adult comes down with something, one-to-one lessons places us in close proximity for an hour--sometimes longer. So as far as exposure to bugs is concerned, I've got it GOING ON!


I think we've arrived at an answer. Little germbags them. In very rough terms, the thing is that in terms of exposure to the non-global pandemic stuff, your immune system is the same age as them. So you get kiddy bugs that your local colleagues may have got over in their childhoods. This is less of an issue than it once was because of globalization, but it's still a very less extreme example of how isolated, uncontacted tribes often get totalled upon exposure to viruses which are mere sniffles for the most of us.

Marcel wrote: I suppose I could use 'em more often than I do (they dry my skin).


Perhaps. Only use them if you have reason. Not least because of the dry skin, but also the ethanol in them doesn't kill certain pathogens. Not likely to be an issue for people outside of hospitals, but Clostridium difficile is resistant to these sanitizers; their introduction was coincident with a sharp increase in prevalence of C. diff infections in hospital patients as the "competition" of other pathogens colonizing hands etc. was reduced.
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Re: Vegan Immune System

Postby xrodolfox » Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:37 pm

Maybe Gelert can invent a hand-unsanitizer that colonizes "good bugs" on our hands and crowds out diseases. eh?
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Re: Vegan Immune System

Postby haisuli » Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:34 pm

xrodolfox wrote:I used to not get sick.

Then I got kids. Holy crap. Then again, I've never been good at germ-free hygiene. Either way, I'd wager that 70% of the illnesses I've had in the last 10yrs have been since I've had kids.


Good point! I've noticed this too. When fall comes and daughter goes back to day-nursery I could add couple of weeks sick leave in calendar in advance. Right now I'm suffering small flu, and it sucks because I can't train.

Another interesting point in immune system is that some people will get easily some sort of bugs/symptoms, some people other ones. I'm specialized in nose. For example, I hardly ever get bad stomach flu, even if my daughter vomits to my face when I'm sleeping (btw, nice way to wake up :P ). But for getting common cold it's almost enough that someone who has it phones to me. :lol:

Does anyone Gelert know how big thing D-vitamin is for immune system? :wink:
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Re: Vegan Immune System

Postby Gelert » Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:41 pm

xrodolfox wrote:Maybe Gelert can invent a hand-unsanitizer that colonizes "good bugs" on our hands and crowds out diseases. eh?


Used to use a little live yogurt as hand cream when work demanded lots of handwashing and latex gloves.

... vomits to my face when I'm sleeping (btw, nice way to wake up ).


Some people would pay for that.

I cease to be amazed how far one "pink sawdust" incident can spread diarrhoea & vomiting through an institution.

There was a nice study done a couple a years ago after someone with a norovirus infection blew chunks sat down at a table in a sushi bar. They could pretty much figure out which seat you had in the restaurant from whether you and your dining partner(s) came down with it or not. A nice plume of vom aerosol trailing away from a bullseye' shape around the barfer in question carried by draughts etc. Nice.

Vitamin D: http://www.nhs.uk/news/2010/03March/Pag ... ystem.aspx
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