If you catch a virus in the morning, you will likely get far sicker than if you are exposed later in the day.
Those are the findings of a fascinating new Cambridge University study that examined the effect of body clock rhythm on viral immunity.
Researchers found that viruses multiply 10 times faster when they are injected into mice early in the day versus later.1 This is because the body’s resistance to viruses is reduced in the morning.2
Body clock rhythm, also called circadian rhythm, is key to immunity, the scientists said. When the body clocks of the mice were disrupted they were far more vulnerable to infection no matter the time of day.3
Indeed, other research has shown that people with body clock disruption—such as when they are jet lagged or work nights—are more vulnerable to illness.4
Unlike bacteria, which can reproduce on their own, viruses attack by hijacking your cells. So if you are exposed to a virus in the morning when your cells are vulnerable, the virus will more easily take hold, researchers said.
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Professor Akhilesh Reddy was one of the researchers on the study. He said: “It’s a big difference. The virus needs all the apparatus available at the right time, otherwise it might not ever get off the ground. A tiny infection in the morning might perpetuate faster and take over the body.”5
The findings were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The virus that affects humans the most is the common cold. If you feel a cold coming on, reach for liposomal vitamin C immediately. It is mixed with healthy fats, which makes it easier for your body to absorb and put to work. Numerous studies show that if taken immediately, it reduces symptoms and duration of the cold.6
Take 1,000 mg every hour for the first four hours. If you have stomach discomfort after the first dose or two, cut it to 500 mg. After the first four hours, take 500-1,000 mg four times a day for up to 10 days or until you feel better.
4 Foods that Ward Off Viruses
Studies show certain foods also increase your ability to fight off viruses:
- Garlic. People who eat garlic regularly or take a garlic supplement experience fewer and less severe colds. Garlic contains the compound allicin, which has antimicrobial properties.7
- Sweet potatoes. Most viruses enter the body through your nose or other “mucosal surfaces.” Sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamin A. It plays a key role in maintaining the health of mucus membranes so they can act as a strong first line of defense against viruses.
- Turmeric. People who consume this spice regularly are less susceptible to colds. It is commonly used in curry dishes.
- Beef. It’s a great source of zinc. This mineral helps develop white blood cells, the soldiers of your immune system.
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In Good Health,
Executive Director, INH Health Watch