Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Cold, Flu, & Cough Health Center

Font Size

Myths vs. Facts About Your Immune System

Supplements can help you feel better faster.

Myth. Taking a daily multivitamin is probably a good idea to stay healthy if you eat poorly. But taking megadoses of a single vitamin or supplement has not been proven to help the immune system.

Kids need supplements to build a healthy immune system.

Myth. Vitamins and minerals matter for kids too, but they should get them from eating nutritious foods. If your child is a picky eater, a vegetarian, or a vegan, your doctor may recommend a supplement. Remember: Though you can buy children’s vitamins over-the-counter, they are still drugs. Taken excessively, they can be toxic.

Sucking your baby’s pacifier can make him less likely to develop allergies.

Fact. Do you cringe when you see a parent pick up a baby’s pacifier and suck it before returning it to the baby’s mouth? Don't. A recent study found that parents who suck their infant’s pacifier may lower the baby’s risk of having allergies. The thought is that germs transferred to the infant from the parent’s saliva will kick-start the baby's immune system. 

Exercise has no effect on the immune system.

Myth. While there’s no direct link between moderate exercise and keeping the average person’s immune system humming, there are lots of benefits to working out. Among other things, it lowers blood pressure, keeps body weight under control, and can protect you from certain diseases. So get moving. 

1|2
Reviewed on November 07, 2013

Today on WebMD

neti pot
Slideshow
Chicken soup
Slideshow
 
Natural Cold Flu Remedies Slideshow
Slideshow
Syringes and graph illustration
TOOL
 
Natural Cold Flu Remedies Slideshow
Slideshow
blowing nose
VIDEO
 
Allergy And Sinus Symptom Evaluator
Health Check
Boy holding ear
Article
 
woman receiving vaccine shot
Article
Bacterial or Viral Infection
Video
 
How To Calm Your Cough
Quiz
Sore Throat
Slideshow
 

WebMD Special Sections