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Can loneliness or isolation affect your immune system?

ANSWER

Having strong relationships and a good social network is good for you.

People who feel connected to friends -- whether it's a few close friends or a large group -- have stronger immunity than those who feel alone, studies show.

In one study, lonely freshmen had a weaker immune response to a flu vaccine than those who felt connected to others.

Although there are many other things that affect your health, making meaningful connections with people is always a good idea.

SOURCES:

Bruce Polsky, MD, interim chairman, department of medicine, chief, division of infectious disease, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York City.

Stephen Sinatra, MD, assistant clinical professor of medicine, University of Connecticut School of Medicine; founder, New England Heart and Longevity Center Medicine, Manchester, Conn.

American Association for Cancer Research: ''How Diet, Obesity and Even Gum Disease May Affect Immune System and Cancer.''

Sanchez, A. November 1973. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,

WebMD Medical Reference: ''Use Your Immune System to Prevent Flu.'' ''Exercise When You Have the Flu.'' ''Sleep 101.''

American Psychological Association: ''First-Year College Students Who Feel Lonely Have A Weaker Immune Response To The Flu Shot.''

Cole ,S. , September 2007. Genome Biology

WebMD Medical News: ''Moderate Exercise May Lower Cold Risk.''

Scott Berliner, supervising pharmacist, Life Science Pharmacy, New York.

WebMD Feature: ''How Antioxidants Work.''

Rosner, F. , 1980. Chest

Ann G. Kulze, MD, CEO & founder, Dr. Ann & Just Wellness, Mt. Pleasant, S.C.

Spiegel, K. Sept. 25, 2002. The Journal of the American Medical Association,

Davidson, R. July-August 2003. Psychosomatic Medicine,

Bennett, M. . March-April 2003. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine

University of California: ''Go Ahead, Laugh. It’s Good For You.''

Hughes, D. , March 2000. Nutrition Bulletin

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on July 07, 2019

SOURCES:

Bruce Polsky, MD, interim chairman, department of medicine, chief, division of infectious disease, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York City.

Stephen Sinatra, MD, assistant clinical professor of medicine, University of Connecticut School of Medicine; founder, New England Heart and Longevity Center Medicine, Manchester, Conn.

American Association for Cancer Research: ''How Diet, Obesity and Even Gum Disease May Affect Immune System and Cancer.''

Sanchez, A. November 1973. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,

WebMD Medical Reference: ''Use Your Immune System to Prevent Flu.'' ''Exercise When You Have the Flu.'' ''Sleep 101.''

American Psychological Association: ''First-Year College Students Who Feel Lonely Have A Weaker Immune Response To The Flu Shot.''

Cole ,S. , September 2007. Genome Biology

WebMD Medical News: ''Moderate Exercise May Lower Cold Risk.''

Scott Berliner, supervising pharmacist, Life Science Pharmacy, New York.

WebMD Feature: ''How Antioxidants Work.''

Rosner, F. , 1980. Chest

Ann G. Kulze, MD, CEO & founder, Dr. Ann & Just Wellness, Mt. Pleasant, S.C.

Spiegel, K. Sept. 25, 2002. The Journal of the American Medical Association,

Davidson, R. July-August 2003. Psychosomatic Medicine,

Bennett, M. . March-April 2003. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine

University of California: ''Go Ahead, Laugh. It’s Good For You.''

Hughes, D. , March 2000. Nutrition Bulletin

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on July 07, 2019

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Can having a sense of humor keep you from getting sick?

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