12 Ways You May Be Hurting Your Immune System

It's time to wise up to things you do every day that sap your immune system and slash your chances of staying healthy for the long haul (13 Photos)

Stacey Colino on Aug 8, 2011 at 12:05PM

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12 Ways You May Be Hurting Your Immune System

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Drinking Too Much Alcohol

Raise a glass too frequently and your health may suffer. Both drinking heavily on a single occasion and drinking often can compromise your immune system, according to researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester who reviewed published studies on alcohol use, infection, inflammation and immunity from 2000 to 2008. Too much alcohol can leave you vulnerable to infections, poor wound healing, and heart, liver, and pancreatic diseases. “It’s not good for white blood cells [which defend the body against infectious diseases], either,” says Neil Schachter, M.D., professor of medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City and author of The Good Doctor’s Guide to Colds & Flu. Your best bet: Drink moderately, defined as a max of one drink per day for women and two for men.

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