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What do the Poles know about immunity?

What’s the Polish way to boost one’s immunity during the epidemic?

It would seem that in the time of the epidemic the subject of immunity should become a critical concern. After all, we are bombarded with expert opinions, slogans such as “take care of your immunity”, and advertisements and commercials for one “immunity focused” remedy after another.

In February 2021, a survey was carried out amongst 1115 adult Poles. I would like to share some of the findings below.

The Poles are aware that the immune system is crucial in the battle against viral and bacterial infections. Unfortunately, at the same time they do not realize that a healthy immune system is also essential to protecting oneself against cancer, autoimmune diseases (e.g. Hashimoto, rheumatoid arthritis, MS), and allergies.

Respondents were asked to list factors that adversely affect immunity, and this was where they showed fantastic knowledge and understanding of the issue. They listed stress, physical inactivity, stimulants, poor diet, sleep deprivation, air and water pollution, overuse of antibiotics and highly processed foods.

Unfortunately, we cannot exactly be proud of this result as in fact all of this knowledge is not being turned into action.

More than 60% of respondents do nothing (sic!) for their immunity. They know what lifestyle would be most beneficial to their wellbeing, alas, they’re failing to practice what they preach.

Furthermore, the survey also brought to light a certain confusion of concepts. The covering of the mouth and nose with a mask is named first amongst the ways to boost the immune system, with hand-washing coming in second. Undeniably, those are vital measures to be taken in prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection, however, they do nothing for our immune systems. Are we fooling ourselves? “If I wear a mask, I don’t have to do anything else.”

The last finding I would like to share here is a list of immunity-boosting supplements. Nearly 50% of our fellow citizens know about Vitamin D3. That’s probably the effect of an ongoing long-term campaign. Regrettably, only 25% of us know about Vitamin C, with other supplements being mentioned only marginally.  Personally, I am shocked that probiotics have not been brought up at all. I think there is a lingering stereotype here that probiotics are a “shield” used during treatment with antibiotics. We are not aware that there are scientifically tested immunogenic probiotics that strengthen the immune system. In my daily medical practice I teach my patients that healthy intestines are a “university of immunology” and health comes from the stomach. I would like this knowledge to become universal across Poland.

Dear Reader, take your time to consider two questions to finish off now.

Firstly, do you know how (through lifestyle changes and supplementation) to improve your immune system?

Secondly, are you going to turn this theoretical knowledge into action?

Stay healthy!

Krzysztof Majdyło, MD

Krzysztof Majdyło is a medical doctor specializing primarily in the treatment of chronic diseases (e.g. Lyme disease), modern diagnostics, and personalized therapies supporting oncological treatment. He trained at the Hudson Valley Healing Arts Center in New York with Dr. Richard I. Horowitz, one of the most experienced ILADS physicians in the world. He is the owner and head of the medical team at St. Luke’s Clinic in Gdańsk, where the personalised approach to the patient developed at the Clinic complements other modern supplementation solutions.

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