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How to Prevent & Treat Colds & Flu

Huberman Lab

Scicomm Media

Science, Life Sciences, Health & Fitness

4.923.3K Ratings

🗓️ 8 January 2024

⏱️ 126 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript


In this episode, I explain the biology of the common cold and flu (influenza) and how the immune system combats these infections. I describe behavior, nutrition and supplementation-based tools supported by peer-reviewed research to enhance immune system function and better combat colds and flu. I also dispel common myths about how the cold and flu are transmitted and when you and those around you are contagious. I explain if common preventatives and treatments such as vitamin C, zinc, vitamin D and echinacea work. I also highlight other compounds known to reduce contracting and duration of colds and flu. I discuss how to use exercise and sauna to bolster the immune response. This episode will help listeners understand how to reduce the chances of catching a cold or flu and help people recover more quickly from and prevent the spread of colds and flu. For show notes, including referenced articles and additional resources, please visit hubermanlab.com. Thank you to our sponsors AG1: https://drinkag1.com/huberman Joovv: https://joovv.com/huberman Helix Sleep: https://helixsleep.com/huberman ROKA: https://roka.com/huberman InsideTracker: https://insidetracker.com/huberman Momentous: https://livemomentous.com/huberman Timestamps (00:00:00) Avoid Colds & Flu (00:01:58) Sponsors: Joovv, Helix Sleep & ROKA (00:06:00) Common Cold: Source & Transmission; Cold Temperature Myth (00:13:48) Spreading a Cold; Symptoms & Contagious Myths (00:17:43) Flu Virus & Transmission; Flu Shots (00:23:56) Tools: Injections & Safety; Charting Health Trends & Sickness (00:27:16) Sponsor: AG1 (00:28:44) Spreading Cold & Flu, Symptoms (00:30:43) Immune System, Physical Barriers (00:39:33) Tool: Social Connection & Touch, Avoiding Flu & Cold (00:45:14) Innate Immune System (00:53:13) Sponsor: InsideTracker (00:54:15) Adaptive Immune System; Lymphatic System (01:00:19) Tools: Enhance Innate Immune System (01:06:19) Tool: Microbiome & Nasal Breathing (01:10:58) Tools: Enhance Gut Microbiome: Foods & Water Protocol (01:16:13) Exercise When Feeling Sick?, Sleep (01:21:39) Tool: Exercise & Preventing Sickness (01:28:13) Exercise When Sleep Deprived? (01:32:24) Tool: Exercise Recovery & Carbohydrates (01:34:52) Tool: Sauna & Enhance Immune System (01:42:20) Supplements: Vitamin C, Vitamin D (01:50:58) Echinacea, Zinc (01:55:08) N-acetylcysteine (NAC), Decongestants (02:03:42) Zero-Cost Support, Spotify & Apple Reviews, YouTube Feedback, Sponsors, Momentous, Social Media, Neural Network Newsletter Title Card Photo Credit: Mike Blabac Disclaimer

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Welcome to the Huberman Lab Podcast, where we discuss science and science-based tools for everyday life.


I'm Andrew Huberman and I'm a professor of neurobiology and ophthalmology at Stanford School of Medicine.


Today we are discussing colds and flus.


We will talk about what a cold really is and what a flu really is in terms of how they impact your brain and body.


And of course we will discuss how to avoid getting colds and flus.


There are indeed some excellent science-supported techniques


to avoid getting colds and flus. But of course it is impossible to completely


avoid ever getting a colder flu in your lifetime. So we also discuss how to more quickly


get over a colder flu should you happen to catch one.


So during today's discussion I'll talk about the immune system.


I'll give you some mechanistic understanding of how your immune system works and


I promise to make that discussion accessible to everybody


regardless of whether or not you have a background in biology and with that


understanding of how your immune system works you will be in a much better


position to understand which tools that is which protocols to implement should


you be exposed to a cold or flu or if you are trying to get over a cold or flu more quickly


than you would otherwise. You'll learn about some potent


behavioral tools for bolstering your immune system and we will also discuss various


compounds that you might consider taking to enhance the function of your immune


system to ward off or treat colds and


flus. I will also be dispelling a number of common myths about treatments for the common


cold and for the flu. There are oh so many ideas out there about what one could take or do in


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