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The (immune health) good and bad of Halloween

Posted Oct 28 2011 5:12pm

Just two more days and it’s Halloween. I’m going to a party tonight. My costume is a black long-sleeve t-shirt and blue jeans: I’m going as Steve Jobs.  In my view there are two things about Halloween, and all the October activity the comes before it, that can impact your immune health. One can be good. The other is always bad.

The Good. Short bursts of getting scared. If you’re into watching scary movies or going through a haunted house, that quick-hitting fright can actually help your immune health . It gives your immune system a quick “wind sprint,” helping to keep it primed and ready should it need to kick in again for something really important. It’s the “fight or flight” immune response.

The Bad. Alcohol and sugar. Halloween parties with too much booze, and eating your kids’ Halloween candy (or your own stash you’ve been keeping) can harm your immune function. Unless you’re sipping a glass or two of red wine at a party and nothing more, a lot of alcohol can depress immune response. And processed sugar is always bad.

So have a great time this weekend. Watching Paranormal Activity 3 with a glass of Chianti is great. But don’t overdo it.

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