Dr Jenna Macciochi joins me this week to discuss everything related to the immune system, why we get ill and how to stay healthy. Jenna is an expert on immune systems, with over twenty years experience in the field. She is also a Mum of twins and understands the added challenges of parenting when we ourselves are unwell- so it was a pleasure to learn more about what we can do to stay healthy more of the time.

Jenna has an accessible and clear way of explaining the topic, whilst also being rooted in a depth of evidence-based scientific expertise, which made this a fascinating discussion. She also shares her personal experience and provides applicable and practical tips to have the best immune system we can.

Jenna gives detailed insight into the four pillars of immune system health; movement, rest, stress and nutrition.

We chat about-

  • Her path to developing a fascination and career in the field of immunology, and what drives her passion today. Jenna explains how her curiosity as a child into all things health and disease related, led her to dedicating herself to understanding everything about the immune system

  • Movement for a healthy immune system, and why it is so important. Jenna shares that certain parts of the immune system are reliant on movement and our muscles to work, and the vital importance of keeping our muscle moving to the health of our immune system. Jenna explains how our muscles actually produce molecules that work to stop a crucial gland linked to our immune system from shrinking.

  • Rest and sleep, and why it is so crucial for fighting viruses due to its healing and restorative effects. We discuss the pivotal role of Circadian Rhythms, and how eighty percent of our immune system is under Circadian Rhythm control. Jenna gives insight into how to support our immune systems when getting poor or broken sleep, including the impact blue light can have.

  • Stress and how it impacts on our immune system, and what we can do to counter stress hormones which make us ill. Jenna clearly explains how stress and the immune system are linked, and the role our evolution has had. She gives practical guidance to stopping stress impacting on our immunity, including the power of giving your life a positive narrative.

  • Nutrition and the three elements we should focus on for our immune system. Jenna describes why fibre, phytonutrients and fats are essential to immune health. She explains exactly which foods we can find these in and how they impact on our immune system. We also talk about why a plant based diet may have positive effects on our immune system.

Interesting questions I ask Dr Jenna;

5:22 ‘Is it true that some people have good immune systems and some people have bad immune systems, and what can we do to keep that system in regulation?’

19:38 ‘What does rest give us, and how can we get better sleep, and what can we do when we are feeling tired to feel more energised again?’

25:15 ‘What can we do to support our immune system whilst we are getting this broken, unnatural sleep?’

38:49 ‘What can we do to counter this cortisol, as you described, constantly in our bodies, which is making us ill’

51:00 ‘Should we sterilise everything, and follow our babies around with Dettol? What’s your view on that?’

Jenna can be found at:


IG: dr_jenna_macciochi

This episode was supported by MORi - www.babymori.com

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