As coronavirus cases continue to rise across the country, you are probably doing everything possible to prevent from being infected with the virus, and you may have seen headlines about "boosting your immunity" - but is this even possible? The Doctors break it down.
There are many claims that various foods, vitamin supplements, and trendy wellness activities can supercharge someone's immune system, but according to the BBC and Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, this is not actually possible.
The BBC writes, "The idea that pills, trendy superfoods or wellness habits can provide a shortcut to a healthy immune system is a myth. In fact, the concept of 'boosting' your immune system doesn’t hold any scientific meaning whatsoever."
Immunologist Dr. Suzanne Cassel explains many people think having a "strong" immune system is what's best for someone's body, but she notes, "You actually don't want your immune system to be stronger, you want it to be balanced... too much of an immune response is just as bad as too little response." Cedars continues, "Dr. Cassel says most of the things people take to boost their immune system, such as vitamins or supplements, don't have any effect on your immune response."
Both Cedars and the BCC explain that unless someone is deficient in a certain vitamin that taking supplements is not beneficial to your immune system. The BBC notes the exception may be vitamin D, as low levels of this vitamin may lead "to a higher risk of respiratory infections" and because many people across the globe are not getting enough vitamin D, taking this supplement may be beneficial.
So are there any steps someone cane take to help an immune system? Yes, and they are easy to accomplish and you might be doing them already.
Dr. Cassel suggests, "Exercise, eating a healthy diet and getting enough sleep are beneficial," and she adds that health issues like diabetes, obesity, and smoking can also interfere with someone's immune system.
Yale University immunologist Dr. Akiko Iwasaki concurs, telling the BBC, "Get enough sleep, exercise, eat a balanced diet, and try not to be stressed."
If you believe you are vitamin deficient please consult with your doctor, and if you are looking for a drink that is full of healthy vitamins, The Doctors have a recipe for you in the video below.