Since the news broke about the Coronavirus, there has been a rise in ad’s for “immune boosting” products. Tea’s, powders, pills, citrus blends..we all know what I’m talking about. When the media creates hysteria around a virus, we all go crazy and do anything, and everything we can to prevent it. I’m here to call BS on these claims, and explain why “boosting” your immune system might not be the best idea. But first, let’s chat about how your immune system actually works.
The immune system’s job is to defend your body against disease by fighting infection and it has many working parts: white blood cells, antibodies, the spleen, the thymus and lymphatic system. These cells and organs operate together to find and destroy dangerous pathogens, such as viruses, that enter your body.
A “boost” in that automated process wouldn’t be a the best idea
Realistically, it would mean your immune system was overactive, and overactive immune systems lead to autoimmune disorders. You actually want your immune system to function normally, so it helps prevent infection, no more no less.
Although it is true some parts of your immune system require vitamins and minerals (such as vitamins A, C and zinc) to function normally, higher doses have not been shown to make the system function better.
So what can we actually do to protect ourselves from the Coronavirus? Nutritionally speaking.
If you consume a diet filled with enough protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, you shouldn’t need any of the supplements being marketed around coronavirus. Vegetables and fruits are especially important; choose a colorful array; apples, strawberries, leafy greens, oranges, peppers, carrots — will provide vitamins A and C, which both play important roles in immune function.
But if taking your vitamin C or some other supposed immune boosting supplement makes you feel good, go ahead! It’s more of a placebo effect, but who cares? We all reach for the citrus packets when we feel the sniffles coming #DontLie