COVID-19 Dietary Supplements and The Immune System

While the new COVID-19 spreads from one person to another, the fear of being infected is also spreading. And with it, the rumors about how to avoid it. In a healthy body, the virus will not have a way to develop freely. If we want to have the necessary strength to resist or overcome a SARS-CoV-2 infection, then we must strengthen our body. In particular, its defense network: the immune system.

While vitamins and other dietary supplements may not be the best answer, science has gathered a lot of information on what actually helps the immune system. "Eat fruit and vegetables. A balanced diet, monitored by a medical follow-up, ensures that the body has what it needs to fight an infection.

Exercising and sleeping well also have proven positive effects on the immune system. The recommendation is not: do something to avoid getting COVID-19. It is: do something to maintain your health.

Supplements are never a substitute for a balanced and healthy diet, says Dr. JoAnn Manson, professor of epidemiology at Harvard's TH Chan School of Public Health, mentioning in an article the multiple medical studies that support her claim. And they can distract us from a healthy lifestyle, practices that confer far greater benefits,  Manson adds. There are medical conditions that put people at high risk for nutritional deficiencies, and there are diseases that can be prevented and treated with certain nutritional supplements. But how to consume them should be directed by a health professional, who will say who needs what and where to buy a supplement.

In short, there are no pills, supplements and vitamins that help us have an adequate immune response. And a good immune response also does not ensure that our body will be able to resist the tangle of symptoms that SARS-CoV-2 brings. Consuming vitamins is not bad as long as a doctor prescribes them, but the best way to prevent infection has been clear since the beginning of the pandemic. Distancing yourself from people, washing your hands and not touching your face is, for now, the best thing we can do to protect ourselves from this coronavirus.

In summary

Since the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic and the beginning of the confinement, the daily feeding took more space. To the rules and procedures in the handling and preparation of food at home, safe shopping and frequent washing was added the role of diet and nutrition in the immune system.

The nutritional status and the immune system, as well as the predisposition to acquire infections, are factors that are related. This is why undernourished people are at higher risk of viral and bacterial infections.

Conversely, chronic or severe infections have an impact on people's nutritional status. Hence, the importance of maintaining a good diet during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Medical experience with other chronic conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes, even people living with HIV or other immunocompromised conditions, suggests that a good quality diet and multivitamin supplementation could help reduce the risk of developing COVID-19.

Products that claim to stimulate or "support" the immune system are generally divided into vitamin and probiotic formulations.

There is some truth to the idea that vitamins can help immunity. Vitamins can prevent disease and other health problems, but only in severely malnourished people, but not in the average adult. Therefore, vitamin formulations will do little to help you be healthy if you are already healthy.

When it comes to probiotics, there is also some truth to the idea that bacteria and organisms that live in your gut can play a role in your health.

But the truth is that there is still not enough evidence of how to use these dietary supplements to correct problems and alleviate diseases. Meanwhile, a balanced, complete and varied daily diet remains the most important thing in any case.

There is still no specific treatment for the disease, there is still no cure, so they continue to experiment with different therapies according to the evolution of each patient. Certain supplements are being investigated to determine their effectiveness against COVID-19. They are being investigated as preventive therapies and as treatment in combination with various drugs. It is true that you cannot exceed your maximum level of defense, but with correct supplementation you can raise your defenses to stay at that 100%.

The most used supplements so far are:

Vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin A, Quercithin, Mixtures of medicinal mushrooms; especially cordyceps and reishi, Melatonin, Glutathione, Thymosin Alpha Peptide 1

If you are interested in knowing which ones can help you specifically, contact a specialist who will offer you a personalized suggestion.

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