Can dietary supplements protect against viruses and cure infections??

Plate with pills, tablets, tomato slices and lettuce leaves

The Internet is currently full of such information: Garlic, medicinal water, turmeric, coconut oil, thyme tea, sauerkraut or pomegranate are said to protect against Sars-CoV-2 or even cure an infection with the virus, while the intake of gluten makes the body more susceptible to viruses. Some dietary supplement manufacturers also advertise that taking their products can ward off viruses.

However, such claims are unfortunately nothing more than just that! The currently rampant corona virus is still new and there is currently no scientific evidence that certain plants, foods, vitamins or minerals can be used as effective agents against the virus.

Quite apart from this, dietary supplements must not be used to cure or treat illnesses.

Advertising claims for food or dietary supplements that relate to health but have not been proven and explicitly approved, such as the supposed effect against viruses or in the case of Covid-19, are prohibited in the EU.

Hands off chemicals

In addition to foods touted as cures, not exactly harmless "tips" against the coronavirus can be found on the net, for example, the use of chemicals such as chlorine dioxide solution (CDL). This is a disinfectant used for bleaching textiles. The ingestion is harmful to health and therefore such experiments are strongly discouraged!

CBD oil, beestings or vital mushrooms – no scientific evidence whatsoever

So-called Biestmilch, i.e. the first milk of cows, or vital mushrooms are also touted as true "immune bombs". But beware! Scientific proofs to these advertising messages are missing also here! Especially the effectiveness of Biestmilch on respiratory diseases is difficult to understand. The antibodies contained in the first milk are not absorbed in the intestine and therefore cannot reach the lungs.

CBD oil is actually neither as life nor as food auxiliary means permitted,, but the rumor mill bubbles also here! For example, CBD is said to boost the immune system and can thus assist in the treatment and prevention of viral diseases. Scientific studies and evidence? Missing indication!

Protection from the virus: Wash your hands and keep your distance

At present, there is neither a vaccine against Sars-CoV-2, nor medications that are directly tailored to the treatment of an infection with the virus.

Sensible measures that can protect against infection with the virus are still regular hand washing with soap for at least 20 seconds, keeping a distance from other people (at least 1.5 to 2 meters) and avoiding social contact to a large extent – especially handshaking and hugging. When using public transport or shopping, wearing a mouth-nose protection is advised.

Living rooms and lounges should be aired several times a day and the face, especially eyes, nose and mouth, should not be touched with fingers as much as possible.

Strengthen defenses against the coronavirus

In the case of an infection with the Sars-CoV-2 virus, only the body’s own immune system can currently do anything. To support this and be well prepared for an infection, exercise in the fresh air, some sun rays on the skin to boost the body’s vitamin D production (use sun protection! See also info in the link!) and a balanced diet is essential.

Studies suggest that many vitamins and minerals may influence the immune system and contribute to normal immune function, such as vitamin C, vitamin D, folate, vitamin A, vitamin B12, selenium, iron and zinc.

These nutrients are found in a wide variety of foods, for example, vitamin D in fatty lake fish, vitamin C in potatoes and peppers, folate in spinach, lamb’s lettuce or kale, vitamin A in carrots, tomatoes or wheat, vitamin B12 in turkey or milk, selenium in as little as two to three Brazil nuts, iron in beet and legumes or zinc in fish and oatmeal. Well combined and varied, the body receives all the necessary nutrients it needs for a functioning immune system.

Only in rare cases are dietary supplements actually necessary, such as the administration of vitamin B12 for vegetarians or vegans or vitamin D in the sunless months between October and April. In general, the use of dietary supplements should always be discussed with a doctor in advance.

Also, care should be taken to drink regularly and sufficiently. Caffeine- and sugar-free beverages such as water or herbal and fruit teas are recommended. Viruses can settle particularly well on dry mucous membranes.

Also a sufficient sleep affects positively the immune system. Permanent stress, on the other hand, however, reduces the body’s defenses. In order to prevent this, it is important to take breaks from everyday life to relax, such as taking a walk or reading a book.(They)

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