A lot of products on the market claim to boost the immune system. No time is more pertinent than now with COVID-19. This is a very controversial topic as taking additional vitamins and minerals are unlikely to add any protection to viral infections. The mass media contains a lot of pseudoscience and unnecessary supplements. There appears to be no single “Silver Bullet” supplement that works for all. ¬†However we need to optimise our immune system during this critical time and take regular exercise, stop smoking, drink minimal alcohol and have a good sleep pattern to achieve this. Those with other co-morbid conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity need to be more careful. A healthy diet containing Citrus fruit for Vitamin C, Dairy for Vitamin D, Shellfish for Zinc and Berries for antioxidants will be beneficial. There is no scientific evidence that garlic, ginger and turmeric boost the immune system, but taking them will do no harm either. Trace elements that support the immune system include selenium, magnesium and copper.

Reference: Calder PC, Carr AC, Gombart AF, Eggersdorfer M: Optimal Nutritional Status for a Well-Functioning Immune System Is an Important Factor to Protect against Viral Infections; Nutrients, 2020, 12, 1181