It’s that time of year again where colds and flus become the bane of everyone’s life and you try everything to shake off the sniffles, so this week, I’m focusing on setting the facts straight before you spend a fortune when faced with an aisle of bottles claiming to “boost” or ” support” your immune system.
- Vitamin C will not help – studies using over 10,000 people showed no benefit against colds in those who take vitamin C supplements contrary to what we’ve always been told
- Garlic supplements have an unclear benefit
- Ginseng does not significantly reduce incidence of colds
- Echinacea has no benefit
Scientifically speaking, there’s no such thing as “boosting” your immunity and no specific food ingredient (whether it’s herbal or not) has been proven to prevent catching colds. No one even knows what specific mix of cells can optimise our immunity so there’s still a lot to be discovered before the claim “boost/supports immunity” is ACTUALLY backed up.
What CAN be beneficial to increase your immunity to infections and illnesses:
- Zinc supplements (particularly if you’re deficient / have low intakes of vegetables)
- Increasing your intake of probiotics
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Not smoking
- Having a healthy blood pressure
- Moderately consuming alcohol
- Exercising regularly
- Managing stress & watching your sleep patterns- high stress/ not enough sleep increase your risk of catching colds due to suppressing the immune system making you more vulnerable to illness
Above all, remember that flus and colds are spread through air particles and human contact so make a conscious effort to wash your hands more often. Moreover, never never ever take antibiotics for the common cold, not only will it not help it will also increase your resistance to the antibiotic for when you actually need it. Stay hydrated and wait it out for your body to do all the work (5-7 days) is literally the best approach.
You now know to be a bit more sceptical when it comes to products claiming to “boost” immunity, thanks for reading this weeks rant 🙂