Any substance is considered effective only after rigorous testing through randomised clinical trials with Covid-19 patients, and additional laboratory analyses. The substances that are merely propagated on social media or claims of company or advised by quacks will not help and merely remain as part of immunity business. They provide a false hope and thereby earn money because of fear in the minds of masses.
As there is no definite treatment or prevention against Covid-19, people need to depend upon their own body resistance and preventive strategies. There are advisory in respected papers about the same in The Hindustan times and The Wall Street Journal, that may be helpful.
Scientists bust myths about ‘immunity-boosting’ substances in fighting Covid-19
Indian scientists on Thursday released a statement against the promotion of “immunity-boosting substances” to protect oneself from being infected with the novel coronavirus. Citing lack of scientific evidence, scientists said consuming mustard oil or tea, homaeopathic solutions or ayurvedic preparations, or modern medicines like hydroxychloroquine that are claimed to provide either immunity or cure “do not provide any known and/or validated protection against Covid-19”.
Additionally, drinking cow urine, wearing talismans, exposure to ultraviolet light or injecting disinfectants are harmful to the human body, while excess consumption of supplements such as zinc or datura seeds can prove to be fatal.
Aniket Sule, astrophysicist at Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education and one of the signatories, said, “Since the beginning of Covid-19 epidemic, several statements have propagated ‘immunity-boosting’ substances. Some assertions were also supported by a few government functionaries at the Centre and in various states; and we, therefore, wanted to place scientific facts in the public domain.”
The most severe cases of Covid-19 are made worse by an overreaction of the immune system. So trying to boost general immunity using untested methods may be risky.”
Facts (and Myths) About Boosting Your Immune System
It’s crucial to stay healthy as the threat of coronavirus spreads. Here are the best strategies.
As the new coronavirus continues to spread across the country, having an optimally functioning immune system is more important than ever.
Medical professionals say it is important not to rush to buy supplements and vitamins that promise to enhance your immune system; there isn’t much evidence that such products do any good. Instead, they say, stick with the more mundane, but proven, approaches:
- Keep your stress levels down.It’s a bit of a vicious cycle, of course: The more you stress about the virus, the more likely you are to suffer from it. “Stress can certainly hurt your immune system,” says Morgan Katz, an assistant professor of infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins University. “Do not panic, try to minimize stress.”
Andrew Diamond, chief medical officer of One Medical, a nationwide network of primary-care providers, says the stress hormone cortisol turns off cells in your immune system. He recommends engaging in activities that people find relaxing, such as meditation.
- Exercise.Low- and moderate-intensity exercise naturally lowers cortisol levels and helps with immune-system function, says Dr. Diamond. One Medical recommends 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a day. If you’re apprehensive about germs in the gym, walk or run outside.
But it is important not to go overboard. A recent study found high-performance athletes have an increased risk of infection, says Elizabeth Bradley, medical director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine. “Exercise helps boost the immune system, but we have to be careful not to overexercise because it can weaken your immune system,” she says.
- Get adequate sleep.For adults, that means getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night. Children should get more, depending on their age.
- Make sure your vaccines are up-to-date, especially the flu vaccine.
- Eat plenty of plain yogurt every day.“It’s really an easy way to boost your probiotics and help support your microbiome,” Dr. Katz says. “It helps to support the good bacteria that live in your body, which help to fight bad bacteria or viruses.”
Dr. Katz also suggests avoiding antibiotics unless you must take them because they deplete the good bacteria in the system, leaving you more vulnerable to other infections.
Other foods that can help support the microbiome include garlic, onion, ginger, sauerkraut and fermented foods, says Dr. Bradley.
Watch your diet. Stick to a healthful, balanced diet filled with lots of colorful fruits and vegetables to ensure you’re getting enough zinc and vitamin D and other important vitamins and minerals. Most experts say you should be able to get enough of these vitamins and minerals through your diet, and extra supplementation isn’t necessary. But because vitamin D deficiency is relatively common, experts do recommend supplementation if levels are low.
Dr. Bradley recommends eating lots of dark green, leafy vegetables and berries, as well as nuts and seeds, and to minimize foods with sugar and trans fats, which aren’t as nutrient-dense.
Your immune system needs fuel, so avoid ultralow-carbohydrate diets, experts say. In addition, drink lots of water and reduce alcohol consumption, which can disrupt your sleep.
- Stop smoking or vaping.Smokers and those with respiratory disease have a higher rate of serious illness and complications from coronavirus. “Anything that is challenging to your lungs is going to work in the wrong direction,” says Dr. Diamond.