Coronavirus: Does ‘boosting’ your immune system really help fight off COVID-19? – Newshub

Does strong immunity help you fight off COVID-19?

COVID-19 is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Just like any foreign bug, the body will defend itself against the invader. Strong immunity is built on a healthy gut microbiome and an army of white blood cells. If someone is consuming a healthy diet based on an array of fruits, vegetables and wholefoods (foods in their whole and unprocessed form - e.g. a potato instead of fries), the immune system should be better-equipped to fight off the virus - or any illness, according to the Heart Foundation.

Hence, maintaining healthy immune function cannot be achieved by scoffing chips, biscuits and packaged dinners every day, "balanced" by a probiotic, Berocca and lemon water. It's built through a healthy lifestyle.

Vitamin C is widely touted for its immunity benefits, but if you're consuming enough fruit and veg, a supplement is unnecessary. Scientists in China are currently looking into whether ultra-high doses of vitamin C can help COVID-19 patients fight infection, but results will not be available until later this year.

In the meantime, the daily recommended intake can be achieved through citrus fruits, capsicum and greens such as broccoli and spinach. Unlike a pure vitamin C supplement, these foods also contain other vitamins and minerals that play an important part in keeping your immune system strong.

There are also three tried and trusted methods to supporting your immune system - reducing stress, getting enough sleep and exercising regularly.

Kombucha tastes great, it's trendy and there are a number of options on the market that are relatively inexpensive. However, it's not a magic tonic - and drinking it by the litre is not going to ward off COVID-19.

Like probiotics, kombucha contains live microorganisms. However, no studies have ever confirmed whether the drink has a high enough concentration to be considered a probiotic, and there is currently no evidence that kombucha can treat or prevent any illnesses.

To strengthen one's gut health and immunity, a far more pragmatic bet is opting for probiotic foods such as plain, unsweetened yoghurt, which is full of live cultures, and fermented products such as kefir and sauerkraut.

"There is no evidence to suggest that supplements labelled as immune-boosting such as green tea, zinc, elderberry or echinacea will provide any protection against COVID-19. Its more important to have a healthy lifestyle overall," Hursthouse wrote.

However, a vitamin D supplement can prove useful, particularly in parts of the world where sunshine is limited. Several studies have linked low vitamin D levels to a higher risk of respiratory infections. Vitamin D deficiencies are fairly common, and can be discovered through a blood test.

But again, if there isn't a deficiency, a supplement is not entirely necessary. As BBC Future reported in 2016, vitamin supplements typically don't provide any benefits in already healthy people.

And of course, prevention is always a good place to start. To minimise your chances of contracting COVID-19, follow the Ministry of Health's guidelines:

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Coronavirus: Does 'boosting' your immune system really help fight off COVID-19? - Newshub

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