COVID-19 is an illness that has so far infected more than 242 million people around the world, killing 5 million. It has caused major disruptions in every aspect of society. Businesses were not permitted to open, millions of workers lost their jobs, students could only attend classes online, and court hearings turned into virtual meetings. The virus, which was only detected under two years ago, has wreaked havoc in everyone’s lives.  

The fear of the virus has made the public a little more conscious of their own health. Aside from social distancing and wearing a mask, people have taken steps toward improving their physical well-being to prevent infection.

The Products That Claim to Prevent COVID-19

The concern over COVID-19 has created a demand for products that claim to boost one’s immune system to fight infection. And many businesses are taking advantage of it. In the past year, vitamin supplements, herbal medicine, nutritional drinks, and essential oils were introduced. Each claimed that, by taking it every day, the body would be strong enough to prevent infection or avoid being sick enough to go to the hospital if you catch the virus.

Earlier this year, Good Crisp Co. introduced new cheddar cheese balls that contain ingredients that, the label claims, strengthen the immune system. It is not alone. According to reports, over 300 marketers have launched new products that vow to provide immune system support during the pandemic. Nearly 400 food and beverages were launched in the first half of this year alone.

This trend is nothing new. Back in the 20th Century, at the height of the 1918 flu pandemic, Vick’s Vaporub released an advert that instructed the public how Spanish influenza could be treated. Among its recommendations included not speaking, taking a laxative, and, of course, applying its mentholated ointment all over.

Is It All Marketing?

The truth is, the immune system is quite complex. Experts claim that many of these products are bogus because, in reality, the immune system cannot be boosted, nor would you want to.

Your immune system is already fine-tuned to fight viruses, bacteria, and parasites. If you successfully “boost” your immune function, it will not just attack foreign invaders in your body but also launch an offensive against your body’s healthy tissues. This is how autoimmune diseases happen.

Autoimmune diseases include diabetes, lupus, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. Those who have it often experience a litany of symptoms such as fatigue, swollen glands, recurring fever, digestive issues, joint pain, and skin problems.

Autoimmune diseases affect around 23.5 million people in the United States.

Maintaining a Balance

People need to not boost or strengthen the body’s immune response but to maintain the balance. There are reasons why that balance tips toward a hyperactive immune response and an underactive or weakened immune system.

An illness can disrupt that balance. HIV, for example, is known to weaken the immune system. It makes them more prone to infections. Restoring the immune function, therefore, requires the patient to seek medical treatment from a doctor. They can also go to a wellness center to supplement ongoing recovery with personalized programs to improve overall health and well-being.

Any product that claims to boost the immune system is a waste of money and, likely, only offers a placebo effect. All you need to do to maintain a healthy and well-balanced immune system is adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Consume a diet that will give you an ample dose of vitamins and minerals that your body needs to be in tip-top condition. Vitamins A, C, and D, in particular, are essential for optimal immune function. Zinc, too, is good for the immune system. You can take these nutrients in supplement form, but if you have a balanced diet, your body is already getting a varied and the right amount of vitamins and minerals.

Studies have also found that fiber and probiotics may help counteract inflammation and allow the body to heal from infection quicker. Fiber is found in fruits and vegetables. Meanwhile, probiotics are in fermented products such as kimchi, kombucha, yogurt, and kefir.

In addition, you also need to exercise regularly. Working out boosts blood circulation, stimulating the immune system.

The immune system protects the body from illness by destroying germs before it causes an infection. In the past year, many products have been released to boost immune function. However, all you need to do to support the immune system is adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and regular exercise.