Let’s face it, coronavirus is at the top of just about everyone’s mind at the moment. Unfortunately that means a lot of unscrupulous people are taking advantage of those concerns by selling at best untested, and at worst outright nonsensical, cures and treatments. We’re here to tell what the science actually says about supplements and how they interact with your immune system, along with what may help, and what won’t help.
Let’s start with the bad news: there is no supplement out there proven to help reduce the chances you catch the coronavirus, or proven to help reduce its symptoms or its duration. But to be fair, why would there be? COVID-19 is a brand new virus, previously undocumented in humans. It’s not even known what species the virus originated in! It’s not possible to study a virus, and what helps fight it, when you don’t even know it exists.
While there are no supplements with clinical data showing they can help with coronavirus, there are some supplements that show promise in terms of proven antiviral capabilities. Zinc and ginseng both have shown antiviral capabilities in clinical trials against multiple families of viruses. In contrast, elderberry, which is very popular during flu season as it appears to help against influenza, has not been shown effective against other viral families. Vitamin C, which is even more touted as a flu defense, has not held up to renewed study, and is unlikely to have any effect. There are a variety of other natural ingredients that have been used for immune support, largely for influenza, including dandelion, garlic, and oregano, but clinical support is lacking at best for these.
While things like ginger and dandelion won’t cause you any damage, there are some purported immune boosters that very well might. While colloidal silver may eventually prove to be an effective antiviral agent, the research is in its very early stages, and results indicate that there is significant complexity involved in where it will work (its antiviral effects only working when the silver nanoparticles are at a specific size, and only for specific viruses). That said, silver builds up in your body over time, and taking it excessively can cause serious damage. Long story short, there’s a reason Jim Bakker is being sued for his colloidal silver “cure”.
Your best defense is the same as it always is: eat healthy, get your rest, and wash your hands. Take whatever social distancing you can, because COVID-19 is highly contagious even when you’re not showing symptoms. Catch up on your Netflix or binge the HBO series you’ve been putting off, and take some time. Maybe even tell your friends about our awesome new Before You Drink gummies, and win some free gummies for yourself.