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Debunking immune-boosting myths

Can taking Vitamin C supplements really prevent you from getting sick?

NORFOLK, Va. — We hear the expression “boost your immune system” a lot.

For some people, that boost is expected to come from things like vitamins or health drinks. Can they really help us that much?

Let’s take Vitamin C supplements, for example. While Vitamin C is incredibly important for our health, the truth is, unless you’re deficient in Vitamin C there’s no real evidence that shows taking big doses of it prevents you from getting sick. You can also get your recommended daily dose from even small amounts of fruits or vegetables, anyway.

It’s also believed that eating higher amounts of garlic can give your body a preventative boost. This one also lacks scientific evidence, at least on humans.

And add to that, other popular antibacterial foods like honey, coconut oil or chicken soup: yes, they do a great job soothing us, and there is evidence they can help with certain things like inflammation. Enjoy them, but you shouldn’t consider them a defense against viruses.

So what should we do to strengthen our systems?

There’s no magic solution. The simple answer is exercise, eat healthy, get enough sleep, and manage your stress.

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