Can supplements help to boost one’s immunity?

Monday September 28 2020
By Dr Paul Kasenene

Should we use supplements to boost our immunity against Covid-19? – Albert

Dear Albert,
The best way to keep our immunity strong is to use natural approaches. These include:
•Eating a diet high in natural, whole, organic and unprocessed plant foods with particular emphasis on vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds and herbs and spices. Particularly useful foods include sukuma wiki, broccoli, mushrooms, citrus fruits, green tea, orange foods as well as spices such as ginger, garlic, cinnamon and turmeric.
● Avoiding refined sugar, sugar-rich foods and drinks such as soda, cakes, doughnuts ice cream, deep-fried foods, processed meats such as sausages and other toxic substances such as alcohol.
●Getting regular physical activity and exercise with a target of at least 30 minutes on most days and at least 3 hours a week.
●Getting enough rest and sleep, ideally seven to eight hours of continuous sleep each night.
●Staying hydrated and drinking lots of water. 
●Reducing stress levels.
However, in times of increased susceptibility to infections, a supplement to boost the immunity for two to three months is a good idea. 

For example, if you have a chronic condition such as diabetes, chronic asthma, hypertension, if the pathogen we are worried about is quite harmful such as Covid-19, or if one is undergoing extreme stress.

 The nutrients most important for boosting immune health include zinc, selenium, vitamin C, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. Consider using these for a short period of time to give your immunity that added boost and then endeavour to use more natural methods to stay healthy. 

Other useful supplements include probiotics (good beneficial bacteria) as well as those that contain immune-boosting herbs such as elderberry, curcumin or aloe vera.


However, if you have any medical condition or are on chronic medication, please consult your doctor, or someone informed about nutritional supplements before starting on these.