One of the common misconceptions about vitamin supplements and other nutraceuticals is that they boost one's immunity | Representational image | Polina Tankilevitch | Pexels
One of the common misconceptions about vitamin supplements and other nutraceuticals is that they boost one's immunity | Representational image | Polina Tankilevitch | Pexels
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Bengaluru/New Delhi: With no scientifically established treatment for Covid-19 yet and a vaccine still in the trial stage, the buzzword during the past eight months has been ‘immune system’.

Since the coronavirus pandemic struck, over 6.5 lakh people have died across the world, while lakhs of others have been infected. Recovery in most cases has largely been reliant on the human body’s natural defence, the immune system.

Ayurvedic concoctions, fruit juices, vitamin pills, zinc tablets, hand sanitisers, face masks — despite the lockdown, the market has been flooded with an array of products that claim to boost one’s immunity.

Advertisers’ messages seem to indicate that the body’s natural defences can be strengthened or enhanced by the consumption of certain foods or the use of specific products. But can these products really protect you from Covid-19? Or, can functional food or nutraceuticals (dietary supplements) boost your immunity?

This is what the science says:


Also read: Reader View: ‘I am recovering from Covid, no immunity-boosting products have helped’


Can the immune system be ‘boosted’?

The short answer is no. Immunology experts say there is no way for healthy adults to improve their immunity through foods or products.

“Immunity is a much abused word that people do not fully understand. The immune system is very complex. These claims about boosting immunity are irrational and unscientific,” said Ram Vishwakarma, a noted immunologist and former director of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research’s Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine.

The immune system is activated by things in the body that the body doesn’t recognise as its own, such as bacteria, viruses or even particles that cause allergy, like pollen. Most pathogens have a surface protein on them that the immune system recognises as foreign. These are called antigens.

There are two kinds of immune responses in the human body. The innate immune response is the first to kick in and is common among all animals. It is non-specific and immune cells mount an immediate attack on antigens. The response is subsequently replaced by the adaptive immune response, which tailors defences based on the kind of pathogen that is being encountered.

The innate immune response consists of white blood cells like neutrophils, macrophages, and monocytes, while the adaptive response involves T cells and B cells, as well as antibodies.

The production of these cells and their mechanisms are controlled by cytokines, which are proteins that mediate signalling between immune cells. Their functioning and creation is not controlled or modulated or even improved by foods or products.

“Immunity is not one thing. There is a range of molecules and cells in the body that don’t do anything until they are triggered by some outside stimulus,” Satyajit Rath, immunologist at IISER Pune, told ThePrint.

If by saying that a person has low immunity, one is implying that there is not enough of these (cells and molecules) being produced by the body, by and large it is not true of any healthy adult, Rath said. “A deficiency in any of these leads to major childhood diseases. But in ordinarily healthy people, this is not a problem — so what exactly are we trying to boost?”

One of the consequences of stimulating or activating any of these components in the absence of an infection is inflammation, he added. Inflammation occurs when a site of infection or illness or cellular damage gets swollen, red, warm, sore, and painful.

Stimulated immune systems release pro-inflammatory cytokines in large numbers, which can cause soreness and pain. “So if someone says that they are boosting my immunity, I would be very worried,” said Rath.


Also read: Mishti, immunity kick or gimmick? Kolkata doesn’t care as ‘anti-Corona’ sweets are the rage


What builds an immune system

Meta analysis of studies and articles on the internet have found that the myth of “boosting immunity” is extremely pervasive. One such study found that of the 37 approaches that claimed to boost immunity, the top ones recorded were diet (77 per cent of webpages), fruit (69 per cent), vitamins (67 per cent), antioxidants (52 per cent), probiotics (51 per cent), minerals (50 per cent), and vitamin C (49 per cent). Interestingly, vaccines ranked 27th, with only 12 per cent of web pages mentioning them.

The root of one of the biggest misconceptions, which is that consuming more vitamins than required helps the immune system, was the speculative and incorrect theories put forth by pioneering chemist Linus Pauling.

While the double Nobel Laureate (Chemistry 1954, Peace 1962) excelled in his field of specialisation, he was criticised for his unproven theories on the immune system even during his time. Most notoriously, Pauling was directly responsible for the myth that Vitamin C can help prevent or cure colds.

It has been proven since, time and again, that mega-doses of Vitamin C or of any kind of vitamin are not effective on the body at all.

Another misconception doing the rounds is that zinc tablets can play a role in mitigating Covid-19. However, this isn’t backed by evidence either.

“Zinc is not an immunity booster. It is an essential mineral for the body which is a ‘cofactor’ for a large number of proteins and enzymes,” Vishwakarma said.

Like zinc, vitamin C is also a cofactor, and is important for the body to function.

In biochemistry, cofactors are non-proteins and can be thought of as helper molecules. They are usually a compound or a metallic ion that is required for an enzyme to act. Cofactors are catalysts — a substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction — to many of the body’s essential functions.

“If you have a deficiency of these essential micronutrients, you will face a problem,” Vishwakarma said. But, if a person does not have any such deficiency, an excess amount of the vitamin molecules in the body does not improve one’s chances of fighting off a virus.

“Earlier, when famines were rampant, zinc and vitamin C deficiencies used to be common. Now (they are) rare as both are found in many food sources,” said Sunil K Noothi, a former postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Pathology at University of Alabama in Birmingham.

Unless someone is starving or following an extreme diet depleted of nutrients, zinc and vitamin C deficiencies are rare, he added.

Micronutrient deficiencies are prevalent in India, iron and iodine deficiencies most of all. For such deficiencies, doctors diagnose and prescribe supplements. However, restoring the levels of micronutrients in the body through supplements takes time and will not provide an immediate protection from Covid-19.

An extremely “boosted” immune system, in the context of no scientific definition for ‘boosting’, can also be problematic.

In severe Covid-19 cases, the body launches an aggressive immune response resulting in the release of a large amount of pro-inflammatory proteins. This is known as a cytokine storm and is one of the common causes of death in Covid-19 patients.

A cytokine storm occurs when the body’s immune system goes into an overdrive, killing healthy cells and causing organ failures. Several research studies suggest that the cytokine storm causes lung injury and multi-organ failure.

“Why would anyone want to boost the immune system when the culprit behind Covid-19 fatalities is the overactive immune system?” Noothi pointed out.


Also read: T Cells – the unsung immune warriors that takeover after coronavirus antibodies wane


Consumer capitalism adds to the myth

If immunity cannot be improved, and there are immunocompromised individuals or those who are susceptible to infections, how do they stay safe in a pandemic caused by a highly infectious virus that spreads invisibly?

The most effective way is by keeping our communities safe, said Rath.

“In the community approach, we invest as a community in public hygiene. We have known this for years that public hygiene — separating sewage from drinking water, providing clean air, providing adequate nutrition — are all ways of dealing with infectious disease in the community,” said the immunologist at IISER Pune.

However, most working class houses in India do not have this luxury of basic community hygiene. In the context of Covid-19, most households do not even have the space to maintain physical distancing during a pandemic.

Brands have become experts at exploiting this loophole, putting forth all kinds of miraculous substitutions. And here is where individual consumer capitalism kicks in, said Rath.

“The alternative is for each one of us to be able to buy individual protection. The verb ‘buy’ matters here, because this is about market forces. People are told that they don’t have to worry about community hygiene, instead the businesses sell you a product that they claim will specifically protect you from all sorts of diseases going around,” he said.

What this propagates is the idea that one can stop worrying about what happens in the community if one can afford some remedy that improves their individual and personal protection — that is what this business is all about, explained Rath.

Immunity boosting is a quintessential example of individual consumerism that a capitalistic society depends on, he added.

“The idea of boosting immunity has been around in the country for 30-35 years. It connects to the fact that as India opened up to the consumer market economy, and with that came the idea that ‘affordable’ medicines can boost personal immunity,” Rath said.

The idea is especially pervasive among unproven ‘natural’ remedies.

Agreeing, immunologist Vishwakarma said, “There may be a lot of drug-drug interactions. If people are consuming modern medicines, and then also start consuming potentially medicinal herbs, we do not know (how) the components of the herb will interact with the drug. These unapproved medications have adverse effects on your kidney and liver.”

In light of the pandemic, it is not just foods but also products that have sprouted in the market that claim to boost immunity. This isn’t new either. Back in 1918, when the Spanish Flu was raging, companies jumped in on the opportunity to hail themselves as immunity boosting.

However, no products were ever proven to be effective in improving immune responses. There is also no conclusive, unequivocal clinical proof of efficacy for most nutraceuticals or “immunity boosting” foods, said Vishwakarma.


Also read: 92% of June medicine bills were immunity-boosters containing tulsi, honey, amla, says survey


Lifestyle is key

There are indeed processes that do affect our immune cells and improve their responses. The best one of them, perhaps, is exercise.

Exercise or intense physical activity results in cellular damage and induces an immune response, which floods sites of damage with immune cells. Many studies have shown that moderate exercise of less than 60 minutes can improve the circulation of anti-inflammatory cytokines, neutrophils, natural killer cells, T cells and B cells.

This can work effectively — not for combating diseases at a specific point in time, but to combat stress hormones in general, which can suppress immune cell function.

However, while the nature of these immune responses is transient, the selective response over a period of time can train a subset of immune cells to jump into action more effectively when needed. This would also increase immunosurveillance (monitoring for foreign bodies) in our system, especially among those who might be obese or suffer from lifestyle diseases like Type 2 diabetes and hypertension.

Proinflammatory cytokines do not reach high levels during moderate, short-duration exercise, but they can do so during high intensity exercise. Extremely high intensity exercise leads to a short duration of compromised immunity, increasing risk for disease in this time period. This is one of the reasons marathon runners or professional sports persons tend to catch a fever or cold in the days following a sporting event.

The immune system can also be compromised by many lifestyle habits such as smoking, which is known to affect T and B cells, among a host of other parameters.

Lifestyle diseases like Type 2 diabetes by themselves result in compromised immune systems. High blood glucose levels due to insufficient insulin results in an inflammatory response, which damages pancreatic cells and leads to hyperglycemia, which in turn causes dysfunction in immune response. This is why diabetic patients are particularly susceptible to other kinds of infections.

However, there currently exists no evidence of any consumable foods or topical use of products being able to induce an improvement in immune function. The only scientifically proven way to boost immunity, the immune system, and an immune response is through vaccinations.


Also read: Do masks help? Experts say even DIY masks are useful as Covid-19 is unrelenting


 

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33 Comments Share Your Views

33 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t think you are spreading right kind of knowledge by picking up a co ntro versial topic . You are mi s leading the general pub lic. Immune system is very complex and micro element are very much required for the system to function properly. Doct ors around the world are n ot fo o ls to prescribe them and neither is Ayurveda which has got thousands of years of back up knowledge behind every kada and grita. This is a proven knowledge. It is hugely scientific and beyond the s co pe of newspapers like yours.

  2. I don’t think you are spreading right kind of knowledge by picking up a controversial topic . You are misleading the general public. Immune system is very complex and micro element are very much required for the system to function properly. Doctors around the world are not fools to prescribe them and neither is Ayurveda which has got thousands of years of back up knowledge behind every kada and grita. This is a proven knowledge. It is hugely scientific and beyond the scope of newspapers like yours.

  3. Good article by the writers. Kudos to the print management for sponsoring such science journalism.

    Ignore those who rail against you. They don’t have any new knowledge to offer. They are greatly invested in their ancient traditions.

    Please try to do an article on the principles of the Scientific Method and proper scientific study designs. Indian public including many of those who have a science degree have no understanding of what a good scientific study is really.

  4. Bull crap. The best way to explain the author’s imagination with lots of words. How much did you get from pharma companies making ## virs..?. I can understand; How do you get funding for you?

  5. The article about immunity is very misleading. The author should do some research before making sweeping statements that there is no proof. All medical authorities are advising to boost immunity. There is proof about Zinc and there is proof for many of the herbal ingredients.

  6. Pretty is the word, and the pretty words are causing conflict.. why are things straying away from good intent, there is confusion and no more good faith.Frekin zombie bull crap.

  7. If immune boosters in food didn’t have any effect then all of us will be sick. There is innate immune IIT and adaptive immunity and humoral immunity. Not a very intelligent article

  8. seven immune boosting supplements have been nicely explained by fraser hamilton.echinacea works best during infections gives boost to wbc cells.

  9. So, everyone should take only pharmaceutical drugs. There is nothing called your body’s innate ability to fight disease? If someone is weak, malnourished then immunity can be compromised but vice versa is not true? This author needs to take some mental ability boosting fruits and veggies 🙂

  10. “LAKEER KA FAKEER” saying is perfectly valid for the authors of this article. Commonsense tells that if the concept of immunity is valid, there must be some foods that should enhance the immunity. The problem with some authors is that they believe in one sided arguments. For example they will claim that this or that is not effective in boosting immunity but won’t cite example of a test that proves that those formulations are not effective to boost immunity. All their argument are based on extrapolation of analogies of theories.

  11. Disappointed with the article. Leaves the reader no wiser but more confused.
    Headline seems to talk about ‘marketed booster foods’ but the article is meandering around with no built up on claims and facts, countering everybody else but offering only very high level generic recommendation (exercise is good, body working naturally, one-liners from some experts, passing reference to ‘one unnamed study’)
    I was hoping for a better researched and meaningful article than this from The Print.

  12. What on earth is the point of this article. I am a chemistry graduate myself and while an excess of vitamin supplements has no real benefit, your body needs vitamins. Supplements help, the excess is flushed out through the kidneys. Many have tried to debunk Pauling, mostly to gain some publicity. Most of these government scientists have little or no credibility, if they were even remotely capable they wouldn’t be there in government tenured positions, so do be careful who you quote.
    AND, THIS TO THE EDITOE…VERY MISLEADING HEADLINE

    • Immunology is a complex jigsaw puzzle, made up of complex signalling between immune cells.

      The subject is still evolving. Modern medical science still does not have a good understanding of how the immune system works. The immune system also interacts with the nervous system and the endocrine system so any immune reaction is quite complex.

      Therefore how to measure what is good immunity? How to be sure what is a properly functioning immune system ?

      Some immune boosters have been shown in research studies to increase natural killer cell counts, macrophage counts, t cell counts etc. But whether this creates good immunity cannot be clearly concluded. So the research is not conclusive enough for allopathic doctors in India to prescribe these expensive supplements to patients.

      Some doctors are prescribing Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Zinc etc but these are nutrients generally required by the body so at least the body’s nutritional status can be generally improved when required to fight an infection. Moreover these are not expensive so a patient does not have to waste too much money.

  13. Another propaganda , either the journalist is ignorant or has some other agenda. Pub med is filled with Medical papers that supports the claim that vitamin c supports immunity., and in china hospital shanghai and in new your hospital patients are given high dose vitamin c .

    • The key is : improving the nutritional status of the body through supplements takes time

      You cannot rely on supplements once the infection starts and then hope to do well.

  14. Brailess article. If a synthetic drug can affect the body positively or negatively, so will all the natural foods, and additive herbs and minerals.
    If body can handle everything by itself why is there is disparity in ages of all people?
    A good healthy body with toning physically and mentality, the process of which is assisted by ‘proper intake of food’ according to the seasons, is suggested by ayurveda. Aided with exercise of the body and mind which is explained by yoga will obviously keep the body with high immunity.
    Of body can handle it, why bother about a vaccine then?

  15. These two authors spread official disinformation cloaked as real science citing “scientists”working for the crooked medical establishment. Basically they repeat blindly what official “scientists” tell the public like those who give the unscientific advice to wear masks and do physical distancing, social isolation and other bogus stuff for covid-19 coming from the official corrupt mainstream science establishment.

    These two “journalist” mouthpieces for the criminal establishment also use a favorite phony ridiculous unscientific “rationale” to falsely discredit Linus Pauling: a Nobel laureate cannot possibly ever be an expert in more than one field. So they falsely claim Pauling’s theories were proven wrong. Not so at all….

    People should know that the proper use of vitamin C is a tested and verified safe, cheap and effective treatment, and prophylactic, against covid-19 — see orthomolecular d ot o r g (click on ‘Library’ and then ‘News Releases’ and read the editions from about February of 2020 on forward)

    A lot of this is based on Nobel laureate Linus Pauling’s pioneering work. HOWEVER….. everyone should keep the following in mind, especially now with the corona scamdemic going on: there are many bogus voices around who strive to distract the public from (1) the value of vitamin C therapy and (2) the fact that Pauling’s VALID work with vitamin C supplementation has been “falsified” by data distortions and lies, and he as a person (a double Nobel laureate) has been slandered as some deluded idiot by the criminal medical establishment and its countless quackwatch shills, lackeys, ignoramuses, and trolls for decades and it continues today — search for the scholarly report “2 Big Lies: No Vitamin Benefits & Supplements Are Very Dangerous” by Rolf Hefti (a published author of the Orthomolecular Medicine News organization). The same corrupt criminal people (and their uninformed followers) are behind the organized suppression, lies, and half-truths spread about the value of vitamin C therapy against covid-19 — see orthomolecular d ot o r g

    But you can’t discredit the facts with lies. That only exposes and discredits the liars (see citations above).

    The fact that we are dealing with a VERY CRIMINAL OFFICIAL POWER STRUCTURE (the Deep State, governments, WHO, official corporate medicine, CDC/Fauci, the mainstream media, paid off scientists, Bill Gates, etc) that constantly hoodwinks the unsuspecting public with MANY BIG LIES can easily be recognized by anyone with two working brain cells when reading this one sentence by a former US government official, Paul Craig Roberts, Ph.D., in his article ‘The Cost of Big Pharma’s Covid-19 Vaccine Will Be Paid in Lives and in Billions of Dollars’:

    “A corrupt establishment and media that can sell us 9/11, Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, Iranian nukes, Assad’s use of chemical weapons, a Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russiagate and a large number of other lies can also sell us on locking up a successful treatment in the closet while we await a vaccine.”

    or from another article of his:

    “In “freedom and democracy” America there is only official truth, and it is a lie. […]. […] when I told the truth that Russiagate was a hoax, which it has proved to be, an anonymous website, possibly a CIA or NATO operation called “PropOrNot,” included this website among its fake list of 200 “Russian agents/dupes.” The Washington Post, a believed long-time CIA asset, hyped the PropOrNot revelation as if it were the truth. With “Russiagate” in full hype, the purpose was to scare readers away from those of us who were exposing the hoax. […]. The way those with agendas control the explanations is by shouting down those who provide objective accounts. Social media is part of the censorship. Explanations out of step with official ones are labeled “abusive,” and in “violation of community standards.” In other words, truth is unacceptble. […]. Everyone who uses social media is by their use supporting censorship. Facebook imposes fascist censorship in order to protect official explanations. The presstitutes and universities do the same. In America truth has lost its value. […]. Even a public health threat like coronavirus is politicized. […]. If you are Big Pharma, NIH, CDC, or the research professionals dependent on grants from these sources, you want a vaccine, not a cure. This means a long wait, assuming an effective and safe vaccine is possible. […]. The hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), zinc, and intravenous vitamin C treatments, which have proved to be effective, are badmouthed by Big Pharma and its minions. In other words, the profit agenda over-rides health care and the saving of lives. […]. It is all about money. There are no profits for Big Pharma or a chance for patents for Dr. Fauci unless inexpensive HCQ, zinc, and Vitamin C can be sidelined.”

    Also, if nothing else, watch this MUST-SEE documentary: is d o t gd/uQH5Lb

    And if you still do not think that covid-19 is a planned scamdemic ponder this statement by the American investigative reporter Jon Rappoport:

    “Since planes fly back and forth, and since all sorts of Westerners travel to the rainforests, why haven’t we seen whole native tribes wiped out by viruses from the deep dark streets of Brooklyn? It would even seem that viruses, common in, say, Norway, would cause trouble in Oregon. Why does it have to be “viruses from jungles?” Or other faraway places like China? […]. […] is it possible that jungles and Africa and China are typically chosen for virus fairy tales because, in the minds of many Westerners, they satisfy a requirement of “strange,” “different,” “primitive,” and so on? We’re talking theater here—and when you stage a propaganda play (fiction), you want to tap into the reflex instincts of the audience. The Hartford Virus, the Des Moines Virus, the Vancouver Virus just don’t fit the bill. Because they can’t drive up the fear that jungles or Africa or China can. […]. We NEVER hear killer virus stories about germs traveling from Europe and America to Asia and Africa. Why not? Because such a story won’t sell. It won’t bite. This is called a clue. It tells you that virus-stories are shaped and managed and written and managed and broadcast according to a plan that has nothing to do with actual disease.”

    But having true knowledge like that is not enough in itself, YOUR BEHAVIOR must reflect the implications of that knowledge…. ESPECIALLY NOW IN THE FACE OF THIS MASSIVE EVIL SCAM. As the American social critic Paul Rosenberg pointed out in his article ‘Nothing Changes As Long As You Obey’:

    “I hear the same complaints about politicians that you do. And while I understand them, the fact is that complaining accomplishes almost nothing. And there is a very simple reason why complaining has no real effect: BECAUSE THE COMPLAINERS KEEP RIGHT ON OBEYING. As long as you obey, the things you complain about will keep on happening.”

    And Edmund Burke said:

    “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good people do nothing.”

  16. All revered scientists agree that this does not work or that does not work; no sooner has somebody claimed that a certain course of action mitigates the problem to an extent than there are countless erudite claims to contrary and denunciations. None of these eminent and revered scientists have, however, been able to find something that could work and keep this lowly virus at bay. If the body itself were to find a way out of every problem then who needs modern medicine. Let the body fend for itself.

    • Food itself is medicine for the body.
      Good nutrition, healthy habits and being physically active can ensure the body can withstand infections naturally.

  17. Pathetic article with biased analysis. As per you – people with with weak immune system do not exist? You’re targeting Ayurveda – Ayurveda itself is a part of healthy lifestyle. Weak immunity is generally due to deficiency of important elements in the human body which Ayurvedic medicines replenish – this deficiency leads human system vulnerable to attacking pathogens – a classic example is AIDS when whole immune system gets broken. Regarding science – most of the herbs – Ashwagandha, Kapikacchu and even Neem and Tulsi have been proven as immunity boosters not sure which science you talked about – may be leftists do not have capability of doing proper research.

    • Which studies are you referring to ?

      Many studies show the herbs work in vitro in the lab but in vivo the studies are either inconclusive or don’t seem to work. The immune system is so complex yet viruses are so damn smart. Both topics are not well understood by science. We still don’t know how things fit together.

      And many studies have flaws in their study design.

  18. Writers are not immunologists.
    So dont rubbish immunity boosting concept.
    Shun sensationalism.
    You ll live longer.
    One thing is clear well fed society is less affected.
    Here by saying well fed I mean who have balanced diets since birth.

  19. Not agreed.. myself was having tonsil and cough issues in past for about 10 months in a year.
    I got it corrected by foods and fruits and hot water habits and moe I have it minimum in a year. say only 10-15 days in a year.

  20. Really exploding the myth of immunity booster is your this article. It is all about moneymaking business. Thanks for your honest endeavour. keep it up.

  21. Genes are the key and rest is all simple marketing, right from religion to Ayurveda. There is no community with no ancient culture or herbal medicines – based on the collective intelligence of a society, the popularity of the herbal medicine vaires.

    • You are right. Gene is the key. Rest all are myth right from religion to modern science. Which claim superiority. But can’t even make vaccine to fight the virus

  22. Yes, people with competent immune systems and proper nutrition will do what they can to fight off the infection. I wonder if the exploration as to how the virus invades the cell has anything to do with Zinc. Yes, not a lot of people have zinc deficiencies, but if one was infected with the virus, are their zinc levels decreased? Has there been any studies to show the zinc levels in patients with COVID? The virus can replicate 100 times in 48 hours! If one was to look at the infection process, via the spike and ACE2 receptor, one would note that a zinc binding domain is contained in the ACE2 site. The virus attaches, and the process of the virus going into the cells, it may be possible that the zinc is taken in as well. “Zinc is not an immunity booster. It is an essential mineral for the body which is a ‘cofactor’ for a large number of proteins and enzymes,” Vishwakarma said”, as stated in the article. What if the levels are dropped due to infection? Please check the SAR on the ACE receptor, it may shed some light as to the possible zinc depletion in the patient during this virus. It would be false to say that zinc is not beneficial without exploring the status of patients that have the disease without knowing what the real time zinc status is in the patient. Please be careful what you state, unless you have evidence, in THIS COVID INFECTION that your statements are proven. I don’t know the answer that the zinc levels are depleted, but If you do, show me the levels of those patients that are sick!! There may be something there. PEACE. STAY SAFE!!

  23. No science is complete, as is evident by the conflicting versions on covid 19. Any hypothesis based on incomplete science is also faulty. The attempt is discredit views on immunology, in order the people rely and anticipate the vaccine, that is yet to see the light.

  24. The keyword is health. You have quoted, “But in ordinarily healthy people, this is not a problem — so what exactly are we trying to boost?” So, these “Ayurvedic concoctions” etc. boost health, thereby improve immunity.

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