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NEM against Corona? Rather trust in proven methods!
There are currently no reliable drugs against COVID-19 diseases that are triggered by the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. The effects of other agents, especially dietary supplements, have also not been proven. Nevertheless, some providers take advantage of the situation and advertise their products as helpful for prevention.
The Consumer Protection Center North Rhine-Westphalia warns against dubious suppliers of food supplements and other substances that are said to protect against SARS-CoV-2. "There are no food supplements that can prevent a disease with the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2)," the headquarters writes. Dietary supplements are also not used to treat COVID-19 diseases. There are currently no studies or indications that suggest the effectiveness of certain supplements.
Financial interests are behind the promises
According to the consumer advice center, behind the taking of such funds is often the desire to actively do something to protect yourself. Suppliers of nutritional supplements are increasingly taking advantage of this desire and are sealing their products with effects that have not been proven. What started in the English-speaking world now spills over to Germany.
Is that allowed at all?
Dietary supplements are not medicinal products, but are listed as foods in Germany. In a legal sense, they are therefore not intended for the prevention or treatment of diseases. You don't have to go through clinical trials or go through major reviews. Only direct health-related advertising is prohibited.
So far there is no evidence
For example, rumors are currently spreading on the Internet that dietary supplements with green tea (epigallocatechin agallate EGCG), rhodiola (rose root), cistus (rock rose herb), propolis, nasturtium or black currant (leaf buds) have a protective effect against the new corona virus. Food supplements containing turmeric and cinnamon are also recommended in this context. The consumer protection center underlines that there is no scientific evidence for this.
In the best case, the tips are well meant - but some can also be dangerous. This is how the recommendation to take MMS (Miracle Mineral Supplement) or CDL (chlorine dioxide solution) is circulating to protect against coronaviruses. It is a disinfectant that is normally used to bleach textiles. Ingestion is strongly discouraged. Consumers argue that taking arsenic in homeopathic doses is similarly nonsensical.
Keep your immune system fit
The best way to strengthen the immune system is through a balanced diet in combination with sufficient exercise. There are indications for many plant substances and micronutrients that they have a positive effect on the immune system. However, these should best be absorbed through food. In addition, the principle should not apply: A lot helps a lot.
Vitamins help the immune system
It is scientifically proven that vitamins strengthen the general function of the immune system. Vitamin D, vitamin C, folate, B12, B6 and vitamin A are particularly important here. For this reason, the manufacturers of dietary supplements can also advertise with this principle. "But that doesn't mean that you would have to consume particularly large quantities or even high-dose supplements," warns the consumer protection center.
These minerals strengthen the immune system
It has also been proven that minerals such as selenium, zinc, iron and copper are important for the normal functioning of the immune system. Above all, it has a negative impact if these minerals are deficient. But an overdose can also have a harmful effect and mess up the control circuits in the body, warn consumer advocates.
Medicinal mushroom Cordyceps
Some studies have shown that the Cordyceps medicinal mushroom has an immune-boosting effect. However, a special mushroom preparation was used in the studies. It cannot be deduced from this that every supplement with Cordyceps has a beneficial effect on the immune system.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is also often recommended for protection against SARS-CoV-2. Manufacturers argue that CBD strengthens the endocannabinoid system, which is part of the immune system. According to the consumer protection center, there is currently no scientific evidence for this.
These tips have been proven to help
Instead of listening to the unproven tips from suppliers of supplements, which are mainly financial interests, there are a lot of measures that you can take to protect and promote the immune system, such as:
- Move: Take a walk outdoors, let the sun shine on your skin. How to get exercise and vitamin D for free.
- nutrition: Fruits and vegetables are excellent suppliers of numerous vitamins and minerals.
- Keep mucous membranes moist: Air regularly and drink enough water or unsweetened teas to keep the mucous membranes moist. Dried up mucous membranes serve as entry points for viruses.
- sleep: Make sure you have enough sleep (an average of seven to nine hours) to keep your immune system fit.
- hygiene: Personal hygiene and food hygiene reduce the number of invading viruses.
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek
- Consumer Advice Center North Rhine-Westphalia: Coronavirus: What can dietary supplements do? (published: 03/26/2020), consumer center.nrw