How do you ‘boost’ your body’s immune function in the fight against the coronavirus? Answer: You can’t

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The short answer to the question – how do you boost your immune system – is that you can’t. The very concept of “boosting” the immune system is not scientific and does not exist within mainstream medicine. That’s because it is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of immunity, and of biological systems. Having said that there are legitimate things you can do to optimize immune function, which all are simply ways of avoiding things that inhibit immune function.

Immunity is a delicate balance, and evolution has tinkered with this system for hundreds of millions of year. If there were a simple way to make this system function better, we would have evolved it already.

Chances are greater we will make things worse than better. We need carefully conducted clinical trials to determine the net effect of doing anything to immunity in specific clinical contexts. Also, there is nothing better than a healthy immune system – there is no “super” immunity you can get from your diet or taking a supplement.

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As is often the case it is easy to get distracted by questionable and insignificant effects from ones that are huge and well-proven. If you want to avoid COVID-19 then avoid exposure – wash your hands, don’t touch your face, keep physically isolated, and consult your physician if you develop any possible symptoms. If you want to maximize your chances of fighting off exposure or minimizing illness, then stay generally healthy. Get plenty of sleep, eat well, treat your chronic illnesses, and stay up-to-date on your vaccinations.

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