Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Don't Believe Products Touting Immunity Boost

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Don't Believe Products Touting Immunity Boost

Article excerpt

Dear Doctor K: I guess everyone wants a strong immune system. But is there anything to the claims of products that advertise that they boost immunity?

Dear Reader: In a word, no. Our immune system does a remarkable job of protecting us from bacteria, viruses and other microbes. That's good, because they can cause disease, suffering, even death. It seems logical to want to give your immune system a boost.

The problem is that "boosting your immune system" is a simplistic concept. In reality, our immune system is incredibly complex, composed of many different types of cells that make many different types of chemicals.

As for the many food products and packaged drinks that are labeled as "supporting immunity," "boosting immunity" or providing a "defense" against germs? Rubbish!

Most of these products just contain vitamins and minerals that people already get as part of a normal, healthy diet. Some of them have been shown to boost one small part of the immune system, in a laboratory dish. …

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