While standing in long lines at grocery stores in recent weeks, shoppers may have seen the National Enquirer headline shouting, “Coronavirus Cures Finally Found!”
If that’s true, why is everyone fighting over toilet paper and staying home?
The reality is that doctors say there is no known cure for COVID-19 yet.
Dr. Carl Fichtenbaum, infectious disease specialist at the University of Cincinnati, is very blunt about hopes of miracle cures.
“It is not clear there is any supplement or anything you can do that will protect you from coronavirus,” he said.
The Federal Trade Commission is sending warning letters to those peddling “quack cures.” Recently, the commission shutting down televangelist Jim Bakker’s ads for Silver Solution Gels, which he claimed to be effective against the virus.
In addition, the New York Attorney General has also ordered Alex Jones of Infowars to stop selling “coronavirus treatments.”
The FTC has also halted advertising for seven other claimed cures, but like a game of Whack-a-Mole, they continue to pop up.
Supplements to help your immune system
Doctors and pharmacists are telling Americans that there is nothing proven to prevent coronavirus. However, certain supplements may be effective in boosting the immune systems for some people.
Bob Craig, the manager of a health food store, has seen a flood of new customers in recent weeks, all hoping to find something to help strengthen their immunity.
But he warns all of them that he is not hawking anything as coronavirus prevention.
“I don’t want to give anybody false hopes,” Craig said. “The best we can do is help you get your body healthy enough so that if something comes along, it can fend it off.”
To that end, he shows customers his large selection of herbal teas and natural multivitamins that boost overall health.
His biggest seller? Good old Vitamin C.
“The experts suggest large doses of vitamin C, simple as that,” he said.
He says Vitamin D is another possible immune booster, as is elderberry, which Craig sells in syrup and gummy form.
“You can’t go wrong with it,” he said.
Scientific studies cited in a recent USA Today report show that Vitamin C can help reduce the severity of colds — but it has not been proven to prevent colds or viruses.
Other studies now suggest Vitamin D may help prevent COVID-19 deaths in hospitals, though again, there is no scientific proof that it can prevent a person from contracting the disease.
Exercise, meditation and rest
Others suggest adopting a healthier lifestyle.
Kristyn Worley and Melissa Kidd own a wellness center called LifePath. They sell natural vitamin supplements and oils, and, to ease stress, teach yoga classes in a converted church. They say exercise is key to strengthening your immune system.
“We recommend daily exercise, something as simple as 15 to 30 minutes getting your heart rate up every day,” Worley said. “Resting and managing our stress is important, as well.”
They also say that they have no proven cures, but they feel exercise and meditation, along with supplements, can strengthen the body.
“Get plenty of rest, drink plenty of liquids, keep yourself eating right, do the right things,” she said.
Bottom line: exercise, get rest, eat your vegetables and take vitamins. Mom was probably right all along.
That way, you don’t waste your money.