The internet has been buzzing about the use of tonic water and zinc as
a remedy to treat or prevent COVID-19, but does it really work? The short
answer is no.
Tonic water contains quinine, a medicine that is distantly related to hydroxychloroquine,
the antimalarial drug being tested to treat COVID-19. But the concentration
of quinine in tonic drinks is significantly below the levels found in
anti-malaria drugs, effectively busting that myth.
And while zinc won’t cure or prevent COVID, it is essential for a
healthy immune system which is how your body fights off viruses and bacteria.
Specifically, zinc plays an important role in inflammatory response, and
a deficiency could result in an increased risk of infection and disease,
Many vitamins and minerals can impact overall immunity, but no single one
can solely influence it. Overdoing vitamins can also be dangerous, and
they aren’t going to prevent or treat COVID-19 or even shorten the
duration of the disease. If you are truly deficient in a nutrient however,
getting up to a healthy level may help support your immune system. Your
doctor can run a simple blood test to find out your nutrient deficiencies.
Other ways you can focus supporting your immune system are:
- Staying hydrated
- Getting enough sleep
- Eating enough fruits and vegetables
- Wash your hands
If you are interested in finding out what supplements might be best for
you, contact your primary care physician.