‘Hypervitaminosis’: Kashmir docs warn against excessive intake of immunity boosters to fight COVID
Srinagar: Health experts in Kashmir have warned against excessive intake of vitamins for boosting the immune system.
The immune system is the human body’s primary defense against the infection. In the wake of Covid-19, the market has been flooded with an array of products that claim to boost one’s immunity. It includes AYUSH concoctions, vitamin pills, and zinc tablets.
However, doctors have stressed that in the absence of any scientific study or conclusive evidence, the idea of boosting the immune system is “flawed and unscientific”.
Professor of Surgery at GMC Srinagar Dr. Iqbal Saleem said most people in Kashmir take over the counter preparations like B complex and multivitamins.
“Presently, it is being said that Vitamin C has an immunity booster role. At the same time, it is very difficult to assess what these medicines contain. As of now, I don’t see any evidence of randomized control trials which prove that they are helpful for boosting immunity,” he said.
President Doctors Association Kashmir, Dr. Suhail Naik said immunity is a very complex system consisting of different types of cells and antibodies.
“Some people are taking daily vitamins in order to boost immunity. I wonder if many of them may land into ‘hypervitaminosis’ a dangerous outcome of excessive intake of vitamins particularly A and D,” he said.
Dr. Naik urged people to understand that overreaction of the immune system can give rise to various autoimmune disorders.
“Only vaccines have the potential to boost the immune system with precision against various communicable diseases. Therefore, instead of running and searching for immunity boosters, people should eat a healthy balanced diet, fruits, vegetables, pulses, and get enough sleep,” he added.
Registrar at SMHS Hospital, Dr. Khawar Khan Achakzai said people with low immunity or other immunocompromised state are more prone to COVID‐19.
“There are minerals like Zinc and Iron etc that play a role in the augmentation of the immune response. Even though there isn’t direct evidence linking protection against COVID-19 to these micronutrients, our knowledge of the immune system and its working help us understand how they could actually help against the virus,” he said.