You almost can’t protect yourself from it unless you avoid all media: commercials about products for a strong immune system. It’s not a high-qualitative research study but I thought it’s still worth sharing the observations.

Last night I decided to spend some minutes browsing through various TV channels and keeping notes on which commercials were shown. Observing the market – that’s part of the job of nutrition experts, too. I wanted to check:

  • how many of all the commercials were on products that are said to strengthen your immune system,
  • how many of those were dietary supplements.

I scanned various TV channels from the following countries: Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, France, UK. 

In those 30 minutes I saw about 52 commercials. Most of these spots were somehow linked to nutrition and health.

The message is clear: people need to have a strong immune system now to reduce the risk of disease, i.e. infection with Covid19. Interestingly but no surprise at all, most commercials promoted dietary supplements. Products that provide us with nutrient which are known to have an important role in immune health are on the top of the list right now.

A very interesting finding is related to the foods promoted in these sports: from the dairy section (e.g. yogurts) to cereals to convenient foods – many shown products were enriched with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Non-Food

19%

Health & Nutrition

81%

Supplements

91%

Food

9%

Enriched Food

88%

Unenriched Food

12%

What may not seem important initially will probably become more important when you take a minute and think about these findings:

It’s well known that high intake of single nutrients can lead to toxicity and can cause harm. Right now we all want to stay healthy and provide our body with sufficient nutrients to boost our immune system. That’s why many buy dietary supplements – to increase their daily intake of antioxidants and other nutrients that support our immune system. But when you look at the high ratio of enriched foods and add all the foods that naturally contain high amounts of these important nutrients – why do we need to supplement on top of that? Isn’t it better to first check what you have on your breakfast table? How many products already are rich in certain nutrients before you get extra high-dose single nutrient supplements?

Be smart, take a minute and check what you’ve in the kitchen. Maybe you’re set already and don’t need extra supplements. Remember: high intake of single nutrients can also be harmful. So why take the risk?