With this season’s flu showing no signs of diminishing—and reports of spot shortages of antiviral medications and flu shots—more Americans are searching for other ways to protect themselves.
Certain of these “alternative” flu therapies, such as dietary supplements, are even being recommended by some pharmacists, according to news accounts.
More people are also donning surgical or respiratory masks to keep flu germs at bay. And some are getting prescriptions for steroids and antibiotics if they do come down with the virus.
Do any of these strategies actually work? And what should you do if you can’t find an antiviral like Tamiflu, or a place to get a flu shot?
Some specialist recommend Vitamin D, especially in our region this time of year.
vitamin D—some research does suggest that supplements may modestly reduce the risk of upper respiratory infection such as a cold or flu. But those results were mainly seen in people who were very deficient in the vitamin.
“The evidence on vitamin D as protection or treatment for flu in people who already have normal levels is pretty weak,” says Lipman, who recommends talking to your doctor if you have concerns about your vitamin D levels.
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