Dr. Anthony Fauci kept his advice for safeguarding health simple when interviewed by a Business Insider reporter. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director recommended three common-sense ways of keeping the immune system strong, thereby reducing the possible impact of COVID-19.
The interview took place in light of a recent conversation in which Fauci told actress Jennifer Garner that he regularly took supplemental vitamins as a precaution against contracting COVID-19. The advice got somewhat misconstrued, causing some to overstate the importance of Vitamin D in staving off the disease, though it has unproven protective value.
“I’ve gotten used to living with that,” Fauci said of his various quotes on the subject being misunderstood or taken out of context. His more basic advice for keeping the body’s immune system as strong as possible came in the form of these three tips:
Enjoy a nutritious, vitamin-rich diet, such as one that includes the fruits, vegetables, whole grains, olive oil and fish that are part of a Mediterranean diet.
Get a reasonable amount of sleep. For most adults, this is typically about seven or eight hours a night.
Avoid stress as much as possible. Meditation, regular exercise, listening to music, deep-breathing practices and even a relaxing bath are some of the activities that can help alleviate the stress of daily life.
In addition to these sensible tips, the article promoted the additional advice Fauci has given repeatedly since COVID-19 took hold in the nation: maintain as much social distance as possible, practice good (and frequent) hand hygiene and always wear a face mask whenever venturing out in public.
The Facts of Vitamin D
In his earlier conversation with Garner, Fauci had mentioned that he takes daily Vitamin D supplements. When that news got out, it was misinterpreted as being a way to ward off COVID-19.
In the Business Insider interview, Fauci made it clear that the vitamin supplement was merely something he did to keep his immune system strong and that a strong immune system can fight off a range of infections. However, that has no proven medicinal value as protection against contracting the virus.
People who regularly eat foods high in Vitamin D and get plenty of sun are unlikely to need a Vitamin D supplement or a multivitamin, he said. Those who are deficient in the vitamin, however, tend to be at higher risk of contracting a range of infections and diseases since their immune systems might not be operating at peak condition.
Fauci said he didn’t mean to overemphasize the impact of any vitamins for warding off the coronavirus.
Business Insider also pointed out that, while China is experimenting with providing coronavirus patients with high doses of Vitamin C as part of a treatment plan, the results are inconclusive so far.
A Return to Normalcy
In the same interview, Fauci predicted that Americans can anticipate a return to normalcy by about the summer of 2022.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the death, so far, of about 200,000 Americans.