Can the right diet bolster my body’s defenses?
To fight off colds, our son Ben, who’s 24, used to swear by Airborne, a supplement containing 17 vitamins, minerals and herbs that once billed itself as a way to prevent or cure colds. I was always skeptical that this supplement could work. I struggled not to say a motherly “I told you so” when, after settling a $23.3 million class-action lawsuit for false advertising, Airborne’s manufacturer was ordered to pay out an additional $30 million to consumers. Afterward, Ben admitted that Airborne had lost some of its appeal, but I still noticed it around his house. (The claim on the supplement now reads, “helps support your immune system.”)
For Ben’s sake and mine, I decided to take a look at the science and see what may really work to boost our immune systems—and what isn’t worth the money.