Health Advice



Multivitamins and minerals shorten the duration of illness

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

In Hong Kong, when you have a cold, it's common to eat a soup made with dried lizard, dates and yams. We can't vouch for the science behind reptile soup, but we do know that proper nutrition can help fight off illness or shorten its duration. If you're looking to bounce back quickly, a new study in the journal Nutrients suggests that (in lieu of lizard) taking some standard supplements may do the trick.

The 12-week study measured markers of immune function and blood levels of immune-boosting nutrients in folks ages 55 to 75. One group took a daily multivitamin that included 1,000 mg of vitamin C and 10 mg of zinc; the other took a placebo. The researchers also assessed who became ill over that time period and how they fared.

Turns out, the same number of people got sick in the supplement and placebo groups, but those taking the supplements had higher blood levels of vitamin C and zinc, known immune-boosters, and supplement-takers who got ill reported much milder symptoms and their symptoms vanished twice as fast.

Because so many folks shortchange themselves on the nutrients needed for a younger RealAge, we recommend taking a daily multivitamin (half in the morning, half at night) that contains nutrient levels near their recommended dietary allowance. And if you do get a cold? It's good to know that multiple studies with solid data have found zinc lozenges and vitamin C (max 2,000 mg daily), along with chicken (not lizard) soup, can shorten the duration and the severity of your misery.



Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c)2020 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2020 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



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