Ingest with caution.
"There's a lot of overpromotion on the flu and supplements," said Dr. Todd Cooperman, president of the supplement testing site ConsumerLab.com. Various studies have found that probiotics, vitamin D or ginseng might help lessen the risk of contracting the flu in some populations. "These are all things that have some kind of connection to the immune system," he said.
But if you already have the flu, there's little evidence that they help. And some cold and flu remedies can have adverse effects. For example, ginseng can interfere with blood thinners, and too much zinc can trigger diarrhea, so talk to your doctor first, Cooperman said.
Clorox and Lysol both claim their wipes kill 99.9 percent of viruses and bacteria. Lysol says its wipes nixed the 2009 pandemic H1N1 variant; Clorox calls out influenza A2. Clean away. "Flu, believe it or not, is a fairly fragile organism," Jhung said. "Many disinfectants will kill it."
But wipes aren't fool-proof, given multiple flu variants and myriad germ-harboring items. Make sure to wash your hands, too, especially before touching your face, and after touching a common surface like counters or doorknobs, he said.
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