Trouble getting out of bed in the morning. Lack of enthusiasm and energy. Not to mention the planned time change this last Sunday in October, which will shorten the days even more. Without a doubt, while summer is a distant memory, we’re a month into its official start to the harsh autumn, the official season of laziness, gloomy weather and nasopharyngitis.

So how do you find some fishing? Can we boost our immunity to keep respiratory viruses at bay? For many, the solution is to start a little autumn cure, to top up with vitamin C, D or magnesium. But between the contributions of the food, a possible deficit and the real needs, are these cures really effective? 20 minutes term through five. And “if it is obviously a good thing for health to avoid deficiencies, we should also not expect miracles from these cures, especially against Covid-19”, insists Thierry Souccar, scientific journalist and author of the book. Let’s stop sabotaging our immunity (Ed. Thierry Souccar).

D vitamin

Also called the vitamin of the sun, vitamin D is synthesized by the body when exposed to its rays. It plays an important role in bone health and also in strengthening the immune system. “Especially innate immunity, which is the body’s first line of defense against infectious substances such as bacteria, fungi and viruses”, explains Thierry Souccar.

But naturally, as the time change approaches, stocking up on this vitamin becomes more complicated. If fatty fish and fortified dairy products contain vitamin D, “food barely manages to meet the needs and 75 to 80% of the French population lacks vitamin D at this time of the year, emphasizes science journalist. We can know if it is necessary thanks to a laboratory analysis. And if you are at a deficit, it may be a good idea to take a vitamin D course in the autumn. Studies show that supplementation can have a preventive effect against classic winter respiratory viruses”. At the pharmacies, we will choose “rather vitamin D3 to D2: it is closer to what is naturally produced by the body, which absorbs it better”, advises Thierry Souccar.

Vitamin C

Considered by many to be the energy vitamin, vitamin C supports brain activity, has antioxidant properties and contributes to the proper functioning of the immune system. “A varied diet, rich in fruit and vegetables, but also of offal, can meet the body’s needs. Several studies show a decrease in vitamin C status in the cold seasons, when we may consume fewer plants than in the summer,” notes Thierry Souccar.

If a good dose of citrus – the clementine season starts – can be enough, in case of deficit, ” a vitamin C regimen at this season may be indicated, the scientific journalist believes, but this supplement is not a must. . In reality, it depends on the amount and the quality of the calories consumed: it will be more difficult to ensure an adequate intake of vitamins and minerals if you have a diet that is too rich in ultra-processed products or too low in calories. Especially if you smoke, or if you have respiratory disorders, where the body has an increased need for vitamin C,” he continues. That would be a shame, in the middle of the cold season, vitamin C is a valuable ally to reduce the duration and intensity.


Little known, zinc is a valuable trace element that helps the immune system grow and function properly. On the plate, it can be found in seafood, shellfish, red meat or eggs, which are better assimilated by the body than what is contained in whole grains and vegetable proteins. But “almost 20% of the population would have a deficit, especially vegetarians or vegans and the elderly”, notes Thierry Souccar.

But “it is better not to miss it when the risk of viral infection is high, as is the case at the moment, since zinc has the effect of interfering with the replication of many viruses in the body,” he adds. It is probably one of the best allies against colds and certain viral infections, whether in prevention or to reduce their duration. Supplementation may be indicated for certain profiles, provided you take the right dose, neither too much nor too little, ie. about 15 mg per


It is one of the season’s most popular cures. Magnesium is an essential mineral to help the brain with energy production, protect against stress and slow down the aging process. Here again, food can be enough to increase its intake, especially fish and shellfish and oilseeds, “or even mineral water that is naturally rich in magnesium, suggests Thierry Souccar. This can help to better withstand stress and recover some energy.

If you still want to do a cure, “you need to know that there are different qualities. There is organic magnesium, slightly more expensive, but better absorbed by the body, and inorganic – including marine magnesium – which requires a higher dosage for the same benefits, but which can have a laxative effect,” he warns.


If taking a regimen of probiotics wouldn’t necessarily come to mind for the greatest number of people, they are nonetheless key players in our second brain: the gut microbiota and play a major role in our body. “Probiotics are live bacteria naturally present in dairy products and other fermented foods such as miso or kefir,” says Thierry Souccar. Food can therefore be sufficient to ensure the quality of the intestinal flora”.

Probiotics essential for health and immune defense, since “disruptions in the microbiota can promote and worsen respiratory infections, and conversely, when the flora contains a good diversity of probiotics, this will strengthen the resistance to winter infections, but also to reduce their duration and intensity, he emphasizes . They could also improve the effectiveness of flu vaccines in the elderly, who develop a weaker immune response. Thus, supplements may be interesting in the fall for people over 65”.