News | South Africa | Health
A clinical review recommending healthy nutrition and supplementation with vitamins, minerals and probiotics may benefit immunity and prevent or ease viral infections as South Africans brace themselves for a third wave in the winter season.
Maria Ascencao, chair of Health Products Association, said it was like a double whammy because there were high chances of the country fighting a possible third wave in the flu season.
“Many viruses are more active in winter than summer and studies show colds can make us less able to fight infection – and it is shown infectious organisms, like the flu virus, thrive in colder temperatures. A balanced immune system is important to protect your body from illness and to support your immune system.”
Ascencao added people could refine their nutrition and lifestyle to boost their immune system by including a balanced diet rich in fruit and vegetables.
“Include a range of supplements, nutrients and nutraceuticals, which may have a helpful effect on the immune system, such as vitamin C (boosts immune cells), D (helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body), E (protects the integrity of cell membranes from free radicals and protects both innate and adaptive immunity), zinc, selenium, probiotics, omega 3 fatty acids, echinacea, pelargonium and even multivitamins.”
Ascencao said there was new research which supported supplements to help boost immunity and fight Covid-19.
“The comprehensive review of studies reported that balanced nutrition is crucial to help protect against viral infection and recommended some nutraceuticals and probiotics may be useful in the possible prevention and management of Covid-19,” she said.
Ascencao also explained that nutrition was an essential regulator of the immune homeostasis, and even small deficiencies of some micronutrients may disturb the immune response.
“In the review, herbal therapeutics and probiotics such as vitamin D, E, C, zinc, selenium, probiotics, omega 3 fatty acids and multi-vitamins, in conjunction to a healthy diet, were reported to have positive effects in helping to prevent viral infections, while various nutraceuticals were found to have immune supporting effects,” she said.
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FASHION AND BEAUTY