In this article we want to discuss the connection between coronavirus – food supplements, which has been widely debated in newspapers and on television, specifically in relation to the influence of nutrition and dietary supplements on the ability of the body to protect itself against the virus.
During the uncertain days caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the importance of the immune system became more evident when talking about safeguarding our health.
In any case, it is important to emphasize that in relation to health it is always essential to consult one’s respective general practitioner and to rely on the guidelines issued by the national health system.
Food supplements are not medicines
Food supplements are in no way to be considered as medicines, or even as good substitutes for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy and conscious lifestyle, especially at this time when it is essential to follow the rules to limit the spread of the virus.
In particular, even in isolation during quarantine, it is important to respect some basic rules to a good nutrition, such as the consumption of at least five servings per day of fruit and vegetables, which are sources of minerals and vitamins (particularly vitamins C and A). Vitamins and minerals are very useful to strengthen the immune system and to protect the respiratory tract, target of the new Coronavirus infection.
It is now widely proven by scientific studies that the consumption of fruit and vegetables provides many valuable nutrients, such as vitamin C (it can be found in e.g. citrus fruits, blackcurrant, thyme and kiwi), vitamin E (which is tocopherol, found in vegetable oils, cereals, almonds and avocado) and β-carotene (it can be found in pumpkins, tomatoes and carrots) that strengthen our immune system, and are substances capable of protecting our organism from oxidative stress and the consequent harmful molecules, the free radicals.
Another important ally for our organism is vitamin D. It is mostly of animal origin, typical derived from oily fish, and can be found especially in cod liver oil; vitamin B6 and B12 (iron and copper) and the amino acids glutamine and arginine are other micronutrients that play a fundamental role in maintaining our body’s defences. Also the active ingredients of some plant extracts, for example Echinacea and fermented Papaya, can significantly contribute to the stimulation of immune defences and resistance to infection.
In case of minerals or vitamins deficiency, or in case of specific indications, it is important to supplement the right amount of nutrients in order to help the proper functioning of the immune system, so that it is able to defend us from the attack of pathogens. Unfortunately, failure to provide the right amount of these micronutrients often can happen. Taking food supplements, in a strictly personalised manner and under medical advice, can help the immune system stimulation.
Food supplements are formulated in different ways and can be specifically manufactured for immune stimulation as a specific target.