Do supplements protect against viruses? – Naturopathy & naturopathic specialist portal

How supplements protect against COVID-19

Eating a healthy diet and taking certain supplements could be a safe and inexpensive way to help our immune system fight COVID-19 and other acute respiratory diseases. A recent study has examined the effect of various vitamins and micronutrients in protecting against viruses.

A study at Oregon State University found that supplements containing vitamins C and D and other micronutrients appear to be useful in helping the human body fight COVID-19 and other acute respiratory diseases. The results of the study were published in the English-language journal “Nutrients” released.

This is how we support our immune system in the fight against COVID-19

When people take vitamin C and D and other micronutrient supplements, it can help the immune system fight COVID-19 and other acute respiratory diseases. Therefore, in addition to the hygiene requirements and vaccination recommendations, clear nutritional recommendations should also be made in the healthcare system to counter the spread of infections, the researchers emphasize.

Healthy nutrition supports the immune system

Across the world, more than 2.5 million people die from acute respiratory infections each year. “There is now a wealth of data showing the role that healthy eating plays in supporting the immune system. As a society, we have to convey this message (…) better, ”says study author Professor Adrian Gombart from the Oregon State University College of Science in one Press release to the study results.

Which vitamins are particularly important?

Certain fatty acids, Vitamins and minerals play a key role in supporting the immune system. In particular, vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc and an omega-3 fatty acid found in fish, the so-called docosahexaenoic acid, also known as DHA, are of crucial importance for the immune function.

What do vitamins D and C do?

“The role that vitamins C and D play in immunity is particularly well known,” Professor Gombart continues. Vitamin C is involved in several aspects of immunity, including the growth and function of immune cells and antibody production. Vitamin D receptors on immune cells also influence their function. This means that vitamin D has a profound effect on your response to infections.

People often do not consume enough of the nutrients

“The problem is that people just don’t get enough of these nutrients. This could destroy their resistance to infection. As a result, we will see an increase in disease and all of the additional burdens associated with these diseases, ”added the study author.

Dosages need to be increased

That is why the researchers not only recommend a daily multivitamin, but also doses of 200 milligrams or more of vitamin C. This value is higher than in the diet guidelines, but is still rated as safe. The researchers also recommend taking 2,000 international vitamin D units.

Influenza kills hundreds of thousands of people every year

Taking supplements could make a big difference when it comes to protecting themselves from diseases, the researchers report. For example, millions of people are hospitalized every year due to influenza alone and several hundred thousand die worldwide.

Standard procedures to curb the spread of respiratory viruses

“To curb the spread and impact of respiratory viruses, a number of standard public health practices have been developed: washing your hands regularly, avoiding contact with people with symptoms of infection, and covering your nose and mouth to cough“Explains Professor Grombart. There are annual vaccination campaigns for certain viruses such as flu.

We need complementary strategies

Professor Gombart emphasizes that current public health practices such as contact restrictions, hygiene and vaccination are important and effective, but complementary strategies are needed. A nutritional focus on the immune system could help minimize the effects of many types of infections.

Are we just not doing enough?

“The current situation with COVID-19 and the number of people who die from other respiratory infections make it clear that we are not doing enough. We strongly encourage health authorities to include nutritional strategies in their arsenal, ”added the professor. (as)

Sources:

  • Philip C. Calder, Anitra C. Carr, Adrian F. Gombart, Manfred Eggersdorfer: Optimal Nutritional Status for a Well-Functioning Immune System Is an Important Factor to Protect against Viral Infections, in Nutrients (Published Apr 23, 2020), Nutrients
  • Dietary supplements an important weapon for fighting off COVID-19, other respiratory conditions, Oregon State University (Published Apr 23, 2020), Oregon State University

Important NOTE:
This article contains general information only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. He can not substitute a visit at the doctor.

.

Can food supplements protect us from viruses? – Naturopathy & naturopathic specialist portal

How supplements protect against COVID-19

Eating a healthy diet and taking certain supplements could be a safe and inexpensive way to help our immune system fight COVID-19 and other acute respiratory diseases. A recent study has examined the effect of various vitamins and micronutrients in protecting against viruses.

A study at Oregon State University found that supplements containing vitamins C and D and other micronutrients appear to be useful in helping the human body fight COVID-19 and other acute respiratory diseases. The results of the study were published in the English-language journal “Nutrients” released.

This is how we support our immune system in the fight against COVID-19

When people take vitamin C and D and other micronutrient supplements, it can help the immune system fight COVID-19 and other acute respiratory diseases. Therefore, in addition to the hygiene requirements and vaccination recommendations, clear nutritional recommendations should also be made in the healthcare system to counter the spread of infections, the researchers emphasize.

Healthy nutrition supports the immune system

Across the world, more than 2.5 million people die from acute respiratory infections each year. “There is now a wealth of data showing the role that healthy eating plays in supporting the immune system. As a society, we have to convey this message (…) better, ”says study author Professor Adrian Gombart from the Oregon State University College of Science in one Press release to the study results.

Which vitamins are particularly important?

Certain fatty acids, Vitamins and minerals play a key role in supporting the immune system. In particular, vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc and an omega-3 fatty acid found in fish, the so-called docosahexaenoic acid, also known as DHA, are of crucial importance for the immune function.

What do vitamins D and C do?

“The role that vitamins C and D play in immunity is particularly well known,” Professor Gombart continues. Vitamin C is involved in several aspects of immunity, including the growth and function of immune cells and antibody production. Vitamin D receptors on immune cells also influence their function. This means that vitamin D has a profound effect on your response to infections.

People often don’t get enough of the nutrients

“The problem is that people just don’t get enough of these nutrients. This could destroy their resistance to infection. As a result, we will see an increase in disease and all of the additional burdens associated with these diseases, ”added the study author.

Dosages need to be increased

That is why the researchers not only recommend a daily multivitamin, but also doses of 200 milligrams or more of vitamin C. This value is higher than in the diet guidelines, but is still rated as safe. The researchers also recommend taking 2,000 international vitamin D units.

Influenza kills hundreds of thousands of people every year

Taking supplements could make a big difference when it comes to protecting themselves from diseases, the researchers report. For example, millions of people are hospitalized every year due to influenza alone and several hundred thousand die worldwide.

Standard procedures to curb the spread of respiratory viruses

“To curb the spread and impact of respiratory viruses, a number of standard public health practices have been developed: washing your hands regularly, avoiding contact with people with symptoms of infection, and covering your nose and mouth to cough“Explains Professor Grombart. There are annual vaccination campaigns for certain viruses such as flu.

We need complementary strategies

Professor Gombart emphasizes that current public health practices such as contact restrictions, hygiene and vaccination are important and effective, but complementary strategies are needed. A nutritional focus on the immune system could help minimize the effects of many types of infections.

Are we just not doing enough?

“The current situation with COVID-19 and the number of people who die from other respiratory infections make it clear that we are not doing enough. We strongly encourage health authorities to include nutritional strategies in their arsenal, ”added the professor. (as)

Sources:

  • Philip C. Calder, Anitra C. Carr, Adrian F. Gombart, Manfred Eggersdorfer: Optimal Nutritional Status for a Well-Functioning Immune System Is an Important Factor to Protect against Viral Infections, in Nutrients (Published Apr 23, 2020), Nutrients
  • Dietary supplements an important weapon for fighting off COVID-19, other respiratory conditions, Oregon State University (Published Apr 23, 2020), Oregon State University

Important NOTE:
This article contains general information only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. He can not substitute a visit at the doctor.

.

How to strengthen your immune system – naturopathy & naturopathic specialist portal

Strengthening the body’s defenses: arm yourself against the coronavirus with an intact immune system

Regular hand washing, keeping your distance from other people and wearing mouth and nose protection when shopping and on public transport: You can hardly do more against the corona virus, right? But: you can Strengthen the immune system. Because experts assume that a weakened immune system increases the risk of a severe course of the disease.

The lung disease COVID-19, which is caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, can be life-threatening, especially for the elderly. But it’s not just them who have an increased risk of developing a serious illness. People with weak defenses are also at risk. Therefore, it is important that To strengthen the immune system.

Much advice has not been taken

It is important now to strengthen the immune system – not only to protect yourself from a cold or the flu, but also to be as well prepared as possible for a possible corona infection.

Various recommendations are currently circulating on various blogs and online advertising sites. However, most of the advice is not documented and mostly costs money.

The Consumer Service Bavaria has therefore in a current Message summarized important facts.

Vitamins important for the immune system

As the experts explain, we generally take in enough vitamins A, D, C, folate, vitamins B6 and B12, as well as the trace elements zinc, iron, copper and selenium, with a varied diet.

This also applies to the vitamin C, which in relation against COVID-19 often miraculous powers are attributed. However, there are no current studies on this.

So far, scientists have not been able to determine any effects on colds caused by additional vitamin C intake.

Do you really need nutritional supplements?

Although it is allowed to advertise foods or food supplements (NEM) with a certain amount of vitamins A, D, C, folate, vitamins B6 and B12 with statements on an immune-boosting effect, caution with supplementation is still necessary.

For example, for the vitamin D supply, the skin’s own synthesis when staying outdoors as well as the intake through food is normally sufficient. Only in the case of a proven deficiency is it advisable to consume it after consulting the doctor.

It also applies to minerals that additional intake is advisable only if there is a deficiency. According to the Consumer Service, too much can disrupt the fine-tuned metabolic processes. And so it is possible that an increased supply of iron supplements even weakens the immune defense.

Superfoods: No single food can replace a balanced diet

At the moment, statements about various foods are distributed in some media and social networks, which are supposed to help against or with a corona infection due to their ingredients. However, these effects have not been proven.

So-called Superfoods contribute to our health as part of a balanced diet.

But in general, no single food alone can replace a balanced diet.

Domestic foods with valuable immune-boosting ingredients include, among others Currants, Beetroot, Kale, Walnuts, onions, oats or Wild herbs.

Tips for an immune-boosting diet

As the Consumer Service writes, we strengthen our immune system and the intestinal barrier directly through a balanced intestinal-friendly diet. This prevents the penetration of germs and pollutants into the body and promotes the presence of protective intestinal bacteria. The experts have summarized a few tips:

  • One to two servings of acidified milk products daily, such as 150 ml of natural yoghurt, buttermilk or raw sauerkraut. Finally, do not heat the fermented products anymore, otherwise the helpful lactic acid bacteria will be killed.
  • Dietary fiber serves, among other things, as feed for the protective intestinal bacteria. Fruit and vegetables of all kinds are recommended for every meal. This corresponds to two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables. Cabbage vegetables, yellow beets, salsify or chicory are particularly high in fiber. For example, a plate of pureed vegetable soup with a slice of wholemeal bread contains around 15 grams of fiber. This corresponds to half of the minimum recommendation of 30 grams per day.
  • Whole grain cereal rich in fiber every day in bread and pasta or dishes with barley barley, oatmeal, bulgur or couscous.
  • Once a week legumes such as beans, peas, lentils or chickpeas.
  • Flax seeds, nuts and dried fruits also increase the fiber in the diet.
  • Resistant starch, which is produced when starchy foods are heated and then cooled down, is also an important nutrient for intestinal bacteria. It is contained in potato salad, bread crusts or legume salad.
  • A liquid amount of at least 1.5 liters is essential to swell the fiber. It also keeps the mucous membranes moist, which helps the immune system fight off pathogens. Suitable drinks: (mineral) water, unsweetened herbal or fruit teas or highly diluted juice spritzer (1: 4). Carbonated drinks are tolerated differently. Highly sugary drinks such as soft drinks or pure juices are unfavorable.
  • Polyphenols are phytochemicals that promote the growth of protective intestinal bacteria. They are found in many types of fruit and vegetables. Abundant in nuts, wild herbs, berries, olive oil, cocoa, coffee and black tea.
  • Other secondary plant substances such as glucosinolates (mustard oils) in cabbage, cress, horseradish and mustard or sulfides in garlic and onion plants have an antibacterial and immune-strengthening effect.
  • An immune-boosting effect does not work like an antibiotic dose. Only if you permanently consume a mixture of the foods recommended here does the immune system have a chance to protect the body.

As the Consumer Service Bavaria concludes, in addition to a balanced diet with fresh food, a structured daily routine with enough sleep and at least 30 minutes of exercise in the fresh air is important to replenish our vitamin D stores, to remain physically fit and also (psychologically) Reduce stress.

According to experts, alcohol consumption should be avoided and smoking should be avoided altogether. (ad)

Important NOTE:
This article contains general information only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. He can not substitute a visit at the doctor.

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How nutritional supplements are booming in times of corona

Wuppertal The corona pandemic is plaguing companies in rows because stores are closed or production has had to be stopped. However, the situation is different for manufacturers of nutritional supplements – they benefit from the increased consumer interest in healthy nutrition, vitamin preparations and immune precaution.

Douglas boss Tina Müller, who closed 2,400 branches of her perfumery chain across Europe in mid-March and recorded sharp sales losses, mentioned dietary supplements in an interview with the Handelsblatt as a hope for her company: Customers are now “forced to be at home” and “have more interest than ever” on care products and especially on food supplements.

Bayer CEO Werner Baumann told Handelsblatt that the demand “for certain dietary supplements that support health is currently three to five times higher than usual”.

In Germany, it is mainly medium-sized or family-run manufacturers that bring a large number of such preparations onto the market. So Frank Spiegel, founder and managing director of Düsseldorfer Nutritional supplement brand “Nature Love”, Already at the end of February, a “short-term and sudden” increase in demand for its products was observed.

Spiegel, whose products are sold online in its own shop or, for example, in drugstores such as dm and Rossmann, told the Handelsblatt: “The demand for some products such as vitamin C and zinc has quadrupled.” Now the products speak of Nature Love – GMO-free, Without flavors, colors, preservatives and sweeteners – a very health-conscious clientele anyway. But the company, which makes around 20 million euros in sales every year, is now practically feeling every new measure that politicians announce.

Short-term delivery delays at Orthomol

The preparation “Orthomol Immun” from the family company of the same name in North Rhine-Westphalia, for example, was already sold out on relevant online portals in the USA in mid-March. The rows also thinned on many shelves in German pharmacies where the typical blue cardboard boxes of the food supplement are sold.

Orthomol boss Nils Glagau, son of the founder and most recently known from the investor program “Cave of the Lions”, does not want to give any details. As with many medium-sized companies, he does not want to be a profiteer of the pandemic crisis, in which so many companies are threatened existentially. So it only says: Since the foundation of Orthomol, which, after steady growth, now generates three-digit annual sales and still produces at its headquarters in Langenfeld, Rhineland, demand peaks have been observed time and again in the typical cold season. So also in the current situation.

There were short-term delivery delays for some popular products, “which we are now gradually catching up to.” Basically, however, “as a family-owned company, we are currently experiencing special cohesion, mutual support and a great deal of commitment, with which we are currently dealing with the special situation”.

You can also feel the need at the Cologne-based family company Klosterfrau Healthcare, whose therapeutic expertise goes back to its foundation in 1826 by Klosterfrau Maria Clementine Martin. Helmut Fabry, CEO, confirmed to Handelsblatt “an increasing demand from our customers” in March: “This effect was completely unusual for the season and can certainly be seen as a result of the corona virus epidemic.”

The demand affected a larger part of the range. “Dietary supplements and vitamins saw the highest increase in demand, sometimes in the three-digit percentage range.”

However, Fabry also makes it clear: “In our opinion, it is largely a temporary effect, that is, early purchases and not, real ‘sales growth.” The effect is expected to be offset by lower sales in the following quarter. So far, the company, which employs around 1,000 people, has been able to service all orders. Delivery problems did not arise. “However, they cannot be ruled out for the further course of the year in the event that further upstream suppliers have to cease production due to the corona virus epidemic.”

The benefits of some preparations are controversial

Nature Love founder Spiegel also speaks of a “big downside” to the sudden boom. “If the vacated warehouse cannot be replenished, the increased demand will fizzle out.” The raw materials for his products would become scarce, and some of the services would be too. “There is also uncertainty about future demand developments. When we place large orders, but the demand quickly flattens out in the future, we are sitting on a large inventory that requires and ties up a lot of capital. ”

Whether it is trace elements, vitamins, herbal remedies or preparations for orthomolecular nutrition: it does not seem to bother customers that the benefits of some remedies are at least controversial. And so the Federal Ministry of Agriculture has already warned of misleading promises that food supplements should prevent infection with the corona virus. “There is no dietary supplement that can prevent infection with the virus,” it said.

“With the feeling of powerlessness, the hope that something helps may have a psychological effect,” says Irmgard Zierden, an expert in natural healing and nutrition from Cologne. She also warns against “taking without meaning and reason”, that is at least a waste of money.

Zierden, in turn, calls zinc and vitamin D “useful for a basic infection profile – and thus also for strengthening the immune system against viruses of all kinds. But you should definitely get advice on dosage and composition.”
More: With what consequences consumer protectors threaten dubious dealers with health products in times of the corona crisis.

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Coronavirus: The immune system cannot be strengthened with vitamins

DThis fear of the new corona virus is exploited by manufacturers of alternative medicinal products and food supplements. The preparations are said to strengthen, stimulate or even “boost” the immune system. Garlic or ginger, grape seed extract, manuka honey, vitamins or minerals are also said to have a positive effect on the body’s defenses.

WhatsApp voice messages are circulating promoting Vitamin D as a cure for Covid-19. At the online mail order company Amazon, there are more than 2,000 results under the search term “boosting the immune system” in the “drugstore and body care” category. The search engine Google is currently the most interested in the same combination of words since recording started in 2004.

But what is it about the immune booster – and why does the Ministry of Consumer Protection even warn of some food supplements?

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Consumer advocates threaten dubious dealers with consequences

Berlin Consumer advocates want to take legal action against dubious dealers who take advantage of the corona pandemic with overpriced products or questionable promises. “People who do business in this crisis at the expense of other brazen business should be ashamed,” said the head of the Federal Consumer Association (VZBV), Klaus Müller, the Handelsblatt. The consumer advice centers warned if the legal situation existed. “Three breathing masks for 999 euros or vitamin supplements against the corona infection are no longer within a free pricing framework that would be tolerable,” says Müller.

According to Müller, some of the online retailers make sure that there is no platform for such “bad deals”. “The consumer advice centers ensure that legal consequences also threaten here.”

Müller takes a critical view of the trade in food supplements in this context. “Here consumers are being pulled out of their pockets with unfair and unsustainable promises,” said the VZBV boss. “This is particularly reprehensible in times of the corona crisis.”

Despite pending scientific evidence of its effectiveness, more and more people are taking nutritional supplements. In Germany, every third adult takes such a preparation, and one in four takes more than one per day. According to the statistics service provider IQVIA, the manufacturers achieved sales of 2.1 billion euros in 2018 through sales in German pharmacies alone – an increase of almost six percent annually since 2014.

With regard to such non-medical preparations, the Greens also warn of dubious health promises – especially in times of the corona crisis. “Dietary supplements cannot prevent people from getting the new corona virus. Providers who appear different in the current crisis are not serious and are deceiving consumers, ”said the Green Party parliamentary spokeswoman for the Greens, Renate Künast, the Handelsblatt. “Profit from the fear of the pandemic is unacceptable in every way.”

Consumer advocates found years ago that websites such as the “Center of Health” promoting food supplements are often primarily about product sales. In the case of the current crisis, the dangerousness of the corona virus is even relativized. “Fear – whether of the corona virus or other things – usually arises only because we have heard something about the supposed thing and believe it,” says the website of the portal. And: “For example, many people are afraid of wolves without ever having hit one. Then why are they afraid of wolves? Because they believe something that is written or told about these animals. “

Strict regulation required

And a few paragraphs later it goes on: “So do not believe everything that is said and claimed. But don’t spread rumors yourself. Because just because this or that stands or is told somewhere, it doesn’t have to be true. ”

Users who continue to look around on the website will then find tips with the headline: “How to strengthen your immune system with selenium”. To explain it then says: “Anyone looking for protection against corona inevitably stumbles across selenium. The trace element is responsible for a powerful immune system – and a strong immune system in turn protects against viruses, including corona. ”

The Consumer advice center North Rhine-Westphalia, however, clarifies in a current warning: “There are no food supplements that can prevent a disease with the novel corona virus (SARS-CoV-2).”

The Green politician Künast warns: “Instead of relying on false advertising promises, people should strengthen their immune system through healthy and balanced nutrition and sufficient exercise.” And when dealing with the virus, she recommends serious recommendations such as those of the Federal Ministry of Health or the Robert Koch Institute.

Künast also sees a need for legislative action. “The very lucrative business with food supplements must finally be regulated.” For years, the EU Commission has not complied with its announcement to set maximum levels for vitamins and minerals in food supplements. “There is also no sign of an approval requirement and therefore a precise review at European level,” criticized the Greens politician.

It is therefore necessary to set national maximum levels for vitamins and minerals in a timely manner. There have been templates for this in the Federal Ministry of Food for years, says Künast. “So that the money is not meaninglessly pulled out of people’s pockets and even new health risks arise, the ministry should finally introduce a regulation in the foreseeable future.”

More: Read here why researchers advise not to spend money on supplements.

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