To Your Health
March, 2020 (Vol. 14, Issue 03)
By Editorial Staff
The overwhelming majority of news coverage right now deals with the coronavirus: what it is, where it’s spreading, efforts to make a vaccine, who has succumbed to it and how to prevent it.
Here’s a prevention tip you may not have heard about: nutraceuticals.
You may have already observed that many of the deaths from these viruses, whether it be flu or corona (yes, thousands of people die every year from influenza as well), usually involve people with less-than-ideal immunity – older, suffering from a health condition or both. It makes sense, therefore, that anything which would boost your immunity could potentially help prevent coronavirus from advancing beyond a few harmless symptoms to something life-threatening.
What exactly are nutraceuticals? In a nutshell, they’re dietary supplements, compounds or other nondrug entities found in food sources that have benefits beyond basic nutrition. For the purpose of this conversation, we’ll focus on the nutraceuticals that may reduce corona and flu per a recent study published in Progress in Cardiovascular disease, and let the researchers explain their findings: “Nutraceuticals have potential for boosting the type 1 interferon response to RNA viruses.”
Type 1 interferon exerts several important functions, but the most important may be helping protect against viruses in neighboring cells that have not been infected. You can see how a boost in type 1 interferon could help prevent corona and flu viruses from taking hold and causing problems in the body.
So, back to nutraceuticals: Which ones could help? The researchers provide some suggestions based on the evidence: elderberry, zinc, glucosamine, spirulina, lipoic acid, selenium, ferulic acid, N-acetylcysteine and yeast beta-glucan. Your doctor can tell you more about these and other nutraceuticals that can boost immune health, including the food and/or supplement sources.