Newswise — Experts convened by ILSI Global on May 5, 2020 addressed the latest research on nutrition and immunity and concluded that nothing you can eat or take will help fend off the virus. However, good nutrition enhances immunity and would help one be as healthy as possible going into treatment should one contract the Covid-19 virus, they said.
Philip Calder of the University of Southampton and Adrian Martineau with Queen Mary University of London, U.K., emphasized that a nutritional diet is important if one becomes infected. Having a well-functioning immune system is key to a robust defense against pathogenic organisms. Calder emphasized that various cell types play distinct roles in immune defenses and work together to fight viruses and block their replication. He added that obesity or previous lung injuries prolong the viruses’ impact and increase the need for ventilation support. Finally, he noted that if zinc and selenium are kept at appropriate levels in the body, immune response appears to be stronger.
Adrian Martineau works with patients with respiratory illnesses and said vitamin D and other micronutrients play a role in modulating immune response. He said efforts to research the vitamin continue. Even though a tripling of vitamin D in a Mongolian study didn’t boost immune protectiveness among schoolchildren, other studies in Gibraltar and France are coming in its wake. Other research is focused on whether protective antibodies are delivered to infants through breast milk. Martineau emphasized that washing hands and maintaining social distance are the best ways to avoid getting infected. Nutrition alone won’t stop one from getting infected but can help with immune response.
A full recording of the researchers talks is available here.
To learn more about other ILSI events and webinars, go here.
ILSI North America is one entity within the Global ILSI Federation. ILSI North America is the only US-Canadian organization that brings together scientists from government, academia and industry to advance science in food safety and nutrition for public benefit. Global ILSI is a nonprofit, worldwide organization whose mission is to provide science that improves human health and well-being and safeguards the environment. For over 40 years, Global ILSI has specialized in convening scientists from the public and private sectors to collaborate in a neutral forum on scientific topics of mutual interest.