Beating the Flu with Good Nutrition 

By Western Berks Physical Therapy on March 25th, 2020

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Beating the Flu with Good Nutrition

The Influenza virus is notorious for changing its genome, continually introducing new strains of influenza virus into the population. Because of the genomic changes, infection with an influenza strain from the previous year does not guarantee immune protection from a new strain.

A study called The Influence of Nutrition on Influenza Virus Infection by the University of North Carolina, in conjunction with the National Institute of Health (NIH), demonstrated that the nutritional status of the host could influence the genome of the virus.

Their findings pointed to the importance of the host’s nutritional status during an infection and demonstrated that the nutritional status of the host can also play a role in emerging infectious diseases by having a direct effect on the genome of a virus, a previously unknown phenomenon.

Your immune system acts to protect you from infectious agents that exist in the environment such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. Nutrients are the building blocks to a healthy immune system. Poor nutrition impairs the immune system, suppressing immune functions that are fundamental to your overall health. Nutrients required for the immune system to function efficiently include essential amino acids, the essential fatty acid linoleic acid, vitamin A, folic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin E, Zn, Cu, Fe and Se. Studies have demonstrated that adding the deficient nutrient back to the diet can restore immune function and resistance to infection.

If you’re concerned that you’re not obtaining enough of a certain nutrient, talk to your doctor. They can refer you to a nutritionist to discuss your diet with you and help you make appropriate dietary changes. Whitney George is a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant and has been a trusted ally for Western Berks Physical Therapy patients for years. Find your balance with an individualized plan for achieving optimum health and wellness.

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