Micronutrients and the immune system

Vitamins and minerals are key micronutrients for the good functioning of our immune system, and they need to be introduced into the body through proper nutrition. During the winter, however, when colds and flu are easy to catch, it is necessary to increase our body’s defense by supporting physical barriers, cellular immunity and antibody production.
For example, zinc supplementation reduces the acute and chronic phases of infectious diseases in both children and the elderly; vitamin C improves immune system function and reduces the duration of colds; vitamins B12, B6 and D enhance cellular immunity.
Supplements containing most of the B vitamin complex are essential micronutrients for carbohydrate, protein and lipid metabolism; vitamins C, E and beta carotene are excellent antioxidants; vitamin C is also important in lipid metabolism while copper and zinc are involved in carbohydrate metabolism and chromium improves insulin sensitivity and effectively reduces blood lipids. Potassium and sodium bicarbonate help maintain the body’s acid-base balance, while magnesium and potassium are essential for proper salt and water balance.
Supplementation of B vitamins with vitamin C and copper is indicated both because it reduces symptoms of fatigue and because it influences the metabolism of iron that, if lacking, is a sign of fatigue.
Melcalin Vita for example, is a comprehensive supplement that provides the right amount of minerals and vitamins needed to maintain good health and well-being.


Authors: M. Lucafò, D. Boschiero


Attention: these contents can be freely used for personal learning purposes only. The use is regulated by Law No. 633/1941 and subsequent amendments, as well as by the copyright and patent legislation in force. Any use for commercial and profit-making purposes is forbidden.


References

  1. EFSA. Council of the european union. 27 Jannuary 2012.
  2. Can J Appl Sport Sci. 1983 Sep;8(3):140-2. Dietary supplementation with vitamin C delays the onset of fatigue in isolated striated muscle of rats. Richardson JH, Allen RB.
  3. J R Soc Med. 1999 Apr;92(4):183-5.Vitamin B status in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. Heap LC, Peters TJ, Wessely S.
  4. PloS One. 2012;7(1):e30519. Epub 2012 Jan 20.Association of vitamin B12 deficiency with fatigue and depression after lacunar stroke. Huijts M, Duits A, Staals J, van Oostenbugge RJ.
  5. J Am Coll Nutr. 2001 Aug;20(4):337-42. Dietary and supplement treatment of iron deficiency results in improvements in general health and fatigue in Australian women of childbearing age. Patterson AJ, Brown WJ, Roberts DC. Ironing out fatigue. Annette von Drygalski and John W. Adamson.
  6. O.Wenker: Vitamin Deficiencies: An Overview. The Internet Journal of Nutrition and Wellness. 2005 Vol 1 Number 1
  7. The influence of vitamin B12 on carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. Chiunt T, Lingt and Bacon F. Chow.
  8. The B vitamin and fat metabolism. E.W.McHenry and Gertrude Gavin. 1995 Aug;98(2):185-9,192-3.Niacin for lipid disorders.Indications, effectiveness, and safety. Brown WV.
  9. 2010 Jan;1800(1):6-15. Epub 2009 Oct 28.Niacin improves renal lipid metabolism and slows progression in chronic kidney disease. Cho KH, Kim HJ, Kamanna VS.
  10. Acta Vitaminol Enzymol. 1982;4(1-2):105-14. Vitamins and lipid metabolism. Fidanza A, Audisio M.
  11. S Afr Med J. 1975 Sep 20;49(40):1651-4. The effects of vitamine C on lipid metabolism.Kotzé JP.
  12. West J Med. 1990 January; 152(1): 41–45. The effect of chromium picolinate on serum cholesterol and apolipoprotein fractions in human subjects. R. I. Press, J. Geller, and G. W. Evans
  13. Turk J Med Sci 2006 The effect of zinc Deficiency on zinc status, carbohydrate metabolism and progesterone level in pregnant rats. zine
  14. Nutr Biochem nov 2003, 14 (11) :648-55. Carbohydrate metabolism in erythrocytes of copper deficient rats. Metabolismo dei carboidrati in eritrociti di ratti carenti di rame. Brooks SP, Cockell KA, Dawson BA.
  15. Isr J Med Sci. 1982 Aug;18(8):840-4.Effect of copper on carbohydrate metabolism in rats.Cohen AM; Teitelbaum A, Miller E.
  16. Metabolism. 2007 Sep;56(9):1233-40. Effect of chromium on carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in a rat model of type 2 diabetes mellitus: the fatfed, streptozotocin-treated rat. Sahir K, Onderci M, Tuzcu M.
  17. Diabetes.1997 Nov;46(11):1786-91. Elevated intakes of supplemental chromium improve glucose and insulin variables in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Anderson RA, Cheng N, Bryden NA.
  18. The ithaca journal Dehydration is a risk even during the winter
  19. Br J Nutr. 2007 Oct;98 Suppl 1:S29-35. Selected vitamins and trace elements support immune function by strengthening epithelial barriers and cellular and humoral immune responses. Maggini S, Wintergerst ES, Beveridge S, Horning DH
  20. Mol Med. 2008 May-Jun; 14(5-6): 353-357. Zinc in Human Health: Effect of Zinc on Immune Cells.Ananda S Prasad
  21. Proc Nutr Soc. 2000 Nov;59(4): 541-52. Zinc and the immune system. Rink L, Gabriel P
  22. J Biol Regul Homeost Agents. 2013 Apr-Jun; 27(2):291-5. Role of vitaminis D, E and C in immunity and inflammation. Shaik-Dasthagirisaheb YB, Varvara G, Murmura G, Saggini A, Caraffa A, Antinolfi P, Tetè S, Tripodi D, Conti F, Cianchetti E, Toniato E, Rosati M, Speranza L, Pantalone A, Saggini R, Tei M, Speziali A, Conti P, Theoharides TC, Pandolfi F
  23. Clin Exp Immunol. 1999 Apr,116(1):28-32 Immunomodulation by vitamin B12: augmentation of CD8+ T lymphocytes and natural killer (NK) cell activity in vitamin B12-deficient patients by methyl-B12 treatment. Tamura J, Kubota K, Murakami H, Sawamura M, Matsushima T, Tamura T, Saitoh T, Kurabayshi H, Naruse T
  24. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2006 Oct;60(10):1207-13 Epub 2006 May 3. Vitamin B6 supplementation increases immune responses in critically ill patients. Cheng CH, Chang SJ, Lee BJ, Lin KL, Huang YC