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.

Authors: M. Lucafò, D. Boschiero

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