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What is the role of vitamins and minerals in fighting against viral infections and boosting immunity?

One of the most difficult eras in human history, Covid-19, arose. Globally, the pandemic caused unprecedented health crises, economic turbulence, and societal unrest.

Communities confronted isolation, and healthcare systems were stretched to their breaking point. The quick worldwide effort to create vaccines demonstrated humanity’s adaptability, but Covid-19’s long-term effects will serve as a stark warning of the importance of being ready.

A sharp increase in H3N2 influenza cases has been reported in India as the globe begins to recover from the devastation caused by Covid-19. H3N2 is a strain of influenza, claims the WHO. a virus that primarily effects people. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that this virus was first discovered in swine there in 2010. Twelve human infections were found later in 2012, and several H3N2 epidemics followed in the same year. The virus causes a variety of lung symptoms, including a chronic cough. Infections of Covid-19 are also on the rise once more in the nation.

In addition to social isolation, face covering, and decreased contact, people all over the world have been using vitamins and minerals to strengthen their immune systems and increase their chances of fending off the Covid-19 virus. Given the present circumstances, it is imperative that this practice continue in order to strengthen the body’s immunity and increase its capacity to fight off viruses.

The expanding market for dietary supplements around the globe is evidence that demand has increased ever since Covid-19 first appeared. For instance, the Indian market for dietary supplements has experienced a recent exponential growth to hit INR 436.5 billion in 2022, according to IMARC. As the market is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 13.5 per cent, it will exceed INR 958.1 billion by 2028, making India one of the world’s leaders in pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals. By 2025, it is expected to have reached over Rs 148 crores.

Options for immunity boosters

There are several ways to maintain a high degree of immunity. There is undoubtedly an option for everyone, including medicines, nutraceuticals, and other contemporary lines. For instance, nutraceuticals have greatly increased in acceptance and appeal in India, particularly when it comes to boosting the immune system. Nutraceuticals are a feasible line of defence against viral assaults due to the bioactive derivatives they contain from sources like phytochemicals, antioxidants, amino acids, fatty acids, and probiotics, among others.

It has been discovered that supplements with selenium, vitamins C, D, and zinc, as well as other nutrients, are effective against COVID-19. Vitamin D can improve the physical defences our bodies erect against such pathogens while also enhancing antimicrobial peptides. The herbs, processed foods, beverages, diets, and nutrients that makeup nutraceuticals aid in enhancing immune functions and avoiding viral infections when coupled with Vitamin C’s antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties and selenium’s impact on the cytotoxic effector cells. Additionally, zinc supports the management of COVID-19 by enhancing the immune system and possibly reducing the severity and duration of the disease.

The wide variety of D3 formulations that are offered throughout the nation and the rest of the globe is another distinctive choice. D3 is also regarded as a potent immune booster in addition to supporting healthy bones and muscular function. For the purpose of boosting the immune system, supplements and nutraceuticals made from fatty fish flesh or fish liver oils are a good choice. The good news is that they are available in a variety of formats, including powders, gummies, soft gel pills, and dissolvable tablets.

Modern-day Nutraceutical manufacturers have become more creative than ever before, owing to so many reasons. The emergence of gummies came about as a result of the need to make drug consumption easier and more convenient. The issue of medical non-conformity arising from the non-palatability of tablets and other dosage forms is now being addressed with the production of vitamins and mineral gummies. What this indicates is that anyone can take immune boosters on the move without the need for water or a break just to take a drug.

Other options like powders, liquids, and chewable have also been introduced. The point to take is that dosage must be adhered to strictly to meet up one’s daily needs.

Tightening your defences against viral attacks

Pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals are not the only way to fight off viruses. Tweaking one’s diet to include more vitamins and minerals is also extremely important. However, it is often hard to keep up with one’s daily dietary recommendations, especially in our fast-paced “rush-hour” society. Thus, supplementation is the most convenient way to achieve a balance in our diet.

Emphasising the importance of safety, always consult a doctor before taking supplements, as this can help prevent potential side effects and ensure compatibility with one’s specific health conditions.

(Sanjeev Jain, is Jt. Managing Director, of Akums Drugs and Pharmaceuticals)

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