Most chronic pulmonary diseases – including asthma, bronchitis, and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) – are characterized by chronic inflammation that makes both the symptoms and the prognosis worse. Fish and fish oil supplements contain specific omega-3 fatty acids that appear to have an anti-inflammatory effect and may therefore be useful as both prevention and therapy for chronic pulmonary diseases. This was demonstrated in a large American population study that also included Europeans. What the researchers also mention is that people who fail to meet the official guidelines for fish consumption are often at increased risk of developing chronic lung diseases.
Many of us contract respiratory infections during the winter period. In many cases, the underlying cause is a deficiency of vitamin D, a key nutrient for immune health. Vitamin D also regulates the body’s inflammatory response, thereby preventing it from getting out of hand and becoming complicated or life-threatening. In a new review article, researchers looked at vitamin D’s role in preventing and fighting acute respiratory infections such as COVID-19 and influenza with particular focus on children and youngsters. The scientists point out that many people need to take higher doses of vitamin D to optimize levels of the nutrient in their blood.
The immune system is of vital importance to our ability to react to a COVID-19 infection. Most people don’t get any symptoms or only have mild ones, whereas the infection can become complicated and potentially life-threatening for certain exposed groups of people. Numerous studies have shown that our immune defense depends on different vitamins and minerals to function optimally. Now, a meta-analysis has shown that zinc supplementation can lower the mortality rate among COVID-19 patients. Many older people, chronically ill patients, and other vulnerable groups tend to lack zinc. This is a problem because the nutrient is not only essential for a well-functioning immune defense but also protects cells and tissues against damage caused by oxidative stress.