Sufficient zinc levels decrease pneumonia incidence in nursing home residents

Summary Zinc plays an important role in immune function. Therefore, a study executed by several research institutes in Boston, USA, investigated whether zinc concentrations in the blood are associated with the incidence and duration of pneumonia, use of antibiotics, and pneumonia-associated deaths. 578 residents of 33 nursing homes in Boston were involved. All participants received…

Vitamin C and zinc play essential role in immune function

Summary This review, conducted by Swiss researchers, gives an overview of several studies investigating the immune-enhancing effect of vitamin C and zinc and their influence on clinical conditions. The results showed that vitamin C concentrations rapidly decline during infections and that supplementation of vitamin C improves the function of the human immune system. Zinc deficiency…

Ecuadorian elderly are often affected by micronutrient deficiency and infectious diseases

Summary According to this Ecuadorian study, micronutrient deficiencies and infectious diseases are common in the Ecuadorian elderly. In this study, 145 elderly were involved. It showed, among others, that participants in this group have deficiencies of zinc (50%), iron (44%), vitamin B12 (43%), vitamin D (19%), and folate (18%). Furthermore, an increased number of respiratory…

Probiotics can reduce the risk of infectious diseases in athletes

Summary This review, conducted by several Australian research institutes, gives an overview of the effects of probiotics on immunity after intense physical exercise. Probiotics are well-known as modulators of the so-called microbiota. A well-functioning microbiota contains varied bacteria, which, among others, contribute to the regulation of the immune system and protection of the body from…

Vitamin D supplementation reduces risk of acute respiratory infections in Mongolian children

Summary Researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, USA, investigated the effect of vitamin D supplements on the risk of acute respiratory infections in children in Mongolia. To this end, 247 Mongolian schoolchildren were divided into two groups. The test group received milk supplemented with vitamin D (143 children), and the control group (104…

Micronutrient deficiencies associated with impaired immune response and higher burden of respiratory infections

Summary This study, conducted by American and Ecuadorian researchers, investigated the effects of micronutrient deficiencies on the immune response and respiratory infections in elderly Ecuadorians. 352 elderly were involved in this study. Several important micronutrients for immune function were measured in the participants’ blood. The results showed that micronutrient deficiencies were associated with a high…

Vitamin D intake during pregnancy and infancy reduces primary care visits for acute respiratory infections during early childhood

Summary This study, conducted by the University of Auckland, New Zealand, investigated the effect of vitamin D supplementation on primary care visits during pregnancy and infancy due to acute respiratory infections. Additionally, the required dose to achieve a normal vitamin D status during infancy was determined. To this end, healthy pregnant women were assigned in…

Selenium deficiency related to various infectious diseases

Summary This review gives an overview of the role of selenium deficiency on the development of several viral infectious diseases. According to numerous studies, selenium deficiency negatively affects the metabolic system, impairs the immune response, stimulates the progression of viral infectious diseases, and increases the number of harmful viral mutations. Additionally, some studies also showed…

Micronutrient status affects immune response and infectious diseases in elderly

Summary This review, executed by a research institute in Boston, USA, gives an overview of different factors involved in aging in less developed countries. For instance, malnutrition and related micronutrient deficiencies account for many chronic diseases and increase the incidence of infectious diseases due to an impaired immune function. According to various studies, supplementation with…

Vitamin D supplementation can prevent upper respiratory tract infections in athletes

Summary This study, executed by three research institutes in Uzbekistan, investigated seasonal changes in vitamin D status and its influence on upper respiratory tract infections among water sports athletes. 40 elite athletes and 30 controls were involved in the study. In the course of one year, vitamin D levels and inflammation parameters were measured, whereafter…

Probiotic bacteria reduce duration and severity of the common cold

Summary A German research institute conducted this study to investigate the long-term effects of probiotic bacteria consumption on various respiratory tract infections. To this end, 479 healthy adults were supplemented daily with vitamins and minerals, and additionally probiotic bacteria (test group) or without probiotic bacteria (control group). The intake of the probiotic led to a…

Selenium deficiency increases susceptibility to influenza virus infections

Summary To determine if selenium deficiency intensifies an influenza infection, selenium-deficient mice were infected with a mild strain of the influenza virus. The results showed that selenium-deficient mice developed much more severe lung tissue inflammations than mice without selenium deficiency. The researchers concluded that an adequate intake of antioxidants, like selenium, is essential for a…

Vitamin D helps reduce respiration infections and antibiotic use in patients with frequent respiratory tract infections

Summary This Swedish study aimed to investigate whether vitamin D supplementation could reduce infectious symptoms and antibiotic consumption in patients with frequent respiratory infections. 140 suitable participants were involved who received either a supplement or a placebo daily for one year. The results showed a significantly reduced number of infections and decreased antibiotic use in…

Black cumin and vitamin C enhances efficacy of antiviral medication in hepatitis C patients

Summary This study, conducted by several research institutes in Pakistan and China, investigated the effects of black cumin and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) to enhance the efficacy of antiviral medication in hepatitis C patients. In this study, 30 hepatitis C patients were involved. 15 patients received only the antiviral drug, and the other 15 patients…

Zinc supplementation in pregnant women may prevent placental malaria

Summary This study, conducted by several American, Tanzanian, and Canadian research institutes, aimed to investigate whether daily oral supplementation with vitamin A and/or zinc can reduce the risk of placental malaria and adverse pregnancy outcomes. Placental malaria is a life-threatening illness caused primarily by infection with a malaria-causing parasite. 2500 pregnant women were divided into…

Vitamin D supplementation prevents viral upper respiratory tract infections

Summary This study, conducted by a Canadian University, investigated whether vitamin D supplementation could prevent viral upper respiratory tract infections. 600 participants were divided into four groups. 1st group: vitamin D and gargling; 2nd group: placebo and gargling; 3rd group: vitamin D only, and 4th group: placebo only. The results showed that vitamin D supplementation…

Increased selenium intake improves immune function and treatment of poliovirus infections

Summary This study, conducted by several British researchers, aimed to investigate whether additional selenium intake can improve immune function, support the treatment of poliovirus infections, and decrease mutations of the poliovirus in healthy British adults. Therefore, 22 British participants with relatively low plasma selenium levels received additional selenium (50 µg or 100 µg) or a…

Selenium supplementation may suppress human immunodeficiency virus

Summary An American study investigated whether selenium administration may suppress a specific type of the human immunodeficiency virus. 262 participants infected with HIV initiated the treatment. 141 participants were treated with a selenium product (200 µg), and 121 participants received a placebo product during the first 9 months of this study. In total, 174 participants…

Vitamin D supplementation is a beneficial strategy for preventing bacterial and viral infections

Summary This review, conducted by several Canadian and British research institutes, gives an overview of the beneficial effects of vitamin D on the regulation of immune function. Vitamin D showed, among others, a beneficial interaction with multiple processes executed by the immune system and several effects on immune cells. Moreover, vitamin D deficiency at a…

Zinc supplementation improves immune response in children with Shigella infections

Summary This study, conducted by Bengali and Swedish research institutes, investigated whether short-term zinc supplementation improves the immune response in malnourished children with acute Shigella infections in Bangladesh. 28 children aged between 12 and 59 months were supplemented with zinc and other micronutrients daily for 2 weeks. A control group with 28 children received a…

Patients with respiratory viral infections benefit from vitamin D supplementation

Summary According to this review by Romanian and British research institutes, vitamin D can benefit immune response (the reaction which occurs within our organism to defend against foreign invaders) in respiratory viral infectious diseases. This is because patients with respiratory infections are often vitamin D deficient. As a result of its increased antiviral and anti-inflammatory…

Zinc sulfate as an effective preventive and therapeutic measure against the common cold

Summary This Turkish study aimed to determine the efficacy of prophylactic zinc sulfate treatment in reducing the common cold in children and evaluating the effectiveness of zinc sulfate in reducing the duration and severity of cold symptoms. 200 healthy children received a prophylactic oral zinc sulfate product (100 children) or placebo product (100 children) once…

Zinc supplementation reduces costs and duration of acute diarrhea in children

Summary This Philippian study investigated the cost-effectiveness of zinc supplementation in children with acute diarrhea. 117 diarrhea patients aged between 2 and 59 months were involved in this trial. 60 patients received zinc in combination with a conventional oral rehydration solution (standard treatment), and 57 patients received only the conventional treatment. The results showed a…

Zinc supplementation in children with cholera

Summary A study conducted by Bengali researchers investigated the impact of zinc supplementation in children with cholera. The study involved 179 children with diarrhea and positively tested on cholera microbes. 90 patients received a daily zinc supplementation combined with the conventional therapy (antibiotics); 89 patients received a placebo in addition to the conventional treatment. Among…

Zinc supplementation helps malnourished children with infections of the intestines

Summary This study, conducted by a Bengali and an American research institute, investigated the effects of zinc supplementation in malnourished children with shigellosis (infection of the intestines caused by Shigella bacteria). The study was conducted in a Bengali hospital and included 56 moderately malnourished children between 12 and 59 months. The children received liquid zinc or a…

High-dose vitamin C therapy has positive effect on Epstein-Barr infections

Summary A trial conducted by an American research institute investigated the effectiveness of high-dose vitamin C in suppressing Epstein-Barr infections. The data of 218 patients were evaluated. The researchers found that high doses of vitamin C decreased disease duration and reduced the number of viral antibodies indicating infection with the virus. Additionally, vitamin D was…

Vitamin D essential in treating hepatitis C infections

Summary According to this Egyptian study, vitamin D is an essential micronutrient in treating viral hepatitis C infections. The study involved 66 children diagnosed with hepatitis C and 28 healthy children. All participants received conventional therapy, with 33 patients additionally receiving a vitamin D supplement. Several parameters were measured to determine the effectiveness of the…

Zinc prevents respiratory tract infections and diarrheal disease in children

Summary According to a study conducted by several Colombian research institutes, zinc supplementation can have beneficial effects in preventing upper respiratory tract infections and diarrheal infectious diseases in children. 355 children were involved in this study. During 12 months, the test group, including 174 healthy children aged between 6 and 12 months, received a daily…

Vitamin D deficiency in COVID-19 patients

Summary This study by several Iranian research institutes investigated the connection between vitamin D levels and the severity of COVID-19 infections. 123 people participated in this study, including 63 COVID-19 patients and 60 healthy participants. The study showed that COVID-19 patients had significantly lower vitamin D levels and a significantly higher number of ACE receptors,…

Vitamin A supplementation improves health of Malaria-infected pregnant women

Summary The present study investigated the effect of vitamin A supplementation in pregnant Malaria-infected women in Nigeria. 152 Malaria-infected pregnant women were involved; 76 received a vitamin A supplement 3 times a week (once daily), and 76 participants received a placebo without active ingredients. The pregnant women were followed up until the delivery of their…

Combined vitamin A and zinc supplementation leads to significant reduction of malaria morbidity in African children

Summary This study, conducted by researchers from Burkina Faso, the USA, and Austria, investigated the effects of a combined vitamin A and zinc supplementation on Malaria morbidity in children aged between 6 and 72 months in Burkina Faso. Children were divided into two groups of each 74 participants. One group received the micronutrient supplement, and…

Zinc supplementation reduces number of acute lower respiratory infections in children

Summary This study was conducted to investigate the effectiveness of zinc in children with acute lower respiratory infections. The children, aged less than 5 years, received either a zinc supplement or a placebo product for 60 days. Zinc supplementation led to a significantly lower number of cases of acute lower respiratory infections (20.8% vs. 45.8%)…

The beneficial effects of zinc supplements on the incidence of pneumonia and diarrhea in children

Summary Infectious diseases are associated with high morbidity and mortality rates in children in developing countries. A study conducted by several Bengali and American researchers investigated the effects of a weekly zinc supplementation on the incidence of pneumonia and diarrhea in children in Bangladesh. The study participants – children aged between 60 days and 12…

Vitamin D reduces negative consequences in COVID-19 patients

Summary This study, conducted by several Iranian and American research institutes, investigated the association between vitamin D levels and its effect on several adverse clinical outcomes and parameters related to immune function and mortality rate in 235 COVID-19 patients. This study showed a significant association between vitamin D sufficiency, less severe clinical complaints, and better…

Vitamin D prevents respiratory infections in patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Summary In this study, researchers aimed to investigate the (preventive) effect of vitamin D supplementation on the incidence of seasonal flu and respiratory tract infections in patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) during the winter and early spring. 223 patients with IBD were included and categorized in two groups: One test group received a vitamin…

Vitamin D improves mortality rate in COVID-19 patients

Summary This study, conducted by Turkish researchers, investigated the effect of vitamin D levels on COVID-19 severity and mortality in 149 COVID-19 patients. Results showed that patients with critical complaints had significantly lower vitamin D levels than patients with moderate COVID-19 complaints. Vitamin D insufficiency was measured in 93.1% of the patients with critical complaints.…

Micronutrients reduce the risk of infection

Summary Numerous studies have pointed out the clear connection between a well-functioning immune system and a sufficient daily intake of multiple specific micronutrients, including vitamins A, D, C, E, B6, and B12, folate, zinc, iron, copper, and selenium, which often play synergistic roles. Micronutrient deficiencies frequently occur in the human body, and even marginal deficiencies…