Swiss panel releases diet recommendations to support immunity during pandemic

4 Nov 2020

It’s no secret that diet can aid in one’s overall health, but an expert panel in collaboration with the Swiss Society of Nutrition has defined a particular cocktail of micronutrients to support a well-functioning immune system with a special focus on COVID-19 viral infections.

Researchers found that vitamin C, vitamin D, selenium, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids were key ingredients to integrate into an optimal diet in order to reduce the risk of viral infections.

Swiss panel releases diet recommendations to support immunity during pandemic

Specifically, the panel recommended 200 mg per day of vitamin C; 2000 IU (50 µg) of vitamin D daily, which is higher than the daily recommended intake of 800 IU; 50 -100 µg per person per day of selenium; and 10 mg per person daily of zinc.

The recommended micronutrients recommended by the panel all had the common denominator of working to reduce inflammation within the body. As the coronavirus is a severe acute respiratory syndrome that causes constriction within the blood vessels, having a bank of micronutrients in the body’s system to reduce the body’s inflammatory response has been shown to reduce the mortality rate from the novel coronavirus.

The expert panel based its findings on the needs of the Swiss population but noted its research was applicable to residents of other European countries. This research was conducted in an effort to develop a public health recommendation for the Swiss government that incorporates additional cost-effective supportive measure to help manage the current coronavirus pandemic and to influence policymakers to also consider nutritional guidance in addition to hygiene, distancing, drugs and vaccinations.

In the white paper, the panel noted that although “a possible risk management strategy is to strengthen efforts for a well-balanced and diverse diet. This long-lasting effort will not deliver fast results.” To speed up the efficacy of nutrition as a means to combat the pandemic, the experts suggested complementing diets with supplements. The panel stressed that an improved diet supported by supplements is particularly important for older adults that are 65 years of age or older.

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