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What are they?

Nutraceuticals are food products that play a role in maintaining well-being, improving health, modulating immunity and thus preventing and treating specific diseases.

What are nutraceuticals for?

They are important for the day to day, preventing diseases and increasing well-being, and can also be used in the treatment of diseases, with the potential to improve the response against pathogens, but also to modulate the activation of the immunity itself. Its use is already well known in the prevention of infections, chronic inflammatory or autoimmune diseases and in allergic diseases.

Examples of nutraceuticals and their functions

Vitamin D is considered a nutraceutical, with modulation of the immune system and antioxidant, as well as vitamin A, which can help prevent respiratory viruses by regulating immune cells. Zinc activates the production of transcription factors, such as NF-kB, and antiviral proteins, as well as increases the proliferation and differentiation of immune cells. Other nutraceuticals already well known are polyphenols, lactoferrin, selenium, magnesium and coenzyme Q.

When do you need to supplement?

The actions of nutraceuticals are extremely important to maintain the homeotase of the immune system, but it is emphasized that most of the results of studies come from cells in vitro. Therefore, it is still difficult to say that the data are conclusive to the point of define the practical application of nutraceuticals in the prevention and treatment of viral infections, for example, and thus recommend a specific supplementation. In the coming years, it is expected that more clinical studies will be conducted in such a way that an assertive conduct can be defined.


Article: Costagliola G, Nuzzi G, Spada E, Comberiati P, Verduci E, Peroni DG. Nutraceuticals in Viral Infections: An Overview of the Immunomodulating Properties. Nutrients. 2021 Jul 14;13(7):2410. Doi: 10.3390/nu13072410.

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