Vitamin C Shows Direct Benefit in Lung Function
In this review it was found that vitamin C doses as modest as 200 mg daily (and up to 1,500 mg) consistently reduced the decline of FEV1 and supported healthy breathing. The scientists reviewing the studies concluded that vitamin C supplementation is worth exploring for physically-active people to support healthy lung function in situations where they have EIB or for general lung improvement – albeit that this benefit has yet to be established.
Zinc supplementation to improve treatment outcomes among children diagnosed with respiratory infections
Zinc is an essential trace element required for maintaining intestinal cells, bone growth, and immune function. Children who are living in low- income settings are often undernourished and zinc deficient. Severe zinc deficiency has been associated with stunting of growth, impaired immunity, skin disorders, learning disabilities and anorexia. Deficiencies may arise from the insufficient intake of foods containing zinc or insufficient absorption. Most foods high in zinc are of animal origin, such as meats, fish and dairy products. These foods may be more difficult to access for low-income populations. Dietary fibre and compounds called phytates, which are often found in foods such as cereals, nuts and legumes, bind to zinc and result in poor absorption. Frequent diarrhoea, that is also associated with chronic undernutrition, may further deplete body stores of zinc.
Pneumonia alone kills more children each year than AIDS, malaria or measles combined, with over two million deaths per year. Some research studies have suggested that zinc supplementation may reduce the number of episodes and severity of bronchiolitis and pneumonia cases in children.
A number of authors have confirmed that routine zinc supplementation for more than three months does have a positive effect on reducing the duration of acute lower respiratory tract infections among children in developing countries. These effects observed could translate into major absolute reductions in childhood morbidity and mortality rates given the numbers of children who die from acute lower respiratory tract infections every year. It remains important to better understand how zinc may also work in conjunction with antibiotics in the treatment of children with severe acute lower respiratory tract infections and to reduce the number of child deaths due to pneumonia.
Zinc and respiratory tract infections: Perspectives for COVID-19 (Review)
In view of the emerging COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus, the search for potential protective and therapeutic antiviral strategies is of particular and urgent interest. Zinc is known to modulate antiviral and antibacterial immunity and regulate inflammatory response. Despite the lack of clinical data, certain indications suggest that modulation of zinc status may be beneficial in COVID-19. In vitro experiments demonstrate that Zn2+ possesses antiviral activity through inhibition of SARS- CoV RNA polymerase. This effect may underlie therapeutic efficiency of chloroquine known to act as zinc ionophore. Indirect evidence also indicates that Zn2+ may decrease the activity of angiotensin- converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), known to be the receptor for SARS-CoV-2. Improved antiviral immunity by zinc may also occur through up-regulation of interferon α production and increasing its antiviral activity. Zinc possesses anti-inflammatory activity by inhibiting NF-κB signaling and modulation of regulatory T-cell functions that may limit the cytokine storm in COVID-19. Improved Zn status may also reduce the risk of bacterial co-infection by improving mucociliary clearance and barrier function of the respiratory epithelium, as well as direct antibacterial effects against S. pneumoniae. Zinc status is also tightly associated with risk factors for severe COVID-19 including ageing, immune deficiency, obesity, diabetes, and atherosclerosis, since these are known risk groups for zinc deficiency. Therefore, Zn may possess protective effect as preventive and adjuvant therapy of COVID-19 through reducing inflammation, improvement of mucociliary clearance, prevention of ventilator-induced lung injury, modulation of antiviral and antibacterial immunity. However, further clinical and experimental studies are required.
A patented strain of Bacillus coagulans increased immune response to viral challenge
Viral respiratory tract infection is the most common illness among humans. Probiotics have been known to enhance the immune system and, therefore, may represent a significant therapeutic advancement for treating viral respiratory tract infections.
The patented GanedenBC30 probiotic may be a safe and effective therapeutic option for enhancing T-cell response to certain viral respiratory tract infections.
Probiotics to prevent upper respiratory tract infections
Upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) are illnesses caused by an infection of mucosal surfaces in the nose, sinuses, pharynx and/or larynx. These infections include the common cold, rhinosinusitis, tonsillitis and otitis media and are very common, especially among infants, children and elderly. URTIs are among the most common reasons for people to visit their doctor and they account for a large part of antibiotic use in high-income countries. Although antibiotics are very effective in clearing infections, they come with negative side-effects such as antibiotic resistance. This has prompted researchers to look into more natural alternatives, such as probiotics, for treatment and/or prevention of URTIs. Mechanisms by which probiotics may be effective are thought to be related to restoration of the microbial balance in the upper respiratory tract and stimulation of the immune response. Based on these scientific insights the probiotic formulation, Winclove 381 Respiratory, to prevent URTIs was developed.