An optimal nutritional state can reduce the risk of viral infections and their consequences; in fact, nutrients have an impact on the development of the immune system.
The immune system is an interactive network of organs and cells whose main function is to protect the body from the attack of foreign microorganisms and pathogens called antigens.
The immune system is divided into two parts, characterized by the speed and specificity of reaction to the response: the innate and adaptive immune response.
Innate immunity is the host’s first line of defense and is intended to prevent infection and attack the invading pathogens.
The innate immune system includes physical and anatomical barriers as well as effector cells (e.g. macrophages). Once the interaction host-invader pathogen enters, a signaling cascade is initiated which enhances the immune response and activates specific defense mechanisms.
The adaptive immune response consists of highly specific reactions through the activity of immune cells called T lymphocytes and B lymphocytes, which possess the memory capacity for a specific antigen, in order to activate faster if the body comes into contact with the antigen.
Although the innate response is immediate, it often damages healthy tissues due to its lack of specificity; on the contrary, the adaptive response is precise, but it takes days or weeks before developing.
These two defense mechanisms work together efficiently to ensure a high protection of our body.
Unfortunately, however, these defense mechanisms are not always reactive, since there are several factors that can cause a decrease in the response, such as stress and inadequate nutrition. This, in turn, can lead to a higher probability of being infected by pathogenic microorganisms that are not destroyed by our immune system.
The body can be susceptible to rigid environmental temperatures and adverse climatic conditions, even if they are not a direct cause of the onset of seasonal illnesses. A good strategy to defend against the symptoms and the incidence of infections, therefore, is to strengthen the immune system in order to fight pathogens more effectively.
The role of vitamin D
Vitamin D is known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’. It is normally produced on the skin following exposure to ultraviolet rays in sunlight and represents a hormone fundamental for health promotion.
Vitamin D is essential for the deposit of calcium in the bones, giving them solidity and resistance, as well as promoting the absorption of phosphorus.
In recent years, vitamin D has been the subject of numerous scientific studies that, in addition to its classic effects on the homeostasis of calcium and bones, highlight the importance of this vitamin in the prevention of health, such as / and? strengthening the immune system.
In fact, vitamin D can positively modulate innate and adaptive immune responses. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased autoimmunity and increased susceptibility to infections.
In recent years, epidemiological data has shown that vitamin D deficiency is associated with a high frequency of the population to get sick.1 It indicated that a low serum level of vitamin D in patients is positively correlated with morbidity in upper respiratory tract infections, including influenza. It is assumed, therefore, that the increase in influenza cases in the winter months can be linked to reduced exposure to sunlight.
From five or six years of age, and especially during adolescence, the recommended dose of vitamin D is 600-1,000 IU (International Unit) per day. In case of poor compliance, on the advice of the family doctor or pediatrician, it is possible to opt for intermittent administration, with weekly or even monthly doses, which vary in total between 18,000 IU and 30,000 IU.
Table. Vitamin D Daily Requirement Recommended between 1-18 years old
Food supplements to support the body
However, the diet sometimes fails to guarantee an adequate nutritional status, so it is necessary to resort to the administration of multivitamin and multimineral products, especially in children and the elderly.
The ingredients contained in ApportAL® products may contribute to the normal function of the immune system, supporting the body with the right concentrations of these nutrients, such as vitamin D.
ApportAL® contains 19 nutrients that perform four main functions: immune, antioxidant, tonic-energizing and muscular. It is a suitable product for adults who need a quick recharge of energy to deal with situations related to the change of season or stressful periods that can cause a sense of physical and mental fatigue. It is particularly suitable for those who follow diets characterized by a reduced intake of one or more nutrients.
ApportAL® Vital contains 19 nutrients that perform three macroactivities: immune, tonic and energizing. It is suitable for those who need support in recovering post-flu or during post-surgery convalescence, for those who are more susceptible to seasonal infections and tend to get sick often, or for those who cannot follow varied and balanced diets and are lacking in one or more nutrients.
The minerals contained in ApportAL® and ApportAL® Vital, such as iron, magnesium, zinc, iodine and selenium, are formulated with Sucrosomial® technology, a patent of Pharmanutra S.p.a, in which minerals are protected by a matrix of phospholipids and sucrose esters of fatty acids. This innovative technology allows a high absorption and excellent gastrointestinal tolerability of these nutrients.
Finally, the 5 Sucrosomial® minerals allow the ApportAL® products to have a stable formulation that makes them unique.
Figure: Sucrosoma® structure
1. Ao T.; Kikuta J.; Ishii M. The Effects of Vitamin D on Immune System and Inflammatory Diseases. Biomolecules. 2021 Nov 3;11(11):1624. doi: 10.3390/biom11111624. PMID: 34827621; PMCID: PMC8615708.
Aranow C. Vitamin D and the Immune System. J Investig Med. 2011 Aug; 59(6): 881–886.
Charoenngam N., Holick M. Immunologic Effects of Vitamin D on Human Health and Disease. Nutrients. 2020 Jul; 12(7): 2097.
Il Medico Pediatra, Rivista Fimp.