Health, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Balanced nutrition crucial to strengthen immune system

Vitamin D, NRF2 molecule make body's defense mechanism stronger, effective in combating viruses, says doctor

Tahsin Kucukkaraca   | 17.03.2020
Balanced nutrition crucial to strengthen immune system

ANTALYA, Turkey

Vitamin D and NRF2 molecule strengthen body's defense mechanism, and are effective in combating viruses, according to a pharmacologist.

"Vitamin D is effective in combating the coronavirus because it strengthens the immune system. Those who are deficient in vitamin D should definitely receive a treatment," Dr. Coskun Usta, an expert at Akdeniz University in Turkey's Mediterranean resort city of Antalya, told Anadolu Agency.

He stressed that a balanced nutrition -- particularly consuming food at normal proportions -- is significant in gaining resistance against viruses.

During the outbreak, it is important to expose our bodies to sufficient sunlight and consume food containing vitamin D and C, he added.

The expert noted that currently there is no reason for panic in Turkey, adding that the relevant ministries and governmental bodies take the required measures appropriately.

"There is an NRF2 molecule in the human body. This molecule reveals systems that expand the body's ability to fight viruses. During this period, we need to consume broccoli, turmeric, grapes, rosemary and food containing zinc to increase NRF2 level in our body," Usta said.

Some cancer treatments abroad also used NRF2, which is important in defending the human body against viruses, Usta said.

The level of zinc in the human body is very low, but it plays a "critical role" in overcoming many diseases, he said, adding that consuming lots of fish raises the level of zinc in the body.

The virus known as COVID-19 emerged in Wuhan, China last December, and has spread to at least 150 countries and territories. The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a pandemic.

Out of over 183,500 confirmed cases, the death toll now exceeds 7,100, while more than 79,900 have recovered, according to Worldometer, a website that compiles new case numbers.

The current number of active cases is more than 96,500, with 94% in mild condition and 6% in critical condition.

* Writing by Jeyhun Aliyev in Ankara

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