Gaurav Kaushik, Managing Director & CEO, Meteoric Biopharmaceuticals talks about the role of supplements in in boosting immunity
In current times, the world over, the very mention of the word ‘Corona virus’ is unleashing panic and fear. The number of infected individuals is rising rapidly and the fatalities from this viral infection are a source of much distress. Not surprisingly, medical practitioners, researchers and pharmaceutical companies are working overtime to find a vaccine for this pandemic; however, there is no solution in sight yet.
In order to stay protected from Coronavirus, the only prescription so far is to maintain personal hygiene, through regularly washing of hands and sanitizing surfaces that may be infected. Social distancing is also highly recommended to pre-empt falling prey to the disease, by avoiding contact with people who may be infected or carriers, and prevent the spread of the contagion.
Banking on Immunity
Nonetheless, being a part of biotechnology sector, Meteoric Biopharmaceuticals urges everyone to focus on reinforcement of their innate immune system, which is at present the best strategy to combat the Coronavirus, in the event that we are infected, despite our best efforts at personal hygiene and social distancing.
While there are no magical foods or supplements which can help fight the Corona virus, we could choose to consume the right kinds of Immuno-boosters and Immuno-modulators.
Some of these are:
- Herbs & Botanicals, such as Turmeric, Garlic, Tulsi, Black Cumin, Echinacea, etc.
- Vitamins & Antioxidants, including Vitamin E, C, D. Antioxidants from Green Tea, Beans, Green leafy vegetables, etc.
- Super Foods such as Broccoli& Mushrooms
- Proteins which are available in eggs, cheese, tofu, milk and nuts
Immunity and Probiotics
Our immune systems respond after the activation of our innate immune system are exposed to infection or foreign bodies. Our innate immune system exerts protective or defensive actions in the body homeostat against the antigenic reaction caused by an infection.
However, to trigger protective responses against the infection, it is crucial that the immune system senses intestinal microbiota. As a result, modulating intestinal microbiota is a potential strategy to provoke the immune system into preventing and /or treating infectious diseases.
Research has revealed a relationship between intestinal microbiota and immunity and researcher have started investigating the efficacy of microbiota, i.e. probiotics, to modulate the pathogenicity of several viral infections, like the Coronavirus. A probiotic is a healthy, live micro-organism which can be consumed as a supplement to support the daily functionality of the host.
Extensive study shows that probiotics contain immune stimulators, like lipoteichoic acid, and modulate the natural killer cell, which is our body’s first line of defence against the infection.
Today, we have potential clinical evidence, based on trials conducted by using majorly lactobacillus spp. for infectious diseases like Rhinovirus, Rota virus, Influenza, Hepatitis C, etc. This evidence suggests that Lactobacillus rhamnosusGG has been found to decrease the severity of cold symptoms and significantly (P<0.05) decrease repeated episodes of diarrhoea. Additionally, it was also found to improve the cryptosporidium gastroenteritis. Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus paracasei were found to decrease the upper respiratory infection significantly and Lactobacillus bulgaricus significantly increased the natural killer cell activity. All these lead to a boost in the immune system and reduce the risk of a common cold.
Most importantly, Lactobacillus lactis was found potent towards influenza like illness and immunological response to influenza virus by significantly rise IFN-α anti-viral factor and interferon stimulated gene 15. Various other species like Bifidobacterium spp. and saccharomyces boulardi were also found potent against the gastrointestinal viral symptoms in addition to boosting the immune system.
Importance of Pre-biotics
It has been found that pre-biotics, i.e. nutrients for microbiota of the host, also play an important role in immunity boosting as they are supplements that activate the innate immune system. Pre-biotics like Asparagus & Fibres, FOS, GOS, inulin, etc., serve as survival nutrient for the microbiota that indirectly restore the population of healthy bacteria, which in turn, regulate the immune homeostat of the host.
Treatment of Viral Infections
It is clear that anti-viral medicine and vaccines remain the first choice of the treatment in the event of a viral infection. However, with rapid evolution of viruses and infections that arise due to the continuous mutation in the strain, developing efficacious vaccines and medicines has become an ongoing challenge.
However, it is comforting to know that the direct action of probiotics on our innate immune system (via stimulating natural killer cells, like PDSc followed by TLR9 and IFNs type 1), helps to eliminate the viral pathogenicity. As research in the field of bio-pharma progresses, it is expected that probiotic supplements will soon become a vital adjuvant therapy for prophylactic and /or treatment of several viral infection.
Recognising the value of this form of protection against infection, as a bio-pharma company, Meteoric Biopharmaceutical Pvt. Ltd. advocates the consumption of probiotic supplements along with other vital immune-modulator supplements, especially during the current pandemic situation caused due to the spread of Coronavirus. While this is certainly not a claim that is tested against the Novel Coronavirus, it will defiantly help by boosting one’s immunity and is safe to use as prophylactic/ adjuvant therapy to guard against any viral infections.
It is time to start mining the panacea from ancient Indian literatures to combat against the coronavirus.