Interview: Prof. Dr. Emel ALPHAN- Atlas University Faculty of Health Sciences
In these days when we are fighting against COVID 19, protecting our immune system is an important defense tool against the virus. So, how can we protect our immunity against the Covid 19 Delta Variant, which is also confused with the common cold as we enter the winter months? Atlas University Faculty of Health Sciences Department of Nutrition and Dietetics Inst. Member Prof. Dr. Emel ALPHAN answered our questions. Here are the answers…
1. What is the immune system?
'Immunity system or immune systemforming the defense mechanism against diseases in a living thing, pathogens ve tumor It is a very complex system that recognizes and destroys cells, and protects the body from foreign and harmful substances. Immunity can be at different levels. In cases where immunity is sufficient, infection does not occur even if people encounter infectious agents. Immunity to the forms of occurrence is classified. 1) Natural immunity: It is the immunity that exists naturally in humans without encountering infectious agents. People's genetic structure, age, nutritional status, hormonal balance, body temperature, anatomical obstacles (skin, mucous membrane, digestive secretions, etc.) can provide natural immunity. 2) acquired immunity; It is the immunity that emerges as a result of encountering the infectious agent or its products. This is either caused by passing on the disease or acquired through vaccination (as in the Covid19 process).
2. Why does immunity fall?
Immune system protects the body from diseases, fights against infections and foreign substances entering the body. This system ensures that the balance of the body is maintained. In some cases, a decrease in the effectiveness of the immune system for any reason makes the person vulnerable to diseases. This situation leads to the emergence of some problems that reduce the quality of life.' Malnutrition ve to infections also be exposed the presence of a disease that weakens the immune systemsuppressing the immune system in the treatment of certain diseases use of drugs Causes such as lowering our immunity can cause us to get sick more often. Malnutrition (poor and unbalanced nutrition) malnutritionmaking way for of infections increases the risk of development.”
3. The importance of nutrition and vitamin supplements in the treatment of the worldwide Covid 19 epidemic is emphasized by experts. How should our eating habits be to strengthen our immunity?
“It is not just vitamins that strengthen immunity. Minerals and especially found in vegetables and fruits antioxidants, phenolic nutrients, non-nutrient ingredients all and enough energy, carbohydrates, fiber, protein ve your healthy fats Taking it into the body is a diet that strengthens our immune system. If such a diet is applied, there is no need for any vitamin-mineral supplements in summer or winter. If any vitamin and mineral deficiency is detected in people's bodies, vitamin and mineral supplements can be made in order to eliminate that deficiency. Also, gebeDue to the increasing nutritional needs of the mother with the baby in the iron and folic acid supplements should be made. A person who has no disease and eats healthy does not need vitamin and mineral supplements in any way. Since the immunity of a healthy person will be strong, the risk of catching infections will be low, and even if infections are caught, the disease will have a mild course.
4. How can we get immune-boosting antioxidants?
'The food eaten energy in order to provide with oxygen it has to burn. During this burning, "free radicals" harmful substances called Free radicals do not occur only during the metabolism of nutrients. surrounding air pollution, ultraviolet raysMany factors such as radiation, exhaust gases, and cigarette smoke affect cells and cause the proliferation of free radicals. With the proliferation of free radicals cardiovascular disease, cancer, cataract and health problems such as aging. The body has defense mechanisms against free radicals. some produced in the body enzymes, It helps to get rid of free radicals. By increasing the amount of these enzymes, it is possible to further strengthen the defense mechanism. This is found in food “antioxidants” It happens thanks to (antioxidation) substances. Vitamins A, E, C ve selenium are nutrients that protect the body from free radicals. Consumption of vegetables and fruits in various colors and 5-10 servings per day antioxidant nutrients ve antioxidant nutrients It helps to get into the body and strengthens our immune system. A varied and balanced intake of nutrients also saves the body from oxidation, reducing the risk of getting diseases.'