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Nutritional and Physical Activity Interventions to Improve Immunity

Davison, Glen, Kehaya, Corinna, Jones, Arwel Wyn (2016) Nutritional and Physical Activity Interventions to Improve Immunity. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, 10 (3). pp. 152-169. ISSN 1559-8276. E-ISSN 1559-8284. (doi:10.1177/1559827614557773) (KAR id:43461)

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Physical activity and nutrition are important in a healthy lifestyle with potential benefits to immunity often overlooked. Infection of the upper respiratory tract, and the associated symptoms, are the most frequent presentations to general practitioners and may have significant economic and social impact. In this review, we consider the role of physical activity and nutrition in improving immunity. Evidence suggests that regular moderate activity is particularly beneficial for immune enhancement and reducing the risk of infection. We also discuss some nutritional strategies. Unfortunately, the evidence for many is weak. Avoiding nutritional deficiencies seems the most pragmatic recommendation. This can be achieved with a balanced diet. Including a variety of fruits and vegetables may help ensure adequate intake of essential nutrients with little risk of excess intake of any single nutrient. Supplementation with individual nutrients is generally not recommended. Multinutrients may be beneficial for those with a preexisting deficiency but not if normal dietary intake is sufficient. Further benefit may be gained from some supplements including probiotics, bovine colostrum, and some plant-derived products (Echinacea, black elderberry, and some polyphenols) but only in specific situations/contexts. Individuals should consider their personal needs, use caution, and avoid the indiscriminate use of supplements.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/1559827614557773
Uncontrolled keywords: exercise; diet; micronutrients; supplements; immunosenescence
Subjects: Q Science
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > School of Sport and Exercise Sciences
Depositing User: Glen Davison
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2014 20:56 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 12:56 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Davison, Glen:
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