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Viruses: why your general health is so important

Monday, 9 March 2020  |  Editor

Viruses: Why general health is so important

By now most of us will be aware that Coronavirus thrives, as do other viruses, on the health of those unfortunate enough to contract it. The elderly, the very young and those with underlying health issues will be more susceptible to having difficulty fighting it just as with the common cold or any other type of influenza.

Much has been published about the need to bolster your immune system and there has been such a demand for immune health supplements that many suppliers are running short or even out of stock.

To take a longer term view, whether coronavirus exists or not, isn't the real issue that many of the problems revolve around general health? Coronavirus will not be the last of such viruses to emerge; the common cold and influenza will continue to affect us in the future. So isn't it time to seriously consider your general health and that of your immune system?

Balanced diet

The first stop has to be eating a healthy, balanced diet. But most of us, for a number of different reasons, do not. A busy lifestyle often forces people to snatch quick meals while on the go; that often means pre-packed meals from the supermarket shelf, a quick portion of pasta or even less of a hassle, a take-away delivery. This often means a lack of important vitamins and minerals with inadequate fruit, vegetables and fibre. Underlying this is gut health. It is well know that the health of your gut bacteria is vital for both physical and mental health and an unbalanced gut leads to too much bad bacteria and not enough good bacteria to fight it. All this leads to general health issues and a challenge to the immune system.

Vitamins and minerals are nutrients your body needs in small amounts to work properly and stay healthy. Most people should get all the nutrients they need by having a varied and balanced diet, it is often said, but as many of us know and as stated above, this is often not as easy as it seems. Therefore many people may need to take extra supplements. The easiest way to do this is to use a good quality multi-vitamin and mineral supplement. You can see them all here.

But there is more to it than this. Different people need different nutrients: Women different from men for example; the more advanced in age different from younger people. For older people this is important because older people are more susceptible to bad outcomes if they catch a virus.

Here's some examples of multivitamin products designed for the older individual:

Lamberts MultiGuard Advance (60)

Lamberts MultiGuard Advance (60)£15.95

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Lamberts Multi-Guard (formerly called Multi-max) Advance, a multivitamin and mineral health supplement with lutein and plant extracts for the over 50's

Nature's Way Alive! Men's 50+ Multivitamin Soft Jells

Nature's Way Alive! Men's 50+ Multivitamin Soft Jells£14.99

Complete multi-vitamins and minerals

60 Soft Jells

Nature's Way Alive! Men's 50+ OAD 30 Tablets

Nature's Way Alive! Men's 50+ OAD 30 Tablets£8.99

Complete multi-vitamins and minerals specially formulated for Men 50+.

Nature's Way Alive! Ultra Men's 50+

Nature's Way Alive! Ultra Men's 50+£24.99

A premium multivitamin and mineral formulation with 26 essential vitamins and minerals PLUS unique botanical blends.

Nature's Way Alive! Ultra Women's 50+ Multivitamin

Nature's Way Alive! Ultra Women's 50+ Multivitamin£24.99

A premium multivitamin and mineral formulation with 25 essential vitamins and minerals PLUS unique botanical blends.

Nature's Way Alive! Women's 50+ OAD 30 Tablets

Nature's Way Alive! Women's 50+ OAD 30 Tablets£8.99

Complete multi-vitamins & minerals specially balanced for women over 50.

In the same way women and men differ in their requirements.

Multi-nutrients or women:

BioCare Femforte Multi

BioCare Femforte Multi£28.05

Comprehensive, high potency multivitamin for women

Higher Nature True Food Wise Woman

Higher Nature True Food Wise WomanFrom:  £9.85

Food-based essential nutrients for women.
More women's products
Natural Health Practice Healthy Woman Support Capsules (60)

Natural Health Practice Healthy Woman Support Capsules (60)£24.77

Healthy Woman Support for your Good Health: a complete multivitamin for women.

Solgar Female Multiple tabs

Solgar Female Multiple tabsFrom:  £18.24

Solgar Female Multiple provides essential vitamins and minerals in a balance particularly appropriate for women

Solgar Formula VM-Prime For Women Tablets (90)

Solgar Formula VM-Prime For Women Tablets (90)£28.99

For menopausal and post-menopausal to control hot flushes and night sweats.

 

Multi-nutrients for men

Biocare Maleforte Multi

Biocare Maleforte Multi£14.25

A high potency multivitamin & mineral complex health supplement formen. 

BioCare Maleforte Plus

BioCare Maleforte Plus£17.95

Specially formulated supplement for men

Higher Nature True Food All Man

Higher Nature True Food All ManFrom:  £9.85

Higher Nature True Food All Man - the most complete multinutrient health supplement for men. Vitamins & minerals, Antioxidants, brain foods, amino acids.

Nutri Advanced Men's Multi Essentials - tabs

Nutri Advanced Men's Multi Essentials - tabsFrom:  £20.35

Nutri Men's Multi Essentials - Premium One-A-Day Multivitamin/Mineral Formula health supplement for Men with targeted plant-based phytochemicals.

Viridian Essential Male Multi 90 Capsules

Viridian Essential Male Multi 90 Capsules£22.00

Exceptional masculine supplement

 

This busy and less than optimal lifestyle often also results in a lack of exercise, which is also of course important to health.

Exercise: Good or bad for immunity?

Regular exercise is one of the pillars of healthy living. It improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight, and protects against a variety of diseases. But does it help to boost your immune system naturally and keep it healthy? Just like a healthy diet, exercise can contribute to general good health and therefore to a healthy immune system. It may contribute even more directly by promoting good circulation, which allows the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently.

Gut Health

Throughout life, we are constantly exposed to new things in our gut, nose and lungs, via our food and environment, such as food additives, pollen in the air or non-pathogenic microorganisms in dust or dirt. But thankfully, most people have healthy immune systems that handle all of these invading objects with ease.

If it didn't, it would result in an inflammatory response every time you tried a new food or visited a new country with different types of trees. This would be a highly ineffective and unnecessary use of energy.

The essential task of the immune system is to maintain a balance and a diverse gut flora established in early life with many types of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms, is crucial for this, as it teaches the cells of the immune system that not everything is bad.

Since balance of bacteria in our gut influences the balance of our immune system, an unbalanced bacterial flora can shift the immune system to an increased inflammatory state with a so-called "leaky gut". This inflammatory state may then affect other body systems and increase the risk of obesity, type 1 and type 2 diabetes and even depression.

Bad gut bacteria can lead to disease

Most bacteria are beneficial, but some are responsible for disease.

It is obvious that gut bacteria play a significant role in diseases directly related to the gut, such as inflammatory bowel diseases. Today, treatments are available to correct this and aid recovery of beneficial bacteria. Most people are also familiar with the use of probiotics especially during exotic vacations. An example would be:

Optibac Probiotic For Travelling Abroad Capsules

Optibac Probiotic For Travelling Abroad CapsulesFrom:  £10.99

OptiBac live cultures to take prior to and during your travels.

Bacteria are survivors in the best Darwinian style, and they will to some extent adjust to the environment they are in. This is, for instance why resistance to antibiotics occurs. This also means that if good bacteria are removed due to for example diet or medication, some of the opportunistic commensals, or pathogens, will immediately move in and try to fill the gap. There are probiotics specifically designed to help for people on antibiotics:

Optibac Probiotic for Those on Antibiotics 10 Capsules

Optibac Probiotic for Those on Antibiotics 10 Capsules£5.99

Probiotic specifically formulated for those taking antibiotics.

Probiotics are fed by fibre. Thus, if you want your gut health to be optimum, think about fibre. There is a useful article here.