Dietary supplements and immunity-boosting food – a pilot study

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Suplementy diety i żywność stosowana w celu wspomagania odporności – badania pilotażowe

The study authors: Magdalena Zegan, Ewa Michota-Katulska, Magdalena Gałązka, Beata Sińska, Alicja Kucharska.

Zakład Żywienia Człowieka, Warszawski Uniwersytet Medyczny

The results of research on "Dietary supplements and immunity-boosting food – a pilot study" conducted by Magdalena Zegan, Ewa Michota-Katulska, Magdalena Gałązka, Beata Sińska, Alicja Kucharska (Problemy Higieny i Epidemiologii (2013, 94(4): 910-914)).

Dietary supplements and immunity-boosting food – a pilot study

The customary eating habits often diverge from the desired ones. We observe numerous deficiencies, which can have consequences on
the  intake  of  necessary  nutritional  elements  that  promote  good  health.  Many patients elect to supplement their diets with deficit micronutrients that can positively affect immunity and to employ traditional treatment methods.

Aim

To get to know the nutritional supplements and foods commonly used to boost the immune system in a selected consumer group.

Material  &  methods

The  study  comprised  243  respondents  aged 19-61 years. A purposive networking sampling was employed. The survey was  conducted  between  January  and  March  2012.  An  original  survey questionnaire was used.

Results

41% of the respondents declared the use of immunity-boosting nutritional  supplements.  Vitamin  C  was  the  most  frequently  used supplement (19% of respondents) and multivitamins (15% of respondents). The supplements were used chiefly in order to boost immunity (66%). The respondents acquired them mainly at the pharmacy (73%). Over 80% of the surveyed knew the “traditional” methods of immunity boosting. The main sources of such knowledge were relatives (158 responses). Almost 2/3 of the respondents ate foodstuffs and food products that they thought had a positive effect on the immune system. The respondents most frequently supported their immune system through drinking lemon tea (57%) and eating garlic in various forms (54%). In the case of illness, however, they visited a doctor (83%), asked pharmacists for advice (51%) and drank milk with honey (61%).

Conclusion

The fact that the respondents turned mainly to professional advice in the case of illness seems positive. At the same time, they knew
and used dietary supplements and foods to help the immune system, treating them as an additional support element. Accordingly, it would appear quite helpful to provide education on the functioning of bioactive nutrients and reliable information on the immunity-boosting dietary supplements.


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The complete study "Dietary supplements and immunity-boosting food – a pilot study" (Magdalena Zegan, Ewa Michota-Katulska, Magdalena Gałązka, Beata Sińska, Alicja Kucharska) in pdf file format:


Problemy Higieny i Epidemiologii (2013, 94(4): 910-914)




Translations

The article "Dietary supplements and immunity-boosting food – a pilot study" in other languages
 
Suplementy diety i żywność stosowana w celu wspomagania odporności – badania pilotażowe (Magdalena Zegan, Ewa Michota-Katulska, Magdalena Gałązka, Beata Sińska, Alicja Kucharska) po Polsku:
Suplementy diety i żywność stosowana w celu wspomagania odporności – badania pilotażowe
Zakład Żywienia Człowieka, Warszawski Uniwersytet Medyczny