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Boosting immunity - swine flu and generally

(6 Posts)
IlanaK Thu 02-Jul-09 17:22:26

I am not panicing about swine flu at all. But on reading threads about it, there has been some discussion about generally boosting immunity - always a good thing. Someone mentioned vitamin D through sensible use of the sun.

What else can you do to boost immunity levels - other than eating lots of fruit and veg. I am particularly interested in what can be done for children. My youngest is ok as i am breastfeeding him, but the other two are older (5 and 8).

Musukebba Thu 02-Jul-09 18:03:16

IlanaK: there's not much you can do other than healthy diet (incl. BF of course ;) ). Someone had a theory about vit D deficiency in Scotland being a possible reason why it took off there, but AFAIK it hasn't been properly investigated.

[Slightly off-topic, but... children <3 are in a higher-risk group for more severe symptoms so your LO may need a paeds dose of Tamiflu depending on age.

If you need Tamiflu then although it's not licenced for use in BF the recommendation is to take and continue BF].

IlanaK Thu 02-Jul-09 19:25:59

So there are no vitamins anyone recommends taking for boosting just general immunity?

Musukebba Thu 02-Jul-09 20:00:02

Vitamin supplements don't "boost general immunity", despite what the advertisements may say. Unless there's a diagnosed, defined, vitamin-related medical condition, you just need to make sure of a balanced diet and as you say walk around in the daylight every day. Or give the kids cod-liver oil :-(

The only consistent evidence is for giving vitamin A in measles and other serious illnesses, but doses needed to treat are far above those attainable from diet, only used for treatment during illness, and mainly used in developing countries.

IlanaK Thu 02-Jul-09 20:12:14

Actually, my kids have a spoon of cod liver oil each day (not the baby) and always have done for the last few years!

Musukebba Thu 02-Jul-09 22:34:32

Hehe... the was because I remember the taste of daily cod-liver oil as a child myself!

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