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NegOr health expert cites importance of nutrition to boost immunity

Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) Crisis Management Committee Chair Dr. Kenneth Coo says proper nutrition alone does not guarantee full protection from COVID-19 and the public should still practice health protocols and get vaccinated to boost the body's resistance against the disease. He was one of the speakers during a Kapihan sa PIA forum held July 7, 2022 at Provincial Convention Center, Dumaguete City. (KAT/PIA7 Negros Oriental)

DUMAGUETE CITY, Negros Oriental, July 11 (PIA) -- A health expert in Negros Oriental emphasized the importance of getting proper nutrients to boost the immune system to help fight COVID-19.  

Dr. Kenneth Coo, national chairperson of the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) Crisis Management Committee, during the Kapihan sa PIA in line with the observance of National Nutrition Month this July, said that diet and nutrition can help support immune health and keeping the immune system on top shape would mean an added protection against COVID-19. 

Coo said essential vitamins include Vitamin D, Vitamin A, Zinc, Omega 3 Fatty Acids, and Vitamin C.

He noted that Vitamin D helps protect the lungs during COVID-19 infection by disrupting viral attachment in the body.

Vitamin A is an anti-oxidant that may provide powerful protection against infection while Zinc has anti-inflammatory properties that may benefit people with COVID-19.

The Omega 3 Fatty Acids also have anti-inflammatory benefits while Vitamin C supports immune health and is known to reduce the risk of pneumonia.

Although these are the essential vitamins and minerals that can help boots immunity to fight the virus, Coo said taking them should be in moderation as some medications can interact with vitamin supplements and cause harm to the body when taken in excess.

He also urged the public to eat fresh fruits every day, drink plenty of water, limit intake of fats and oil and also salt and sugar, consume food with unsaturated fats including white meat, and stay away from processed meats since they are high in fat and salt. 

However, Coo stressed that eating the right food and getting the proper nutrition is not enough to prevent contracting COVID-19.

He said people can still be at risk from getting the virus or spreading it to others, which is why it is still important to adhere to health protocols like wearing of face masks and getting vaccinated. 

“This is an emerging areas of research. These foods won’t prevent you from contracting the novel corona virus or cure the disease but they have been shown to support immune health,” Coo said.

“You have to wear your masks, then social distancing, wash hands, and be vaccinated. Pinaka-importante (the most important) really is vaccination so that we will be really protected. Unfortunately, ang data nato karon (our data) is going up so ang makaluluoy (those who are at risk) really is those who are not vaccinated,” he added.

He also urged the public to take booster shots if they are eligible since it has been proven to increase human antibodies and strengthen the body’s immunity against the disease.

This year’s observance of National Nutrition Month highlights the call for strengthened nutrition interventions and solidarity towards nutrition improvement as the country shifts towards living with the COVID-19 virus through its theme “New normal na nutrisyon, sama-samang gawan ng solusyon!”  (RAL/PIA7 Negros Oriental)

About the Author

Roi Anthoni Lomotan


Region 7

Roi Anthoni Lomotan is an Information Officer at Philippine Information Agency (PIA) - 7. He is currently based in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental. His job at PIA includes covering general beat assignments and other important events in the province.

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