Confronting the possibility of a potentially devastating human bird flu pandemic, the United Nations system from Secretary-General Kofi Annan to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to the UN health and agricultural agencies today laid out a blueprint for immediate preventive and mitigating action.
“We may not know about the future course of H5N1, we do know this: once human-to-human transmission has been established, we would have only a matter of weeks to lock down the spread before it spins out of control. That is why the international community must take action now.” Mr. Annan told the Time Global Health Summit, a three-day event in New York held to discuss key health issues.
In light of these concerns, and likely rationing of available flu vaccines, it is advisable that people also look at other areas which complement good health. In the United States, the average American diet is high in sodium, fat, sugar, and preservatives and low in nutrition. These are typically not the ingredients associated with the support of a healthy immune system. It is the beneficial components of food which feed the cells of the body and support the normal function which allows each cell the potential to restore, protect and defend itself from the effects of injury and disease. A poorly nourished body is less able to carry out these activities as the basic building blocks for cell function are in limited supply.
People should therefore seek to improve their dietary intake of beneficial sources of nutrition and limit their intake of the more commonly eaten foods which are known to be more harmful to the body than their unprocessed counterparts. Will the support of a healthy immune system ensure a perfect defense against invading flu virus particles? Certainly not. However, a healthy immune system may mean the difference between someone who contracts the flu and recovers quickly and someone who suffers greatly.
The most important factor in the improvement of any person’s diet is to improve the quality and variety of food eaten. While dietary supplements may provide some excellent health benefits they are intended to supplement, not substitute, the benefits of a good diet.