A proper diet to defend against viral infection


A total of 2.38 million people died as a result of serious viral infections of the respiratory organs in 2016.[1, 2]. We do not yet know how many will die as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the statistical data are worrying. A well-organised, well-functioning healthcare system, combined with the search for and development of vaccines and methods of disinfection, can help us fight viral and other infections. Whether these measures are sufficient is a question that humanity will continue to ask itself throughout the fight against infections.

The period of foetal development before birth, the first months following birth and the entire first year of a child’s life are all important periods in which numerous organs and systems (including the gastrointestinal tract) develop proper functioning. It is also the time when eating habits are formed. It is a known fact that excessive consumption of food and storage of fats increases susceptibility to certain infections,[3] among them viral infections,[4] while at the same time the consumption of insufficient quantities of food leads to incorrect functioning of the innate and acquired immune system.[5] We know very well how important diet is for the immune function and it is therefore important to apply this knowledge in practice, particularly in a time of dangerous infections and pandemics. Vitamins, including vitamins A, B6, B12, D and C, and trace elements such as zinc, iron, magnesium, copper and selenium, complement each other importantly and support the innate and acquired immune system. Magnesium, for example, is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human organism. This nutrient is a cofactor or activator in more than 600 enzymatic reactions in the organism. Numerous naturally produced foodstuffs contain magnesium, yet magnesium consumption has fallen considerably in recent decades as a result of changing eating habits; not only that, but we are also consuming less magnesium because of the loss of magnesium during food processing. Magnesium deficiency usually occurs as a consequence of reduced consumption or inadequate absorption and/or increased elimination from the organism.

A study of Donat Mg medicinal mineral water,[6] in which 106 patients participated, showed that by taking 500 ml of medicinal mineral water with a high magnesium content it is possible to improve intestinal function and significantly influence the quality of life of patients, since in this manner we ensure the accessible and safe intake of a vitally necessary quantity of magnesium ions into the organism. A six-week Donat Mg mineral water cure supplies the organism with natural magnesium and helps correct a deficiency of this mineral.


  1. Naghavi M., Abajobir A.A., Abbafati C., Abbas K.M., Abd-Allah F., Abera S.F., Aboyans V., Adetokunboh O., Afshin A., Agrawal A. et al. Global, regional, and national age-sex specific mortality for 264 causes of death, 1980–2016: A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. Lancet 2017, I. 390, P. 1151−1210.
  2. Troeger C., Blacker B., Khalil I.A., Rao P.C., Cao J., Zimsen S.R.M., Albertson S.B., Deshpande A., Farag T., Abebe Z. et al. Estimates of the global, regional, and national morbidity, mortality, and aetiologies of lower respiratory infections in 195 countries, 1990–2016: A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. Lancet Infect. Dis. 2018, I. 18, P. 1191–1210.
  3. Huttunen R., Syrjanen J. Obesity and the risk and outcome of infection. Int J Obes (Lond), 2013, I. 37 ( 3 ), P. 333–340.
  4. Van Kerkhove M.D., Vandemaele K.A., Shinde V., Jaramillo-Gutierrez G., Koukounari A., Donnelly C.A. et al. Risk factors for severe outcomes following 2009 influenza A (H1N1) infection: A global pooled analysis. PLoS Med, 2011, I. 8 (7).
  5. Rytter M.J., Kolte L., Briend A., Friis H., Christensen V.B. The immune system in children with malnutrition − a systematic review. PLoS One, 2014, I. 9 (8).
  6. Bothe G., Coh A., Auinger A. Efficacy and safety of a natural mineral water rich in magnesium and sulphate for bowel function: a double-blind, randomized, placebocontrolled study. Eur J Nutr., 2015, Nov 18.

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Couscous with vegetables and chickpeas