Mysore/Mysuru: Mysuru-based Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), a Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) institute, has come up with a couple of immune-boosting food supplements for COVID-19 patients, especially children.
Speaking to SOM this morning, CFTRI Director Dr. Sridevi Annapurna Singh said that during the first wave, CFTRI had supplied nutritious food like Spirulina-based chikkies containing micro-nutrients and protein.
“We supplied them to thousands of migrants who were going from one part of the country to another during lockdown. We also gave them to healthcare and frontline workers in Karnataka and as there is a probable threat for children in the third wave, we are coming up with immunity-boosting supplements for little ones,” she said.
A couple of proposals have been sent to CSIR for approvals and the CFTRI will take a call on child immuno-supplements after the approvals. “As it involves the children, there are some protocols to be followed and such foods cannot be distributed directly to the children. Even there are processes to be followed before such foods are subjected to clinical tests and trials. These are not like Spirulina chikkies that suited all age-group adults,” she added.
A couple of food products that help boost immunity among children are in the pipeline at CFTRI and tests need to be done on how these foods actually boost immunity, sources said and added that the institution is awaiting approval from the CSIR. The CSIR has already written to Chief Secretaries of all States offering help from CFTRI and other CSIR laboratories to produce immunity-boosting foods. The CSIR is expecting approvals for this.
According to scientists and researchers at CFTRI, clinical and research results indicate that COVID-19 pathogenesis includes two phases — suppression of innate immune response and acute inflammation-driven damaging phase. Therefore, a better strategy to counteract the SARS-CoV-2 infection is to boost the immune response by food supplements, they noted
Research evidence shows that many nutritional supplements from different spices, herbs, fruits, roots and vegetables can reduce the risk or severity of a wide range of viral infections by boosting the immune response, particularly among individuals with insufficient dietary sources. The use of natural compounds and beneficial effects of certain nutrients such as zinc, vitamin D, vitamin C etc. would provide alternative support in addition to COVID-19 therapy, they said.