Defending the body against winter ailments such as influenza

During the winter months, the body may be subjected to additional stress from “fighting” seasonal illnesses (e.g., influenza); the prevalence of symptoms typically depends on the population's immunity system.

Defending the body against winter aliments like influenza

Image Credit: PharmaNutra Spa

Throughout the cold period, maintaining good nutrition for optimal immune system functioning is recommended, as it is common knowledge that a nutritional imbalance is generally associated with detrimental effects on health.

There are numerous vitamins and minerals that aim to help the human body defend against pathogens by supporting different mechanisms of the immune response.

Defending the body against winter aliments like influenza

Image Credit: PharmaNutra Spa

Apportal® food supplement helps the body maintain the right amounts of these nutrients. The supplement supports four key functional areas: immune, antioxidant, energizing, and tonic-adaptogen.

The Immune function comes from these nutrients:

Vitamin D: While known for its involvement in the maintenance of healthy bones and muscles, vitamin D modulates innate and adaptive immune responses. It provokes the growth and reproduction of T-lymphocytes and B cells to defend the body when attacked by pathogenic microorganisms.

Eleutherococcus (E. Senticosus): Commonly known as Siberian ginseng, it enhances immune function by encouraging the growth of NK cells, T-lymphocytes, and antibody cells. Most frequently, it is used as an adaptogen (i.e., to improve endurance and boost memory function).

Iron: A vital element for the human body used in the formation of hemoglobin, a protein of red blood cells that facilitates the oxygenation of tissues and cells. Moreover, iron helps to stimulate the immune system and, specifically, supports the growth of T-lymphocytes and Natural Killer cells.

Zinc: A mineral with immunostimulant properties, verified by several studies across medical literature. The principal activity of zinc is protecting the body from the Rhinovirus, which is responsible for the common flu.

Iodine: This promotes the primary production of thyroid hormones, which stimulate the innate immune response, the first physical barrier that blocks the entry and proliferation of pathogens.

Defending the body against winter aliments like influenza

Image Credit: PharmaNutra Spa

Many nutrients possess what is known as the antioxidant function, which is the ability to protect cells from oxidative stress due to exposure to free radicals (e.g., ROS - reactive oxygen species).

Excessive exposure to free radicals can attack cellular elements and cause irreversible effects, such as the oxidation of chromosomes, proteins, membrane lipids, and DNA bases. They can also cause disturbance in the cytoskeleton structure, inactivation of enzymes, cell death, and malignant changes in cells.

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid): This is a water-soluble molecule with an antioxidant effect expressed within the cytoplasm of the cells. Due to its chemical structure, ascorbic acid can deliver electrons to radical species. Vitamin C can also revitalize vitamin E stores in synergy with selenium.

Vitamin E: An antioxidant that protects the phospholipidic cell membrane from lipoperoxidation. The most powerful form of vitamin E is alpha-tocopherol, with high biological and nutritional value. Vitamin E is not only an antioxidant substance but also has a key role in generating energy that the body requires to function. It contributes to the respiratory process of the skeletal muscles, enhances the resistance of the muscles when enduring strenuous physical activities, and can support the dilation of the vessels.

Selenium: A mineral that synergizes with vitamin E and shields the cell membrane from oxidative stress. This mineral has the additional capability of improving the production of antibodies for the immune system and provoking the activity of lymphocytes.

Lycopene: A carotenoid that gives plants their red color and is exceptional among other carotenoids due to its high antioxidant potential. By eliminating free radicals, it protects the cell from the oxidation of its components. Lycopene is predominantly found in red fruits and vegetables. Red tomatoes are particularly rich in lycopene.

Coenzyme Q10: Also known as Ubiquinone, it is a widely found molecule with antioxidant activity. Acting inside the cell nucleus, it enhances the regular activity of mitochondrion, a cellular organ that gives the cell energy. Coenzyme Q10 can regenerate itself and the other antioxidants, including vitamin E.

In Apportal®, various minerals, including iron, iodine, magnesium, selenium, and zinc, are developed with Sucrosomial® technology, a patent by Pharmanutra S.p.a, in which phospholipids and sucrose esters of a fatty acid matrix protect each of these minerals. This groundbreaking technology facilitates high absorption and effective gastrointestinal tolerability of these nutrients.


Each of the nutrients described in this article should be considered allies to the human body as they help protect cells against oxidative damage and contribute to effective immune system functioning.

The dietary supplement Apportal®, which contains 19 nutrients, will aid those who require rapid energy recovery and those who suffer frequent periods of weakness and asthenia. Furthermore, it can aid recovery after periods of intense physical activity, is recommended for post-influenza recovery, and in other cases that cause a deficiency of any of these 19 nutrients.

Defending the body against winter aliments like influenza

Image Credit: PharmaNutra Spa


  • Ferroni, E., Jefferson, T., (2011) Influenza. BMJ Clin Evidence. doi: 
  • Aranow, C., (2011) Vitamin D and the immune system. Journal of Investigative Medicine. doi: 10.2310/JIM.0b013e31821b8755.
  • Petyaev, I. M., (2016) Lycopene Deficiency in Ageing and Cardiovascular Disease, Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity.
  • Grabowska, M., et al, (2019) Let food be your medicine: nutraceutical properties of lycopene. Food & Function Journal. doi: 10.1039/c9fo00580c.

About PharmaNutra Spa

Founded and led by the President Andrea Lacorte and Vice President Roberto Lacorte, PharmaNutra was established in 2003.

It develops unique nutritional supplements and innovative medical devices, handling the entire production process, from proprietary raw materials to the finished product.

The effectiveness of its products is documented by considerable scientific proof, including 112 publications.

The Group distributes and sells its products in Italy and abroad. In Italy, products are sold through a network of 150 Pharmaceutical Representatives serving doctors and also exclusively selling PharmaNutra products to pharmacies throughout Italy. Products are sold in over 50 countries abroad, through 39 partners selected from among the finest pharmaceutical companies. PharmaNutra leads the market in the production of iron-based nutritional supplements under the SiderAL® brand, where it boasts a number of important patents on Sucrosomial® technology.

Over the years, the Group has developed a precise strategy for the management and production of intellectual property, founded on the integrated management of all the various elements: proprietary raw materials, patents, brands and clinical evidence.

Sponsored Content Policy: publishes articles and related content that may be derived from sources where we have existing commercial relationships, provided such content adds value to the core editorial ethos of News-Medical.Net which is to educate and inform site visitors interested in medical research, science, medical devices and treatments.

Last updated: Jan 24, 2023 at 5:27 AM


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