Vitamin A in Palm Oil as a “Frontliner” to Maintain The Body Immunity
Covid-19 is still a threat to all people in the world, including in Indonesia. The number of Covid-19 cases in Indonesia and patients who died of the virus also continues to increase every day. This condition makes people more worried.
A study shows that viruses including the Coronavirus cannot be combated with antibiotics. “Medicine” that can cure diseases due to being infected with a virus is the body’s immune system. A good immune system is also believed to be a panacea that can cure Covid, because this disease is classified as a self-healing disease.
Therefore, it is very important to maintain body endurance and increase body immunity in the Covid-19 pandemic. Body endurance and body immunity can be maintained by doing regular exercise and consuming nutritious food intake. Consumption of foods that contain vitamins is a way for the body endurance and body immunity to be maintained so as to avoid the Coronavirus. One of the vitamins that referred to is vitamin A.
Study of Siswanto et al., in the Jurnal Gizi Indonesia states that vitamin A has an important role in the maintenance of epithelial cells that function as body immunity. Beta-carotene or more commonly called as provitamin A is an antioxidant compound which is then converted into vitamin A in the body. These antioxidants play an important role in protecting body cells from free radicals which can strengthen the body’s immunity so that it can fight the Coronavirus.
The Chairman of the Indonesian Nutritionist Association (Persagi) said that the antioxidants contained in vitamin A are more effective than the antioxidants in vitamin C. This is because vitamin A will help lymphocytes (white blood cells) to work more effectively in warding off viruses. In addition, if likened to a soccer player, vitamin A is the frontline that faces infection due to viruses. Vitamin A can also stimulate cytokinin production which can increase antibody production. These antibodies are needed by the body to neutralize the pathogen that causes the infection.
Just like vitamin E, to get vitamin A is also recommended to be obtained from food rather than supplements. This is because the consumption of vitamin A supplements with high doses will trigger hypervitaminosis.
Palm oil is a food source that has a high vitamin A content. Many studies revealed that palm oil is the “the world’s richest natural plant” source of carotene or also known as pro-vitamin A. High carotene content can be seen from the reddish orange color of palm oil.
The content of vitamin A in palm oil is even more than other vegetables and fruit. For each of the same volume, palm oil actually contains vitamin A as much as 15 times the content of vitamin A in carrot. Even compared to the vitamin A content found in bananas, the content of vitamin A in palm oil is almost 100 times greater. The large amount of vitamin A in palm oil indicates that palm oil is an important source for the body to avoid the risk of exposure to the covid-19 virus.
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