Presenter: Aileen Burford-Mason, PhD

Immune function is controlled through nutrient-dependent metabolic pathways and the presence of multiple nutrients that are essential to these pathways is a prerequisite to mounting an effective antiviral defence. On average, 5-20% of North Americans succumb to influenza annually, involving 30 million doctor visits and 200,000 hospitalizations. Although vaccination reduces incidence, it does not offer total protection, and efficacy varies from a low of 10% (2004-5) to a high of 60% (2010-11). Evidence suggests that correcting common shortfalls of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients can enhance immune responses to infection and complement current public health approaches to mitigate the incidence and severity of seasonal influenza.