Bad Diets May Breed Deadlier Viruses

Chilling new evidence presented by researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill suggests that poor nutrition leads to mutations of some viruses and creates more dangerous forms. Mutations that create more dangerous forms of the influenza virus and may contribute to newly virulent outbreaks of viral epidemics ranging from the common cold to AIDS and Ebola may be, in part, caused by deficiencies of certain nutrients. Deficiencies of selenium allowed the human influenza virus to mutate into more virulent forms in mice, and a similar mutation is likely to occur in people, according to a report in the FASEB Journal, published by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Once the mutations have occurred, even mice with normal nutrition are more susceptible to the newly virulent strain," explained one of the researchers involved in the study. The researchers stressed that proper nutrition not only influences the health of an individual, it can ultimately influence the health of society in general.

source: FABSEB Journal, June 2001