Viral infections, which can be traced to weak immune systems, have been identified as a major cause of serious diseases among Filipino children below 14 years old and are thus now considered a growing health menace, a recent clinical study on the subject revealed.
Strengthening immunity is a must
“Among the known factors that influence the strength of the immune system is malnutrition. And the relationship between macro- and micronutrient deficiencies and immunity has been clearly established,” according to the study jointly conducted by the School of Nutrition of the Philippine Women’s University, the Clinical Nutrition Services of St. Luke’s Medical Center and the School of Statistics of the University of the Philippines-Diliman.
Practical immune booster
The study checked the possible effects of canned pineapples as a practical and easily available immunity booster through a nine-week randomized, controlled trial on 98 elementary school children in Paco, Manila who were divided into three groups.
Two of the three groups of children were given canned Del Monte Pineapple Tidbits for nine weeks, after which the researchers checked the effects of regular pineapple consumption on various immune markers as well as the children’s nutritional status and physical health. The third group served as the control group and was not given any canned pineapples.
Increase in granulocytes
The trial results showed a decrease in the incidence of viral and bacterial infections in two of the groups after regular consumption of canned pineapples.
Results suggest that intake of both one 140g serving and two servings (280g) of Del Monte Pineapple Tidbits may shorten the duration and incidence of infection and may increase the production of granulocytes, with intake of two servings (280g) demonstrating higher granulocyte production.
Granulocytes make up 60% of the white blood cells and help the body fight infection such as bacteria, viruses and other parasites. They contain granules of enzymes that help kill the invading microbes.
The third group that served as the control group did not show any increase in granulocyte production.
A chance to improve the health of millions of children
Asked to comment on the study, Ma. Bella Javier, Chief Scientific Officer of Del Monte Philippines, remarked, “We wish to commend the research team for its findings because the importance of having strong immunity, especially among our youth, cannot be understated.”
“We fervently hope that the study will encourage the public to explore simple, scientifically proven ways to improve immunity among young people because this will go a long way towards improving the overall health of millions of Filipino children.”
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About Del Monte Philippines
Del Monte Philippines, Inc. (DMPI) is a leading producer of pineapple and other food products.
The company markets over 100 processed food and beverage variants, including pineapple solids (slices, tidbits, chunks), tropical mixes, pineapple juice and mixed drinks, tomato-based products (tomato sauce, catsup, spaghetti sauce), condiments, and pasta (spaghetti, macaroni).
Today, Del Monte Philippines operates the largest integrated pineapple operation in the world. The company grows pineapple across 20,000 hectares in Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental. Two distinct pineapple varieties are grown, for processing and for fresh fruit export.