Glandular fever or infectious mononucleosis is a viral disease caused by the Epstein Barr virus. It leads to symptoms such as sore throat, fever, fatigue, weight loss and loss of appetite. The infection is usually spread by saliva and the symptoms last for two to three weeks or longer. Along with pain medications and antiviral drugs, certain vitamins and natural supplements may help treat and manage glandular fever.
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Vitamin B-12 is a component of the B complex vitamin that is important for metabolism. It also helps in the formation of red blood cells and maintenance of the nervous system. A deficiency of this vitamin can however lead to anemia and immune suppression, thereby impairing the body's ability to fight pathogens, such as the Epstein Barr virus.
Vitamin B-12 can be obtained from a balanced diet consisting of foods, such as eggs, meat, poultry and milk products. Vitamin B-12 and B complex supplements are also available without a prescription and are generally well tolerated as long as the dosage instructions are followed.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is essential for growth and development. It helps to repair and maintain body tissues and promotes proper functioning of the immune system to fight pathogens. Citrus fruits, strawberries, green leafy vegetables and cantaloupes are good sources of vitamin C, which can also be obtained from synthetic supplements available at local pharmacies. Monitor intake as overdose can lead to upset stomach and diarrhea.
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that can be found in foods, such as dairy products, meat, fish and oysters. Significant amounts of vitamin D can also be produced endogenously by the human body on exposure to sunlight. Apart from maintaining healthy bones, vitamin D, according to a study published in 2007 edition of “Medical Hypothesis,” also modulates the immune response to Epstein Barr virus. It may also help prevent the conditions caused by it, such as multiple sclerosis and glandular fever. Individuals with vitamin D deficiency can acquire it from synthetic supplements. However, it is best to talk to a doctor before taking them as chronic overuse may lead to kidney stones, vomiting and muscle aches.
Vitamin E is another antioxidant vitamin that has the ability to neutralize free radicals formed in the body as a result of various metabolic processes. It also promotes healthy immune function and can be found in foods such as wheat germ, olives, nuts and corns. Vitamin E supplements can also be purchased without a prescription. However, MedlinePlus warns against the chronic use of these supplements as it may increase the risk of death. It is best to talk to a physician for appropriate usage.
- Linus Pauling Institute: Vitamin B12
- "Medical Hypotheses"; Vitamin D status modulates the immune response to Epstein Barr virus: Synergistic effect of risk factors in multiple sclerosis; Trygve Holmøy; 2007
- MayoClinic.com: Vitamin C - Boost your immune system
- MedlinePlus: Vitamin E